Israel’s Stiff Upper Lip

July 14 2014

Despite the unceasing attacks, Israelis have maintained their normal lives—thereby helping their leaders make more considered decisions. 

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Israeli society

A Plan for Cleaning Up President Obama’s Mess in Syria

Oct. 27 2016

Since the civil war in Syria began, writes Max Boot, Barack Obama has based his response on the belief that American military intervention “creates more problems than it solves” and on the fear of annoying Iran, which is deeply invested in preserving the Assad regime. The results have been disastrous:

If the U.S. continues to do little, the conflict will continue to spiral out of control, destroying more lives inside Syria and spewing conflict and instability far beyond its frontiers.

The policy that the Obama administration is pursuing—of bombing Islamic State (IS) and supporting Kurdish militias to fight it while engaging in on-and-off negotiations with Vladimir Putin and Bashar Assad—is a recipe for futility. Even if IS is defeated, other extremist groups such as the Syria Conquest Front [a/k/a Nusra Front, a subsidiary of al-Qaeda] will simply expand into the resulting vacuum as long as the civil war continues and large swathes of the Syrian countryside remain ungoverned. The only way to defeat the extremists is to end the civil war and create a moderate state, or possibly multiple states if the existing state can’t be reassembled, capable of effectively policing Syria’s territory.

The most credible path forward has been offered by Kenneth Pollack, a former CIA analyst and NSC staffer who now works at the Brookings Institution. . . . [He proposes that the U.S.] build a conventional Syrian military force in Turkey and Jordan that would receive at least a year of training in combined-arms warfare. . . .

Once this force reaches critical mass, it can surge out of its bases in Jordan and Turkey, and, with American air support and American advisers, begin to take back ground from both the pro-Assad and anti-Assad militias. If this army shows that it is capable of winning military victories and of bringing law and order to the territory under its control, it will see a flood of new recruits. It can then grow to become the most potent military force in Syria—one that eventually will be capable of threatening the other factions with defeat and thus compelling them to reach a settlement.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Barack Obama, ISIS, Politics & Current Affairs, Syrian civil war, U.S. Foreign policy