Readers React: Is Trump being reckless on Syria, or is he ending another military misadventure?

American troops look out in February toward the border with Turkey from a small outpost near the town of Manbij in northern Syria.
(Susannah George / Associated Press)

To the editor: Contrary to the advice of his national security advisors, President Trump has impulsively decided to withdraw from Syria the 2,000 American Special Forces soldiers fighting Islamic State within 30 days, thus abandoning the Kurdish forces who have fought alongside the U.S. for many years.

Allies are force multipliers for the U.S., and abandoning the Kurds will cause other long-term or potential allies of the United States to question the reliability of American commitments. This is a very significant cost to American security.

Dan Caldwell, Malibu

The writer is a professor of political science at Pepperdine University.



To the editor: I suppose that even I can support a Trump decision.

Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. soldiers from Syria makes sense to me — just as limiting the role of the U.S. in that country made sense to President Obama. Our insistence that U.S. policies since World War II have led us to some kind of “exceptionalism” has caused us to engage in unwise misadventures. And we can’t blame all these misadventures on some sense of moral duty to act.

Any attempted reduction in our military escapades does not bother me.


Ralph Mitchell, Monterey Park


To the editor: Amid the clamoring over Trump’s ill-advised decision to pull our troops out of Syria, I suppose it’s inconvenient to remember that it was Obama who dismissed Islamic State as the “J.V. team” and did far less than enough to stop those worthies when it would’ve been easy to do so.

Michael Jenning, Van Nuys


To the editor: Instead of paying attention to critics who got us into these multitrillion-dollar Mideast military fiascos in the first place, we should give Trump credit for finally getting us out of Syria.

Chris Norby, Fullerton

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