Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) Oct. 20 op-ed, “A grave mistake in Syria,” appeared to concern a military decision that mysteriously made itself. In nearly 1,000 words, Mr. McConnell could not bring himself to mention the name of President Trump, the person who made the strategic blunder. But, make no mistake, although U.S. withdrawal from Syria was the rash decision of a single man, it was made possible by one party, the GOP, that refuses to hold him to account. The fact that Mr. McConnell cannot even say the name “Trump” yet managed to criticize former president Barack Obama says all anyone needs to know about today’s gutless GOP.

Richard N. Mott, Arlington

With a career protecting U.S. personnel and facilities abroad, including two years working in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, I applaud Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) Oct. 20 op-ed.

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His thesis showed that our active involvement, including specialized use of U.S. forces, will go a very long way toward keeping terrorists away from our shores. The success of smothering the Islamic State in Syria using these tactics with indigenous Kurd forces is proof these efforts work.

Our previous withdrawals resulted in resurgence of these barbarians and the ensuing return of the U.S. military. Pulling out hurts our national interest.

Having been in New York City on 9/11, I never, ever want to witness horrors like that again.

In this great nation, do we not have the leadership and mettle to reverse this terrible mistake?

Brian Flanagan, St. James, N.C.

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