In 2003, we invaded Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein from power. It was believed that he harbored weapons of mass destruction; however, none were ever discovered. Eventually, Hussein was captured and executed, as was Bin Laden in Pakistan in 2011 after a daring Navy Seal Team 6 mission.
After many twists and turns in Iraq, the terrorist group ISIS was largely destroyed, the country was stabilized, and the United States maintains 5,000 troops in the country.
While this region of the world was incredibly important in 1990 when Iraq invaded Kuwait, today, is less important to the United States. Fortunately, we do not “need” their oil, we are energy independent for the first time in many decades.
This independence should give our country ample reason to bring our troops home. After 18 years and spending trillions of dollars in the region, we are still fighting the “war on terror.” The results have been mixed, as the Taliban terrorist organization is still very powerful in Afghanistan. While Iraq is more peaceful, terrorist activity has not been eliminated. Looming over the region is the destabilizing influence of Iran, the world’s largest supporter of terrorist activity.
When the Arab Spring movement started in 2010, governments in the region fell. For example, Libya transitioned for a dictatorship to total chaos. In Syria, a brutal civil war erupted, and the country became a magnet for terrorist activity.
The United States has sent approximately 500 troops to Syria, presumably to fight ISIS and other terrorist activity. However, what is our national security interest in Syria? In fact, we should not be worried about the internal battle in Syria as some of these groups have been warring for centuries.
The United States will not be able to end such longstanding conflicts, so our troops should not be stationed in the country. President Trump was correct to order our military to leave the northern Syrian territory near the Turkish border. These troops may have been killed when Turkey invaded Syria to root out Kurdish fighters operating in the region.
Today, the President deserves tremendous credit for orchestrating a “permanent cease-fire” between the Kurds and the Turks in the region. In return, we are lifting the sanctions on Turkey that were imposed after their invasion of Syria.
Eventually, the President’s policies in the region have been vindicated. It is tragic that so many Republicans in Congress voted to support a resolution condemning the President’s Syrian policy. Only 60 GOP members, mostly affiliated with the Freedom Caucus, did not vote for the resolution.
Sadly, many of the establishment politicians in both parties support never ending wars. Most of these neo-conservatives and liberals hated the message of Donald Trump in the 2016 campaign.
All the President is doing is fulfilling his campaign promise to bring home our troops. It is what the American people supported, in that election, and it is outrageous the Congress and so many in the media and the Deep State are trying to negate the 2016 results and the wishes of the electorate.
Jeff Crouere is a native New Orleanian and his award winning program, “Ringside Politics,” airs locally at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and at 10:00 p.m. Sundays on PBS affiliate WLAE-TV, Channel 32, and from 7-11 a.m. weekdays on WGSO 990-AM & www.Wgso.com. He is a political columnist, the author of America's Last Chance and provides regular commentaries on the Jeff Crouere YouTube channel and on www.JeffCrouere.com. For more information, email him at [email protected]