Trump Keeps Contradicting Pentagon on US Role in Syrian War

US war is exclusively about oil, Trump maintains

President Trump’s position on the Syrian War aims to further simplify matters. Turkey’s President Erdogan says he is worried about Turkey’s border with Syria, and President Trump sees an opportunity to contrast his own war, saying “we left troops behind only for the oil.”

In the context of US-Turkey relations, this seems very straightforward and avoids conflicts of interest. Admitting that the whole US war is for oil isn’t the panacea Trump thinks it is, however, and he’s running up against other US officials on this issue.

Lawmakers are couching the Syrian War as being about protecting the Kurds, while the Pentagon’s leadership sees it heavily built around fighting ISIS and continuing to work toward regime change in Syria. Some even suggest it’s about countering Russia.

Trump’s all-oil agenda directly contradicts everyone else, and gives the impression that the US is being deliberately evasive about its military agenda and where US foreign policy is going.

Trump’s comments may simply reflect his agenda and what he cares about in Syria, just the oil. At the same time, other top officials plainly see the legal complications to overtly looting oil during a military occupation, and are downplaying that matter hoping nothing ever comes of it, or that at the very least they can avoid culpability by making their role in the war something else.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.