Putin and the Syrian Quagmire

The mantra of the hawks on the right is that Barack Obama waited too long before going into Syria, that we should have put boots on the ground when ISIS began to flourish. It is hard to believe that anyone would consider another protracted engagement against an insurgency in the Middle East. The lesson of Iraq is lost on those who feel we simply left too early. That is a flawed argument, but one the hawks insist on defending.

The history of occupying armies in the Middle East tells us all we need to know. Ask the British. Vladimir Putin’s foray in the region is also being presented as a failure of leadership by the Obama administration. We are weak, and Putin is taking advantage of our weakness. It may be that this failure is Russia’s.
Let Russia into the Syrian conflict. In fact, encourage them. It has been almost two decades since the debacle in Afghanistan, and Vlad is just the type of peacock to march into another failed attempt at nation building. His ego is bigger than his understanding of history. He believes that he is invincible. So has everyone else who has forayed into this region.
If Putin succeeds, we are back to square one. Assad, the chin-less monster of the middle east, will forever remain a pariah to everyone there. The country is a basket case, thanks to his leadership. It will take generations to rebuild the country.
The problem is what happens if Putin fails, as he most surely will. ISIS can either fall apart, as most terrorists groups eventually do, or become a Sunni movement that spreads across the region. That is not likely, considering the damage they have caused to the people, and the resources around them. The movement has lost a lot of its luster. It is being seen for what it is; a collection of mad men bent on destroying the world.
Let Putin be Putin. All that macho bravado is sure to lead him into a ditch.

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