Saturday, December 22, 2018

Goodbye Syria and good riddance


President Donald Trump ordered the withdrawal of approximately 2,000 U.S. military personnel in Syria this week. An immediate withdrawal appears to have begun.  There also appears to be debate about whether U.S. air power might still be used within Syria to further U.S. limited objectives there.
 
When the Arab Spring erupted in Syria in 2010 the United States chose not to participate in the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad of Syria as he suppressed the uprising among his people.   President Obama did not want to become engaged in the web of Middle East tribal warfare.  He later erred in declaring red lines that he did not enforce, but he was right about not becoming engaged.

Later, in 2014, as ISIS grew and began to control territory in Iraq and Syria the U.S. position changed and President Obama advanced a military presence to confront the growth of ISIS under authority originally given President George Bush in 2001.  U.S. forces were deployed to Syria.  They also returned to Iraq for one purpose – to defeat ISIS.

Seeking Economic Balance


A healthy economy is balanced.   A pendulum that is close to its settled point is most stable.   Frequent record high this and record low that are not good in the long term.  There are competing interests.   Balance is good.

After a decade of the extreme pendulum swing from the economic collapse of 2008-2009 to the record setting 2017-2018 the U.S. economy is settling into a comfortable position.   It will not last forever as there are many forces that will keep each of these trends in constant and sometimes contrary directions.

For now, this is a good place.  Contrary to the panic many incite about stock market corrections or political turmoil the overall economy is in good shape right now.