The Kurdish question

BRITISH politician Lord Palmerston once said, “Nations have no permanent friends or allies, they only have permanent interests.”

Back in World War 2, when the United States decided to prioritize the European theater over the Pacific, it felt as though the America had abandoned the Philippines as a friend and ally. There was even a silly quote at the time about how the US had abandoned a “daughter” (the Philippines) in favor of its cousins/relatives (Europe).

But here’s the thing. The Roosevelt Administration during World War 2 saw Europe as more critical to its interests than the Philippines and the Pacific theater in general. Maybe it was unfair but that’s how politics works. Self-interest drives decisions, and this is true for all countries, including America.

The global political establishment is used to the idea of America acting as the main guarantor of global security. However, that role can only exist as long as America’s national interests are aligned with global security, and that alignment is breaking down.

The latest symptom of this de-alignment is President Trump’s decision to pull US troops from Northern Syria and allow local forces to fill the void. There’s just one little problem, however. Northern Syrian is filled with Kurdish forces, and they will most likely suffer from the new political situation in that region.

Needless to say, large swaths of the American and Political establishment are denouncing President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out American troops from Northern Syria. The withdrawal is being presented as a betrayal of America’s Kurdish allies, many of whom are also being presented as instrumental in the United States’ Middle Eastern foreign policy framework.

The narrative is that the Kurds defeated ISIS (not the Syrian army) and now that ISIS is gone, the Americans are going to abandon them to Turkey, Iran, Syria and maybe Russia. To which, Trump supporters and American Firsters respond, ‘Why is it in our interest to protect the Kurds?’ One Tweet I saw even argued that the Kurds have been in the region for centuries, and that the US can no longer afford to act as their guarantors.

The bottom line is that the US public has become sour on what many call ‘Endless/Forever Wars.’ So it’s a matter of national interest, as far as American Nationalists are concerned, not to spend time, blood and money on wars that don’t serve America’s interests, and make no mistake, fighting for the Kurds does not benefit the average US citizen, Democrat or Republican.

The only argument the other side could offer is that the US will be seen as an unreliable ally if it does decide to pull troops from Northern Syria, and that it would destabilize the Middle East. But as far as many America Firsters and Trump supporters are concerned, the answer to that is, ‘Not Our Problem.’/PN


  1. In this case it is highly unlikely to happen if the interest of America is at stake but if the interest is not at stake then it will happen what was happening in Kurd case. This is also a question for Philippines that reallying to an ally is not always well. The very foundation of the country is its own defense. We will not rely on China, Russia, Japan nor US that they will defend us in case of an attack but rather the leader of our country must exert all effort to make our defenses able and capable. Secondly we should have always an ace and trump card in our hand and save it for last.


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