WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), the Ranking Member of the Armed Services Committee, today issued the following statement on President Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. forces from northern Syria: 

“I voted against the Iraq War, and I want to end open-ended wars, but President Trump’s move to abandon a key partner on the ground in Syria doesn’t extricate us and is more likely to exacerbate violence.  This President keeps blindsiding our military and diplomatic leaders and partners with impulsive moves like this that benefit Russia and authoritarian regimes.

“If this president were serious about ending wars and winning peace, he’d actually articulate a strategy that would protect against a re-emergence of ISIS and provide for the safety of our Syrian partners.  But he has repeatedly failed to do that.  Instead, this is another example of Donald Trump creating chaos, undermining U.S. interests, and benefitting Russia and the Assad regime.

“The Trump Administration has failed to craft a coherent, integrated foreign policy or demonstrate a commitment to our partners.   His reckless abandonment of U.S. partners is a disaster that will reverberate far beyond Syria.

“President Trump needs to explain this hasty retreat in more than a tweet.  He should address the American people and lay out a serious strategy.

“Congress needs to swiftly hold hearings with military, diplomatic, and intelligence officials to understand how this decision was made and the consequences for Syria, the region, and our ability to work with partners in the future.  It appears that President Trump once again disregarded the advice of U.S. military, intelligence, and diplomatic experts and did not appropriately consult with our international allies and partners.  The American people deserve to know why.

“President Trump continues to try to mislead the American people that ISIS is defeated when the reality is that his decision opens the door to a major resurgence of ISIS, risks a humanitarian catastrophe, and undermines the faith of our allies and partners in U.S. resolve going forward.”