Putin’s ability to act forcefully and purposively in Syria has nothing to do with his boldness and doesn’t mean he is more determined as compared to Obama; it’s just that his strategy is more transparent.
It’s uncertain who US is fighting for in this struggle. Well, it is clear that Washington is against Assad’s regime and against ISIL – the regime’s principal opponent, as twisted as it may sound. It is also against all those major groups combating for control over Damascus, except for some “moderate” opposition militants like the Syrian Kurds. This doesn’t at all help strategic coherence, WP noted.
“[US] is closely allied with the Iraqi government in its fight against militant Sunnis in that country. But it finds itself fighting on the same side of these militant Sunnis across the border in Syria as they battle the Assad regime,” the newspaper wrote.
However, the US will hardly achieve this goal. Believing in such outcome, WP wrote, would be excusable 15 years ago, but not now. Not after Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and Libya.
After all this experience such ideas belong to fantasy novels, not to foreign policy as it is obvious by now that Washington succeeds when it’s allied with a local force that is capable and viewed as legitimate, otherwise all the efforts can only do so much.
Up until now the West has been combining maximalist and uncompromising rhetoric with ineffective actions in Syria, and that only helps Putin look smart, the newspaper concluded.