The Corner

National Security & Defense

Forget the Troops Coming Home from Syria, Now the Tanks Are Going There

Members of the U.S. Army 1st Cavalry Division 1st Brigade Combat team deployed in Latvia on M1 “Abrams” tanks attend a military exercise in Adazi November 6, 2014. (Ints Kalnins/Reuters)

A lot of people are going to scoff about the news that the Pentagon is preparing to send tanks and armored vehicles to Syrian oil fields. This is a rather glaring contradiction of President Trump’s justification for pulling out of Syria in the first place, that it was time to bring the troops home. But if you were worried that a complete pullout of U.S. troops would leave us with no options to attack any reconstituted ISIS forces, at least with this decision we’ll have some forces not so far away.

This doesn’t do much to mitigate the abandonment of the Kurds; even usually pro-Trump Republicans like Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee are lamenting the “grave consequences for U.S. national security and our allies and partners in the region.”

“I’m not going to get into the details, but the mission in Syria remains what the mission in Syria began with. It’s always been about defeating the ISIS coalition,” Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said in Brussels today. At least some of our forces are still in the neighborhood.

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