Obama is puzzled by Putin’s clear Syria scheme


obama PutinOnce again, President Obama and his foreign policy team are stumped. Why is Vladimir Putin pouring troops and weaponry into Syria? After all, as Secretary of State John Kerry has thrice told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, it is only making things worse.

But worse for whom? For the additional thousands of civilians who will die or flee as a result of the inevitably intensified fighting. True, and I’m sure Lavrov is as moved by their plight as by the 8,000 killed in Russia’s splendid little Ukrainian adventure.

Kerry and Obama are serially surprised because they cannot fathom the hard men in the Kremlin. Yet Putin’s objectives in Syria are blindingly obvious:

1. To assert Russia’s influence in the Middle East and make it the dominant outside power.

2. To sustain Russia’s major and long-standing Arab ally. Ever since Anwar Sadat kicked the Soviets out of Egypt in 1972, Syria’s Assads have been Russia’s principal asset in the Middle East.

3. To expand the reach of Russia’s own military. It has a naval base at Tartus, its only such outside of Russia. It has an airfield near Latakia, now being expanded with an infusion of battle tanks, armored personnel carriers, howitzers and housing for 1,500 — strongly suggesting ground forces to follow.

4. To push out the Americans. For Putin, geopolitics is a zero-sum game: Russia up, America down. He is demonstrating whom you can rely on in this very tough neighborhood.

5. To re-legitimize post-Crimea Russia by making it indispensable in Syria. It’s a neat two-cushion shot.

At the U.N. next week, Putin will offer Russia as a core member of a new anti-Islamic State coalition. Obama’s Potemkin war — with its phantom local troops (our $500 million training program has yielded five fighters so far) and flaccid air campaign — is flailing badly. What Putin is proposing is that Russia, Iran and Hezbollah spearhead the anti-jihadist fight.

Putin’s offer is clear: Stop fighting Assad, accept Russia as a major player, and acquiesce to a Russia-Iran-Hezbollah regional hegemony — and we will lead the drive against the Islamic State from in front.

And there is a bonus. The cleverest part of the Putin gambit is its unstated cure for Europe’s refugee crisis.

Wracked by guilt and fear, the Europeans have no idea what to do. Putin offers a way out: No war, no refugees. Stop the Syrian civil war and not only do they stop flooding into Europe, those already there go back home to Syria.

You almost have to admire the cynicism. After all, what’s driving the refugees is the war and what’s driving the war is Iran and Russia. They provide the materiel, the funds and now, increasingly, the troops that fuel the fighting. The arsonist plays fireman.

After all, most of the refugees are not fleeing the Islamic State.

Its depravity is more ostentatious, but it is mostly visited upon minorities, Christian and Yazidi — and they have already been largely ethnically cleansed from Islamic State territory. The European detention camps are overflowing with Syrians fleeing Assad’s barbarism, especially his attacks on civilians, using artillery, chlorine gas and nail-filled barrel bombs.

If we acquiesce, Russia becomes an indispensable partner. It begins military and diplomatic coordination with us. Its post-Ukraine isolation is lifted and, with Iran, it becomes the regional arbiter.

In the end, the Putin strategy may not work, but it’s deadly serious. The White House can stop scratching its collective head whenever another Condor transport unloads its tanks and marines at Latakia.

Carlsbad Current-Argus Opinion



15 responses to “Obama is puzzled by Putin’s clear Syria scheme”

  1. MekensehParty Avatar

    Now the Russians are throwing blood (and Russian blood there will be) after they spent billions on weapons to fight who? The enemies of the US…
    Get over “Obama” already, or better go fight for Putin defending a fishing dock and a makeshift airport as his super base in the ME.
    Funny article

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar

      I’d assume a Hawaiian would have enough trouble figuring out a ‘Mid-East’ mind.
      The Russian one, NO-BODY can figure out. ;-))

      1. MekensehParty Avatar

        I’m sure the intelligence has extensive reports on the Russky bear
        Russia, like China should be in an era of strengthening the inside, not blowing resources on foreign adventures. Oh well, History will tell if bullish behavior was a good or bad call

      2. “BUT, The Russian one, NO-BODY can figure out. ;-)”

        That’s the white supremacy I talk about. West supremacy is more apt

  2. Patience2 Avatar

    The fact that POTUS is ‘stumped’ is clear evidence as to how desperately the USA needs a new president.

    1. MekensehParty Avatar

      please patience, support your argument that he is stumped with facts not empty words.
      The Syrian swamp has ALL of America’s enemies (or fake allies) fighting each other’s for the next 10 years at least while the US is watching and controlling the situation from the skies. Please look at the big picture and show me how what is happening is in any way bad for the USA

      1. “The evidence is staring you in the eyes”!

      2. “the US is watching and controlling the situation from the skies.”

        Don’t you look even more like a fool now!
        That’s what you get for having a inferiority complex

      3. Anti ISIS Avatar

        What’s funny is you actually beleive that shit. The US is Russia’s little bitch. Obama looks so good on his knees.

        1. MekensehParty Avatar

          Remember how you drank tiger milk when Hezbollah went to the rescue of Assad? And then your cousins started returning in body bags. You shrank and disappeared only to return when the Iranians started sending troops to rescue Assad, and again you felt aroused and you started throwing threats and talking shit as if victory is at hand and when your masters started returning in body bags to Tehran and Isfahan you tuck your tail and disappeared again. And then your masters ran to Russia begging for help and the Russians started pouring airplanes and troops and again you’re feeling like a man with a Russian dick that you wish a black man will suck but in reality you’re still in the same place and the balls the Russians gave you allowed you to recapture a couple of Syrian villages that you’ll eventually loose again while your cousins, masters and the Russians return in body bags…
          Body bags, body bags on sale! Visit our shops in Latakia, dahyeh, Tehran and Moscow: don’t send your kids to Syria without their body bags!

    1. I bet those 6 were Jewish 😛

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar

      How the HELL would they know they are CUBANS?? Could be some refugees sent back from Spain – who acquired the ‘flavour’ … Ole !!
      (did FOX ever talk to a Cuban before this? ;-))

      1. Havana refutes US Media reports on Cuban troops in Syria http://sana.sy/en/?p=58110

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