Why Trump withdrew troops from Syria

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/12/24 20:48:39

US President Donald Trump is pushing forward his hard-line approach to withdraw troops from Syria. He defended his decision by tweeting: "It should not be the job of America to replace regimes around the world."

The latest op-ed in the Washington Post categorizes the era of Trump as a "rogue presidency," and a New York Times article says that Trump is waging "a war every day" and his presidency risks "spinning out of control."

The US seems to be getting caught in a profound and chaotic adjustment in which its traditional political values are collapsing while new values are taking shape through competition. Dissatisfaction among ordinary people cannot be eased through traditional political measures. They turned into a voting power that attempts to break the status quo. This made President Trump confront the establishment and make shocking decisions.

Trying to understand Trump's thoughts using traditional logic will not work out. Does he only want to boost the US economy and pay no attention to geopolitics? But he largely increased military spending and formed a special force. He attached more importance to nuclear arsenals than his predecessors. Does he no longer rely on the American alliance system? He is more likely to take advantage of this system to make America great again.

Overall reform targeting the US system and the US-led international system is hard to promote. So President Trump just does what he can to promote changes. Trump gains support as some of his acts, such as the trade war, are in accordance with the establishment's thoughts. Those that oppose the establishment's thoughts encounter objections, such as the withdrawal of troops from Syria.

The impact of President Trump is powerful and it is backed by white US lower class anger and other populism. But Trump's ruling logic has not been clarified and his ruling direction is not clear, either. After two years in office, most US presidents begin to weigh the next term, as does President Trump. Trump seeks to consolidate an emotional connection with his voters.

Withdrawal from Syria has made Trump face harsh criticism from the establishment, but underlined his difference from his establishment predecessors. The president's demand for a Mexican border wall has led to the government shutdown. Ordinary Americans care about their own welfare, oppose an influx of immigrants and feel tired of being involved in the Middle East. These are the reasons why Trump can take the plunge.

Trump's sharp personality has won him strong public support as well as strong resistance from the establishment. In the following two years, conflicts between Trump and the US system may be further intensified and anything can happen. 

China should be moderate in dealing with President Trump. To be specific, we ought to uphold principles and meanwhile avoid being targeted by Trump on the international stage. There are now several burning fires in the US political arena and likely there will be more in the future. China must resolutely keep those fires away from China-US ties.

As long as the US doesn't provoke a real Cold War, China-US relations are destined to be highly complicated. There is a slim chance that Washington will be driven by a certain overwhelming goal in handling China affairs. We should expand instead of further shrink the space of sound China-US bilateral relations.



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