What’s next for the war(s) in Syria?
On refugee integration and the Global Compact on Refugees: Lessons from Turkey
Saria’s story: Life as a Syrian refugee
[Bolton] tried to persuade Trump to adopt a particular approach on Syria, but that policy didn’t match the president’s inclination to pull the U.S. out of Syria.
His instincts about the Middle East are quite consistent over time … which is to say he doesn’t quite see the point. He would rather not have anything to do with the mess called the Middle East.
I was surprised to see Bolton's comments in the press, which seemingly return to the old strategy — defeat ISIS, counter Iran and diplomatically end the civil war. Trump's tweet this morning suggests he is doubling down on his desire to withdraw and doesn’t want to look managed by his staff.
These disjointed messages reflect the lack of a real policy process inside the government. Instead, we have decision-making by presidential tweet or pronouncement followed by advisers scrambling to implement Trump's guidance in a more rational way. If nothing else, it makes it hard for local actors to trust what Trump's envoys are telling them when they know it could be undermined by the president.