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Tags: kurds | troop withdrawal | allies | trust | foreign policy

Author: US Allies Will 'Get Over' Trump's Kurdish Betrayal

a humvee sits on a grassy hill with soldiers around it
(Hussein Malla/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 22 October 2019 06:46 PM EDT

President Donald Trump's Syria withdrawal decision might have betrayed the Kurds who fought aside the U.S. in destroying ISIS, but it will not harm the nation's long-term relationships with its allies, author Aaron David Miller argues Tuesday.

"Indeed, America's relations with its most important Middle Eastern, European, and Asian allies will survive Trump's stab in the back and almost certainly outlast his presidency," Miller, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, says in an op-ed in the Daily Beast.

"Does Trump's Kurdish betrayal spell disaster for America's allies and rapture for their adversaries?" Miller asks. "Are we in for a major realignment because Trump has forgotten who America’s friends are?

"Almost certainly not."

Miller, a State Department analyst on the Middle East who has served in Republican and Democratic White Houses, argues that those longstanding relationships would not affected for a number of reasons, including:

  • How Trump deals with South Korea and Japan, for instance, "in the face of a threat from North Korea. Going forward, both will be watching how Trump deals with them and whether he fulfills his commitments to Tokyo and Seoul, not to the Kurds."

  • How the U.S. relationship with the Syrian Democratic Force is "quite different from America's ties with its historic allies in Europe and Asia," which Miller calls "a tactical marriage of convenience." "There had never been a history of consistent cooperation and no domestic base of public support," he explains. "The relationship was not anchored in shared values and Syria, unlike the major concentrations of wealth and power in Europe and northeast Asia, is of little strategic or geopolitical consequence for the balance of power in the Middle East."

  • How U.S. adversaries could easily miscalculate the nation's response to an attack on an ally.

Washington, Miller argues, "views its stake in the outcome of the potential conflict in the circumstances it is facing and whether America has the will and capacity to defend those interests."

And, based on President Trump's decision on the Kurds, "it is preposterous to believe," that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un "would order an attack on South Korea" or Russian President Vladimir Putin "would decide to attack a NATO country" or Chinese President Xi Jinping would decide to seize Taiwan, or Iran's leaders would decide to launch a full-scale attack on Israel.

"Nor is it likely," Miller continues, "that Trump's decision will embolden these leaders to take greater risks in a situation where misjudging America's resolve could lead to serious consequences for the survival of their country and their rule."

Therefore, Miller concludes: "In some cases, America's relations with its partners and allies go back decades and they are rooted not only in shared interests but common values as well.

"These relationships should not be taken for granted, but they are not easily breakable like fine China.

"And more than likely, even with an impulsive bull in that China shop, they'll be around much longer than Donald Trump."

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President Donald Trump's Syria withdrawal decision will not harm the nation's long-term relationships with its allies, according to author Aaron David Miller.
kurds, troop withdrawal, allies, trust, foreign policy
Tuesday, 22 October 2019 06:46 PM
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