Home/Daniel Larison/The U.S. Needs to Stop Fighting in Syria

The U.S. Needs to Stop Fighting in Syria

U.S. entanglement in Syria continues to risk a confrontation with Russia:

Russia on Thursday raised the threat of a direct confrontation with U.S. forces in Syria, saying that it would target areas occupied by American units and U.S.-backed militias if its troops came under fire.

The warning was issued amid rising tensions in the Syrian desert between the United States and its Kurdish and Arab allies on the one hand, and Russia, the Syrian regime and Iranian-backed militias on the other, as both converge on territory held by the Islamic State in eastern Syria.

The U.S. should never have expanded the war on ISIS into Syria, and American forces have no business operating in Syria. U.S. operations in Syria have no legal basis, and the U.S. would be wise to pull out everyone it has in Syria and to end any support it is still providing to armed groups there. As long as the U.S. is backing these groups, there is a danger that U.S. forces working with them will clash with or be targeted by the forces of another government.

If the U.S. insists on protecting its proxies in Syria, that creates the danger that the U.S. could easily end up bombing the forces of another state and potentially triggering an avoidable conflict. Nothing in Syria warrants risking escalation with Russia or Iran, and the fact that the U.S. has put itself in this position shows the incompetence of both the previous and current administrations. The U.S. war in Syria is illegal, but more than that it serves no discernible American interest.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

leave a comment

Latest Articles