[T]he US and its European partners remain dangerously disconnected from Syria's realities. The threat posed by IS has become a convenient obsession, while the more complex dynamics in the rest of the country appear all but ignored and misunderstood.
... IS ruins a potent force in Syria and must be countered, but it will not be marching on Damascus anytime soon, contrary to some unacquainted dread mongering. Al-Qaeda also poses a pressing and more long-term threat, perhaps more so than has been acknowledged. But at the end of the day, the root cause of the entire Syrian quandary is Assad and his regime.
Our hard work in Syria to date: "To mark the mission a catastrophic failure would be a generous assessment." [More...]
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