Letters to the Editor: The major downside to a Joe Biden victory: more U.S. involvement in Syria

An American military convoy stops near the town of Tel Tamr, Syria.
(Associated Press)

To the editor: The real problem for the near future with regard to U.S. involvement in Syria is when Joe Biden becomes president. (“An end to ‘endless wars’? Don’t believe it,” Opinion, Aug. 31)

As far as Andrew Bacevich is concerned, Biden’s rhetoric leading up to the elections is that President Trump is soft on the leaders of our adversaries, mainly Russia and China. It won’t be the first time a Democrat takes us to war or keeps us in one. The last thing we need is to have a military showdown with Russia or China.

I can only wonder what the pushback against Biden will be when he takes us into war. The Democratic Party platform calls for an end to “forever wars.” Let’s hope that holds true.

Benny Wasserman, La Palma


To the editor: Bacevich makes what at first blush is a persuasive case to get out of Syria. But in acknowledging the U.S. achieved “partial success” in destroying Islamic State as a territorial entity, he concedes that “thousands of insurgents remain at large.”

The question remains whether walking out — “a prompt military departure” — from Syria and, by implication, the broader jihadi landscape is prudent. Bacevich’s answer is yes, while U.S. intelligence reports that Islamic State as well as Al Qaeda remain intent on striking the United States.


Wounded as these movements are today due to U.S. military action, their aspirations may be fanciful. Keeping them fanciful must be Washington’s aim.

As the U.S.’ very modest military presence remains a lynchpin to Kurdish efforts to keep the thousands of terrorists at bay in Syria, is the exit Bacevich proposes really as prudent as he suggests?

Bennett Ramberg, Los Angeles

The writer was a foreign affairs officer in the State Department’s Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs in the George H.W. Bush administration.


To the editor: Once again, Bacevich has hit the nail squarely on the head. While the specific subject of this article is Syria, one constant of American foreign policy since the end of World War II is repeating the same strategy, over and over and over again.

While the current White House occupant has “diminished” our role in Syria (mostly for his own political advantage at home), if Joe Biden becomes the next president, no doubt the United States of America will reinsert itself in that quagmire.

Ultimately, it is the curse of all empires to maintain the status quo in both foreign policy and military matters. Sustaining your superpower persona overrides all other considerations.

It is what it is.

Bob Teigan, Santa Susana