Iraq War Veterans Warn Against Syrian Entanglement
U.S. servicemen say expanded intervention risks ‚worst-case scenario‘ of regional conflict
Almost as soon as the first cruise missile struck Syrian government forces Thursday evening, a furious debate over the prudence of the action began to build. While the strike was among the first actions taken by President Donald Trump to garner bipartisan support from lawmakers, it generated intense criticism within much of Trump’s base. This includes veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, many of whom were drawn to Trump’s campaign message of avoiding entanglement in Middle Eastern conflicts, particularly in regards to Syria.
“I was hoping for non-intervention foreign policy. I didn’t expect him to cave so soon,” said Michael Mazzuto, a Marine Corps Infantry Sergeant who served in Fallujah, Iraq in 2005, and was wounded in Ramadi in 2006, “With Hillary, I think they would have bombed a month sooner, but I don’t think there’s any difference now.”
“If we continue bombing and airstrikes and then pump more troops into the country, that’s a worst-case scenario. I don’t see the end game with that.”
Mazzuto said many of his fellow veterans are wary and perhaps cynical of the nation’s latest foray into a foreign conflict. It is not, he says, because they are fundamentally against the use of force. Rather, they believe it should be an option reserved for situations where there is a clear and present danger to the United States.
Mazzuto said we aren’t even sure who exactly we are supporting in Syria.
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