Those who are following Barack Obama and his policies closely have been unable to make sense of them for a long time. He is now saying that there is no military solution to the conflict in Syria — while requesting the first significant military assistance for those Syrian rebels who, as far as Washington is concerned, are “moderate,” whatever that may mean.
It remains unknown why Obama, who gives the impression of being fairly amateur when it comes to foreign policy, wants to directly and firmly involve himself in this crisis after years of simply looking on because of his pessimism. It is presumably not a very bright, knee-jerk reaction to the strengthening of the internationally active ISIL — and at the same time an indirect warning signal for Tehran, which has already begun taking the fight against the Sunni extremists into its own hands.
The planned support for some of the insurgency will not help the American president get any closer to his professed goal — a change of regime in Syria. Heavy weaponry, which can also be employed against Assad’s air force, will not foreseeably be on the list of supplies anymore.
The overall defining moment came after the Syrian government’s poison gas attack, when Obama called off a military strike that Kerry had already announced and gambled away his credibility at the same time.
Additionally, Bashar al-Assad is sitting even more firmly in the saddle after his victory in the most recent “elections” — and he is still enjoying having Russian President Vladimir Putin watching his back. And after the most recent developments in Ukraine, he will not miss a chance to show the West, and above all Obama, who really determines the magnitude of the fire in this smoldering battlefield.