The Only Strategic Rationale for America’s Involvement in Syria Finally Revealed
“Washington lacks a clear strategy in Syria “; those were the recent words of Robert Ford, the last American ambassador to Syria who served prior to and during the first few years of the Syrian uprising from 2010 to 2014. A man of Ford’s intricate knowledge of the Syrian/American political dynamic is surly knowledgeable enough to assess America’s policy towards Syria. He goes on to say, “It is hard to explain the fundamental American mission in Syria… Is it to fight Daesh? Or is it to help promote a Kurdish autonomous district in Northeastern Syria… Or is it to resist Iranian encouragement?” It is partially all three; however, oddly enough, Mr. Ford avoids the obvious top priority and strategic rationale for America’s involvement in Syria: The Protection of Israel.
To alleviate this dereliction by the executive branch for not presenting a clear strategy in Syria, as the former ambassador asserts, the Congress took it upon itself to identify American strategic interests in Syria and make recommendations to Trump. However, it is legitimate to ask: what do American congressmen know about Syria to qualify them to determine American strategic interests in the country? It is very unlikely for American congressmen to know much about Syria; they are dictated the Israeli narrative and that is all they need to know.
Irrespective of who or what motivated the congressmen to seek information to develop a framework for American strategic interests in Syria and eventually send a letter signed by nearly four hundred congressmen- roughly seventy five percent of the total number of congressmen from both chambers and both parties- to the president about their findings and their recommendations, the congressmen called upon United States Institute of Peace (USIP) to establish a Syria Study Group (SSG) to provide them information about Syria to comprehend the situation and formulate recommendations to Trump.
The SSG was established in February 2019 and gave its interim report to Congress May 1, 2019; the report consists of detailed seven single-spaced typewritten pages.