Thursday, October 10, 2019


President Trump's decision to allow Turkey to invade Syria, and in so doing, effectively throw the Kurds to the wolves, is simply another instance of the axiom that nation-states don't have allies, they have interests. Now, it can be argued that this is not 100% true in the case of the United States; Israel is effectively an ally in a way that other nations are not. (The case could be made that Washington policymakers are more concerned with Israel's well-being than they are with Puerto Rico's, as odd as that may seem.) In any event, President Trump's stated rationale for no longer protecting the Kurds speaks to this: In effect, there was once mutual interest, now there isn't. The Kurds were working with the United States not out of goodwill towards the US and it's people, but because the Islamic State was a threat to them.

But the problem with the no allies, only interests calculus at present is that with President Trump, it's really hard to understand what our interests actually are from one week to the next. It has been interesting watching the world attempting to respond to that.

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