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Mission Unaccomplished: The Tweet That Upended Trump’s Counterterrorism and Iran Policies

Matthew Levitt and Aaron Y. Zelin

Also available in العربية

War on the Rocks

December 25, 2018

If the Syria withdrawal proves inevitable, officials should push to phase the departure, keep U.S. forces at Tanf, maintain the air campaign, forge a counterterror agreement with Turkey, and take other fallback measures.

President Trump backed up last week’s reckless decision to withdraw the U.S. military from Syria by claiming that the Islamic State has been defeated there. His advisors disagree. It appears the president didn’t get the memo, or maybe he did and just chose to ignore it. Either way, hastily withdrawing U.S. forces will have numerous negative consequences. First and foremost, cutting and running will breathe new life into ISIL and could benefit al-Qaeda’s operations in the area as well...

Read the full article at the War on the Rocks website.