Friday, June 21, 2024

US troop withdrawal from Syria in exchange for Southern Ukraine?

Recently, media outlets have surfaced suggesting that the United States plans to withdraw its troops from Iraq and Syria.

While a final decision on the withdrawal has not been made, four sources within the U.S. Department of Defense and the State Department have stated that the White House is no longer investing in support for a mission it deems unnecessary. Currently, active internal discussions are ongoing to determine how and when the withdrawal may take place.

In light of these reports, it is worth considering whether Washington is moving towards reducing confrontation with Iran and signaling to the Kremlin its readiness to negotiate an end to the war in Ukraine.

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In today’s complex geopolitical landscape, it is widely known that the political leadership in the Kremlin still adheres to archaic principles reminiscent of the Cold War era. This obsessive inclination can be traced back to their deep-rooted connections as former Soviet Committee for State Security (KGB) operatives, as much of Russia’s leadership comprises individuals with backgrounds in the Soviet-era KGB and its successor, the Federal Security Service (FSB).

Vladimir Putin’s Stasi ID pass from his days in the KGB found in Germany (Supplied: BSTU)

When contemplating potential strategies to end the war, it is worthwhile to draw historical parallels with how the United States and the Soviet Union resolved the Cuban Missile Crisis. This historical context can shed light on possible negotiations with the Kremlin today.

Port Casilda, Cuba, is photographed by an RF-101 pilot with the 363rd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing on Nov. 6, 1962.

Reflecting on historical parallels, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, an agreement was reached for the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Cuba in exchange for the removal of American tactical missiles from Turkey and partially from Europe. Similarly, the potential withdrawal of American forces from Syria can be considered within the framework of possible negotiations with Moscow. Moscow has long sought to diminish Washington’s influence in Syria and the region.

Russian troops in Syria

As a potential move on the part of the United States in future negotiations with the Kremlin, the withdrawal of troops from Syria may encourage Russia to take similar actions, such as leaving the southern territories of Ukraine that they occupied during the 2022 offensive. Moreover, the National Security Advisor to the U.S. President, Jake Sullivan, has repeatedly stated that Washington aims to strengthen Kyiv’s negotiating position and halt the war through diplomatic means.

The evolving situation in the Middle East, alongside historical precedents and diplomatic initiatives, raises questions about the possible implications of the ongoing European conflict. It remains to be seen how these developments will unfold and whether they will contribute to a diplomatic resolution of the crisis.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov is the editor-in-chief of Defence Blog. He is a journalist, an accredited defense advisor, and a consultant. His background as a defense advisor and consultant adds a unique perspective to his journalistic endeavors, ensuring that his reporting is well-informed and authoritative. read more

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