Tuesday, August 30, 2016

confessing confusion

I don't understand what's happening in Syria, and I'm worried that American civilian and military officials don't either. The United States is supporting anti-ISIL forces in Syria that are now fighting each other. Well-sourced reporters at the Wall Street Journal say that the Turkish offensive "blindsided" U.S. officials and that the White House was slow to make decisions on the matter. Meanwhile, captured documents suggest that ISIL is crumbling.

 I suspect that America and some of its partners have a notional partition of Syria and Iraq for war-fighting purposes and they are trying to keep everybody in their assigned areas. But the Turks are a wild card. And in any event each faction has separate and often clashing goals. Instead of one team, one fight, it's many teams, many fights.

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