The U.S. and Russia have failed to come to a peace talk date to diplomatically solve the crisis in Syria. The main point of contention is the role Iran will play in those talks. Moscow insists Iran ought to be invited and, for now, the U.S. remains opposed to this.
American ally Saudi Arabia is very concerned the U.S. is rushing into a diplomatic solution at all costs, even one that leaves Assad in power. This would leave in place an Iranian key ally and a situation much worse for peace and stability in the region. On this point, Riyadh’s concerns are well founded.
The President’s disastrous handling of the Syrian conflict has led to a giant net loss for American security that could have long-term devastating consequences.
President Obama failed to help the moderate opposition at the outbreak of the war, was unable or unwilling to garner diplomatic support to isolate Assad when the war first broke out, and was incapable of persuading Congress and the broader American public that he knew what he was doing as commander in chief.
Now, Russia has gained influence in the region where the U.S. has lost it. Russia has propped up Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, continues to block U.N. resolutions to slow down Iran’s nuclear program, continues to aid in its nuclear program, and staunchly opposes American security measures such as missile defense. It is doubtful that the Administration had kowtowing to Moscow in mind when it said it would “reset” relations with Russia.
Moreover, Assad—the man President Obama has repeatedly said must step down from power—is now more powerful than he was when Obama was preparing to attack. And Iran will likely keep its Shia ally, creating a more dangerous region for U.S. allies such as Israel and Saudi Arabia.
As for chemical weapons, some of them may be removed. But there’s no reason to believe that Assad will volunteer information regarding his most sensitive and strategically significant weapons.
The near-term outcome is beginning to become more predictable as the days go by, but what is not predictable are the effects of the Obama Administration’s disastrous Middle East policies.