The arguments made on both sides of the Syrian Civil War, to leave Syria alone or to arm lightly the Rebels, are converging unto one result, which is to force both sides into a stalemate in order to transition Syria into an Assad-less country. By Assad-less, I mean a Syria we all want. One that respects the international law and the human rights of its citizens at the same time.
The challenge has been that the Russians, who want Assad to remain in firm control, are resisting that path; at the same time, the West is hoping a stalemate produces a war fatigue that will eventually lead to the transition. Those two asymmetrical positions have made it quite difficult for the West to explain its position, especially when waiting for war fatigue to settle in is also leading the UN to compare the statistics from Syria to other Genocides like Rwanda. In fact, the West waiting for Russia, by using war fatigue as a ploy, is leading to its own moral fatigue that we see haphazardly erupt in the leadership of the EU through impatient statements.
Why moral fatigue is setting in is because the Syrian conflict has been mismanaged from the beginning. Within the Obama Administration, advisors like Steven Simon have not taken into account the stubbornness of Putin, the psychological burden the sectarian war will have on the minorities, and the heavy load US allies, like Jordan, are bearing because of the exodus of the Syrian refugees. When you think about it, all of these factors were by design to force the West to accept the Russian way of seeing things in Syria.
All those White House advisors who advocated for the drip, drip policy on Syria have miscalculated the effect of the moral fatigue facing the Europeans and even more the Arab League, which is leading the US into losing even more its compass on Syria. There are no reset buttons for Syria because the dynamics and the complexities of its Chess Board have really surpassed the capabilities of those running the US Foreign Policy. We saw a glimmer of hope when Ex-President Clinton made an assertive move on Syria, but the President mostly doused it with cold water over an interview with the Charlie Rose show after Ben Rhodes delivered what was dubbed a new Syrian policy. President Obama remains clueless about what to do on Syria because he is relying on not-so stellar advisors and because of his intuitive nature is aloof to foreign interference.
With every meeting with the Syrian Opposition or every statement issued by one EU leader or another, the West is attempting now to justify its morality. To balance that justification, it has also taken to pointing the fingers at the Islamists fighting in Syria for atrocities they have committed in the hope to ease the pain of the moral fatigue they are feeling and which Putin is enjoying with a sadistic smile.
With moral fatigue comes caution and caution has become the enemy of the West today. To deliver highly sophisticated weapons to the Rebels carries with it the danger that these weapons may fall in the hands of the terrorists, which helps offset the losses the Rebels experienced of late and to maintain the stalemate. The same caution by the West is driving Putin to bet that moral fatigue will win over war fatigue; especially, if he can sprinkle the theater with stories of delivering new S-300 missiles to the Assad regime. Those missiles are not invincible; however, they will make it harder to carry the necessary operations against the Assad regime to contain its dangerous and rogue nature.
The West needs to leverage further its own economic power to even the playing field against Assad and Putin. Start by distributing covertly few billion counterfeit Syrian Liras to drive its value to the ground.
I also suggest for Mr. Obama to forget he is a Democrat from a Blue State and act as if he was a Democrat from a Red State who knows how to build consensus by hiring President Ronald Reagan advisers on the Middle East. Nobody understands rogue nations, culture, and the Soviet Union like those foxes do.
One of them is behind the brilliant timing of distributing fake Syrian bills.