Trump has asked officials to "speed up the fight" against ISIS. The Pentagon says sending conventional forces to Syria might be the solution. How about "asking Syria" first?
When Trump said that he wanted to work with Russia to "defeat ISIS" in Syria, we assumed he meant closer coordination and better communication channels. Maybe a few joint airstrikes.
The Pentagon may have different plans, though:
The Pentagon is reportedly considering sending conventional ground troops into northern Syria for the first time to accelerate the fight against Isis.
Only small teams of US special operation forces are currently authorised in the country and the decision to send ground troops would be in the hands of President Trump, who recently ordered his defence secretary, James Mattis, to draft a new proposal to fight the terror network within 30 days.
"It's possible that you may see conventional forces hit the ground in Syria for some period of time," one defence official told CNN on Wednesday. US officials told the network that the idea is merely a “point of discussion” rather than a formal proposal.
It’s currently unclear exactly what the mission would be but one reported goal would be to reassure Turkey that Kurdish forces aren’t a threat to their interests.
Sending conventional ground forces to Syria is a terrible idea. Just a few days ago we witnessed a regrettable friendly fire incident after Russian airstrikes killed 3 Turkish soldiers during a joint assault on ISIS positions near al-Bab. (The Russians claim they were provided with faulty intel by the Turks. It's irrelevant; our point is that there are already so many moving pieces to this insane conflict that adding U.S. ground troops to the mix is a recipe for total disaster.)
There's too many possibilities for major and very deadly miscommunications. And that's even assuming that there would be goodwill on all sides — which is not something that should be assumed.
And let's not forget that Washington's air campaign in Syria is already illegal. And now the U.S. is mulling whether or not to send ground troops to Syria — without bothering to ask Syria. (We love how the Independent claims "only small teams of US special operation forces are currently authorised in the country" — uh, no they're not. They're not authorized by the Syrian government, which is the only authorization that matters.)
We hate to say it, but Trump is sounding more and more like Hillary Clinton each passing day.
Hey Trump: If you're going to send troops to Syria (suicide), at least ask the Syrian government first for permission. Thanks in advance.
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