Home | About | Donate

Behind the Real US Strategic Blunder in Syria


Behind the Real US Strategic Blunder in Syria

Gareth Porter

President Barack Obama has long been under fire from the US national security elite and the media for failing to intervene aggressively against the Assad regime.

But the real strategic blunder was not that Barack Obama didn’t launch yet another war in Syria, but that he decided to go along with the ambitions of America's Sunni allies to create and arm a Syrian opposition army to overthrow the regime in the first place.


The Logic of Empire. The only way to protect the empire's existing possessions is to expand.


$668 billion dollars of taxpayer money, way over half of our annual discretionary budget, will be spent on the military this fiscal year (that is what our government admits to but is actually much higher according to experts). Why do we citizens stand for this?


Thank you, Captain Obvious.

All military 'interventions' in all nations always produce negative consequences of some kind and always produce unintended consequences.

Expressed as a question it goes like this:

Of all the so-called military 'interventions' since 2001, how many produced outcomes of which we are proud? How many of these nations are now tourist destinations?

When Osama Bin Laden was killed, were there tickertape parades? Were sailors kissing nurses in Times Square?

And why is it that after a so-called military 'intervention,' there is no national debriefing...no analysis? No discussion of the goals vs. outcomes, no assessment of the success or failure.

Because the Pentagon is the one institution which can never be criticized, and which is always beyond the reach of accountability.

If this was another nation, US journalists would say we were a military dictatorship.


Am I a fool or hopeless dreamer, but could Obama have dragged his feet about arming Syrian rebels (and the jihadists who were beginning to dominate this motley crew) because of the non-interference tenets of the United Nations the US had signed onto 65 or so years ago? I know we've acted against those tenets since the day we signed that agreement, but surely somewhere there's a world leader who remembers at least a scintilla of the International law that the United Nations stands for. It seems to me that Vladimir Putin has abided by UN tenets this Century. I had hoped that President Obama might have had some glimmerings of that integrity.


The author highlights strategic realities very clearly, but seems curiously value-free about Assad's regime. What does he think Obama should have done? Just watched as Assad re-asserted control? That's what it seems like. Just never stated.


(President's name)'s advisers “didn’t have a clue” about (country).

Mr Porter. Fill in whatever names you like to explain USAian foreign policy since 1945.

Had the USA and USSR.Russia cooperated instead wasting money on pointless military interventions and building ridiculous weapons and maintaining large military forces we could have been on Mars by now.


History will look at Obama's "blunder" in Syria as his most outstanding strategic achievement, because:
1. He enabled the military victory of Assad over the islamist sunny intervention militias backed and financed by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Israel and the USA.
2. He guaranteed Assad's support by his neighbors Iran and Russia who are the only foreign forces legitimately on Syrian territory.
3. Assad's victory will liberate the cities occupied by terrorists where people are kept as hostages. Thus, not only sunnies but people of all creeds will be able to live in Syria, as had been the case before the foreign intervention started. Women can again walk the streets without niqqab and burka and girls can go to public schools.
4. This has established a shiite counterbalance against the ever growing sunnite expansionism as well as against the military dominance of Israel.
5. Russian engagement will hopefully give the curdish people in the region a chance against the turkish oppression within Turkey and beyond its borders.
6. Also christian and alewite denominations may find a future survival in areas they had been living for thousand years.
7. The Russian success in Syria gives Putin new confirmation that Russia needs to play a role as international super power, counterbalancing US hegemony. This will save the world from a Pax Americana nightmare. Future US political refugees will continue to find political asylum in Russia.
8. There may be a chance for Syrian refugees in Europe to return to their liberated home country.

So, after all Obama's blunder was good for quite something.


"In August 2011, national security officials began urging Obama to call on Assad to step down, according to the former official. "
I suppose because poor little USA was in dire danger of being invaded by Syria. Kerry the hero supported such behavior. National security is paramount, and now it has all turned out so well for everyone.


Why do the authors persist in continuously referring to the duly elected and popular Assad government as "the Assad regime"? The same MSM lies and bias we have been fed percolate into Common Dreams as well. Some 90% of Syrians support him, the other 10% are indifferent. All those masses of people celebrating in the streets of Allepo, with Syrian flags, pictures of Assad, Putin. We have so much been lied to by the MSM, they should all be arrested.


" Why do we citizens stand for this? Because America is a military dictatorship; pretending to be a democracy. The average American citizen has no political power over the military and its protection of the vested interests of the U.S., world wide, Empire and its war profiteers.
Cicero: "democracy is participation in power". The average American citizen has absolutely no participation in the budget or power of it's military's offensive wars; from Vietnam to Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria and many more to come.


Thanks for taking the time to reply. Both of our frustrations are quite obvious. We, as a word, encompasses a large number of people. I use it to describe our country; and, I can not understand how any collective of people with normal human emotions can can sit by while another, much smaller, group assumes power and uses it in cruel ways to keep that power. History has proven time and time again that this type of psychotic, human run government does not last. Why, historically, so many of us allow and fund our own fragile sense of security on top of the ruin and destruction of millions of others of our fellow humans is a type of insanity in its own state. We are again and failed people in a failed state grasping, gasping on top of the precipice of destruction. Democracy does not work when people choose not to be the stabilizing part of it. This is our country, our reputation and our impending destruction we are allowing.