ISIS may be weakened. But they are certainly not finished. The United States declaration that it intends to remove all of its troops from Syria has certainly provided an incentive to ISIS to not give up. It may be judged as a fateful mistake of the Trump administration. But now it is too early to judge.
US Troops in the Middle East – A mixed history
In order to understand the mindset of President Trump’s decision, one needs to understand the fuller context. 50-55 years ago, when Donald Trump was a teenager and a young man, the predominant controversial issues in the United States were the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights Movement. There is no doubt that the war is largely considered a debacle. Tens of thousands of lives with a debatable result. Of course, the intention was to contain the Communist threat and that was definitely necessary. However, the hefty price that the United States with troops in the Far East definitely had a major impact. This is definitely on the mind of President Trump today.
US Troops as a Buffer
In addition, back in the 1980’s the United States had troops stationed in Lebanon – also as a peacekeeping force. A suicide bomber attacked and killed a few hundred servicemen. Once again, the point of the peacekeeping force serving as a buffer was debatable. The result was tragic. Is this what President Trump is thinking about as he removes US troops from Syria? The logic is there. but the critics who claim that we need to finish the job also have a valid point.