Trump Says "If You’re Going In, Keep the Oil"
Instead of withdrawing troops from Syria as announced earlier, Trump has changed his mind.
Gee, who coulda thunk that?
However, experts say plan would face formidable legal barriers, is unlikely to succeed.
Please consider Trump Calls for Defense, Use of Syrian Oil Fields.
President Trump said that he is planning to keep a small number of troops in northeast Syria to protect the oil fields there and suggested that an American company might help the Syrian Kurds develop the oil for export.
“I always said if you’re going in, keep the oil,” Mr. Trump said at a cabinet meeting Monday. “We’ll work something out with the Kurds so that they have some money, so that they have some cash flow. Maybe we’ll get one of our big oil companies to go in and do it properly.”
Former administration officials said Mr. Trump’s plan raises a host of legal, technical and diplomatic issues. And industry analysts say it is unlikely to draw any interest from the oil companies it would need to succeed.
Rex Tillerson, a onetime Exxon Co. CEO, had considered the idea when he was secretary of state only to conclude there were formidable legal barriers, said Brett McGurk, who served as the administration’s special envoy to the coalition fighting Islamic State until he resigned in December.
“Oil, like it or not, is owned by the Syrian state,” Mr. McGurk said Monday in an appearance at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington think tank. “Maybe there are new lawyers, but it was just illegal for an American company to go and seize and exploit these assets."
Just One Thing
I would be amazed except for one thing:
It is hard to be amazed by anything Trump says or does because he changes his mind day-to-day in wildly random fashion.
On October 14, after Trump reported he would pull troops from Syria, I noted Russia the Biggest Winner in Syria's Pact With Kurds.
Serious questions remain.
Don't worry, the questions will be different tomorrow when Trump denies he ever said “I always said if you’re going in, keep the oil.”
Mike "Mish" Shedlock