Lessons of the Trump Turkey matter

President Donald Trump used a Teddy Roosevelt foreign policy tool to minimize military action against the Kurds and to bring Turkey inline—speak softly (if that’s possible for the president) and carry a big stick. Trump said Wednesday, “Early this morning, the government of Turkey informed my administration that they would be stopping combat and their offensive in Syria, and making the ceasefire permanent. And it will indeed be permanent. However you would also define the word “permanent” in that part of the world as somewhat questionable, we all understand that…So the sanctions will be lifted unless something happens that we’re not happy with.” No US troops. No American lives lost. 

Trump is not convinced that the US must meddle in this affair. He said, “American forces defeated 100 percent of the ISIS caliphate during the last two years.  We thank the Syrian Democratic Forces for their sacrifices in this effort.  They’ve been terrific.  Now Turkey, Syria, and others in the region must work to ensure that ISIS does not regain any territory.  It’s their neighborhood; they have to maintain it. They have to take care of it.” Trump also states that the Kurds are grateful to the US. Trump said, “I have just spoken to General Mazloum, a wonderful man, the Commander-in-Chief of the SDF Kurds. And he was extremely thankful for what the United States has done. Could not have been more thankful.”

Referencing the previous president’s Arab Spring that destabilized the entire Middle East, Trump said, “Across the Middle East, we have seen anguish on a colossal scale.  We have spent $8 trillion on wars in the Middle East, never really wanting to win those wars. But after all that money was spent and all of those lives lost, the young men and women gravely wounded — so many — the Middle East is less safe, less stable, and less secure than before these conflicts began. The same people pushing for these wars are often the ones demanding America open its doors to unlimited migration from war-torn regions, importing the terrorism and the threat of terrorism right to our own shores.  But not anymore.  My administration understands that immigration security is national security.” So do you see the lessons in all this?

This president is very deliberate with his actions. He is willing to take the heat for what he does. He will leverage American power to compel world leaders toward American interests. This is what upsets the establishment that acts on partisan agendas the same way every time expecting different results. It is also a strategic long game that Trump plays very well. Having said that, there were some curious and notable aspects to the entire Turkey/Kurd/Syria move. It appears to leave Russia in a dominant position with the Kurds, Iran, and Syria. It holds end-time player Turkey at bay. We know, as Trump has said, this peace is “questionable.” It is a calm before a storm. As Christ said in Matthew 24:6,” And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that you be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” 

Read the president’s entire statement (which the media won’t tell you about) here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-situation-northern-syria/

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Bill Wilson