In a few days, Sec of State Tillerson heads to Moscow. Now that American-Russian relations have soured, especially over Syria, it's worth asking a simple basic question: Why would Russia now allow us a role in shaping Syria after the war is all wrapped up?
Since the outbreak of the civil war in 2011, the efforts to put down the jihadists and stabilize the society in Syria has always come from Russia (and to a lesser extent, Iran), not from the US, EU, or the Arab League. As of 2015, that includes military intervention, not only the diplomatic and supplying roles they had played before.
See here for an overview, here for military intervention, and here for diplomatic leadership in the peace process.
Since Russia has played the decisive role in turning the tide against the jihadists, and before long ironing out the remaining wrinkles, they will play the primary role in crafting post-war Syria -- its government, economy (oil pipelines), military, and so on. Iran will also play a decent role for its involvement on the winning side.
What investment in stabilization can the globalists in the US State Dept, military, and White House point to? At least Obama didn't take out Assad, and he did fight ISIS somewhat. Beyond that, our involvement has been to leave the secular regime high-and-dry, while arming and providing propaganda cover for the jihadists not named ISIS (al-Nusra et al).
Our allies in the region have also been in favor of winking at the jihadists while fighting against only the ISIS fighters among them, possibly even favoring to depose Assad. Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey -- they, along with us, have been on the wrong side of history, not only in the moral sense of supporting jihadists, but backing the losing side in a war.
Our side, both the US and its allies, is also bitterly opposed to Russia's main ally and the secondary force for stabilizing Syria, Iran.
Over history, Syria has been aligned with the Soviet Union and Russia since the end of WWII. Their diplomatic, economic, and military bonds are stronger and deeper than either nation's bonds are with us.
Any way you look at it, Russia has invested tons more in the Syrian civil war and peace process, and importantly on the winning side. We have stayed more on the sidelines, and tended to back the wrong side when we did get involved.
Having put so much skin in the game, Russia is going to push for its own delegation to be the primary shaper from outside of the country itself. Secondarily the influence will go to Iran. Both are located close to Syria, and have more of a vested interest in the region's security.
Even if there had been a spirit of cooperation between the US and Russia, the Russians would push for more influence on account of having risked more and sacrificed more. But now that relations have gone from frosty to heating-up, they will be even less inclined for the US to play much of a role at all in shaping postwar Syria.
The American Deep State and military brass have twisted Trump's arm into striking Assad, against years of his arguing for the exact opposite (right through October 2016). Being in control of the armed forces that undergird his authority, they have leverage over his plans in a way that other big actors do not (Chamber of Commerce, illegal immigrants, and so on).
This was done as some kind of display of strength, presumably leading up to a negotiation of some kind -- likely the peace process talks that determine how Syria will operate after the civil war is completed. Their tough talk about "maybe Russia was involved in the chemical attack themselves, not just their client Assad," plays a similar function, turning up the heat ahead of sitting down at the bargaining table.
In the past few days, we've been wondering if Assad will ultimately go or not, and if so, who has input over his successor -- he would be someone to the liking of both Russia and the US. But given how distinct Russia's interests are from the US's interests in that country and region, it's unlikely that their goals will harmonize an awful lot -- not just about the individual leading the government, but who will benefit from oil pipelines, who gets which military bases, which areas provide buffer zones against whose vulnerable spots, and on and on.
So, the American foreign policy Establishment turning up the heat on Russia is unlikely to yield much at the negotiating table. They have contributed relatively little to stabilization (if anything, mostly destabilizing by supporting jihadists), have mostly sought the most destabilizing diplomatic option (Assad goes, before jihadists have been brought under control), and have taken unilateral military action against another party's client.
Then we arrive at the stage where a truly hot conflict breaks out, given that the US Establishment seems unwilling to back down or even moderate their tone and posture toward Russia vis-a-vis Syria. At that point, the question is who wants the influence over postwar Syria more -- who has invested the most already, and who stands the most to lose if they get little in return?
That is obviously Russia. They will be far more committed to winning any military conflict that breaks out as a result of a showdown among the parties trying to get a piece of the Syrian pie.
Iran would immediately side with Russia, and that could easily trigger the US allies to join in too, as they're all united around countering Iran's growing sphere of influence. With Turkey on our side, perhaps that would draw in some major NATO countries as well -- particularly France, which seems to be champing at the bit to stick it to Russia, Iran, and Syria. (Here's to hoping Le Pen wins the election.)
Hell, maybe China joins in on the other side for good measure, seeking a piece of Russian / Iranian / Syrian oil.
This thing has the potential to blow wide open, which is why so many in the Trump movement have come against even the initial moves in that direction. We don't want to risk nuclear WWIII against Russia, whose nuclear program is not still run on floppy disks like ours.
For some perspective, imagine if America had at first supplied the Mexican government with arms in their battle against the drug cartels, and then we intervened outright with our military and decisively turned the tide against the cartels. With over five years of involvement, who knows how much money spent, and conducting peace talks between Mexican government officials and cartel representatives to finalize the conflict, we would want a hell of a lot out of it.
Now imagine some country that wasn't even involved, or even one that had been funding and arming several of those cartels, butts into the process and arrogantly demands a seat at the final negotiating table. Some country that isn't even from this hemisphere -- France, say. They want a piece of Mexican oil, and they start turning up the heat on the United States ahead of meeting with us, hoping to psych us out of imposing our will on the post-cartel landscape of Mexico.
We'd slap them so fast it'll make ya head spin. And we can expect Russia to respond likewise when the US foreign policy Establishment and Deep State try to butt their way into the postwar process in Syria.
Who knows for certain who would prevail, especially considering the vagaries of which other countries would join us and which would join Russia?
But setting us onto this course toward potential nuclear WWIII cannot be tolerated. Not just because we have very little basis for demanding a role in the shaping process, given our record, but because on a pragmatic level, Russia stands to lose a lot more from being the first to swerve in this great big game of chicken -- so they won't, and either we'll swerve and look stupid and weak, or we'll choose to collide and fuck our country over for the next generation.