Gen. Milley: US Forces Will Remain in the Middle East for Years to Come

by | Aug 27, 2023

Gen. Milley: US Forces Will Remain in the Middle East for Years to Come

by | Aug 27, 2023

FILE PHOTO: US Army soldiers fire an M777 Howitzer during an operational rehearsal exercise at Mission Support Site Conoco, Syria, December 4, 2022. (Credit: US Army / Sgt. Julio Hernandez)

America’s top general said that Washington plans to maintain its force posture in the Middle East. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley stressed the region’s “significant” importance to America’s foreign policy. 

In an interview with Jordan’s Al-Mamlaka TV on Thursday, Milley said, “I can’t imagine that the United States would ever walk away from the Middle East. I think we’ll remain committed for many, many years and decades to come.” 

“We have very close friendships and partnerships. And we want to make sure that the region is stable. Obviously, the region is a primary source of oil and energy resources for other parts of the world.” Milley added that the region is “very important and very significant to the United States for a lot of reasons.”

For decades, Washington has used its military in an attempt to control the Middle East. The US has spent trillions of dollars and killed millions of people in dozens of military campaigns conducted over the last 30 years. 

The wars have failed to accomplish America’s stated goals: to bring peace, stability and democracy to the Middle East. Instead, Washington’s wars and financing of various militaries have stoked sectarian tensions. Additionally, the US has armed a multitude of tyrannical governments, enabling them to brutally oppress their citizens.

Washington currently has thousands of soldiers in various countries across the region, including hundreds of troops in Syria. Milley said, “There are still fighters in small groups in and around Syria and around Iraq…and if we were to somehow suddenly withdraw, [Islamic State] could reconstruct themselves. So the situation is much, much better than it was.” He continued, “But it still requires a level of commitment. So we’ve got some modest amount of forces in Syria and we’ve got forces in Iraq.”

However, American troops in Iraq and Syria often find themselves in conflict with forces supporting the Syrian government, not jihadists. Additionally, American warplanes in Syria have regularly had near misses with Russian fighter jets.  

About Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone is news editor of the Libertarian Institute, opinion editor of Antiwar.com and co-host of Conflicts of Interest with Will Porter and Connor Freeman.

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