The Captains are Confused in Syria

The recent announcement of plans to keep 200 U.S. “peacekeepers” in Syria has been met with a mixture of relief and confusion. Relief, as the December announcement to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria was almost universally condemned by analysts and politicians, and confusion at the lack of detail that followed the announcement. Few specifics were offered at a 22 February White House press conference and since that time, praise for the decision has masked the simple question, “What will these peacekeepers do?”

If anything is certain, they will not be peacekeepers as defined in Chapter 7 of the UN charter, nor will they be peacekeepers as seen in UN operations around the world. It is equally certain that these troops are little more than a political concession by the White House to ongoing criticism of President Trump’s decision.

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