Despite President Donald Trump’s December withdrawal order, the United States government announced Friday that it’s considering a plan to keep a remote base in southeastern Syria. It seems strange, since exiting the Syrian conflict is Trump’s most sensible foreign policy decision yet. But clearly, top military aides and intelligence officials aren’t yet ready to give up their longstanding—and bloody—approach to the Middle East.
The Syrian civil war has cost over half a million lives and displaced over 10 million more. The U.S.-led intervention there didn’t officially begin until 2014, though the CIA began covertly training and arming Syrian rebels in 2013. Nevertheless, there’s no sign of democracy emerging from the ashes. Why, then, would anyone think America’s involvement is accomplishing anything except more war and death?