The timeline for the withdrawal of American forces from Syria is now months, if not years away. President Trump’s foreign policy continues to fray with the Syria withdraw being the latest example. On December 19th, Trump said U.S. forces would be withdrawn within 30 days. That is not going to happen. National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have been dispatched on a “what-he-meant-to-say” tour of nervous Middle East allies. From The New York Times:
“President Trump’s national security adviser, John R. Bolton, appeared on Sunday to roll back Mr. Trump’s decision to rapidly withdraw from Syria, laying out conditions for a pullout that could leave American forces there for months or even years.”
— David Sanger (@SangerNYT) January 6, 2019
Now the condition for withdrawal is the defeat of the Islamic State as well as the safety of America’s Kurdish allies. That’s a major change from withdrawing in 30 days.
“Speaking from the White House, President Trump also said on Sunday that the withdrawal would be contingent on the defeat of remaining Islamic State forces.
“We won’t be finally pulled out until ISIS is gone,” Trump said before departing for Camp David.
How many times has Pres. Trump made a sweeping statement only to have someone close to him come out later and say that's not what he meant, or what he actually said (even though we have him saying it or a Tweet)? And often the person dismissing what Trump said is Trump himself.
— Dan Rather (@DanRather) January 6, 2019