December 11, 2015


Putin's Quagmire in Syria Proves Obama Prescient (Ilya Arkhipov &  Henry Meyer, December 10, 2015, Bloomberg View)

U.S. President Barack Obama, facing criticism at home over his Islamic State strategy, is turning out to be right with his prediction that Vladimir Putin's own campaign in Syria will descend into a quagmire.

Many senior officials in Moscow underestimated how long the operation in support of Bashar al-Assad would take when Putin entered Syria's civil war on Sept. 30 and no longer talk in terms of just a few months, with one saying the hope now is that it won't last several years.

With the mission in its third month, Putin is pouring materiel and manpower into Syria at a pace unanticipated by lawmakers already struggling to meet his spending goals. The plunging price of oil is sapping revenue and prolonging Russia's first recession in six years, prompting the Defense Ministry this week to postpone some new weapons programs. 

Every once in a while a president stumbles into a policy that is simply genius--whether he has anything to do with it or not--encouraging Putin's suicide attack was one such instance.  And we haven't even gotten to the point where it boils down to just Putin vs ISIS yet.  

Posted by at December 11, 2015 9:02 AM