Trump Says ISIS Was Defeated in Syria. So Why Is the U.S. Still Fighting?

Trump Says ISIS Was Defeated in Syria. So Why Is the U.S. Still Fighting?

These Bradley fighting vehicles
just arrived in Syria. The National Guard
showed them off to us during a rare visit to
an American base here. “O.K., is everybody good? Because the most important
story is the Bradleys. Combat power: That’s what
the Bradley brings to the fight.” But why bring these
vehicles in now? The commander in
chief says one thing: “We’re keeping the oil. We have the oil. The oil is secure. We left troops behind
only for the oil.” While the military
says another: “I would be cautious with saying that the mission
to secure the oil fields. The mission is the
defeat of ISIS.” What we saw on the
ground clarifies some of the confusion. The military is scrambling
to save a mission that Trump has thrown
into chaos. In early October, Trump announced an
end to U.S. presence in northeastern Syria. “We are out of there. We’ve been out of there
for a while. No soldiers whatsoever.” So the military abandoned
bases and outposts and began to cede
influence. Which let Russian and Syrian
government forces sweep in to fill the vacuum. But as the U.S. was
pulling out, military leaders convinced Trump that
some troops had to stay. They said they needed to stop
a precious resource, oil, from falling into
the wrong hands. The plan worked. But when we visited, the oil
didn’t seem like a priority. “And where are the oil fields
exactly, from here?” “I think there’s
one right up there. I’m not really sure.” “We don’t go patrol
the oil fields or anything of that sort. But I mean having
the Apaches here is a big strategic deterrence.” The priorities we saw? “We know that ISIS
is trying to regroup.” Continue the fight against ISIS. “And we’re going to continue
to put the pressure on ISIS. That is our mission.” Mend alliances — which is why a spokesman
for the American-led coalition made a point
of praising Kurdish forces in front of the cameras. “And we will never forget
the sacrifice made by the strong, proud, brave S.D.F.
warriors throughout Syria.” And more broadly,
signal that the U.S. still has a foothold here. Clearly the
president’s message … “We’re getting out
of the endless wars.” … is being reinterpreted
on the ground. “The mission still continues. We’ll be in bases
from Deir al-Zour to Qamishli to Derik, and all throughout
that expansive area.” What we saw was
not a military in retreat. We saw a military displaying
its beefed-up arsenal. “The Bradley provides a
deterrent against conflict. Bad guys see it and
they don’t want to fight it.” Evidence that for the U.S.,
the endless war here is going to last
a little longer.

32 thoughts on “Trump Says ISIS Was Defeated in Syria. So Why Is the U.S. Still Fighting?


  2. Because ISIL/ISIS is not only still a threat, but is re-surging in the absence of US forces and the weakening of the Kurdish forces. Outside the Kurdish zone ISIS remains a threat as well which is why US troops were re-deployed to other regions within Syria. And are currently operating with greatly poor directions to protect oil fields. The confusion is because Trump has no real plan for Syria and has no skill to be Commander-in-Chief making him wholly unfit for the job. And his attempts to politicize and polarize the US military should be seen and treated as a High Crime against the United States.

  3. One thing we all learned in the last three years — NEVER, EVER trust The New York Times with the truth.

    The New York Times published its latest leaks from the upcoming IG Report on the Obama Administration FISA abuse during the 2016 election.

  4. Westmoreland is the only one that would be nodding his head about a decision that was made by playing a board game of "Risk" or by tossing a coin.

  5. But trumpy just took the troops out, he said we gotta bring them home. But he just moved them around, and of course trumpy the indiscrete pig confidently said he has the oil. Like it doesn't belong to Syria? So now we are there hunting the ISIS we let loose last month? trumpy has funny ways of doing whatever stupid things he is trying to do. OK, I know trumpy doesn't do any of this stuff, he even bungles the announcements.

  6. Everytime a bomb is dropped, a missile fired or a gun discharged by U.S forces anywhere in the world someone in the U.S makes a pile of cash. On that basis there is still a shitload of money to be made in Syria.

  7. The New York times should realise by reporting in this way it puts American Troops in danger. It's totally irresponsible. Informing the public is one thing, and it can wait until after the event ie Troops are back safe. Are you an American paper or working for ISIS? Just unbelievable what Newspaper are allowed to do and yet complain about social media. At least on social media its hearsay… you are effectively saying and showing first hand information, and saying attack the US doesnt know whether it's coming or going? Wow?

  8. You can’t defeat an ideology, remember Vietnam. Maybe it was about oil, anyways, enjoy your low gas prices. If prices kicked up drastically all of you would be begging to invade; rather than collateralizing the good intentions we have been using in providing relief to good people in the regions, while stabilizing our own demand for oil. It sounds like a semi-fair trade off to me rather than complete-theft as you all perceive it as. The world is not fair but we(United States) are NOT invaders.

  9. He must have the attention span of a Labrador. Some said oil and it was like a dog when it hears walk. What was actually said “ we need to eliminate isis and secure the oil fields” what he heard was “ blah blah blah oil blah blah”

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