Russia will not back down, and neither will its Syrian and Iranian allies on the ground, says a former White House insider.
After the dramatic downing of a Syrian Air Force jet over Raqqa province by a US Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet on Monday, a former senior national security advisor to the Obama administration, Colin Kahl, warns that the Washington “cult of credibility” will lead the United States into “quagmire” and “further up the escalation ladder in Syria.”
Kahl’s statement on the incident, issued via Twitter, gives rare confirmation of a hawkish Washington national security culture which dangerously places credibility and political careerism over genuine US interests and defense.
As former Deputy Assistant to the President and National Security Advisor to the Vice President specializing in the Levant and Persian Gulf region, Kahl was directly involved in formulating Syria and regional policy in the Obama White House.
Here is Kahl’s statement as published through a Twitter thread [emphasis mine]:
The cult of credibility is as popular in DC as it is dangerous. Watch Syria. The risk of sliding into a big war is rising. For years, hawks have argued that Assad & Iran (& Russia after 2015) were essentially paper tigers in Syria. The Axis of Assad could be backed down & easily deterred if the US just showed some muscle. A few threats, strikes, no-fly zones. Voila! Obama was often criticized for being too cautious & concerned about escalation & quagmire risks in Syria. But consider Team Trump has now: Retaliated vs Assad for CW, Bombed Iranian-backed militia 3 times, Shot down an Iranian-made drone, Downed Syria jet. Yet the regime/Iran/Russia haven’t backed down.
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