MANCHESTER, NH – The sudden withdrawal of U.S. troops from Northern Syria is shortsighted and will further destabilize an already dangerous region of the world. In addition to the loss of life among the ranks of our stated allies, this move will cause lasting damage to U.S credibility in the international community and cast our country as an unreliable partner in future coalition efforts. If we abandon our allies, we must recognize that can only happen by abandoning our principles. We are better than this.
While I ultimately support the reduction of the U.S foot print in this area, it must occur only with a thoughtful and transparent strategy that considers all implications. We have successfully managed to operationally and tactically disrupt ISIS and Al-Qaeda and have degraded their capabilities, but they are not defeated. A sudden withdrawal would allow these groups to re- organize and strengthen. This is not in the interest of our national security, nor our allies in the region.
I believe the following steps must occur before withdrawal from Northern Syria:
We must clearly determine our national interest objective, followed by the development of a transparent policy and strategy to gain stability.
We must create a transition plan that includes a collective international effort of diplomacy, development, and defense. These efforts must shift from a country focus to a regional stability focus. Our efforts should include Russia.
The desire of Turkey to wipe out the Kurds threatens to create a humanitarian crisis and further regional instability. We must engage the international community to apply pressure on Turkey.
We must maintain a counter-terrorism presence to attack cells as they form. This would be small and focused.
It is critical to stay engaged in dialogue with Israel to ensure we understand each other’s intent.
Statement from Don Bolduc, October 10, 2019