The Future of Putin’s Russia and the Syria Dilemma
What will the next president choose: war, diplomacy, or inaction?
Russia’s attempt to thwart U.S. actions and interests in Syria has been more effective and long-lasting than possibly anyone expected. And the Obama administration seems unwilling to employ a more forceful strategy to discourage the Russian president from backing Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad — leaving U.S. allies uneasy.
David Rothkopf, Kori Schake, and Rosa Brooks dig deep into the conversation on the current U.S. approach to managing Syria — from the peace talks to the not-so-subtle rise of Putin’s influence on this conflict. With a forward-looking glance, they turn over questions of whether the time for diplomacy has long passed or if it’s better to wait for a new administration to come into the White House with a different approach.
The panel debates why the United States is so reluctant to leave an ineffectual strategy behind. And how, after Crimea and the Baltics, is the United States still miscalculating Putin’s ability to turn what seems to be a strategically weak hand into an advantageous one? Have the United States and its allies limited themselves so much in the conduct of war, that they’ve lost the ability to win?
When it comes to the business of ousting dictators, perhaps there’s more middle ground than the debates suggest. The panel wonders whether world leaders should look to a more old-school playbook and consider a golden-parachute buyout instead.
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