Pentagon officials are bragging about the progress made against ISIS in the Middle East, particularly in Syria. Despite claiming that ISIS is “defeated” in the region, Pentagon brass admits that there are no plans to withdraw from Syria or the Middle East that are being considered.
US troops are now in the city of Raqqa, formerly the headquarters of ISIS in Syria, helping civilians provide aid to the community ravaged by constant bombings for many years. The US forces do not plan to leave after the area is stabilized though, as American leaders now set their sights on Syrian President Bashir al-Assad.
“This is a potential major legal issue, because Syria never authorized the US invasion in the first place. US officials always presented the authorization as being UN resolutions supporting the fight against ISIS, but that would no longer apply,” policy analyst Jason Ditz said at Antiwar.com.
Defense Secretary James Mattis said to reporters this week that American forces will stay in Syria to prevent “ISIS 2.0.” However, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was more explicit about the actual reasons that troops will be staying in Syria for an undetermined amount of time.
“I have said this many times as well that we do not believe there is a future for the Assad regime, the Assad family,” Tillerson said last month. “I think I have said it on a-number-of occasions. The reign of the Assad family is coming to the end. The only issue is how should that be brought about.”
Tillerson, who has a close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, is telling the Russians something different than what he is telling the American public.
“There are a lot of questions to ask about the United States’ goals in Syria,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said to TASS reporters in Russia. “U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has told me many times that their only goal is to defeat IS.”
Ousting the Assad regime “runs counter to the Geneva agreements and … assurances that the U.S.’s only goal in Syria is to fight terrorism,” Lavrov said.
With the military-industrial complex hungry for more wars and defense contractors lobbying incessantly to keep their gravy train from being derailed, Americans can continue to expect prolonged conflicts and military occupations even when the reasons don’t quite make sense.