Former US Congressman and political analyst Ron Paul says the neoconservatives who dominate Washington foreign policy are pushing the Donald Trump administration to keep troops in Syria.
Dr. Paul, a three-time American presidential candidate and the founder of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, made the remarks in an article published on Friday.
Trump has announced that he wants to withdraw US troops from Syria, complaining that Washington has wasted trillions of dollars in Middle East wars.
The president, however, changed his mind after his advisers reportedly convinced him that an abrupt withdrawal from Syria could risk resurgence by the Daesh terrorist group.
A top Trump administration official told NBC News on Wednesday that the president agreed in a meeting with his national security team Tuesday to keep American military presence in Syria for an undetermined period, but “wasn’t thrilled about it, to say the least.”
When his advisers told him they needed more time to complete the mission, Trump demanded to know how much longer, the senior administration official said.
“If you need more time, how much more time do you need? Six months? A year?” he asked, according to the official.
His team said they could not tell how long it will take to defeat Daesh terrorists and train local forces to protect their gains after the United States leaves. The official said Trump reluctantly agreed to give the effort more time.
The US has reportedly more than 2,000 troops stationed in eastern Syria, in addition to several thousand others in the Arab country’s north.
‘Trump against interventionist US foreign policy’
Dr. Paul wrote, “I do think Trump understands that our interventionist foreign policy is a massive waste of money and lives. He said in February, ‘As of a couple of months ago, we have spent $7 trillion in the Middle East. … What a mistake.’”
“How right he is. A big mistake. The problem is the neoconservatives who dominate Washington foreign policy continue to push a whopper of a canard: They insist that extremist groups rise to fill a vacuum in the Middle East whenever US troops leave. However, the truth is these radical groups arise precisely because of our entering the region, not leaving it!” he added.
“There was no al-Qaeda in Iraq before the 2003 US invasion. There was no Islamic State [Daesh] in Syria before President Obama’s covert support for regime change after the 2011 unrest. The massive pipeline of US weapons to ‘moderate’ rebels in Syria ended up in the hands of al-Qaeda affiliated groups and ISIS,” he stated, using an acronym for the terrorist group.
“The facts are clear: ISIS is on the ropes. It controls no significant town or population center. It is holed up in the desert and is being eliminated by the Syrian government and its allies. Without foreign support, ISIS will never regain significant positions in Syria,” he noted.
American political analyst E. Michael Jones told Press TV on Tuesday that Daesh militants “were proxies of the United States to begin with. If the United States is not supporting them, they will not come back.”