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Abdelillah Bendaoudi

June 21, 2018 — Trump’s decision to pull out U.S. troops from Syria “very quickly” represents a significant shift from the administration’s previous policy of maintaining American troops on the ground indefinitely. At this point, the administration may believe that the best strategy is to have no strategy. As such, action (or inaction) in Syria is taken as a response to short-term threats, rather than carried out based on a long-term plan. IS’s defeat marked a symbolic victory, but the hard part begins now. Currently, IS is merely going through a transition period, shedding territorial aspirations that were once part of its identity. Toppling the group from its de facto capital was only one part of the much larger battle to contain the organization, as IS’s losses in Syria have failed to eradicate its appeal to potential recruits. As a matter of fact, according some estimates, 3,000 fighters and more than 10,000 loyalists are still active on Syrian soil.

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