Mattis: Withdrawing US Troops From Syria Would Be A "Strategic Blunder"

Authored by Jason Ditz via,

Speaking at NATO headquarters of Friday, Secretary of Defense James Mattis reiterated his opposition to the idea of withdrawing US troops from Syria. He said any withdrawal before progress was made would be a “strategic blunder.”

"In Syria, leaving the field before the special envoy Staffan de Mistura achieves success in advancing the Geneva political process we all signed for under the UN security council resolution would be a strategic blunder, undercutting our diplomats and giving the terrorists the opportunity to recover..."

James Mattis

Mattis’ position reflects those of a lot of top US cabinet officials, who have resisted President Trump’s talk of a quick withdrawal. He argues that the UN peace plan necessitates an ongoing US military presence.

On the one hand, Mattis suggests leaving too soon could give “the terrorists the opportunity to recover.”

On the other hand, he also says that leaving would be exploited by the Assad government and its supporters.

This again sets out the US position that the UN plan necessitates regime change in Syria, something other supporters say is not the caase. It also suggests a more or less permanent US presence in Syria, since there is virtually no chance the US will impose a favorable outcome.

Instead, Syria looks to be going the way of other major US wars, an open-ended situation short of success in which officials simultaneously are unable to come up with a plan to “win,” but will resist any pullout so they never completely lose.


GoFuqYourself directaction Sun, 06/10/2018 - 22:22 Permalink

More War ....says Mad Dog Mattis. 


Do any of these swamp creatures have a fucking soul? 




Masters Of War

Bob Dylan


Come you masters of war
You that build all the guns
You that build the death planes
You that build the big bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know
I can see through your masks

You that never done nothin’
But build to destroy
You play with my world
Like it’s your little toy
You put a gun in my hand
And you hide from my eyes
And you turn and run farther
When the fast bullets fly

Like Judas of old
You lie and deceive
A world war can be won
You want me to believe
But I see through your eyes
And I see through your brain
Like I see through the water
That runs down my drain

You fasten the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you set back and watch
When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion
As young people’s blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud

You’ve thrown the worst fear
That can ever be hurled
Fear to bring children
Into the world
For threatening my baby
Unborn and unnamed
You ain’t worth the blood
That runs in your veins

How much do I know
To talk out of turn
You might say that I’m young
You might say I’m unlearned
But there’s one thing I know
Though I’m younger than you
Even Jesus would never
Forgive what you do

Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul

And I hope that you die
And your death’ll come soon
I will follow your casket
In the pale afternoon
And I’ll watch while you’re lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I’ll stand o’er your grave
’Til I’m sure that you’re dead

In reply to by directaction

A Sentinel The_Juggernaut Sun, 06/10/2018 - 22:36 Permalink

Yes. It doesn’t compute.

The only hint is that Mathis says “strategic” not “tactical.” Maybe it’s just a filler word for him?

 The only possible strategic reason for being there that I can even remotely conceive connects to erdogon and his stated goal of hegemony in the form of a caliphate, multiplied by the fact that turkey has achieved that before.

But even that seems remotely likely at best.

The pipeline could be connected but what are we going to do? Start another war?

(and yes, that question is tongue in cheek sarcasm.)

In reply to by The_Juggernaut

A Sentinel Manthong Sun, 06/10/2018 - 22:56 Permalink

It’s like some part of the story is missing except for this: the resurgent isis bit. That’s a flat out lie - we all know at least 3 ways that’s just absolutely not involved in the calculation.

Misdirection? Is that it?

 I don’t often get the feeling that I understand a situation less after reading zh. This is an example.

In reply to by Manthong

ravolla wadalt Sun, 06/10/2018 - 23:34 Permalink

Good to see my man Wadalt and our newbie CHEOLL back out from under the couch with  Hot Pockets and back on the threads SPAMMING like a Grease Fire!!!!

THIS is an important week here in the SPAMMER's BUNKHOUSE.  You see, there are dozens of "personalities" living in this one single sad SPAMMER's sick little mind, which he calls "Spammer's Bunkhouse."  How sick is that?

This week I (we?) are celebrating SEVEN YEARS here on ZH, obsessively SPAMMING every thread we can with off-topic comments.

SAD BUT TRUE!!  I (we?) have wasted my (our) youth (or at least the last seven years) with at least one hand in my pants and the other hand SPAMMING ZH.  Yes, indeed.  DOZENS and DOZENS (maybe hundreds) of log-on's banned -- 
>>  Biblicism: that's me.
>>  All the porn at Celebrity-leaks: that's me
>>  "I made $7500 last week on the Internet sucking cock!": that's me. 
>>  Daily Westerner: that's me.

>>  "In the news....SPAMMER broomsticked by furious readers" -- registered in Nigeria) :: that's me TOO!! 

That's our life (all of us living in Master Spammer's Mind): mopping the floor at the Porn Cinema at 2am, working the drive-thru window at SONIC, sucking cock on the Internet, and spamming ZH with an enormous Excel spreadsheet of the log-on's of dozens of "digital friends" who upvote one another and virtually suck my little micro penis..

MEET my current imaginary friends.  We all live in one SPAMMER's HEAD but as for me, I have gone off the reservation.  These other "personalities" are pretty troubled.

  <<<  NEWBIE
Cheoll   <<<  NEWBIE

Mr Hankey    <<<  total utter WHACK JOB
gzcekkyret     <<<  NEWBIE

You know SPAMMERS never die on ZH -- here's just a sampling of the banned log-on's ("The Fallen Spammers") ---

 beepbop, pier, lloll, loebster, ergatz, armada, Mtnrunnr, Anonymous, luky luke, Cjgipper, winged, moimeme, macki mack, tchubby, sincerely_yours, HillaryOdor, winged, lexxus, kavlar, lhomme, letsit, tazs, techies-r-us, stizazz, lock-stock, beauticelli, Mano-A-Mano, mofio, santafe, Aristotle of Greece, Gargoyle, bleu, oops, lance-a-lot, Loftie, toro, Yippee Kiyay, lonnng, Nekoti, SumTing Wong, King Tut, Adullam, evoila, rp2016, alt right dude, altright-girl, alt-right girl, Blufin, Schlomo Scheklestein, BraveForce

In reply to by wadalt

philipat bigkahuna Mon, 06/11/2018 - 02:12 Permalink

Sad that there are no actual journalists left these days. Surely ONE of them could have asked him "What is the legal basis for the US being in Syria at all"?

The US occupation of parts of Syria is, of course, entirely illegal under International law, nor are there any empowering UNSC Resolutions. The only truthful answer to that question would have been "Legal basis? We don't need to steeenkin legal basis. We are the exceptional Imperial country, we don't care about International law and do as we want on behalf of our friends in Israel"

And by "Assad would exploit the vacuum", he presumably means that the democratically-elected Government of the Sovereign State of Syria, would take back the parts of ITS OWN COUNTRY, that it doesn't presently control?

You honestly can't make this stuff up..

In reply to by bigkahuna

kralizec bigkahuna Mon, 06/11/2018 - 07:53 Permalink

That was Obama and his ISIS Outreach scheme.

What Mattis said makes sense from a certain perspective, but not one that should be clung to once O'Bongo termed out.

Since past lessons have the appearance of not being learned I can only surmise it is the DeepState cabal still trying to assert itself...but you look at the actual actions and it appears Trump has stalled their agenda...the battle behind the scenes continues and we only hear the rumors and see some of the facts well after the fact.

As usual the emote-first types have this situation misread...patience Grasshoppers.

In reply to by bigkahuna

A Sentinel Keyser Mon, 06/11/2018 - 00:59 Permalink

I’m on board with that. Sometimes my associates say that I over analyze things. I’m looking for something behind what is presented. It’s just the way I’m wired. 

If you back up, keeping your thoughts in mind — what the heck point is there in having that briefing if it was to say that gobeldygook? 

He gains zero. He says less than zero. But word choice often betrays the subconscious. 

Some of my more nonlinear thoughts are very difficult to describe — the problem is that in my head they seem just like my obvious points. This might be a case where one of them got out under the radar.

In reply to by Keyser

Joe Trader booboo Mon, 06/11/2018 - 01:44 Permalink

All Christian regions in the Middle East deserve heavy military protection & ensure they're the most prosperous regions in the Middle East - which means taking oil fields away from muslims and awarding them to Christians.

islam should be undermined at every opportunity and Christianity must spread and take over!

In reply to by booboo

Joe Trader greenskeeper carl Mon, 06/11/2018 - 01:49 Permalink

I get there was peace in Syria before whatever foreign actors appeared - but there's no guarantee the country will return to its past condition - the worst case scenario is you have how many satanic cult worshippers who were shipped in from abroad to fight for isis, and maybe they'll go after Christians & atheists. That's a pretty big risk factor.

Best case scenario is that Christians are giving iron-clad military security guarantees with economic prosperity assurances.

In reply to by greenskeeper carl

RedBaron616 The_Juggernaut Mon, 06/11/2018 - 06:28 Permalink

No, let's go all the way back to Bush and the lies which injected us into Iraq. The current instability all relates directly to that event. Remember all the WMDs that Iraq had and was making? Pure bold-faced lies.

Not to mention that it is an act of war to put American troops on foreign soil without an invitation, but we have been ignoring the Constitution and what is required for so long it is pathetic. There is supposed to be a Declaration of War by Congress before any act of war.

And Mattis, give it a rest about 'terrorists" because we aid them a lot of times and let them escape at other times. The definition of "terrorist" is nice and squishy, just the way you like it.

In reply to by The_Juggernaut

Shemp 4 Victory skbull44 Sun, 06/10/2018 - 22:11 Permalink


In Syria, leaving the field before the special envoy Staffan de Mistura achieves success in advancing the Geneva political process we all signed for under the UN security council resolution would be a strategic blunder,

Notwithstanding that the very US presence in Syria is in direct violation of the UN charter (notice the high degree of selectivity when the US sits on its high horse and bleats about the sanctity of international law), every action the US has taken with regard to Syria has been a strategic blunder.

undercutting our diplomats and giving the terrorists the opportunity to recover...

Yes, that pretty much sums up the US game plan in Syria. Thank you, General "Captain Obvious" Mattis,

In reply to by skbull44

MozartIII skbull44 Sun, 06/10/2018 - 22:13 Permalink

Original intent Mattis! All troops home to our borders, you can them cut down the numbers and excessive waste as well. Connoco Phillips & the Arabs pay out the ass for our children's lives (soldiers, not to mention your other chaos and destruction to where ever you're "global force for bad" goes). They don't even send us cards! End the fucking resource wars, others children are not your fodder, send your own with the politicians, CIA,FBI, NSA and all other government agencies! We may then see peace in our day!

What a fuck!

In reply to by skbull44

LaugherNYC skbull44 Sun, 06/10/2018 - 22:34 Permalink


We should just go the simple route. Arm them all to the teeth, put our “advisors” in place to monitor that they dont get any WMDs, let them fight with all the extremist sects on their own time with their own people, and just draw a line around Israel, and tell them hands off, it’s not their fault.

We can afford to give Assad a lot more than Vlad can, so let’s load him up, saddle him and ride him. I mean, why not just beat Vlad at his own game? If we backed every seated chief of every country in the ME, with the only caveat being no nukes and no invasions whatsoever, stopped making human rights or welfare a metric for our support, and make our only measure power.

 Project power with money - it would be a lot cheaper to buy off all these fuckers than fight over there. We coulda bought Iraq lock stock and barrel for $100 billion. We could buy Syria for less. 

Enough of all this democratic horseshit. Let’s go back to the good old days of puppets and killers.............................The Great Game. 


In reply to by skbull44

thisandthat LaugherNYC Mon, 06/11/2018 - 00:04 Permalink

Just one slight problem:

1, "Israel" is definitely at fault here;

2, you can't beat someone at a "game" when they're putting an end to it and you're the one who started it in the first place, and don't like the ending any way you spin it...

Your stupid, braindead, redneck "idea" of a foreign policy is the reason why US "diplomacy" is such a tragic fuckup — "just toss 'em a biscuit, and they'll all come wagging the tail..."

In reply to by LaugherNYC

uhland62 skbull44 Sun, 06/10/2018 - 22:58 Permalink

Many campaign on 'bringing the boys home'.

Some bite the dust, like Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy, others like Obama simply ignore their campaigns or talk about 'circumstances changed'.

The system will not tolerate reduction of militarism until someone says 'Hey, Commander and General, you are spending other people's money - my tax money'. Syria will not, like Germany 70 years ago, pay for the occupiers through an occupation fund.

Enjoy paying taxes to be spent in Syria? Be a patriot, say YES!

In reply to by skbull44