The Obama Administration’s ‘Worst Case Scenario’ Is Happening In Syria – Yahoo Finance
REUTERS Jason Reed
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry wipes his face during an announcement by U.S. President Barack Obama to nominate Jeh Johnson for Secretary of Homeland Security in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington October 18, 2013.
The New York Times recently published a deep dive into the Obama administration’s policy in Syria, detailing a deeply conflicted cabinet and a disengaged president over the last two years. The result has been a hesitant strategy that has largely backfired.
The Times quotes a classified State Department briefing paper from June 10 that painted a grim picture of the rebellion as led by the West’s preferred rebel commander, Gen. Salim Idris of the Supreme Military Council (SMC) and the Free Syrian Army (FSA):
“We are headed toward our worst case scenario: rebel gains evaporating, the moderate opposition — including Salim Idriss — imploding, large ungoverned spaces, [Syrian President Bashar al-Assad] holding on indefinitely, neighbors endangered, and Iran, Hizbollah, and Iraqi militias taking root,” the paper concluded.
More than four months later, the U.S. has reached its definition of the worst case.
The overall war continues to be largely a military stalemate, but the FSA is losing ground and fighters to better-funded and better- e quipped jihadists. Even in the south, where the FSA has been dominant, there are signs that jihadists are increasingly leading the fight.