President Donald Trump received harsh criticism from a former top Middle East advisor for the ethnic cleansing campaign Turkey is waging against the Kurds in Syria.
MSNBC’s Chuck Todd interviewed Brett McGurk, the former special presidential envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL.
“The truth of the matter is when President Trump announced to the world last December that we were leaving Syria and he arbitrarily cut our force reportedly in half, which is already a small force, we lost all of our leverage and influence,” McGurk argued. “And he really threw it out the window on this call on October 6th.”
“So President Erdogan is heading to Russia to see president Putin in four days and I suspect they already have lines on a map that they’ve divvied up and the president of the United States is pretty much irrelevant here,” he noted. “And our influence is just rapidly receding as we leave our bases and blow them up or hand them to the Russians. So our ability to influence this situation is extremely limited.”
“And it is deeply troubling when President Erdoğan announces to the world, as he did again today, that he plans to clean out this entire area and repopulate it with two to three million people, as Richard just reported. And United States appears now to have ratified this plan,” McGurk said. “I don’t think Trump understands any of this. I don’t think he knows what he’s doing. I think diplomats are trying to scramble to buy some time in what has been a cascading crisis with Americans in harm’s way.”
McGurk called it a “strategic disaster.”