US Builds Forces inside Syria

by | Jan 15, 2018


“On Sunday, the US-led coalition said it was working with its Syrian militia allies, the mainly Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), to set up a new 30,000-strong border force. The force would operate along the borders with Turkey and Iraq, as well as within Syria along the Euphrates River, which separates most SDF territory from that held by the government.”

For further specific details, see this article. The American-led coalition is described here. See also here for history of the latest US intervention in Syria.

We’ve heard the 30,000 number before. When ISIS was a larger and more formidable fighting force that controlled far more territory inside Syria, two years ago, candidate Trump said it would take “20,000 to 30,000” US troops. The relevant article in the Military Times reads:

Frontrunner Donald Trump, who throughout the campaign has avoided specifics on military manpower and spending, said he’d hear out his generals but believes it could require ‘20,000 to 30,000’ US troops to defeat the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, declaring that the small American footprint in the region — currently fewer than 4,000 American ground troops are deployed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve — isn’t enough to defend the nation.

One year ago, the position shifted.

“Trump said he would heed the advice of senior military officers to decide how many troops would be required, saying, ‘I’m hearing numbers of 20,000 to 30,000.’ He later backed off those numbers but has kept up pledges to defeat the Islamic State ‘soundly and quickly.’”

There is obviously no national security need for the US to lead a coalition of Syrian rebels and Kurds to form an army that takes up positions and hold territory along much of Syria’s border lands. This is an invasion of Syria for purposes of empire and countering Russia and Iran, none of which makes America more secure. ISIS is now being used as a thin excuse for this force, but the plan aims to salvage some of Washington’s earlier plans at chopping up Syria into pieces.

We do not have information on who made this decision. We know that Trump turned over military operations to his generals. The consequences are going to land on Trump’s desk, no matter what. There were immediate negative reactions against the planned army from Turkey, Syria and Russia from high levels that are sure to get Trump’s attention.

My opinion, expressed above, is that the US has no business on behalf of Americans or American national security being in Syria in any way, shape or form. US intervention in Syria has no clear purpose that’s sensible for Americans. The purposes include a long list of empire-related aims, such as global hegemony, Israel, resources, regime change in Syria, weakening Hezbollah and Iran, thwarting Russia and China, and pipeline politics. These all are imperial or empire matters. They are not anything that a peaceful republic stands for. They have nothing to do with minding our own business, which includes facing up to our own lives, our own challenges, and the numerous problems and evils that beset us in America. No one makes a better life by going around interfering unasked for in the lives of others. No country as a whole as represented by its state makes a better life for its citizens by going around interfering unasked for in the domestic affairs of other countries and their states.

Reprinted with permission from


  • Michael S. Rozeff

    Rozeff has published articles on stock market pricing, earnings forecasting, corporate dividend policy, corporate divestiture, insider trading and the Asian stock markets. He has been associate editor of several finance journals. Rozeff's recent articles on economics and politics are archived at

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