Obama Indecision Contributed Greatly To Failed Syria Policy, Report Says
Obama’s Indecision Greatly Contributed To Failure Of American Policy In Syria
Politico’s Michael Weiss contends indecision by President Barack Obama contributed to the failure of the administration’s Syria policy, but is hardly the only reason.
“The president’s indecision played a major role in the [Free Syrian Army’s] eclipse. First, Obama deferred the decision on whether to wage punitive airstrikes to Congress. Then he sent high-ranking officials to Capitol Hill to sell this unloved policy of military intervention in a halfhearted and nothing-to-see-here manner, downplaying the effect that the mooted “unbelievably small” airstrikes, as Secretary of State John Kerry termed them, would have on the regime’s war-making ability. Finally, with the votes not forthcoming, the president scrapped the idea altogether in favor of an 11th-hour plan offered by Russian President Vladimir Putin to decommission Assad’s chemical stockpiles. From there, what remained of the FSA quickly disintegrated.”
After the US decided to throw its weight behind the policy of negotiating with Russia, the situation truly deteriorated and Weiss goes into extensive detail about the events that ensued.
“Almost comically, Washington has gone, in the last two and a half years, from demanding of an atomized but fairly moderate collection of Syrian rebels that they lower their expectations in exchange for a minimal level of badly needed material support to demanding of a well-organized group of hardline Islamist rebels that they lower their expectations in exchange for minimal levels of totally unnecessary support. To whom is this an intelligent or wise policy?,” he asks in conclusion.
Syrian Policy Now Driven By Desire To Salvage Reputation
Shashank Joshi writes that after vacillating on whether to support or not support rebel forces within Syria, US policy is now driven by a desire to save face and the reputation of the US and its allies.
“The US priority now is less to accelerate regime change than it is to salvage the West’s reputation in Syria and make a belated effort to weaken the jihadist forces which have done so well out of this protracted struggle,” he argues.
The senior fellow with the Royal Services United Institute notes the administration initially opposed arming the rebels, stating that it was concerned the arms would find their way into terrorists’ hands. But then it changed its mind.
“Why the shift in policy? First, the timing would indicate that the White House was waiting for last year’s presidential elections to conclude,” he adds.
Lack Of Political And Financial Support Limits Abilities Of UN Missions
With more United Nations missions engaged in African than ever, a lack of support from the international community in terms of political and financial backing has severely hampered their ability to achieve success, writes The Washington Post’s Sudarsan Raghavan.
“As of the end of November, more than 70 percent of the 98,267 U.N. peacekeepers deployed globally were in sub-Saharan Africa, according to J. Peter Pham, executive director of the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center. U.N. forces have often been limited by mandates that allow them to fight only in self-defense. Shortly before genocidal attacks erupted in Rwanda in 1994, for example, U.N. peacekeepers learned that arms were being imported illegally by an ethnic Hutu militia. But senior U.N. officials ordered the peacekeepers not to seize the weapons because it was beyond their mandate, their Canadian commander, Brig. Romeo Dallaire, later recounted in a book.”
China’s Involvement In Nuclear Programs Of Rogue States Growing
If a rogue state is pursuing nuclear capability, as is the case with Iran and Pakistan, you can be certain China’s hands are involved, Gordon Chang writes in The Tablet.
“So, Pakistan and North Korea have done Beijing’s bidding. Will Iran be tomorrow’s dagger for China? Whether or not the Chinese proliferate nuclear technology through the Iranians, there is one thing we know. ‘There is a circle of countries that want nuclear weapons,’ says Rick Fisher, a leading analyst of the Chinese military, ‘and in the center of that circle of evil is China.’
“Despite what Beijing would have us believe, China has not stopped playing “the proliferation card,” its most powerful tool for accomplishing its most important strategic objectives. And as much as we would like to think otherwise, the Chinese are willing to risk nuclear winter to get their way in the world. Today, they see the mullahs as a tool, so we should not be surprised that Beijing is arming them, even though they lead what could be the world’s most dangerous rogue regime,” Chang contends.