Report: McMaster Wants to Send 50,000 US Troops to Syria

Administration Leadership Deeply Divided on Troop Levels

Throughout the first couple of months of the Trump Administration, everyone seemed to be relatively on the same page with public comments about their plans for changes to the various US wars, and the answer was pretty much exclusively to send more troops and conduct more strikes everywhere.

This was true of Syria too, but the actual scope of the escalation could be far bigger than anyone expected, with reports circulating that National Security Adviser HR McMaster is pushing a massive escalation with a deployment of up to 50,000 US ground troops to the country.

When President Trump took office, Syria had only about 300-400 US troops present, and while that number has grown significantly (exact figures are no longer provided by the Pentagon), a 50,000 troop deployment would be both shocking and have a huge impact on the region, likely sparking a major backlash from Syria, who has not invited US troops to operate in their territory in the first place.

Either way, the Trump Administration’s leadership seems to be quite divided on the question of troops for Syria, with many said to be resisting any massive changes in favor of smaller, more manageable escalations. This is in keeping with what the US commander in Iraq and Syria said only yesterday, and with President Trump’s recent assurance that the US isn’t “going into Syria,” because while the US is already very much in Syria, it would be absurd for Trump to offer such an assurance and then send 50,000 troops shortly thereafter.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.