President Trump’s surprise announcement that the United States was pulling all its troops out of Syria caught everyone by surprise. He quickly backed off of an immediate withdrawal — or seemed to — and then the Pentagon announced that the withdrawal was underway.
Or not. Both Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton spent a week visiting our Middle Eastern allies (with one notable exception) to assure them that we weren’t going to leave unless certain conditions were met.
The principal condition was that the Kurdish forces would not be abandoned to the murderous intentions of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Mr. Erdogan refused to meet with Mr. Bolton during his swing through the Middle East.
Publicly, the steadiest hands in these debates are Messrs. Pompeo and Bolton. But their voices only translate what Mr. Trump’s policies really are. Such was the case on Jan. 10 when Mr. Pompeo gave what was, so far, the best foreign policy speech of the Trump era.
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