The prospect of the Biden Administration considering a withdrawal from its contentious occupations in Syria and Iraq has sent shockwaves through the neoconservative circles, leaving them in a state of frenzy. This unexpected turn of events has raised eyebrows and prompted speculations about the administration's strategic shift.
Syria's Quandary: White House Reevaluates Mission Objectives
Charles Lister, a prominent figure at the Middle East Institute, has expressed his concerns in Foreign Policy regarding the potential withdrawal from Syria. According to sources within the Defense and State departments, the White House seems to have reconsidered the necessity of a mission it perceives as redundant. Internal deliberations are now ongoing to determine the when and how of a withdrawal.
Lister's Warning: Catastrophic Effects and the Resurgence of ISIS
Lister, known for his early support of the al-Qaeda-affiliated insurgency against Assad in Syria, warns of potential catastrophic consequences. He highlights the impact a withdrawal could have on U.S. and allied influence in the volatile Syrian crisis. Additionally, he raises the specter of the resurgence of ISIS, cautioning that it could be a gift to the Islamic State.
ISIS Returns: A Convenient Resurgence?
The sudden reappearance of ISIS, just as concerns over attacks on U.S. occupation bases reach a tipping point, seems almost too convenient. The neocons, needing a justification for continued U.S. presence in the region, can now point to the resurgence of a familiar threat.
Remember ISIS? The moveable feast that conveniently disappeared not long after Syria's call for Russian intervention to thwart the U.S.-backed "freedom fighters." Now, with the U.S. administration feeling the pressure after numerous attacks on its bases, ISIS conveniently makes a comeback, ready to serve as a rallying cry.
Election Year Calculations: Questioning Troop Deployments
Perhaps a reminder of the looming election has prompted Biden to reconsider the presence of American troops in Iraq and Syria. With resistance activities intensifying, the public may start questioning the legitimacy of these deployments, especially as the threats get closer.
CNN reports today that talks between the U.S. and Iraqi governments are expected to begin regarding the future of the U.S. military presence in Iraq. The Iraqi government has been vocal about its desire for U.S. troops to withdraw.
War Plans and Iranian Concerns: Think-Tank Predictions
In the echo chamber of D.C.'s "think-tank-topia," concerns about the potential negative impact on war plans with Iran are raised. Natasha Bertrand quotes various voices warning that pulling out "trip-wire" troops from Iraq and Syria could embolden ISIS or, according to some, be seen as a victory for Iran.
Jon Alterman, a "deep thinker" at MIC-funded CSIS, suggests that any sign of the U.S. changing its force posture in Iraq could be considered a victory for Iran.
The Celebration Conundrum: From Iran's Corridors to American Homes
If the U.S. were to end its controversial occupations in Syria and Iraq, Iran might celebrate, as indicated by Alterman's observations. But let's not forget another group that would undoubtedly celebrate-- every AMerican family with a loved one serving in the region. The prospect of bringing theese troops back home would be a victory for those directly affected.
In the grand theater of international politics, where interests often clash, one must ponder: Is Biden a cynical strategist or a reluctant hero? Regardless, if the Biden Administration chooses to exit the Middle East, starting with Syria and Iraq, perhaps it's a move worth celebrating.
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