Since the September 11, 2001 attacks, I have been directly involved in advising the country’s top National Security Team in planning and executing the United States and Allied Powers response to the attacks.
I’ve trained trained troops to deploy, supervised and conducted intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance operations and deployed myself in the first Operation Enduring Freedom, as well as Operation Iraqi Freedom as a commander.
My support for President Trump’s decisions to bring American forces out of Syria now and soon Afghanistan is informed not only by my experiences since 9/11, but also four decades of military and civilian experience planning and executing national security policy. I have studied national security matters under retired US Marine Lt General Mick Trainor at Harvard, and many other great thinkers at the U.S. College of Naval Warfare.
As you can see from my background, I’m no pacifist, but I’ve also seen the horrors of war firsthand and understand that military force should always be a final resort and that it is the duty of the Commander in Chief to bring our troops home as soon as the stated mission is complete.
Unlike the bipartisan foreign policy swamp, which has been consistently proven wrong about nearly every major military decision of the last decade, President Trump has overseen a clear, steady and realist foreign policy, focused on putting America First. From re-building America’s military, destroying ISIS, ending the Iran deal, de-escalating tensions with North Korea, he has consistently proven the naysayers in the foreign policy swamp wrong.
Those who have led us down the failed and dangerous path of endless wars in the Middle East, Southwest Asia, and beyond, are the last people who should be listened to in regards to Syria. In fact, many of those people attacking President Trump today over Syria, are they themselves responsible for the chaos we see currently in the Middle East. Why trust a group of people whose policies have been discredited time and time again over a man whose policies and instincts in regards to foreign policy have been consistently proven right?
The members of the foreign policy swamp can’t even account for why it’s in America’s national interest to keep 2000 American soldiers and intelligence officers in Syria after they’ve already completed the mission the President gave them two years ago, to destroy and defeat ISIS. Could it be that that the foreign policy swamp was never actually interested in defeating ISIS and instead want us to stay in Syria because of their misguided and dangerous fetish for more regime change in the Middle East?
They scream that there will be chaos if we leave, conveniently ignoring the fact that most of the chaos we see in the Middle East is a direct result of their policies of regime change Libya and Iraq. Furthermore, do we really want to turn Syria into another Afghanistan, where we stay there for 17 years with no real purpose and no actual American interests at stake?
We’ve seen that script before and it hasn’t ended well for the United States. But that matters little to the foreign policy swamp, as they don’t even pretend this is about our national interest, but rather about their impossible dream for liberal Democracy in the Middle East.
Luckily, President Trump understands that we owe our troops more than that.
The President understands what I understand: The Middle East will never be a liberal democracy and our foreign policy should never be guided by grand ideological goals, but rather by a simple doctrine that asks: What is best for America and its people?
In the case of Syria, it’s clear to me that there is no tangible American interest left in staying. As a 32 year military man, I say President Trump is right, we completed our mission, destroyed the enemy and it’s finally time to bring our troops home and declare victory.
And to those who disagree,I have one question to ask: How much American blood are you willing to spill to achieve your goal of regime change in Syria? Because if you ask me, the answer should very clearly be, not a single drop.
Retired Colonel Rob Maness enlisted in the US Air Force at age 17 as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician. As an officer, he served on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, survived the attack on the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, commanded a B-1 bomber squadron in combat, was Vice Commander of America’s largest airborne intelligence wing, and as a wing commander in nuclear operations.