Russia and the United States in Syria

More than twenty-five years since the end of the Cold War, the American and Russian foreign policy seem to be at odds in the Middle East. Today, Senator John McCain, who unsuccessfully ran against President Barack Obama for the Presidency of the United States in 2008, took to the Senate floor to condemn Russian intervention in Syria. According to McCain, Russian intervention in Syria is intended to bolster the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. US foreign policy in Syria is complicated, seeking both to destroy the capacity of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) while simultaneously opposing the al-Assad regime.

Russia announced that it had launched airstrikes against ISIS forces in Homs. But according to McCain, the strikes targeted opponents of the al-Assad regime, not ISIS forces. McCain also described the Obama administration efforts in Syria as a failure, noting the sharp increase in the number of refugees fleeing Syria for Europe and the inability of anti-Assad forces to make headway in the region.

What do you think? Has US foreign policy in Syria been a failure? What is the fundamental goal of US policy in the region? Can it be successful? Why? And how does expanded Russian involvement Syria complicate efforts to disrupt ISIS and the Assad government?

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