5th Special Forces Group (A) Operation Detachment Bravo 5310 at the Landing Zone at base camp Al Tanf Garrison in southern Syria, November 22, 2017. (Photo: Staff Sgt. Jacob Connor/Wikimedia)

The abandonment of about a dozen outposts across northeastern Syria hardly constitutes a substantial drawdown of U.S. forces in the region. With the president either reshuffling troops in Syria or merely relocating them elsewhere in the Middle East and a new contingent of American forces deploying to Saudi Arabia, there will actually be a net gain in U.S. troops in the region at this moment of supposed reduction.