Why are there still American troops in Syria?

“US troops are fighting ISIS in Syria. But Congress hasn’t approved it, the public hardly knows about it, and it’s not clear under what conditions the US would leave.
Americans tend to only be reminded of the 900 US troops and hundreds of contractors stationed there when they came under attack, often from militants who have Iran’s support, or when there is a mishap”

“The US is in Syria to curb the terrorist group Islamic State or ISIS, in a region that is semi-autonomous and run by the Syrian Democratic Forces, a Kurdish group.

Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said that troops are needed because “if you completely ignore and turn your back, then you’re setting the conditions for a resurgence.”

But experts say that the US troops there are not building toward a sustainable outcome, and that resisting ISIS has become the pretext for a perpetual US presence.”

“Ford explains that the American mission to secure the outright defeat of ISIS is impossible. The 900 troops in the northeast of Syria and the US garrison at al-Tanf cannot stop a low level of recruitment into ISIS ranks. “So we can bomb some and we can kill some, but they’ll always replace the people that they lose,” he told me. “This is a classic forever war.””

Recent Airstrikes Are Our Periodic Reminder That We’re Fighting a War in Syria

“Given that IS lost its last piece of territory roughly four years ago, that would seem to eliminate the stated justification for maintaining an active anti-IS mission there.
The argument now is that we have to keep troops in Syria so that IS stays defeated.

“If you completely ignore and turn your back, then you’re setting the conditions for a resurgence,” Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told The New York Times during a recent visit to Syria.

What exactly the U.S. interest is in further suppressing a rump remnant of a vanquished terrorist group goes unexplained.”

Two Decades Later, the War in Iraq Is Over—Right?

“President Barack Obama announced he was “responsibly ending the war in Iraq” in 2009, shortly after he came to office, in part on the strength of his condemnation of Bush’s decision to invade. The combat mission officially concluded for a second time two years later, in 2011, with around 700 U.S. troops remaining behind in an advise-and-assist role, along with several thousand U.S. contractors.
But once IS started grabbing land in Iraq and neighboring Syria in 2014, committing anachronistic atrocities along the way, the Obama administration went back in. This second round never included a U.S. ground presence anywhere near the scale of the 160,000 American soldiers (plus nearly as many contractors) deployed during the 2007 surge. But U.S. forces again numbered in the thousands and continued to do so until the Iraqi government in 2020 asked then-President Donald Trump to make another exit plan.

The Trump administration dismissed that request, so it wasn’t until the end of 2021 that President Joe Biden announced the third end of the U.S. combat mission in Iraq. This time, about 2,500 U.S. soldiers stayed behind to advise and assist—indefinitely.”

Why earthquakes are deadlier depending on where you live

“In Turkey and Syria, the high concentration of old, inflexible, concrete buildings, the lack of construction oversight, the Syrian civil war, and an ongoing cholera outbreak have left the region vulnerable to devastation. “You already had areas where people were displaced and living in temporary shelters,” said Traub. “In many ways, they’re already really compromised going into the disaster, and now they’re doubly displaced, and don’t have their support mechanisms.”
This is what happens when you end up on the wrong side of the disaster divide, which explains how unequal losses experienced by certain communities and countries following a natural disaster are chiefly due to the discrepancy of wealth and resources, limiting the ability to invest in the very things — strong buildings, weather prediction, rapid humanitarian response — that would prevent deaths. There’s a reason that 90 percent of disaster deaths between 1996 and 2015 occurred in low and middle-income nations, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction found. It’s not that rich countries are somehow exempt from extreme weather and geological events. It’s that the lack of wealth, and everything it can buy, is what makes a quake or a hurricane or a tornado disastrous, more than the sheer strength of a storm or how high a quake scores on the Richter scale.”