For well over a year ISIS seem to have been able to act with impunity, selling oil to finance their war, fighting with the kind of hardware that Al Qaeda could only dream of, taking city after city; all while the US seemed ‘unable’ to stop their progress or intervene.
ISIS were being ‘sold’ to us as monsters worse even than Al Qaeda, so why was no-one willing to do anything effective?
Well, actually, someone was able to do something, and that someone turned out to be Russian President, Vladamir Putin.
In a few weeks his forces have done more to undermine ISIS than the US and its allies have done in over a year.
Now, with Russians looking ever more likely to succeed, and demanding that Bashar al-Assad remain in power, suddenly Obama wants to send troops to Syria.
It is blatantly obvious that ISIS has actually been carrying out the objectives of the United States — to undermine al-Assad.
Once this had been achieved, I have no doubt it would be dealt with swiftly and effectively by the US, probably even paid to go into retirement. Anyone who doubts this should be aware there is a historical precedent: the CIA armed and trained the Islamic Muhajideen (which later developed into Al Queda) to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan.
But now Putin has his forces in the region and the rules of the game have changed.
Does anyone seriously believe that the few dozen US special forces Obama plans to send to Syria could defeat ISIS all on their own?
They’re good, but they’re not that good.
What they will accomplish though is limiting Russian military action, because wherever they are, Russian airstrikes and attacks will have to proceed with caution for fear of hitting US soliders and causing a ‘diplomatic incident’.
One cannot help but wonder if the special forces will be in Syria to protect ISIS rather than defeat it.
It’s a dangerous game of brinkmanship that’s being played out there, one that could well end up affecting us all.