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Is the US Leaving Syria Very Soon?

Is the US Leaving Syria Very Soon?

The US is going to leave Syria “like very soon” President Trump said last week, in a remark that evidently caught members of his own administration by surprise. Currently there are about 2,000 US troops in Syria, where their main job is to help local Kurdish and Arab fighters battle ISIS. With that fight largely winding down, Trump appears ready to pull the plug, provided his own generals don’t stop him.


Why now? One clue is that Trump made the remarks at a campaign rally in the rust-belt heartland of Ohio, where he won a lot of votes in 2016 by railing against costly overseas military operations. His decision to send more troops to Afghanistan last year rankled his base, but a well-timed Syria withdrawal could help ahead of midterm elections that will turn largely on views of Trump.

Still, whether Trump actually goes through with it remains to be seen. His top advisors argue that to leave would cede Syria entirely to Russia and Iran — though in reality the US role has always been too limited to seriously obstruct Russian and Iranian advances there. A more pressing question may be whether a US withdrawal would enable ISIS to rise again in Eastern Syria.

Those are the stakes. But at the moment it’s too soon to tell whether Trump’s remark was policy or politics. Too very soon.

Empathy and listening are key to establishing harmonious relationships, as demonstrated by Callista Azogu, GM of Human Resources & Organization for Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), an Eni subsidiary in Abuja. "To build trust is very difficult. To destroy it is very easy," says Callista, whose busy days involve everything from personnel issues to union relationships. She sees great potential for her native Nigeria not only because of the country's natural resources, but because of its vibrant and creative people.

Learn more about Callista in this episode of Faces of Eni.

For the world's wealthiest nations, including the United States, the rollout of COVID-19 vaccine has been rocky, to say the least. And as a result, much of the developing world will have to wait even longer for their turn. Part of the challenge, World Bank President David Malpass says, is that "advanced economies have reserved a lot of the vaccine doses." Malpass sat down with Ian Bremmer recently to talk about what his organization is doing to try to keep millions around the world from slipping deeper into poverty during the pandemic. Their conversation was part of the latest episode of GZERO World.

Saturday will mark the beginning of an historic turning point for European politics as 1,001 voting members of Germany's Christian Democratic Union, the party of Chancellor Angela Merkel, hold an online conference to elect a new leader.

Here are the basic facts:

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For the first time in twenty years, extreme poverty around the world is growing. How does the developing world recover from a pandemic that has brought even the richest nations to their knees? David Malpass, the President of the World Bank, is tasked with answering that question. He joins Ian Bremmer on GZERO World to talk about how his organization is trying to keep the developing world from slipping further into poverty in the wake of a once-in-a-century pandemic.

Joe Biden wants to move into the White House, but the coast isn't clear. He may need some bleach.

Watch more PUPPET REGIME here.

The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.

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