The White House decision to withdraw American troops from Syria as soon as possible may or may not be on track depending on whom one believes. But one thing that is for sure is that the recent suicide bomber attack in Manbij, Syria, which killed four Americans and has been attributed to ISIS, has inspired the opponents of the drawdown to renew their claim that the terrorist group is still an active threat to the United States. President Donald Trump is now being subjected to heavy bipartisan and media pressure to reverse his decision.
It is perhaps a coincidence that the attack should take place not long after the White House announcement of the withdrawal, thereby giving ammunition to those who wish to stay in Syria, admittedly illegally, for the foreseeable future. Or is it perhaps something else? Why, one must ask, did ISIS do something against its own interests by attacking Americans and thereby increasing the odds that U.S. armed forces would remain in Syria? Wouldn’t it have been preferable to just let the American military leave, thereby eliminating one enemy from the playing field?