I agree with Dan McKnight’s plea to bring our warriors home. I also agree with Jim Jones that U.S. troops cannot be withdrawn from Syria and Iraq without endangering our Kurdish allies.
The solution to the dilemma is to maintain a U.S. military presence but to ensure that decision-making processes are closely supervised to prevent misguided missions. And that the rules of engagement are enforced to prevent U.S. and civilian casualties.
I do not believe there is a strict rule for when U.S. troops can play a constructive role and when U.S. intervention only makes things worse. In Afghanistan, U.S. troops probably must be maintained until a treaty with the Taliban is reached. In Yemen, U.S. troops could support a U.N.-brokered cease-fire between the Saudi coalition and the Houthis and ensure that much-needed aid reaches starving children.
But in Somalia, U.S. drone strikes and JSOC raids, carried out under the war on terror, have prevented negotiations between the federal government and Al Shabaab to stop the Somali civil war.
I also do not believe that President Trump should make decisions without Congressional oversight. The Senate and House Armed Services Committees, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and the House Foreign Affairs Committee can hold hearings and pass resolutions on U.S. military actions, as they have on U.S. support for the Saudi coalition in Yemen.
Yes, let’s bring the troops home. But let’s do so without leaving starving children dying and families suffering as the result of our previous botched actions. Anybody remember Vietnam?
Eric D. Meyer