According to a new Economist/YouGov weekly tracking poll, more than half of Republicans support President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from northeastern Syria.
Of those Republicans polled, 25 percent said they strongly approve of Trump’s withdrawal, while 32 percent said they somewhat approve of Trump’s move to pull troops. On the other hand, 26 percent of Republican respondents disapprove of Trump’s decision in some regard while 18 percent don’t have a firm opinion on the matter.
This poll emerged as Trump has had to deal with intense criticism from several Republicans, including staunch allies, over his call to bring troops home.
The poll’s results look worse for Trump when Democrats and independents are polled. 76 percent of Democrats said that they strongly or somewhat disapprove of Trump’s withdrawal and 46 percent of independents declared that they disagree with Trump’s move. Only 27 percent support this measure.
Trump got the entire political class riled up earlier this month when he announced his move to withdraw U.S. troops from northeastern Syria in anticipation of Turkish forces mounting an offensive against Kurdish groups in the area. This move united both Democrats and Republicans in Congress who believed that it would leave allies like the Kurds at the mercy of the Turks.
Neoconservative Senator Lindsey Graham declared that Trump’s decision is a “disaster in the making” that “ensures [an] ISIS comeback” and “will be a stain on America’s honor for abandoning the Kurds.”
Trump pushed back by saying that these withdrawals will keep American troops safe.
“Due to Turkey’s irresponsible actions, the risk to U.S. forces in northeast Syria has reached an unacceptable level. We are also at risk of being engulfed in a broader conflict,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper proclaimed in a statement.
Esper continued by stating that “a small footprint” of U.S. forces will stay at the al-Tanf garrison in southern Syria “to continue to disrupt remnants of ISIS.”
“He will have American blood on his hands if he abandons Kurds because ISIS will come back. And if any American is killed anywhere because of a resurgent ISIS, it will fall on [the] Trump administration,” Graham argued.
Despite the neocon hand-wringing, Trump made the right call.
America can no longer afford to be the world police. Additionally, virtually all countries in the Middle East do not enhance any of the U.S.’s strategic interests, so getting involved makes no sense.
It’s time that the U.S. roll back its global crusading and focus more attention on its border.