MEL GURTOV – There are no winners, here or abroad, in Trumpâ€™s decision to withdraw troops from Syria. But there are important losers: innocent lives and prospects for peace. However remote a political settlement in Syria and Afghanistan might have been before, it is even more remote now. With the US largely out of the picture, incentives for adversariesâ€”Syria and Russia in Syria, the Taliban in Afghanistanâ€”to negotiate war-ending or at least violence-reduction agreements are now gone. Civil war is likely to gain intensity. Civilian casualties and refugee numbers will rise substantially. A new regional war is possible. The defeat of peace should be the focus of criticsâ€™ concern.
FINLAY LEWIS – They could caucus in a phone booth. They are known as â€œrealists,â€ and their default position on questions of foreign policy and national security is one of skepticism about the value of interventions abroad and of respect for privacy at home. In a debate largely being litigated within the ranks of the Republican Party on Capitol Hill, the realists donâ€™t have a prayer of prevailing in an up-or-down vote against the neoconservative wing of the party, proponents of an interventionist ethos to embed American values in lands far removed from domestic shores and traditions.