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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Trump's push for boots-on-ground in Syria

Each day, I receive updates from the Military Times and Defense News. Today's report is the status of Trump's 30-day review and his request for troops to combat ISIS in Syria. The report is from Andrew deGrandpre is Military Times' senior editor and Pentagon bureau chief.

Structured as an inverted pyramid, I disagree with the sequence. I think the most important element begins with to what Donald Trump is aiming? He wants to accelerate the elimination of ISIS, and one contribution is to provide avenues of escape and safe-havens for the fleeing innocent population. Doing that also relieves some of the pressure on displaced people migrating away from their homeland.

However, if the displaced Syrian citizens flee from homes that are destroyed by military conflict, there is no place for them to return. Tent cities are temporary, and the nation of Syria must rebuild. The political regime in Syria isn't likely to care about them, raising the question about the "nation-building." enterprise to come. What is the US comprehensive foreign policy addressing that scenario down the road? What is the predetermined relationship between the US and Syrian government? What is the relationship between the US and Russian forces occupying the same battle space inside Syria?
"The White House also indicated last month that it could task the military with establishing "safe zones" in Syria for the estimated 11 million refugees who've been forced from their homes as a result of the violence there." 
Military Times
Military leaders must make clear how U.S. ground forces will be deployed and secured on the battlefield as they will become a big target for terrorists. Such deployment may also give rise to ISIS recruitment.
"It's unclear how any additional U.S. ground troops would be put to work in Syria. American commanders have said there is an urgent need to liberate Raqqa, as intelligence has indicated ISIS militants there are actively plotting attacks on the U.S. and its allies in the Middle East and Europe." 
Military Times
"However, multiple U.S. Army sources indicated that about two thousand soldiers with the 82nd Airborne Division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team soon may bolster other Army elements already in the region. Currently, about 1,800 paratroopers from the 2nd BCT are in Iraq participating in the U.S. military's train-and-advise mission. The 82nd Airborne Division is based at Fort Bragg in North Carolina."
This is real news analysis by a qualified independent journalist and author of How to Select an American President by James A. George and James A. Rodger (c) 2017 Archway Publishing.

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