At Arc Digital Nicholas Grossman does a pretty fair deconstruction of the wars in Syria. There isn’t just one. There are five:
- Assad vs. the rebels
- U. S.-backed coalition vs. DAESH
- Turkey vs. the Kurds
- Israel vs. Iran
- Russia vs. the U. S.
Ironies abound. In the wars in Syria the U. S. is arming Al Qaeda and protecting DAESH. Our allies the Turks are fighting our allies the Kurds.
To me the entire situation is tragic. We have no friends in this conflict, many enemies, and practically nothing to gain whoever prevails.
Here’s how Mr. Grossman sees the endgame:
- Assad (and Iran) restore Syrian sovereignty, but have to give up some control.
- Russia gets a foothold in the Middle East, but does not dominate all of Syria.
- The Kurds and Sunni Arabs get greater political control, but not independence.
- Turkey has to live with more Kurdish control to its south, but retains its buffer in Syria’s northwest, and can rely on a sustained American commitment to discourage cross-border attacks.
- ISIS gets nothing, and everyone else agrees to prevent its return.
I think he’s making some weak assumption as, for example, that the Turks won’t just decide to remain in their present holdings in Syria and that they won’t fight an ongoing war with Kurds, and that anybody could consider the U. S. a reliable ally at this point.