I haven’t published Syria Policy Review Part 3, because readers are preoccupied with the presidential election and domestic incidents of violence. Like you, I wish the problems of the rest of the world simply didn’t exist.
But a post from May, Isis Attacks Russian Base T4; The Kremlin’s Missing Musical Notes might now be worth another look. At that time, I wrote:
But with all that, the U.S. is too sane to give MANPADs to the Syrian opposition. Other regional powers, to whom the Russian presence is a more existential threat, could break the unspoken compact.ROKETSTAN, a Turkish company, manufactures Stingers under license.
The purpose of the citation is not to give myself a pat on the back. But if I foresaw this, any government with a competent foreign policy research arm, or bureau, as the Russians call it, should have had the same anticipation. And the lack should be viewed as a severe deficiency.
This blog has at least a few Russian readers of significance. My question to you, rhetorically, of course, is, what were you thinking? Have you ever heard the poker expression, “overplaying a hand?”
I also wrote,
American policy is not exempt from criticism. Failing to recognize that hope is inadequate justification for foreign policy, it lacks a prospect for the Russians to grasp. And with their musical limitations, the Russians are apparently unable to synthesize it themselves.
Those of us who deplore our relative lack of cunning compared to the Russians could enjoy a brief moment of schadenfreund, before we resume dolorous contemplation of U.S. policy, which seems almost instantaneously superseded by events.