Here’s an easy prediction: the US will not withdraw from the Middle East during anyone now living’s lifetime. There’s too much oil, war is profitable, and Saudi Arabia and Israel want us over there. From James Howard Kunstler at kunstler.com:
BEIRUT, Lebanon — Days after President Trump said he wanted to pull the United States out of Syria, Syrian forces hit a suburb of Damascus with bombs that rescue workers said unleashed toxic gas.
Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me, the old saying goes. So, tread carefully through the minefields of propaganda laid for the credulous in such low organs as The New York Times. There are excellent reasons to suppose that the American Deep State wishes strenuously to keep meddling all around the Middle East. The record so far shows that the blunt instruments of US strategic policy produce a consistent result: failed states.
Syria was well on its way to that sorry condition — prompted by an inflow of Jihadi maniacs fleeing our previous nation un-building experiment in Iraq — when the Russians stepped in with an arrantly contrary idea: to support the Syrian government. Of course, the Russians had ulterior motives: a naval base on the Mediterranean, expanded influence in the region, and a Gazprom concession to develop and manage large natural gas fields near the Syrian city of Homs, for export to Europe. The latter would have competed with America’s client state, Qatar, a leading gas exporter to Europe.
But the US objected to supporting the government of Bashar al-Assad, as it had previously with Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi, as well as Russia’s presence there in the first place. So, the US cultivated anti-government forces in the Syrian civil war, a hodgepodge of Islamic psychopaths variously known as ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), Daesh, al-Qaeda, al-Nusra, Ansar al-Din, Jaysh al-Sunna, Nour al-Din al-Zenki, and what-have-you.
As it happened, US policy in Syria after 2013 became an exercise in waffling. It was clear that our support for the forces of Jihad against Assad was turning major Syrian cities into rubble-fields, with masses of civilians caught in the middle and ground up like so much dog food. President Barack Obama famously drew a line-in-the-sand on the use of chemical weapons. It was well-known that the Syrian army had stockpiles of chemical poisons. But the US also knew that our Jihadi consorts had plenty of their own. Incidents of chemical atrocities were carried out by… somebody… it was never altogether clear or proven… and Mr. Obama’s line-in-the-sand disappeared under dust-storms of equivocation.
To continue reading: State of Failure