“The decision must have stunned the President’s most senior advisers at both the Pentagon and the State Department. It’s an about-face that leaves Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah as the major players in the geostrategic center of the Middle East and on the border with five pivotal U.S. allies.” Robin Wright: Is Trump’s Plan for Syria a Withdrawal or a Surrender?

+ Here’s Putin’s reaction to the move, which really says it all: It’s “the right decision.”

+ An equally disturbing line from WaPo: Mattis, once one of ‘my generals,’ loses his influence with Trump.

+ And (perhaps) related: Trump Administration to Lift Sanctions on Russian Oligarch’s Companies.