Russia, China and Iran are systematically working to marginalize the US in the region. It bodes poorly for us. Both China and Russia worked out lucrative business deals in the region while we were bleeding on the ground trying to prop up national governments in Afghanistan and Iraq. Wherever we try to operate, the Russians and Chinese can be counted on to be funneling arms in to forces trying to thwart our efforts. The Cold War era pattern never ends. I must say that Putin has perfected using the “international peace-seeking” language to a fine art and on top of that he cast himself as a defender of Christianity too – quite a walk-on-water feat for a tough former KGB man. Obama and Kerry ramble on offering nothing, as usual. Putin is building a large area of Russian influence. We are still hunting for elusive “Syrian moderates” – big picture thinking vs little picture thinking, you decide.
The truth is Obama left this gaping leadership vacuum, which Putin has decided to fill. Remember the surge in Afghanistan that he never fully manned? Well, at this point here are few warnings. The US should conduct our operations without getting enmeshed in Russian operations or plans. I believe the Russians will quickly launch a brutal campaign that falls well beyond the Geneva Conventions and the US should steer clear of being sucked into this. Plus any operation with the Russians will end up with the US being played for fools.
Setting up safe zones for Syrians in areas outside of ISIS and Assad control would be a good idea, but I doubt Obama will take that risk and the US lacks the credibility among regional leaders to get much assistance, especially when Obama will want others to take all of the risks on the ground.
Let’s face reality, more national humiliations of having our nose rubbed in it lie in store for America as long as Obama is president and much of it won’t be only from Putin. They always say look where people came from to figure out who they are. Putin is a former KGB officer. Obama and Valerie were weaned on Communist dogma from early childhood, before drinking the kool-aid of college campus radicalism.
I worry about the US military having its hands tied behind its back and US troops being put in bad positions by Putin pushing the envelope and Obama waffling and keeping overly restrictive rules of engagement.
#Hands up, don’t shoot Vladimir will be the Obama and girls at the White House response to Putin’s power plays or #Why can’t we all get along…. The national embarrassment continues!