Rep. Dan Crenshaw, a former Navy SEAL, Friday applauded President Donald Trump's efforts to create a ceasefire in northern Syria but argued that one should not have been needed in the first place.
"When America leaves, we create a vacuum. We create chaos," Crenshaw told Fox News' "America's Newsroom." "We could have told Turkey, our ally, not to send their invasion force past our troops and I think they would have listened if we made the ask of them."
Crenshaw also commented on a series of tweets by Trump that posted while he was being interviewed, in which Trump said the ceasefire is working.
"We should always try to make the ceasefire work," Crenshaw said. "I'm not against trying to make the ceasefire work. I point out we didn't have to be in that situation where we are chaotically trying to move minute-to-minute trying to solve this problem, which we shouldn't have had to do. We could have come at this with a little bit more careful thought and strategy, instead of rapidly pulling our troops out and allowing the chaos to ensue."
He said he will support the administration's effort to change course, but "the reality is the strength of our hand has been diminished as soon as we pulled out and we let other forces take on our bases instead of doing it in a controlled, strategic manner."
But now there is a situation where the United States must threaten Turkey with sanctions and should continue to do so, Crenshaw said.
"We're trying to negotiate the ceasefire and in the last 24 hours, we've seen lots of violations of that ceasefire already," he added. "In the end, it is the same bad end state for our Kurdish allies. Whether they are being driven out by a military force firing upon them or being driven out because we negotiated their resettlement, it's terrible for our Kurdish allies, the only ones who fight ISIS for us."
Crenshaw said he had not supported Trump's troop pullout from northern Syria from the time it was first announced, as the U.S. "had a very small, cost-effective force" maintaining pressure on ISIS and keeping "some semblance of stability" in the region.
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