: Foreign Policy: Playing tic-tac-toe with Putin

12:49 Jun. 13, 2016

Foreign Policy: Playing tic-tac-toe with Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives for a state awards ceremony in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, on June 12, 2016. (AP Photo)

Why the United States has no hope of stopping the war in Syria

Among many obstacles to the West's effort to stop the carnage in Syria and alleviate the refugee crisis, probably the largest and the hardest to overcome is a colossal disjoint in the depth and breadth of commitment to the conflict between the United States and Russia.

Read also Is Kremlin fueling frozen conflicts in Europe with separatism?

There is little mystery as to the level of interest on the U.S. side. Despite what you might hear, for the Obama administration, Syria is but an annoying contingency, forced on the White House by circumstances, and with no consonance whatsoever with the president's strategic agenda. For Vladimir Putin, it is an important part of a long-term ideological and geopolitical project, rooted in deeply held beliefs, a self-imposed personal mission, and domestic political imperatives of his regime's survival.

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