Galbraith on Syria

quotes politics syria

29 Nov 2019

Peter W. Galbraith on Syria:

The full consequences of President Trump’s decision on October 6 [2019] to withdraw American troops and give Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan a green light to invade northeast Syria are not yet clear.

But it is hard to imagine a more calamitous outcome for the United States, the Kurds, NATO, and possibly Turkey itself.

The destruction of the US position in Syria was complete. Putin, Erdogan, and Trump had provided President Assad with his biggest victory in the nearly nine-year civil war: the recovery of one third of his country without firing a single shot.

With America in retreat, Russia has now emerged as a principal regional power broker. If Putin can pull Turkey away from the US alliance—and Erdogan is certainly acting as if Russia is Turkey’s most important partner—he will have accomplished something that none of his Soviet predecessors dreamed possible: the partial breakup of NATO.

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