History is replete with what-if’s – what might have happened if different decisions were taken at critical junctures. For example, what if U.S. forces were precipitously removed from Germany, Japan or South Korea after they helped end hostilities in each country?
We know what happened when President Obama removed them from Iraq in 2011. Candidate Donald Trump rightly castigated him for creating conditions that contributed to the rise of ISIS, its predations and territorial conquests in that country and neighboring Syria.
As President, Mr. Trump was tempted to do the same thing after ISIS’ so-called caliphate was destroyed. He ultimately and wisely decided to keep a small American military presence in Syria. Thankfully, as a result, we can indulge in speculation about what would have happened if he hadn’t done so, rather than deal with the likely, terrible consequences if he had.