Crenshaw Releases Video Addressing Situation In Syria
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Dan Crenshaw released the following video explaining the situation in Syria, debunking various claims regarding the decision to pull troops out, and discussing what Americans should consider when it comes to analyzing foreign policy. As a Navy SEAL, Crenshaw served four deployments in the Middle East.
On President Trump’s foreign policy:
“Overall, the president’s foreign policies actually found that really good balance between nation-building on one extreme and pulling out entirely on the other. Again, what did we see happen in 2011 in Iraq? It was an absolute disaster when we left a vacuum of power.
“…But what we have now is an actual balance and it was important to maintain that balance where the mission is clear. And that mission was prevention of the resurgence of ISIS and prevention of more terrorist attacks on the homeland, because I promise you this enemy thinks about doing that every single day.”
On demands for no more endless wars:
“Here’s what you have to remember: we can’t put artificial time tables and troop levels on a mission. In the end we have a mission and that mission, as I’ve stated, is prevention, it’s deterrence. It’s understanding that this world is a very small place.
“Information travels very fast. It’s easy for our enemies to radicalize people here at home and it’s also easy for them to establish plans to attack the homeland when we leave them alone. They wake up every single day, and they think about how are they going to conduct another 9/11. I promise you that. I’ve met these people. I know them. I’ve targeted them.”
On calls to bring the troops home:
“This one’s pretty personal for me because I was one of those troops, and it’s a little difficult for me to understand because myself and a lot of my friends, we understood why we were there. We understood that this enemy is always dreaming about killing us, and that it was important for us to fight them over there, so they don't have the operational space and the luxury of planning their attacks back on the homeland. We knew why we were going overseas.
“It’s also important to put some of this into context. There’s 35,000 troops in Germany. There’s 50,000 troops in Japan. There’s 30,000 troops in South Korea. I don’t hear any calls to bring all of them home.”
On claims that ISIS has been defeated:
“Okay, well that’s an easy one to debunk. They’re not defeated. We know that after this week because they’ve been conducting attacks. Like I said, ISIS is an insurgency now. They’re not an Islamic Caliphate, they’re not as powerful as they once were, but they do have the ability to recruit and they do have the ability to regain strength, if we let them. Our worry now is that we are letting them.”
On the argument that America is not the world’s policeman:
“This is a bit of a dishonest talking point and it doesn’t really represent what we’re actually doing at all. We’re not out there as a police force, alone enforcing some semblance of international law. That’s not at all what we’re doing. We’re partnering with allies and we’re doing so because it serves our national security interests. And again, every situation is different, and we analyze it as such.”
On the argument that we don’t owe the Kurds anything:
“They’ve been our allies for a while. In Iraq, in Syria. They’ve been very good allies. They were by far the best fighters against ISIS. By far. My friends were working with them directly. They lost about 11,000 people fighting ISIS. And probably far more displaced and right now, being displaced because of Turkey as well. We lost eight troops during the fight in Syria against ISIS, which is heartbreaking. I know some of these people, I’ve contacted their families. And it’s tragic. And it’s a moral question. Do we owe the Kurds anything after we fought next to them? If you say no, you say no. But I’m not sure how we can say no. I’m not sure how we can look ourselves in the mirror and say, ‘Hey we fought by your side and now we’re going to go let you get steamrolled by Turkey.’”
On the belief that Turkey was going to invade Syria regardless of our presence:
“I don’t think we have this choice, just between going to war with Turkey and pulling our troops out. I think we simply could have said, ‘Hey, don’t invade right past our troops, you’re going to put our troops in harm’s way. And if you do that, we’re not going to tolerate it.’ We are the United States of America, we’re not just some country. We’re the greatest, mightiest military force that has ever existed. And Turkey is a supposed NATO ally. They should listen. But we never ask them to listen, and that’s the problem.”