In tonight’s episode of Power Struggle: Barack v. Vladimir …
… the United States officially severs ties with Russia in Syria.
But we saw this coming.
While the United States and Russia have long been divided in who they support on the ground in Syria, they recently united over the call for a ceasefire. The agreement entailed Russia doing its due diligence to keep its pro-Regime friends from escalating violence (particularly against the American-backed rebels) in exchange for cooperation in strategizing against the Islamic State and al Nusra.
Almost inevitably, the ceasefire failed amidst Russian refusal to end its dual bombing and shelling effort with pro-Assad armies in the rebel-held eastern area of Aleppo. While the ceasefire was a low-hanging fruit to begin with, saying that Russia simply failed to uphold their brokered terms of the agreement would be an understatement. The attacks have been targeting civilian infrastructure like hospitals, not only killing civilians but also crippling much of whatever infrastructure remained, rendering the majority completely inoperable. As if that wasn’t bad enough, urgent humanitarian aid was also blocked from entering a besieged Aleppo.
Perhaps this will motivate the United States to strategically reposition itself in the region by finally utilizing force more than five years into the conflict. While we’d be here for hours if I completely opened up the “why the hell hasn’t America done anything in Syria?” can (let alone the United Nations ‘can’ of the same category), allow me to simply peel the lid back so you can get a whiff: negotiating sustainable peace is difficult without threatening the use of force. So if America refuses to use or threaten to use force, then it won’t be the champion behind making any meaningful strides away from the status quo. Putin’s camp definitely got the memo.
You know things have gotten especially out of hand when even John Kerry says, “I’ve argued for the use of force. I’m the guy who stood up and announced that we’re going to attack Assad for the use of [biological] weapons.”
To be continued.