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October 2019 - Troop withdrawal in Syria emboldens Turkey, damages U.S. credibility abroad

The Brief

October 14, 2019

Troop withdrawal in Syria emboldens Turkey, damages U.S. credibility abroad

In light of the recent announcement of the U.S. troop withdrawal from northern Syria, Johns Hopkins SAIS experts provide commentary on the complex situation in the region.

Director of Strategic Studies Mara Karlin foreshadowed perils in a co-written Foreign Affairs piece more than a year ago when she referenced how President Trump’s previous statements “cast doubt on the United States' commitment to the Syrian Democratic Forces.” Read more

Distinguished Practitioner-in-Residence at the Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies John McLaughlin wrote in OZY that if President Trump’s policy toward Syria holds, the U.S. will “surrender most of its influence in resolving what many countries see as the key political, military, and humanitarian conflict of this decade.” Read more

Henry A. Kissinger Distinguished Professor of the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs Hal Brands wrote in Bloomberg Opinion that President Trump is determined to drive down the material price of U.S. involvement in the Middle East and added that “he is willing to accept greater risk that groups such as ISIS will not stay defeated over the long run.” Read more

Roger Hertog Distinguished Practitioner-in-Residence at the Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies Eric Edelman argued in a co-written Foreign Policy piece that President Trump’s approach to Syria has “rewarded a fellow NATO member for behaving badly, as he has done multiple times before when dealing with Turkey.” Read more

Assistant Professor of International Relations and European Studies Lisel Hintz listed Turkey’s motivations regarding Syria on Twitter by writing that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan wants to eliminate the Kurdish presence on its southern border. Read more

The Brief highlights Johns Hopkins SAIS expertise on current events and is produced monthly by the Office of Marketing and Communications.