Trump Reshuffles the Geopolitical Deck with Syria Pullout

SyriaYPG, cc Flickr Kurdishstruggle, modified,


Last week, US President Donald Trump hopped off the fence regarding an issue that had been seeped in ambivalence since the beginning of his presidency: the long-term status of US assistance to Syria’s Kurds. In announcing a pull-out from northeast Syria, Trump paved the way for a Turkish invasion and the establishment of a ‘buffer zone’ for refugee resettlement along the border. But how long the Turks intend to stay, their actual plans for the zone, and how other players in the Syrian theater will respond are still unknown.

Two lessons however were immediately apparent: 1) hard power reigns supreme as we move toward a post-sanction world; and 2) it doesn’t take much for a delicate equilibrium like Syria to cascade back into chaos.


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