Shortly before President Obama unveiled his strategy for defeating ISIS (aka Daesh), NotGeorgeSabra wrote: Obama is expected to announce a grand strategy to defeat the Islamic State (ISIS, or Daesh) one year after he sold Syria’s rebels down the river and betrayed his own self-imposed “red line.”
This strategy will be billed as comprehensive, encompassing all elements of American imperialism’s tremendous national power — military, economic, diplomatic, political — but there are unresolved contradictions with the Syrian aspect of this grand strategy that, taken together, will add up to the kind of strategic and political incoherence that Daesh will surely exploit to survive and persist in their Syrian safe haven for years, a safe haven created by Obama’s do-nothing-but-stupid-shit policies.
The central problem with Washington’s policy from the standpoint of ending Daesh is the U.S. goal of a negotiated settlement between the revolution and the counter-revolution in Syria, one that removes Bashar al-Assad from the presidency but preserves the state he and his father built intact.
Why is this a problem? Judge a policy by its results — a ruinous, intractable war that has resulted in the biggest humanitarian catastrophe of the century, a weak and divided rebel movement starving for weapons and money, a militarily robust failed state in the making headed by a man who doesn’t hesitate to gas his own people, and Daesh, a fascist organization that wields state power in one-third of both Syria and Iraq whose thousands of veteran fighters have years of combat experience and Western passports!
How did America’s preference for a negotiated, peaceful settlement in Syria lead to endless war and bloodshed?
Simple: the U.S. (tandem with its regional allies) provided rebel forces with just enough weapons to keep fighting but not to win. [Continue reading…]
(H/t Scott Lucas)