11 April 2017
CEPA’s Peter B. Doran in the National Interest
"Russia's Next Move in Syria: Ignore, Escalate, Distract, or Détente?"
One golden rule of statecraft is: don’t bluff. A close second is: be ready when someone calls it. Both Barack Obama and—now—Vladimir Putin have encountered these rules in Syria. Last week’s missile strike against Syria was more than a display of American firepower. It flipped the logic of Putin’s Syrian military adventure on its head. Overnight, the calculus of Russia’s gambit in the Middle East went from “win-win” to “lose-lose.” The U.S. missile strike has left Putin on a high ledge. His options are almost all bad for climbing down.
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