Listen: ISIS, Syria And President discussed on 1A with Joshua Johnson
"Security adviser has other ideas this weekend, John Bolton told reporters that withdrawal depends on defeating the remnants of ISIS, Mr. Bolton also said there was no timetable for the exit during a visit to Israel. So Arthur troops coming home or not. Here with us in studio to think that through is Philip Gordon, a senior fellow in US foreign policy at the council on foreign affairs. He was the White House coordinator for the Middle East North Africa and the Gulf region from twenty thirteen twenty fifteen Philip welcome to one A. Thanks nice to be here that comment from the president that we played where he said we've beaten them and we've beaten them badly and we've taken back the land. Is that true? No. I don't think anybody who follows this closely, including the people around the president of the administration believe that we have decisively beaten. Isis. Estimates are that ISIS still has thousands of fighters in both Syria and Iraq, and is not only currently actively undertaking attacks and fighting, but could resurge it anytime talk about the contradiction between what John Bolton said in Israel over the weekend. And with the president has been saying how significant is that discrepancy? Well, it's enormous. Normally when a national. Security advisor addresses an issue as important as this especially on the eve of a carefully planned trip. What he says about the issue would be it would emerge from careful national Security Council process, including all of the government agencies would be consistent with the president's view. And the national security advisor would tell us with our troops are staying or not John Bolton says was perfectly coherent. We have troops in Syria. They're on an important counterterrorism mission. We don't want Turkey to attack our Kurdish partners and the troops are gonna stay until ISIS is defeated. That's a coherent policy position. The only problem with it is that it's the exact opposite of what the president said just two weeks ago. Let's break down a little bit of what you just said. We have troops in Syria, fighting ISIS. What exactly is the nature of that fight? Are they going house to house knocking on doors trying to take on insurgents one on one? Are they training Syrian troops? What are the US troops doing in Syria? Well, one thing is that they are working with and trading our Kurdish partners and one of the problems in Syria, all along in this fight against ISIS is we didn't have significant troops on the ground, and it's hard to defeat a terrorist group that does have troops on the ground. When you're not there yourself, and you don't have partners you can rely on. And so as a last resort both the Obama administration, and the Trump administration said, well, the only real fighters we can work with are the Kurds in northern Syria. And so we've been working with them and training"