Stavridis: Pulling Troops out of Syria ‘Would Be a Geopolitical Mistake... Russia Will Take the Oil’
STAVRIDIS: "Of course not. And that sound you heard off camera was Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis’ head exploding, when he heard the president talk about we’re going to immediately pull out of Syria and roll out that extremely populous vision. Look, what we do when we engage overseas, Ali, is create a network of allies, partners and friends and we need that, otherwise we are going to see Iran, for example in that region align itself with Russia and believe me, they will take the oil. They’ll take the oil of Saudi Arabia, then we will have a massive global problem ahead of us. We’ve got to work in that region to protect Israel, our strongest partner, our Saudi and other Sunni Arab country allies, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states. They’re facing a real threat from Iran. If we simply cut and run from Syria, we will throw that battle space open to Russia, to Syria, and above all to Iran. That would be a geopolitical mistake."