(ANTIMEDIA) The U.S. Defense Department is considering proposing that the U.S. send conventional ground combat forces into northern Syria for the first time to hasten the fight against ISIS, according to CNN.
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“It’s possible that you may see conventional forces hit the ground in Syria for some period of time,” one defense official told CNN.
However, the official clarified that the decision will ultimately lie with President Trump, who has reportedly ordered his defense secretary to come up with a proposal to fight ISIS before the end of February.
None of this should be surprising given that as far back as March 2016 Trump was calling for ground troops in both Iraq and Syria. As the public across the globe has fast learned, almost all of Trump’s outlandish campaign promises were intended to be taken seriously.
“We really have no choice, we have to knock out ISIS,” Trump said in 2016. “I would listen to the generals, but I’m hearing numbers of 20,000-30,000.”
Trump is also reportedly considering sending more troops to Afghanistan, America’s post-9/11 quagmire.
Together with Trump’s plan to set up so-called safe zones within Syria, it is more than clear that Trump is looking to escalate America’s current Middle Eastern conflicts.
So what should we be mindful of before sending American troops to fight and die in Syria?
First, doing so would be illegal. A country can’t just send troops to another country because they feel like it; it needs to have an international legal basis. The Syrian government, which currently holds a seat at the U.N., clearly takes issue with foreign troops occupying its land.
Second, Trump has assembled an establishment team that is obsessed with Iran. Iran is Syria’s closest ally, bound by a mutual defense agreement. In fact, there are hundreds — if not thousands — of Iranians already on the ground in Syria, including high-ranking generals who were targeted and killed by Israeli airstrikes. By further weakening the Syrian government and strengthening their position militarily within Syria (not to mention Afghanistan, which borders Iran), the U.S. will be in a much better position to weaken Iran directly.
Those who lauded Trump as a sort of anti-establishment candidate will soon have to come to terms with reality: Trump is using the same playbook as Bush and Obama did before him. Only this time, the playbook has been rewritten following the Obama administration’s failure to bring down Iran through indirect means such as imposing crippling sanctions and by toppling the Syrian government. Trump has now set his sights on Iran directly, and coincidentally, Iran was in Obama’s crosshairs the whole time, anyway.