OPINION – Recent airstrikes carried out by Russians in Syria against ISIS militants have been criticized by the U.S., which claimed that these strikes appeared not to target loyalists who want to ensure that Bashar al-Assad’s government does not fall. Washington also blames Russia for strategically carrying out airstrikes to all those elements that are against the current Syrian regime.
On the other hand, the Russian Foreign Minister has rejected the criticism of the U.S. and said, “The targets were military and communication equipment belonging to the terrorists of Isis.” However, the White House has not agreed with this statement and believes that all this has been done intentionally because in a recent meeting between Putin and Obama after a UN session, the Russian supremo clearly stated his support for Assad and called him a war hero. On the other hand, the White House believes that eliminating ISIS in not possible under Assad’s regime in the region.
Different foreign policy agenda
Therefore, the prime objective for the U.S. is not only to eliminate terrorist elements from the region but also to bring down the nearly 50-year long Assad regime and introduce democracy in the war-torn land. This particular point is where both sides seem to agree to disagree as the issue drags on.
It seems like once again the superpowers are set on a quest for dominance over the other, which brings back fresh memories from the Cold War. Measures taken by both sides to bring calm and order in Syria are totally different, and this difference is perhaps the reason these tensions will reach a boiling point where the end result could be Cold War Version 2.0.
Though in a recent meeting John Kerry, the U.S. Secretary of State and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced, “They are launching a new diplomatic initiative in the search for a political solution in Syria, perhaps meeting as soon as Thursday to discuss deconfliction.”
Moreover, the Pentagon believes Putin is repeating the same old methodology of dominance and feels that the former KGB agent’s intentions in the Middle East are clear.
Weak administration resulting in weak foreign policy
However, Texas senator Ted Cruz considers this act to be their own weakness by stating that the country’s current president is not giving allies a lot of confidence by his actions.
“Unfortunately what we are seeing is our friends and allies are getting the message President Obama is not a reliable ally and our enemies are learning America can be trifled with and Putin is far more dangerous,” he said
Furthermore, Cruz does not see America moving on the same page with Moscow, as according to him, Putin’s objective in Middle East is not just to eliminate terrorism. He appears to have some other plans too – given the fact that he is targeting U.S.-backed incumbents who are fighting against Assad’s regime.
On the other hand, Iran is a vocal supporter of Bashar al-Assad, and that is also one of the reasons the U.S. does not want to see Assad in the picture anymore. Theis series of small incidents and difference in state opinions are creating a really chaotic situation in which the end result is bound to be a grim one, to say the least.
According to Cruz, the aforementioned scenarios have taken place due to the weak foreign policy of the Obama administration and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is running in the next presidential election. Cruz believes that it is the U.S.’s mistake because Washington has allowed space to others so that they can come in and exploit all the weaknesses that are visible in the structure. Moreover, Cruz believes that Vladimir Putin does not respect Obama and considers him a weak person incapable of enforcing decisions like his predecessors.
U.S. at fault for Iraq-Syria crisis
Iraq is going through turbulent times after being given “freedom,” while Syria is already in turmoil, and freedom is a word that cannot be described for the Syrians for a long time. The instability in the region has allowed the breeding of militant groups which are getting stronger by the day. Indeed, who would have imagined a terrorist organization owning a state while boasting cash reserves of more than $2 billion?
Surely it was a very poor strategy laid out by the U.S. which resulted in this tragedy. It has given Russia an incentive to enter a region it had been eyeing for such a long time. For anyone who can see things for what they are, Putin is on a mission to take Russia back to its glory days and is more or less keeping in line with the policy of annexation to increase influence.
However, one cannot reach a single conclusion right now, as all the stakeholders have only recently made their moves, but if America intends to have the right to say “checkmate,” it really needs to come up with a better solution and a stronger policy on the Middle East that can counter Russian antics in the region.
Historically, the Russians have never been successful in the Middle East, but now it seems like they are on the verge of changing history after learning their lessons the hard way. It’s high time for America to do the same.