Pentagon Refuses to “Cut and Run” from Syria

Reprinted from The Worker, newspaper of the Workers Party, USA, November 2, 2015

Plans to open new camps outside of Syria for more training of armed groups friendly to U.S. interests have been temporarily abandoned, according to Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook in an October 9 press release. 

Congress approved the plan last year, but due to setbacks the scheme is being shelved in favor of a more conservative plan to shore up units already on the ground inside of Syria. “We will monitor the progress these groups make and provide them with air support as they take the fight to ISIL. This focus on equipping and enabling will allow us to reinforce the progress already made in countering ISIL in Syria,” explained Cook in the press release. 

Syria was listed by the U.S. State Department as a “safe haven for terrorism” and potential target of U.S. military intervention at the turn of the century when the Clinton State Department began emphasizing U.S. “counter-terrorist” policy as a part of U.S. imperialism’s worldwide program of fascism and war. Later, the Bush administration stepped up U.S. pressure and threats against Syria, declaring it a target of the so-called “war against international terrorism” and signing into law the “Syrian Accountability Act.” The Act imposed economic and diplomatic sanctions against Syria with the aim of pressuring it to accept U.S. dictate. The first salvoes of U.S. military intervention began in 2011 when U.S. vetted militia began ground operations. 

Today, the U.S. “police action” is expected to last for many more years. According to the Pentagon press release, “As we have said from the beginning, the fight against ISIL will take time. Working with local partners to win back territory taken by ISIL will continue to be a long and arduous process.” Obama has repeatedly emphasized that although the armed groups cooperate with and receive arms and training from the U.S. government, the role of regular U.S. forces is still “restricted” to launching airstrikes.  

Without gaining control over significant portions of Syrian territory, U.S.-client forces will not be able to launch attacks on the central government or have any hope of seizing control of the seat of government in Damascus. 

The Workers Party opposes the aim of pressuring Syria to accept U.S. dictate. Peace will only be achieved when U.S. military operations are ended and the Syrian people regain their sovereign right to determine their own affairs free from external threats and pressure.