Former Obama Official Robert Malley Criticizes Trump's Withdrawal from Syria

Former Obama official Robert Malley advised on the U.S. Counter-ISIL campaign, and says Trump’s decision to pull out of Syria now could be disastrous.

“By deciding to withdraw precipitously from Syria, President Trump made what is, on the substance, the right decision but he did it in the worst possible way,” he explained.

Malley says the instinct to pull out of Middle Eastern conflict isn’t wrong, but is failing to do so without trying to extract some commitments from parties that my stand to gain.

Trump’s plan to pull out of Syria was reportedly a sudden and jumbled mess. He announced plans to withdraw immediately from Syria on December 19. But adviser John Bolton said it won’t happen until certain criteria are met. Trump refuted Bolton and the military said the withdrawal had begun. It remains unclear what the withdrawal timeline actually is.

“One [humanitarian groups] hear that American are withdrawing their troops, they’re withdrawing that protection, and without any preparation, without any guarantees that they’re not going to see Turkish troops invade or Syrian regime troops invade — those humanitarian groups are going to leave,” Malley said. “And what’s going to happen to the mother, the father, the child, the elderly person who is counting on this help who suffered not just from ISIS but from the airstrikes that the U.S. and other countries undertook to defeat ISIS.

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