Presidential spokesperson Josh Earnest recently said that “Russia will not succeed in imposing a military solution” in Syria. He cited the Russian attempt in Afghanistan during the Jimmy Carter years and the American attempt in Iraq eight years ago. This is a childlike analysis. First of all, the American attempt in Iraq was actually working until President Obama basically “walked away” from Iraq without agreeing on a Status of Force Agreement. President Obama actually cited the relative tranquility in Iraq as a justification for the removal of American forces. However, if only a fraction of the American troops had remained, Iraq would have been given a much better chance at democracy and Iran surely would not have had an easy opportunity to dominate Iraq and virtually make it an Iranian satellite. Furthermore, “imposing a military solution” worked imposed a military solution on Nazi Germany, Japan, and Italy to end their horrible atrocities.
An even greater problem facing the Obama administration is the current loss of American credibility. After drawing the “Red Line” against Syria’s use of poison gas against its own citizens, he settled for a very weak compromise. Syria agreed to give up its poison gas. However, the recent use of poison gas by the Syrian armed forces showed the world the reluctance of America to back up its word.
Arthur Horn has worked in government for more than 40 years. He has a background in political science and economics. He is a frequent traveler to the Middle East and has worked with organizations focused on the political, social, and economic issues of that area.