Trump's bizarre neocon wet dream for keeping Syria's oil
Reassurance patrols were carried out by the international @coalition in the eastern Deir Ezzor countryside, and the message is to reassure that there is no withdrawal and no change regarding the situation in #DeirEzzor in particular. pic.twitter.com/6GmLfYsS7r
— Omar Abu Layla (@AliAlleile) October 14, 2019
The United States is set to deploy hundreds of troops and tanks to guard oil fields in northeast Syria from Isis fighters in another U-turn on President Trump’s original promise to “bring soldiers home”.
The change in plan was confirmed in part by US defence secretary Mark Esper on Friday, who admitted that Washington aims to keep a “reduced presence” in Syria to defend oil facilities.
This plan looks dubious at face value.
But when you factor in that the Kurds have cut a deal with the Assad government, so roughly 200 American troops will be alone, and completely isolated in hostile territory.
That makes the plan look crazy.
And then the neocons enter, and the plan crosses into Bizarro World.
“It may seem weird to those outside Washington, D.C.,” Nicholas Heras, Syria analyst at the Centre for a New American Security think tank, told VICE News, “but there is a strong current of opinion within the think-tank scene, but also and more importantly among senior members of the Trump administration, particularly in the State Department, headed by Secretary of State Pompeo, a noted Iran hawk before he entered the executive branch, that the United States can have its cake and eat it too in eastern Syria.”
At the heart of this strategy is the notion of creating a purely Sunni Arab force composed of local tribes that can be used as an American proxy in the region, a long-held dream of figures in the Trump administration long hostile to the YPG and Syrian Democratic Forces. “This dream of having a Sunni tribal army has never really died,” says Heras, “and in Deir Ezzor, Iran hawks and U.S. counterterrorism experts find a perfect place to mingle and mix their ideas.”
In this worldview, according to Heras, “the United States can work to build a strong Sunni Arab army that can prevent the reemergence of ISIS, and that same Sunni Arab tribal army can be used not only to box out Iran but also to take the fight to Iran in parts of eastern Syria and potentially western Iraq where Iran has built a so-called land bridge between Hezbollah in Lebanon and its forces in Iraq and Iran.”
To do this, Trump will need buy-in from the same angry and demoralized Kurdish forces he just betrayed.
Oh yeah. This sounds totally doable.
Recall when we did this before.
Just think - if we spend just $1 Billion more we could have as much as a dozen Sunni fighters on our side.