Opinion: More Trump 3-D, Foreign Policy Chess

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This undated photo provided by Heritage Auctions shows the chess board used by American Bobby Fischer and Soviet champ Boris Spassky during their historic 1972 “Match of the Century,” a tournament that sealed Fischer’s fate as the world chess champion. The autographed board, used in games 7 through 21 at the Reykjavik, Iceland, championship is slated to be auctioned in New York City on Nov. 18 by Heritage Auctions, which has set an opening bid of $75,000. (Heritage Auctions via AP)

Has anyone noticed that Syria has been off of the front page for some time now? A large part of that of course, is our current focus on the Wuhan China virus and Democrat attempts to use a supposed “second wave” to perpetuate voter fraud via ballot harvesting. This, while maligning President Trump’s stellar handling of the much diminished pandemic. It’s not as though the left is totally ignoring foreign policy. They do after all, have time to yammer about “hearings” regarding an unconfirmed report of Russian action in Afghanistan…a report the president never received. Here is the real reason Syria is being ignored. President Trump’s policies are working.

First a little background. Last October, I penned a series of articles defending President Trump’s withdrawal from Syria. In them I walked through the reasons why our presence there was illegal, what would be the likely result from the President’s actions and a possible way ahead. The major takeaway, was that the last thing the United’s States need to be involved in, is yet another Sykes-Picot arrangement that started the whole Middle East mess in the first place.

Read: Syria Withdrawal Part I: The Right Decision

Read: Syria Withdrawal Part II: Protecting (Our) Kurds

Read: Syrian Withdrawal Part III: The Current Battlespace

Read: Syria Withdrawal Part IV: Conclusion-Way Ahead

Immediately upon announcing his decision to begin removing U.S. Troops from Syria, the Trump haters went into overdrive, some likening his “abandonment” of “our great allies the Kurds,” to Hitler’s holocaust. That wasn’t the worst part. After all, we expect Democrats to act that way. What Americans don’t expect, are our military Flag Officers to slow walk the orders of the President, downright disobey him and upon their retirement from public service, badmouth him and his policies in public fora. That continues to this day.

Yet despite all of the hateful rhetoric about the President, he continues to make progress on many fronts, including foreign policy. While Democrats are busy tearing down statues, renaming streets and encouraging lawlessness, violence and destruction, President Trump is steadily advancing his agenda. Confirmation of that comes from of all places, a well known anti-Trump publication, Foreign Policy.

In Wednesday’s edition, Jonathan Spyer penned an opinion piece entitled: Trump’s Syria Policy Is Working

Here is the lede.

The Assad regime is cracking under the pressure of stalemate—just like the State Department planned.

The article goes onto say,

Two years after celebrating victory in the Syrian civil war, the regime of Bashar Assad is facing renewed unrest. A mini-insurgency is under way in Daraa province, the birthplace of the 2011 revolt. Stormy demonstrations are under way in adjacent Suwayda. The economy is hurtling toward the abyss.

What has changed, in two short years? How has Assad’s triumph turned to disaster? The answer is the Trump administration’s Syria policy. The application of quiet but unrelenting pressure is transforming the Syrian president’s victory into ashes. What it has yet to do is persuade Russia to cease backing the Assad regime, which means the strategy remains at a stalemate.

Further down Steyer concludes,

The key element is the weaponization of Western economic strength. The camp around Assad is practiced in political and proxy warfare, and ruthless in pursuit of its goals. It has bested over the last decade the efforts of Western-aligned regional powers to oust the Assad dictatorship. But the Achilles’ heel of this camp is its scarcity of economic resources. This vulnerability is now being exploited, at minimal cost to the United States and without the large military commitments that both the president and the public prefer to avoid. The intention is to turn Syria into a quagmire for the dictator and his allies.

The resulting stalemate—marked by frozen conflict, continued poverty, and a messy de facto division of the country—has prevented a triumph for Assad and his allies. This will remain the country’s only practical future until Assad and his allies are finally prepared to negotiate on terms that their opponents are willing to accept.

Back in January of this year, I penned two articles that pointed to our success with Iran as a harbinger of future success. In them I explained the overall strategy.

Read: Opinion: 3D Chess — How President Trump Put Everything Together, From Fracking to Iranian Freedom

Read:Trump Luck, When Preparation and Opportunity Meet, or MAGA Meets DIME

The Reader’’s Digest version is, Trump knows how to prepare the battlefield, whether it’s domestic economics or foreign policy. He also understands that all of these factors impact the others, whether it’s the DIME (Diplomacy, Information, Military & Economic) model of foreign policy, or the relationship between legislation, regulations and a friendly court system to help get rid of the bad while keeping the good.

All of the above come together in what military planners call, “setting the conditions” or “setting the stance.” President Trump obviously understands this concept well, whether it’s dealing with Iran, Syria or the entirety of the Middle East. He understands that without a powerful economy, the United States has little ability to achieve all the other elements of National Power as enumerated in the DIME model.

Starting with the economy, Trump set about and continued to improve all the U.S. DIME elements. He has steadily increased the chances of success of every initiative he takes. Small successes, beget other successes, which in turn foster even greater achievements. All of these started off with modest regulatory reform, tax relief and the removal of other economic obstacles. While the leftists are busy virtue signaling and destroying evidence of Democrat subjugation of blacks and other minorities, President Trump has been steadily setting and improving his stance…and it’s paying off.

Mike Ford

Mike Ford, a retired Infantry Officer, writes on Military, Foreign Affairs and occasionally dabbles in Political and Economic matters. 

Read more by Mike Ford

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