President Trump recently withdrew US forces from northeastern Syria, greenlighting a Turkish offensive against Washington’s erstwhile Kurdish allies. Trump’s decision surprised many in Washington, including members of his own administration, who point out that pulling American troops not only undermines US alliance credibility, helps Russia, ISIS, and Iran, but also leaves the Kurds, a group that has been integral to the fight against ISIS, out to dry.

This week, Michael Rubin joined Dany and Marc on the show to explain the origins of the conflict between the Kurds and Turkey and discuss the regional implications of a US troop withdrawal. After multiple visits to northeastern Syria, Rubin sheds light on the various state and non-state actors involved and what makes the Kurds such a valuable US ally.

Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, where he researches Arab politics, the Gulf Cooperation Council, Iran, Iraq, the Kurds, terrorism, and Turkey. A former Pentagon official, Rubin has lived in post-revolution Iran, Yemen, and both pre- and postwar Iraq, and he spent time with the Taliban before 9/11. He has a Ph.D. and an M.A. in history from Yale University.

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