Following the failed US effort to change the balance of power in the ongoing brutal civil war in Syria, training so-called ‘moderate’ anti-governmental rebels, the presence of Russia in the region is essential in stabilizing the situation and bringing the conflict closer to its end, geopolitical analyst Eric Draitser told Radio Sputnik.
The US needs to change its “incredibly hollow, utterly weak and discredited” policy towards the Syrian conflict, Draitser said in an exclusive interview.
“US-NATO programs to train moderate rebels are utterly ineffective. Essentially they’re putting arms, weapons and financing into the hands of people they don’t even know, trust or are able to actually do what they say they’re doing.”
American authorities have created imaginary boundaries, differentiating militants between the al-Nusra Front, ISIL and the so-called Syrian “freedom” army. But those lines are in fact “very blurry.” Armed opposition is not the kind of opposition the legitimate leader of the country Bashar al-Assad should talk to, Draitser expressed.
There are numerous shining examples of US’ political flaws in the region. One of them is relations between John McCain and military leader Abdelhakim Belhadj, who was hailed as hero during the Libyan civil war in 2011, but later became the leading figure of the country’s ISIL subdivision.
Eric Draitser pointed out that to change the strategic calculus in Syria both on the battlefield and in negotiating an end, Russia’s assistance is sorely needed now. The examples of Iraq and Libya showcase what chaotic situations US policy can lead to.
“Russian military cooperation in order to fight against ISIL and in order to prevent the collapse of the Syrian state is a game-changer now. Because what Russia is now doing is essentially and saying that there will be no collapse of the Syrian state, as we saw in Iraq in 2003.”
Russia’s position towards war rests on a theory that there is no military solution to the conflict. There is only political solution, excluding talking to “terrorist elements” like al-Nusra Front and al-Qaeda fighters. All conflicting sides have to gather at the negotiating table to resolve the crisis.
“Russians now come in and provide diplomatic and political cover in terms of international diplomacy military cooperation. This undeniably will have a stabilizing effect on a war in Syria,” Draitser explained.
Draitser concluded that the US isn’t capable of changing the nature of the conflict militarily, and there is certain to need a counter-balance in Syria, which can only be provided by Russia.