Are our mideast wars forever?
Consider what is happening in Syria.
The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, largely Kurdish, just annihilated ISIS in Raqqa and drove 60 miles to seize Syria's largest oil field, al-Omar, from ISIS. The race is now on between the SDF and Bashar Assad's army to secure the border with Iraq.
Bottom line: The U.S. goal of crushing the ISIS caliphate is almost attained. But if our victory in the war against ISIS leaves Iran in the catbird seat in Baghdad and Damascus, and its corridor from Tehran to Baghdad, Damascus and Beirut secure, is that really a victory?
Do we accept that outcome, pack up and go home? Or do we leave our forces in Syria and Iraq and defy any demand from Assad to vacate his country?
Sunday's editorial in The Washington Post, "The Next Mideast Wars," raises the crucial questions now before us.
Would President Trump be willing to fight a new war to keep Iran from consolidating its position in Iraq and Syria? Would the American people support such a war with U.S. troops?
Would Congress, apparently clueless to the presence of 800 U.S. troops in Niger, authorize a new U.S. war in Syria or Iraq?
If Trump and his generals felt our vital interests could not allow Syria and Iraq to drift into the orbit of Iran, where would we find allies for such a fight?
If we rely on the Kurds in Syria, we lose NATO ally Turkey, which regards Syria's Kurds as collaborators of the PKK in Turkey, which even the U.S. designates a terrorist organization.
The decision as to whether this country should engage in new post-ISIS wars in the Mideast, however, may be taken out of our hands.