This is an excellent read. I’m still going through it but this in particular jumped out:
“As former President Barack Obama’s withdrawal from Iraq showed, however, the “how” of a withdrawal is crucial. The U.S. does not seem to have secured any concessions from Turkey that would make the move strategically logical – however morally unsatisfying. If the U.S. wanted to let the region stew in its own juice and work with another country (i.e. Russia) to maintain a stable balance of power, that could also be a viable strategy. Letting Saudi Arabia, Israel and Egypt foot the bill for supporting the Syrian Kurds could work. Supporting the Syrian Kurds – and funneling aid and money to the development of a broader Kurdish national identity –would also be an interesting strategy, the long-term goal being a U.S.-allied buffer state between Turkey and Iran.
Instead, the U.S. is engaging in exactly the kind of ad hoc decision-making that countermands strategy. The U.S. has abandoned the Syrian Kurds, antagonized Turkey, opened up the space for the Islamic State to re-emerge, and created a power vacuum that either Turkey or Iran will fill.”
This is where my head is at with this situation. It’s not the “what” of abandonment but the “how” of abandonment.