From the Director: Why the US Should Remain in Syria
4 January 2019
The Free Burma Rangers have missions in Burma, Iraq, Kurdistan, Sudan, and Syria. Recently, the US government declared that the US would leave Syria. We in FBR are committed to staying in Syria as long as we feel God call us there and as long as the people want us. Here are the reasons we think the US should stay in Syria.
The US needs to stay in Syria for moral, political, relational, tactical and strategic reasons.
We made a promise to stand with the Kurds, Christians, Yezidis, and Arabs who stood and still stand with us in the fight against ISIS and oppression. If we leave they will be in great danger from ISIS, from Turkey, and from Assad’s regime. Leaving now is wrong; it is a betrayal and allows evil to flourish. This immorality also works against our military which needs to be strong, not just in power but in commitment. People have souls and feelings and are not machines. Broken promises, like our actions in Syria, are a deep breach of trust not just to our allies, but also to our soldiers which breaks down morale and combat power. Morality affects everything we do.
Political and Relational
We are interdependent with our partners and allies in the region as well as globally. If we leave without consulting them and making plans that are good for all, we will lose needed respect, trust, and cooperation.
ISIS is not defeated and still holds territory in Syria and is resurgent in Iraq. Now is not the time to leave. Turkey has promised to attack the Kurds and Assad to regain control of all of Syria. If we stay, the US presence and actions will contribute to the defeat of ISIS and limit their resurgence and protect our friends.
The US recently announced a three-point strategy in Syria: the defeat of ISIS, limiting destructive influences such as Iranian forces in Syria, and working towards political change and democracy in Syria. These have not been achieved. The US faces the challenges of the Assad regime, Iran, and Russia, and to leave now will only strengthen each of them in negative ways for our strategic purposes. US presence defeats and helps contain ISIS and it creates a space for our friends the Kurds and others to be part of forming a more just and democratic Syria. US presence also keeps Russia and Iran’s destructive influence in Syria and the region in check. Turkey has not shown it has the will or ability to stop ISIS. They have shown they are willing to attack our allies in Syria. While we need to strengthen our relationship with Turkey, who are our friends and are an important NATO ally, sacrificing the moral, political, and strategic values we have will not accomplish that.
The US needs to stand with the oppressed in Syria, keep fighting evil, and work with all our allies to find solutions that are good for all sides.
Thank you and God bless you,
David Eubank, family and the Free Burma Rangers
From two FBR Chaplains
“Setting politics aside, there are men, women, girls, and boys living in Syria. When authorities with power get together and make influential decisions, it is easy to forget this fact, lose it, or prioritize it below the top where it should always be.”
“We humans do not know all the answers but with God’s help we can be faithful with what we do know – we can respond with compassion to the needs in front of us.”