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Greg West @GregWest_HALOJM
, 15 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
Secretary of Defense Mattis leaving is not the end of the world as the media makes it out to be. While I have respect for Mattis he's not the only person qualified for the job.
Every administration has its stars, and those stars often leave after about 2-3 years and often that's shortly after a midterm election or a presidential election. I think some of the friction that resulted in Mattis leaving was probably applied through John Bolton.
Mattis is an old guard type and believes in long term troop presence even after objectives have been met.
The US objective in Syria was never about regime change or splitting the country up into a North and South Syria with the Kurds having the north and the Syrian government keeping the south.
It was simply removing ISIS from the control it had in northern Syria and liberating Raqqa in particular. ISIS has lost about 98% of the terrain it once occupied in Iraq and Syria as of December 2017.
Regime change in Syria was a Bush 43 initiative which Nancy Pelosi interceded on Bashar al-Assad's behalf with her visit to see the Syrian dictator calling him a reformer.
Obama abandoned regime change & it was his administration that dumped more than 650 tons of weapons into Syria to anybody that claimed to be anti-Assad during the short span of time that Obama believed in regime change (you can look up how many times he waffled on this yourself).
Guess who was involved in that big push to arm Syrian Opposition Groups? John Brennan, who idiotically thought you could use the template we used with Nicaraguan Contras to arm people in a Middle East despited repeated warnings it would create a declared caliphate by those armed.
Syrian opposition had already met with Islamic State of Iraq emissaries in the early spring of 2011 establishing cooperation before a single US weapon was given to a Syrian.
All those nice M-4 rifles weren't captured from Iraqi military because they were showing up in 2012 and 2013 in Syria before the Islamic State had crossed back into Iraq.
Trump understands something from history that a lot of our current politicians and military leaders do not. Many of the great empires throughout history fell due to overextending themselves financially and/or militarily.
Rome had overextended itself so badly it was not able to deal with incursions along many of the borders it shared. It was also financially strapped by social programs and military spending.
In 1998, the US spent about $250 billion annually in defense. We now spend over $700 billion. We don't have anywhere near the size of the military force we had back in the 1980s or even through the early 1990s.
We are engaged in conflict in more than a dozen nations to some extent on three different continents.
Withdrawing the bulk of US forces from Syria is a sensible measure, ISIS is not at the peak strength it was in 2014 or even anywhere close. The most significant pockets of ISIS fighters are located in Syrian government control zones, not the US and coalition zones.
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