Foreign Affairs: “Washington’s Dead End in Syria”

New from me for Foreign Affairs today:

“Washington’s Dead End in Syria”

In Syria, the United States may have won a victory over the Islamic State that only lasts so long as the U.S. sticks around indefinitely. Because of the specific local partner on which America has relied – the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) – we seemingly can’t withdraw without sparking a Turkish-Kurdish conflagration, a maelstrom that would allow ISIS to resurge. But the alternative is sponsoring a northeast Syria demi-state at odds with all its neighbors, putting American lives on the line to sustain a nexus of regional instability and solidify the effective partition of Syria.

This is… sub-ideal. If possible, we need to find a way out.

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