So we’ve had some game-changing developments in Syria lately. With Obama’s light touch approach to combating ISIS going rather poorly, and Syrian rebels breaking into in the very western parts of Syria, where lives anyone who is anyone in the country, leaving the Assad government teetering on a knife’s edge both politically and militarily, and with developments regarding ISIS in the Eurasian “stans” becoming more problematic, Russia has understandably become concerned about Syria’s main export of Islamic radicalism and has taken matters into its own hands.
Reuters reported yesterday that some of the first rounds of airstrikes in what was purported to be the beginning of Russia’s own war against ISIS in Syria, the Russian Air Force hit mainly areas controlled by the Free Syrian Army, including a CIA (US) training facility.
All of these developments stir feelings of discomfort for some in the US, mainly Republicans who inherited the Reagan legacy of peace through strength. And in following in that tradition, John Kasich, a Republican presidential contender, has called for the creation of no-fly zones over certain parts of Syria.
On the surface, it sounds like a really great idea to create areas where the Russians can’t bomb US interests. But on deeper examination, it is more halfhearted than even Obama’s feeble attempts to defeat ISIS because if the US is unlikely to retaliate the bombing of our interests by the Russians, we are also unlikely to be in a position to enforce said no-fly zones.
I am not suggesting that we should be willing to start WW III over Syria. But the politicians also shouldn’t misrepresent the scope of control we have over the situation in the desire to not end up in that scenario either. The stark reality here is that whatever ability to control the situation we may have had has now dissipated. Our choices are few, including taking the backseat or leaving; and it’s a real shame that Kasich isn’t willing to admit it.
As a side note, the first thing that came to mind when I read the reports of Russia bombing the US-backed training camp for rebels in Syria was that perhaps we should consider responding in kind in Donetsk. After all, we would be supporting the legitimate government in Ukraine as Russia is claiming to be doing in Syria.
PS: The Obama Doctrine is a complete failure.