Technicians at Syria's Hmeimim airport where Russian aircraft are deployed. © Dmitriy Vinogradov / RIA Novosti
Sam Heller, War On The Rocks: Russia Is In Charge In Syria: How Moscow Took Control Of The Battlefield And Negotiating Table
The Kremlin has successfully made itself the most powerful party to this war. The best the White House can do now is to make them own it.
Earlier this month, 51 mid-level officers at the U.S. State Department wrote a “dissent cable” arguing for the limited use of U.S. military force against the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad. By using standoff weapons and airstrikes on regime targets, they said, the United States could force regime compliance with Syria’s nationwide “cessation of hostilities” and compel the regime to participate in political negotiations to resolve the country’s bloody years-long war.
Yet these diplomats seem to have mostly ignored Russia’s role in Syria — and at least for now, it is Russia, not America, that is the decisive force in the Syrian war.
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WNU Editor: An excellent review on Russia's role, importance, and limits in the Syrian conflict. I have always personally viewed this war as a quagmire for Russia .... a no-win situation because of the Sunni-Shiite sectarian nature to the conflict, and the unwillingness of all sides to even entertain any notions of compromise and reconciliation. But Russia has stabilised the military situation for the Assad regime, and they have drawn the line in the sand on what they would do if that "military situation" is threatened. As to the U.S. and their allies involvement .... President Obama has made the strategic decision to limit U.S. involvement to helping the Kurds, and to leave the rest of this mess to the next president.