American analyst: "The US left Syria because we are no longer the world’s policeman"

American analyst:  "The US left Syria because we are no longer the world’s policeman"

The guest of Vzglyad.Az is a professor of management and political science at Yale University Paul Bracken. He is is a respected thought leader in global competition and the strategic application of technology in business and defense. His research and teaching focus on solutions for senior management as it deals with a changing strategic environment and conditions of intense uncertainty.

- Mr. Bracken, why did US President Donald Trump decide on the withdrawal of American troops from Syria?

- The US left Syria because we are no longer the world’s policeman, solving every problem without regard for cost or risk. The decision was made now because it hasn’t been made over the last 10 years. That is, there’s always a reason to delay such a decision, and as a result be locked in for decades.

- Should we expect any major changes in the Middle East region after the Americans left Syria?

- The new alignment is already in place: Saudi Arabia, UAE, Israel against Iran, Iraq, and Syria. This will continue. There will be large weapon sales to each side by the US, EU, and Russia. Iran will probably restart a covert nuclear program.

- How did the American public view Trump’s decision?

- The elites didn’t like the decision, but most Americans did. The bureaucracy, think tanks, and ex-government officials thought the decision was reckless. But most Americans think US efforts to install democracy using military force isn’t a good decision.

- Is it possible to assess the withdrawal of American troops from Syria as a victory for Russia?

- It’s a big win for Russia. This is because they offset US strategy to topple Assad in Syria with a very small investment and risk. The Russian strategy exceeded the wildest dreams of the Kremlin.

- In your opinion, can the USA leave Ukraine?

- The US is unlikely to leave Ukraine because if the government in Kiev fell so close to the US failure in Syria it could create doubts in other places about US reliability as an ally and protector. Russia also should recognize that if it were to turn Ukraine into a Belarus it would be bad for Moscow. Russia needs to integrate with the world economy and expand civil rights at home. Being too successful and undermining neighboring states isn’t going to do that.

- Some experts say that the United States is no longer able to support its global empire. Is it so?

The US never was an empire like the Roman or Ottoman empires. For a brief period in the 1990s the US was the only global superpower, and this got the US into a lot of trouble. We spent $ 6 trillion trying to turn Iraq and Afghanistan into Vermont. The rise of other powers after the 1990s, like China, Russia, a more independent EU, etc. means the world is reverting to a multipolar form – with multiple power centers. The US, Russia, and China, will learn to live with this by changing their foreign and defense policies. There’s no alternative to this, short of all out wars which make no sense in the nuclear age.

Seymur Mammadov
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