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Obama Enabling Russia’s Mideast Rise

September 25, 2013

In Monday’s National Interest, Brent Sasley argues that our view of America’s deal with Russia on Syria’s chemical weapons—insofar as it is a “deal” at all—is unnecessarily alarmist. “It’s not clear,” Professor Sasley writes, “that Russia [poses] a challenge to the United States in the Middle East.” He also claims that our “argument rests on a single case—Syria.” While we welcome Prof. Sasley to this debate, we obviously disagree, as we see a clear and long standing Russian challenge in the region that goes far beyond “one case.” We regard Prof. Sasley’s reading of the current situation as naively optimistic; worse, despite his descriptive listing of Soviet involvements in the region, we find his larger analysis of Moscow’s influence in the region to be remarkably ahistorical and crippled by a serious lack of understanding regarding Russian foreign policy, its inner workings, or its goals.

Prof. Sasley’s attempt to snatch victory from the jaws of the Obama administration’s defeat rests on a series of improbable guesses and bald assertions: that Putin didn’t outfox Kerry; that the Russian deal had been under consideration for some time before Lavrov seized it; that the use of force was never (and still is not) off the table. Indeed, Sasley tells us confidently, it was almost certainly President Obama’s putative show of force and a consequent danger of regime change that forced Moscow’s hand. Unfortunately, there is no evidence to support any of this; in fact, the events that actually took place point to the opposite conclusion, since the Kerry-Lavrov “deal” happened as theU.S. president’s threat of force was imploding into a domestic political morass back in the United States and the American position was crumbling into incoherence.

Read the rest at The National Interest

From → History, Strategy, USG

7 Comments
  1. bgamall permalink

    Actually, Russia poses a threat to the Yinon Plan. America has enough shale oil to last forever. We don’t need the middle east. Time for Israel to straighten up and time to stop this regime change which could lead to WW3 or 4. We are on to you neocons and friends.

    • You think I’m a neocon? HAHAHAHAHAHA

      • bgamall permalink

        You already said you weren’t, 20. I take you at your word. However, that is my opinion regarding the context of the article. I still believe your position until proven otherwise. :)

  2. Steve permalink

    Why do you argue Putin outfoxed the USA, when, as I understand it, the decisive factor was the ratio of calls to Capitol Hill, 100:1 fervently against another war in the Middle East?

    How can you blame Obama for not taking his country into a war it emphatically did not want?

    • It’s called “foreign policy.” I was pretty opposed to US intervention in Syria, read up.

    • bgamall permalink

      Steve, the neocons were not willing or able to pull off another false flag to dupe America into war in the middle east. But that does not mean they could not do so in the future.

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