Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Obama's Syria Blink

How did we find ourselves where we are in Syria with the Russians back, the Iranians stronger, and the Turks playing Ottoman?

In a wide ranging interview with the short-lived former SECDEF Chuck Hagel at DefenseNews, he outlines a moment in time that simply has not been explored enough by the press - any of the press.

So much of the problems we have in the Middle East and North Africa can be traced right back to the simply wrong world view held by President Obama.

The cuddling up to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt during his apology tour. The bash-and-shrug in Libya. The premature withdrawal from Iraq. Pretty much everything with Iran. Do I need to go on?

I'll let this pull quote speak for itself.


Was it a mistake not to go into Syria with force and respond to the use of chemical weapons? 
Well, we were ready to do it, as you know. It was a decision made by the National Security Council, a unanimous decision. I strongly favored it. At the last minute the president decided not to do it. I think it was a mistake, I’ve said that. We wouldn’t have had to kill volumes and volumes of people — there was a way to do some things to Assad’s government. And that was the intent. That was the strategy. So it is what it is. Would that event have changed the course of things in Syria? I don’t know.

But also I would say [that] at the time, the Russians were not there. I think it sent a very clear message to the Russians, very clear. When the Russians saw [us not attacking Assad], that action, that was clear to them that we were not going to be players in Syria and we were not going to be involved. And what they did is they took a little naval base, which was nothing, in Latakia province, and used that to build up a huge air asset campaign, troops on the ground, intelligence, navy. And now they’ve got a significant set of sophisticated assets in Syria and now really hold the cards in Syria.

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