(The Federalist) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin is well on the way to securing what had been western Syria for whatever dependent Putin might choose. He has been supporting Syrian President Bashar al Assad’s Alewite forces with fighter-bombers and the Iranian and various Shia militias he recruited and supplied. In the coming months, Putin is likely to consummate his position as arbiter of the Levant—defining the borders of its Kurdistan, Sunni-stan, and Shia-stan, as well as the roles of counties in the region, while excluding Americans.
He is doing this by adhering to elements of political-military success that his American rivals forgot or never learned, incidentally offering us something of a refresher course in these matters.
The simplicity of Russia’s strategy and coherence of the political and military measures Russia is using to pursue it contrast with the diffuse and outright self-contradictory nature of U.S. policy and political-military operations. That contrast will become increasingly clear during the next six months or so.
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