War on the Rocks: “Russia Is in Charge in Syria: How Moscow Took Control of the Battlefield and Negotiating Table”

New from me at War on the Rocks:

Russia has leveraged its September 2015 military intervention on behalf of the Assad regime to establish itself as the central military actor in Syria’s war. Russia has, in turn, used its military primacy to oblige others — including the United States — to treat it as the gatekeeper to a negotiated solution to the conflict.

But Russia is now invested heavily in a political process that, thanks to uncooperative Syrians on all sides of the war, seems unlikely to pan out, leaving Moscow to grapple with how to deliver “success” in Syria. Unless America is willing to risk a dangerous and unpredictable confrontation with Russia, the course of Syria’s war hinges on what Russia does next.

Russia is in Charge in Syria: How Moscow Took Control of the Battlefield and Negotiating Table

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One Response to War on the Rocks: “Russia Is in Charge in Syria: How Moscow Took Control of the Battlefield and Negotiating Table”

  1. RS says:

    Generally agreed re: analysis of Russia’s military and diplomatic centrality to the conflict now. However, I think the way to pressure Russia in Syria is to escalate U.S. support for Kiev in Ukraine.

    Not hard to imagine Hillary Clinton, the biggest hawk in the Democratic Party, responding positively to a Syria-style request from Kiev for U.S. air support against rebel terrorists operating in the east of their country plus lethal weapons shipments shortly after being sworn into office as president in early 2017. Faced with a choice between defending his allies in Ukraine and in Syria, guess which one Putin is more likely to prioritize?

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