Josh Rogin writes: At last Friday’s National Security Council meeting on the Middle East, top Obama administration officials tabled any decisions on whether to increase the U.S. response to the ongoing Syrian and Russian aerial bombardment of civilians in Aleppo, The Post reported earlier this week. The administration prioritized discussing the new Iraqi-led offensive against the Islamic State in Mosul and the future offensive in Raqqa, for which planning is already underway.
But despite what Secretary of State John F. Kerry has called ongoing Syrian and Russian war crimes in Aleppo, there was no action on any of the several options discussed at lower-level administration meetings, including but not limited to limited strikes against the Assad regime’s air force or an increase in the quantity or quality of arms provided to the moderate Syrian rebels in the area.
One senior administration official pointed toward the slow pace of the bureaucracy in responding to the Aleppo crisis as evidence the White House has decided that Aleppo can’t be saved and therefore the United States should not try.
“They are giving the Russians time to finish the job in Aleppo, in part to tie the hands of the next president,” the official told me. [Continue reading…]