Former soldier whose wife was killed by ISIS says Trump was right to withdraw troops from Syria: 'He is fulfilling his promise to America'
Joe Kent's opinion stated multiple reasons why Trump's decision to withdraw troops from Northern Syria is the right move at this point as there is nothing to be gained by staying further
Joe Kent, the former special forcer soldier who was married to Shannon Kent, a Navy cryptologist killed in the battle against ISIS, has said that Donald Trump has done the right thing in withdrawing troops from northern Syria.
Kent explained in his article for CNN that the US had partnered with Syrian Kurds to defeat Islamic State's territorial caliphate and now the US has nothing to gain from continuing its partnership with the Syrian Kurds.
He wrote, "I understand the frustrations of my brothers and sisters in arms who fought alongside the Syrian Kurds and feel that we are abandoning them. They want to stay and fight, but in Syria there is no sustainable victory to be had."
"The President has said since he was a candidate that we would destroy the territorial caliphate and leave. He is fulfilling his obligation to the American people who put him in office. That is who our obligation is to, not the Kurds," he shared.
Trump's detractors have said that this move is equivalent to the US betraying the Kurds who joined the fight to crush ISIS. Kent, however, believed that people are actually missing a point here.
Kent wrote, "The other major issue that pundits are missing concerns the larger strategic fight against Russia and Iran in the region. Russia threw in its lot with Bashar al-Assad from the beginning of the Syrian civil war in 2011."
"Russia needs Assad to remain in power so it can maintain its Mediterranean naval base in Syria. If Assad falls, Russia loses its access to the Mediterranean, which is Europe's southern flank," he explained.
"Iran needs Assad to retain power in order to keep Iran's land bridge — a territorial corridor — between Iraq and Lebanon. In this way, Iran can control the region's Sunnis and threaten Israel and Saudi Arabia," he pointed out.
Kent added, "By focusing entirely on the tactical fight against ISIS and our fondness for the Kurds, we have lost sight of our resurgent cold war against Putin's Russia and the Islamic civil war between the Sunnis and Shia. But Russia has not lost sight of us."
After making a strong argument about why the wastelands of northern Syria are not important for one of the most powerful countries in the world, Kent concluded, "My wife gave her life for this fight and I spent my adult life in this fight."
"It is incredibly painful to admit that we have not been successful with so much lost, but to double and triple down on losing strategies dishonors our fallen and our country," he shared.
"Leave today or in 18 years, the end result is the same. We can only choose how much we are going to lose in precious American blood and treasure and how long our enemies fight each other until they attack us."
"Or we buy time and prepare for the real threat to our country and the American experiment of freedom: Russia and China," he added.
Kent's wife Shannon was killed at the beginning of her fifth deployment after a suicide bomber detonated a vest in a busy market area in Manbij, northern Syria in January. The bomb blast took three other lives.