Thursday, August 28, 2014

Obama's Syrian ISIS Dilemma

The U.S. is faced with a serious quandary when it comes to dealing with the militant organization  ISIS in Syria.

The U.S. would rather not align itself with the Assad regime in any form or fashion, however  the ISIS problem is forcing the U.S. to at least suck up a little to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

After years of pushing rebels in general as an alternative to the Assad government, the Obama Administration has  done an about face on the situation in Syria.  They are  now working with Syria to reel in ISIS. Yes,  the US has  taken to sharing intelligence with the Assad government on targets, which is quite a turn when less than a year ago they were pushing hard to invade Syria to oust Assad. [SOURCE]

With talks of US military intervention in Syria gaining momentum, the U.S.  reluctantly  has to have Assad on board. This allows  the U.S.  to claim to be operating “at the request” of an ally, even if it’s an enemy-turned-ally for the sake of war.

The decision to align forces with Assad could have unintended consequences. If together the U.S.  and  Assad forces take down ISIS, there will still remain the sticky problem of Assad himself. At that point what is the U.S. going to do? Are they going to turn to the Syrian rebels and say "Okay now let's get back to overthrowing Assad".

The Syrian opposition is completely dominated by Islamic extremists, a fact which nobody seriously contests.  Obama would like to create a whole new "moderate" fighting force out of his armpit, powerful enough to tackle both the Syrian government and the Islamic State.

It’s a slippery slope the Obama Administration is faced with albeit  in keeping with the long-standing U.S. policy of arming the rebels enough to keep them from being overrun without ousting Assad outright.

Then here is a strategic idea that may not be as preposterous as it sounds. What about bombing everybody except  the rebels? That would accomplish the intended consequence hoped for a year ago.  Assad and ISIS would be out of the picture and the rebels left to rebuild and form a new government.

The immediate US goal of wiping out ISIS  presents the opportunity to Assad to become more powerful than before. If that does in fact come to fruition the U.S. involvement in Syria can be for a long time.

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