An Island of Our Own Making

With Trump’s betrayal of the Kurdish forces in Syria, I’ve been asking myself if and why anyone will trust the United States for a good long while.

You’ve probably heard the firestorm of news earlier this week, but to recap, the White House announced in a press release that Turkish forces would be moving into northeastern Syria while US troops are moving out. This region is occupied by Kurdish forces, who have been nothing short of our greatest ally in the fight against ISIS. Trump’s decision to pull American forces out will result in the Kurds being at the mercy of a superior military force led by an authoritarian regime.

And, it wasn’t enough that Trump forsake a long-standing American ally. We also convinced the Kurds to dismantle fortifications along the Turkish border as part of a peace deal and then proceeded to abandon them overnight.

In the short term, this decision is sinister as it is sickening, and will most likely end in many allies losing their lives. There’s no reason for this level of strategic and moral stupidity.

But coming off my last post, the long term effects of this have been bouncing around in my mind. Chiefly, how can anybody ever consider trusting America on anything?

We just stabbed our greatest Middle-Eastern ally in the back – for what, I still fail to see. An ally that has fought and died with us in the Middle-East. An ally that has fought and died for other minorities in the region as well.

After this, how long will it take for anyone to trust the US again? Years? Decades? How far into the future will people look at the Kurds as an example on why not to negotiate with the US? Trump has shown time and time again that any relations with the US can be undone for no reason at all, so I find it with little surprise if countries are skeptical of doing any business with the US. We just announced to everybody watching that you can fight for us, bleed for us, die for us, and we’ll still abandon you on the battlefield on a whim. Even if Trump goes back on this, it’s too late. The President has shown we have it in us to betray allies.

It’s equally mind-blowing and frustrating how we’ve given one person the power to dictate our alliances and treaties like this, and to see said person sever each one and have zip to show for it. Diplomatic alliances. Military alliances. So many carved up because of a man who’s in over his head and makes no attempt to learn.

Governments aren’t just going to forget the past 3 years. Every time the US proposes any deal, they’ll remember them for good reason. With Trump’s inane decisions to break alliances, he irreparably damages the United State’s capacity to charter new alliances in the short and long term. Foreign nations can no longer look at the US for surety, because who knows who the next election cycle will bring and if they’ll keep the deals? We’re now seen as a country that can flip-flop at any moment and stab you in the back. That scarlet letter won’t go away easy.

Truly good, freedom-fighting people will die by an authoritarian regime’s hand because of Trump’s decision and other people will see the US abandoning an ally for nothing. I’ve read liberal and conservative rebuttals, and there’s really no good thing to come out of it. Through only our fault, we’re further isolating ourselves with each one of Trump’s great plans, and I don’t look forward to the day we have no one to turn to. But hey, America first.



Photo by Ivan Slade on Unsplash

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