Army Chief Warrant Officer Jonathan R. Farmer, 37, of Boynton Beach, Florida. Navy Chief Petty Officer Shannon M. Kent, 35, of Pine Plains, New York. Defense Intelligence Agency civilian Scott A. Wirtz, 42, of St. Louis, Missouri. Interpreter Ghadir Taher, 27, from East Point, Georgia.
The bodies of the four Americans from four separate parts of the country—victims of a January 16 Islamic State suicide bombing near a popular restaurant in the Syrian city of Manbij—made their final return home to Dover Air Force Base on January 19. It was a vivid and graphic reminder to the American people that U.S. forces remain very much in harm’s way.
To the politicians back home, the deaths of four Americans in a Syrian town few in the United States could find on a map is a sign of ISIS’s sudden resurgence. The American people have been led to believe that President Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria is emboldening the enemy. Sen. Lindsey Graham, the interventionist who has never seen a world problem that couldn’t be solved through military force, even suggested that Trump’s decision may have laid the groundwork for the bombing in Manbij. Sen. Jack Reed said the attack is proof the administration needs to “reevaluate” a troop departure. . .
First, the Islamic State’s territorial “caliphate” is for all intents and purposes destroyed. At the height of its power in 2014, ISIS managed to control land roughly equivalent to the size of the United Kingdom. ISIS fighters were present from the northern outskirts of Baghdad to the rural towns of northwestern Syria. Approximately eight million people in Iraq and Syria were under ISIS’s thumb, a valuable financial asset the group fully exploited through a system of taxation. . .
Those who say U.S. forces should remain in eastern Syria even after their primary mission is over are moving the goal-posts in a frantic attempt to justify a continued U.S. military presence in a country that is strategically unimportant to U.S. national security interests in the region. Don’t be fooled: the commentators, ex-officials, and lawmakers who oppose a U.S. troop withdrawal today are in essence arguing for another indefinite U.S. deployment in the Middle East. (Read more from “No, Forever War in Syria Won’t Protect the United States” HERE)