Friday, September 20, 2013

Nerd Analysis: Syria Fallout

Two professors of national security (backgrounds in history and political science) pen this analysis.  Note: they had diametrically opposed ideas about what should be done about Syria, but they agree that the Putin-Obama deal is a wreck: 
For nearly seven decades, American efforts in the Middle East have been based on a bipartisan consensus—one of the few to be found in U.S. foreign policy—aimed at limiting Moscow’s influence in that region. This is a core interest of American foreign policy: it reflects the strategic importance of the region to us and to our allies, as well as the historical reality Russia has continually sought clients there who would oppose both Western interests and ideals. In less than a week, an unguarded utterance by a U.S. Secretary of State has undone those efforts. Not only is Moscow now Washington’s peer in the Middle East, but the United States has effectively outsourced any further management of security problems in the region to Russian president Vladimir Putin.
UPDATE: OK, how about this negative feedback in the New York Times, no less?  Ouchie.  

1 comment:

Eric said...

I was going to point out that I commented about the Carter Doctrine a few posts back, but I realized that I can't take credit for pointing out long-standing US policy about countering Russian/Soviet influence in the Middle East because it's such a basic notion to anyone with a 20th-21st century history, poli sci, and/or IR background.

Obama defenders prefer to look at the episode myopically and congratulate Obama for settling on the best choice from a set of bad options. While that's debatable, the larger issue they purposely overlook is that Obama's bad choices, bungling, and fundamentally flawed premises got us to those bad options. I'd like to see more 'how did we reach this point' analyses that contextually implicate Obama's whole foreign policy in the Syria episode.