Conditioning American Withdrawal from Syria



A member of U.S forces rides on a military vehicle in the town of Darbasiya next to the Turkish border, Syria April 28, 2017

A member of U.S forces rides on a military vehicle near the Turkish border in the town of Darbasiya, Syria, April 28, 2017

Photo by Rodi Said/Reuters

by James Dobbins and Jeffrey Martini

April 9, 2018

Back in January, then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that American objectives in Syria were to suppress any Islamic State (IS) resurgence, oust Bashar al-Assad from power, reduce Iranian influence, continue to back a Kurdish-dominated enclave and reassure our Turkish allies. This speech has now disappeared from the State Department website, along with all the former secretary of state's other pronouncements.…

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James Dobbins holds the Distinguished Chair in Diplomacy and Security at the nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND Corporation. Jeffrey Martini is a senior Middle East researcher at RAND.

This commentary originally appeared on Al-Monitor on April 6, 2018. Commentary gives RAND researchers a platform to convey insights based on their professional expertise and often on their peer-reviewed research and analysis.