The Syrian situation is not remaining stable. Vacuums are always filled. Without the U.S. presence, our adversaries are consolidating and expanding their influence.
Iran has stepped up its supplies of technology, equipment and personnel to the Syrian government, and Lebanon-based Hezbollah — an Iranian and Syrian client — has started sending legions of fighters to the government side.
But no outside force has been as consistent in its involvement in Syria as Russia. Moscow has served as the primary arms supplier to the government of President Bashar al-Assad, as it did for the predecessor government run by his father.
Moreover, “Syria has received its first shipment of long-range S-300 air defense missiles from Russia, President Bashar al-Assad was quoted as saying Thursday, raising the specter of further Israeli intervention in the two-year conflict.”
Couple that with evidence of increased action by Iranian surrogate group Hezbollah on behalf of Syria and you have an Iranian/Syrian/Russian alliance controlling events while the United States sits on the sidelines trying to think up excuses not to intervene.
The president is not “ending” wars; he is ignoring them or accepting a de facto defeat of U.S. interests. In doing so he is signaling to Iran and its allies that their aggression will not be opposed. He is confirming that the U.S. president’s words (“unacceptable,” “red line”) have no real meaning. And he is telling Sunni monarchs and autocrats that they had best look after their own interests. From the dominant power in the region to the least effective, the United States under President Obama has lost sway in a critical region. We and our allies will be very much the worse for it.