From Via Media: ‘Middle East In Flames: The Fruit Of White House Policy In Syria’

Full post here.

‘At the moment, mainstream media criticism of the President’s foreign policy mostly centers around the issues that bother the legalist left: too many drones, not enough closure at Guantanamo, too much persecution of reporters trying to ferret the President’s dark secrets out of his staff. What isn’t taking place, yet, is a process of examining the consequences of key administration moves in the Middle East.’

Joshua Landis’ blog here.

Al Jazeera live blog on Syria here.

Interesting paper here.

Addition: What’s going on in Turkey?  More here.  The region is roiling.

Adam Garfinkle makes it sound almost mercurial:

So why is the United States not intervening in Syria? Because our level of affinity with the victims is low, our aesthetic sense is not much ruffled, and our cycle-sensitivity is very high. We actually do have interests and principles both at stake in Syria, but they’re no match for the real reasons why America does or does not intervene abroad

From a while back: Full video here. (Zbigniew Brzezinski, David Ignatius, Jim Jones and Michael Mazarr respond to Mazarr’s new article “The Risk Of Ignoring Strategic Insolvency“) More discussion of the piece here.

Many Americans are contented enough at the moment with a move away back towards isolationism, away from Iraq and Afpak, and to regroup and align our interests with our budget (our military budget is being cut significantly, presumably to spend it inefficiently at home).

Now, we’re never going to fix that part of the world, but we want to be strategically well placed within it.  The Republican establishment isn’t looking too good on foreign policy, and the neo-con wave crested a while ago.  Personally, I have little faith that the current ideals guiding foreign policy, and the political commitments that come with them, can place us as well as we need to be placed.

Related On This SiteUpdate And Repost: Via Youtube-Uncommon Knowledge With Fouad Ajami And Charles Hill

A Few Thoughts On Foreign Policy-Adam Garfinkle At The American Interest: ‘Conservative Principles Of World Order’

Too late to act with the least risk and the most gain? Ralph Peters At The NY Post: ‘Too Late For Syria’

4 thoughts on “From Via Media: ‘Middle East In Flames: The Fruit Of White House Policy In Syria’

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  2. This narrow approach risks ignoring the legitimate interests and views of other global players and severely limits China’s potential to be a constructive force for global and regional security. One major challenge for the next generation of Chinese leaders will therefore be to move beyond this narrow US focus and to recalibrate Chinese foreign policy towards a truly multipolar approach to international security issues.

    • Colin, thanks for reading and commenting.

      Well, as an American, for me, American strategic interests come first. We may have had a window to work with the rebels earlier, but the longer these things go on, the worse they get. Arguably, we were the only people positioned to act and it was a very difficult proposition. We did use SpecOps and other channels, and Obama gave non military aid.

      Presumably, the Obama administration was deferring to international interests and institutions, and those interests proved largely incapable of any exerting any leverage in the matter.

      The Chinese, if you haven’t noticed, are very busy securing their own interests and trying to maintain domestic political order and economic growth. They are reasserting what many Chinese see as their natural role in Asia.

      If you mean Russia, then please tell them to stop propping up Assad and roiling Syria to protect their own interests in a paranoid style. The Russians have very bad demographics.

      If you mean the UN, well good luck with that. It can only go so far and is organizationally troubled.

      If you mean other Arab Muslim nations, they are getting sucked in as we speak, ruthlessly pursuing their own goals.

      If you mean the European Union, well, given their economic and demographic woes, we might be able to form the occasional alliance, but they free ride on our military, which is thinly stretched.

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