April 24, 2018
The military operation launched by the United States, France and Britain against Syria has achieved little to no gains unlike what was promoted by the United States and the West. The message that the United States and its allies intended to send to Syria was so weak that leaders in Washington, Paris and London had better spend money on their countries’ infrastructure or poverty issues. Perhaps the entire scene reflects what many now realize: America does not really have a Syrian strategy.
Is the Syrian conflict beyond the capacity of American officials and analysts, and their inability to have an edge since the outbreak of the crisis? This requires an understanding of a broader and yet unresolved debate about the role of the United States in the region and the world.
The understanding within the US political community, including US officials, analysts in Washington, opinion writers, and journalists around Syria for the past seven years, is generally below standard, unknown or incomprehensible in regards US interests and foreign policy that must be adopted.
At this historic moment, USA are still not sure what they want or do not know what is important for them, but they are bound to make consensus decisions. Some go so far as to say that Americans are no longer sure whether their interests are still possible or realistic given the high cost - morally and financially - with the emergence of new forces competing for global leadership.
The evolution of the Syrian crisis from a staged violent uprising into a global war has generated an astonishing level of complexity that makes it difficult for one to ascertain who is fighting who. This kind of contradiction is not unique to Syria alone. The same problem is observed in US policy regarding Libya, Yemen, Iraq, Palestine and even Iran.
The interests of the United States are clear through its actions and resources. A brief list: free flow of oil from the Gulf, protecting the security of the “Israel”, ensuring that no state other than the United States controls the Middle East, preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and finally what Washington calls the fight against terrorism (which in fact translates into paving the road to an American invasion of the area). This has translated into policies and strategies such as countering the influence of the Soviet Union, containing Iran and Iraq in the past, embracing Saudi Arabia, and maintaining the qualitative military superiority of the “Israel”. This was the traditional US approach adopted by both parties in the Middle East, but it no longer seems possible or valid under the new realities.
Here, is no place for the Syrian-Syrian conflict! It is about the re-emergence of Russia as a power in the Middle East and Iranian and Turkish influence in the region, although Moscow's ambitions are wider than those of both. The "traditional" interests of the United States are no longer important and deserve all the cost associated with their protection - which means that they may no longer be the interests of the United States but remains the special interests of few, some call them the deep state, the Elites, the banking complex, the industrial complex, the hawks, the new conservatives, the liberals… but never the Americans.
US officials and politicians are still wrestling over the same question about Syria. The painful result, meanwhile, is what we see in Syria today… and what we will see in the USA tomorrow.