[Ed. – The Bryens are right. This is a bad idea. There might have been a time for it, but that time is long since past. There is no “partner” already on the ground in Syria for such a deployment; there are only jackal packs and landmines. Putting our troops there would also necessitate envisioning a specific political outcome. That’s something there is NO appetite in the American people to be responsible for.]
The president is being asked by the Pentagon to provide U.S. ground troops to fight ISIS in Syria. If the president is wise, he will run as fast as he can the other way.
- There are four potential traps here:
- The cost in American lives;
- The nature of the Syrian civil war that encompasses the fight against ISIS, which means we may find ourselves on the battlefield with Russia, Iran, and the genocidal government of Syria;
- Finding ourselves with the Turks against the Kurds; and
- Finding ourselves with the Kurds against the Turks.
Daily operations in Syria are under Russian-Syrian cognizance. The Russians supply air power, combat intelligence, and special operations, targeting anti-regime forces and leaders they want to liquidate. Syrian army forces, Iranian-backed forces (many of them irregular and imported from Pakistan and Afghanistan), and Hezb’allah do the dirty work on the ground. …
But Defense Secretary James Mattis has said that while we might find ways to cooperate politically, direct military collaboration with the Russians is not in the cards, most importantly because the U.S. arms and trains some Syrian rebels the Russians call “terrorists” and against whom they and the Syrian government are fighting.