In the norther Middle East we have exactly one ally. the Kurds. Even our NATO ally, Turkey, hates us. They have a significant Kurdish population and they are afraid any independence movement in Iraq and Syria will spill over into Turkey.
We created the vacuum in the Middle East by destroying Saddam Hussein. Europe talked us into supporting in the destruction of Quadifi in Lybia even though he had been quiet since Reagan bombed him. Obama supported a terrorist group, the Muslim Brotherhood, who won the election in Egypt then immediately used its new found power to kill Christians and others. Obama complained with the Egyptians overthrew them saying that they were a democratically elected government. He then drew a meaningless red line in the sand in Syria which Assad ignored. He supported the rebels in the north simply because they opposed Assad but they were no better. Often the weapons we sent went to far worse people.
ISIS came out of the north killing everyone invading Iraq. The government and its army folded. The soldiers threw down their weapons, took off their uniforms and ran. It took Iraq's tradition enemy, Iran, to stop ISIS. Iran also happens to be our enemy. Iran and the only ally that we have in the area, Kurds, eventually pushed them back.
Russia signed an agreement with Assad for a warm water port. Russia also signed an alliance with Turkey to help stop the violence in northern Syria. Russia did all of this while Obama was president.
The Kurds are our only allies in the area. Turkey isn't even an ally. Our options are this: keep fighting a war we cannot win, escalate the war by sending in far more troops, or pull out. We have no allies. There is actually no way of winning and no hope of ending the Shia/Sunni hate that has last for centuries. Try to remember, we have done this before in Vietnam.
I don't disagree with Gen. Mattis. But the American people are not going to support an escalating war in Syria. That leaves the other two alternatives. Keep doing what we are doing indefinitely or pull out. The President thinks it would be best to pull out before it becomes Vietnam. If Mattis cannot support him then he has done the honorable thing by resigning.
ProCharger P-1SC, 9 psi, STD 396/383; Uncorrected 388/375; SAE 383/370.
Ret. USAF 1969-1973,1980-1996: Vietnam veteran. Aircraft maintenance. R & D, ICBM Operations.
Also own: 1997 Harley FXDWG, 1998 F-150, and 2002 Corvette LS1