Vice President Mike Pence has announced that Turkey agreed on Thursday to pause its eight day war in order that the Kurdish YPG militia could evacuate the area.
Pence and Secretary of State Pompeo met with Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday to hammer out a deal. President Trump had threatened crippling economic sanctions should Turkey not agree to terms.
Included in the terms, Turkey will achieve its goals stated before the assault began, that they are able to form a 20 mile buffer zone, where the Kurds are obliged to pull out.
Trump has taken a lot of heat for his decision to pull U.S. soldiers out of Syria and allow Turkey to proceed with his assault. Although Trump has admitted in a Thursday night speech that the 8 days of battle has been bloody, it appears that Turkey has shown that it can be reasonable, and it appears that the new status quo will be a great deal more stable for the region.
Congress passed a resolution condemning Trump’s troop withdrawal in a rare bilateral vote. “The entire region will suffer the consequences of some very bad actors getting back on the battlefield again because of that,” said Sen. James Lankford (R-OK). “The administration clearly did not coordinate with the State Department, with the Department of Defense, with what was happening in the region, to make sure we were securing those fighters and preparing for that moment.”
But consider that between 500,000 and 1 million people have died since this war started. And consider that with this victory, Turkey will have no further reason to make further incursions into Syria, and we could reach what game theory calls a “Nash equilibrium,” meaning that, for each side, the benefit of proceeding further is not worth the potential cost.
Author’s note: I listened to a lot of heartfelt criticisms of Trump for “abandoning” the Kurds, and was quite dismayed with Congress’ actions. But Trump was determined to get out of “endless wars,” per his campaign promise, and there was really no easy or painless way to do it.
This is certainly not over, but it appears that Trump’s strategy and negotiating abilities have stabilized the region.
Take THAT Democrats…