Trump’s Wise Turkey Policy

Conrad Black outlines President Trump’s wise Turkey policy:

It can be the key part of a broad Middle Eastern coalition against Iran.

There are three angles for assessing President Trump’s announcement of an agreement on Syria with Turkey, even though, like the similar announcement that apparently caused the resignation of former defense secretary James Mattis last year, it has been qualified ambiguously. The ambition to reduce the American presence in Syria should be seen in the context of domestic American politics, its practical effects on the ground, and its broader strategic implications.

On domestic politics, it was certainly the correct decision. As the president has finally slipped a couple of points in the polls under the battering of the spurious (and hopeless) Democratic fantasia that the Ukraine non-event may actually threaten the president’s hold on his office, it is a wise and timely move to strengthen his supporters’ morale by delivering on another campaign promise.

There is a widespread fatigue in the U.S. over its 18 years of steady involvement in Middle Eastern war, with its principal accomplishment of delivering influence over the Shiite 60 percent of Iraq from Saddam Hussein to the Iranian ayatollahs, about the last objective sought by George W. Bush. The U.S. casualties aren’t now heavy, but the spectacle, year after year, of the human tragedy in the disintegration of Syria and Iraq, although it has made Israel’s life easier, has helped to create a consensus in the United States that despite the role it played in creating some of these circumstances, the United States does not indefinitely belong there.

The practical effects on the ground will depend on the extent to which Turkey adheres to its word in the informal agreement that has apparently been reached between President Trump and Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Read more: National Review