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University of Notre Dame

Many Republicans are criticizing Trump but it's naive that we can remain forever at war, says Notre Dame's Michael Desch

8-Oct-2019 2:05 PM EDT, by University of Notre Dame

University of Notre Dame Professor Michael Desch, who directs the Notre Dame International Security Center, specializes in international relations, American foreign policy and defense and provided the following comments on Trump pulling troops out of Syria. Desch has worked on the staff of a U.S. Senator, in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research at the Department of State, and in the Foreign Affairs and National Defense Division of the Congressional Research Service. He is available for interviews by phone, radio or TV. Notre Dame has an on-campus studio so we can easily arrange on-camera/radio interviews. You can reach Professor Desch via [email protected], or contact me directly. 

"Many Republicans are criticizing President Trump for his decision to move the handful of U.S. forces remaining in northern Syria from the Kurd-controlled border area with Turkey. While they may be right that the decision was taken hastily and without sufficient coordination with our Krudish allies, Trump's critics have not engaged two important reasons for the U.S. draw-down:  

First, despite what Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz think, no war can or should last forever. Second, in their concern for leaving our Kurdish allies against ISIS in the lurch, they ignore that fact that our long-standing NATO allies the Turks also have vital interests in northern Syria that the Kurd state-within-a-state threatens.

Realpolitik is a cold-blooded business, and sometimes there is no perfect solution to the conflicting ends we'd like to achieve, but it is simply naive that we can remain forever at war in the region without having to face the consequences." 


Colleen Sharkey

Assistant Director, Media Relations

University of Notre Dame

(office) 574-631-9958

(cell) 574-999-0102

[email protected] I 

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