Andrew J. Tabler

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The Obama administration wants to reduce the violence and suffering in Syria and, at the same time, quash jihadist groups there. This is why the White House is now pushing a plan for the United States to cooperate with the Russian military in Syria, sharing intelligence and coordinating airstrikes against the Islamic State and the Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front. In return, Russia would force the government of Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, to stop using barrel bombs and air attacks in areas in which neither extremist group is present.

Wiping out terrorist groups in Syria is an important goal and, after years of death and destruction, any agreement among the country’s warring parties or their patrons may seem welcome.…  Seguir leyendo »

With the growth of the Islamic State have come voices for the United States and Western countries to engage with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The fact is, however, that a strategy for defeating the terrorist group is far more complex than cozying up to Assad.

Assad is held up as “the lesser of two evils” in Syria and now backed by the Russian military. American foreign policy pundits are rumored to be lining up appointments with Assad in Damascus to determine if he might be a partner in fighting terrorism. It’s natural when attempting to “degrade and eventually destroy” the Islamic State to invoke that most overused Middle East cliche: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”…  Seguir leyendo »