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The High Cost of Wavering Resolve

By Wesley Smith1475691315620

Secretary of State John Kerry confirmed Monday that the United States is ending its talks with Russia regarding coordination designed to bring temporary peace to Syria for the purpose of delivering humanitarian aid, in the war-torn nation. Quoted in the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. chief diplomat faulted Russia for prolonging the Syrian conflict and not acting in good faith: “My government is absolutely convinced that we are in pursuit of the correct goals in Syria, but we acknowledge in sorrow, and I have to tell you with a great sense of outrage, that Russia has turned a blind eye to Assad’s deplorable use of…chlorine gas and barrel bombs against his people.” Kerry added, “Together, the Syrian regime and Russia have rejected diplomacy and chosen instead to continue their pursuit of a military victory over the broken bodies, bombed-out hospitals, and traumatized children of a long-suffering land.”

Meanwhile, Russia’s new ally in its unholy alliance, Iran, continues to support the carnage and the show of force wreaked by Vladimir Putin.

This is a sad, but predictable, outcome in an effort to coax Russia and Iran into being something they are not: allies of the United States. 

The goals of these two nations could not be more antithetical to the goals and values of the United States.  The much-vaunted ceasefire fell apart in less than a week as Russia and Syria, backed by Iran, continued minimal attacks on ISIS while indiscriminately bombing innocent civilians in Aleppo and other parts of Syria. Russia’s attack on a United Nations convoy delivering humanitarian supplies and its bombing of a hospital are clear indicators of their true goals and values. Iran and Russia share a goal of keeping Syria’s President Assad in power - ignoring the fact that he is killing his own people. To date, over 450,000 people have died in this civil war. As stated by Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, Russia and Iran are in an Unholy Alliance with global jihadists in order to defeat human decency, the rule of law, and freedom worldwide.  As he details in his NY Times best selling book, Syria is the perfect case study of the malevolent intentions of this alliance.

The actions of this unholy alliance are clear violations of the Geneva Conventions and the Laws of War. The members of this morally-bankrupt axis are inflicting indescribable atrocities on innocent people with impunity.  The photos and reports coming out of Syria and Iraq depict heart-rending and unimaginable violence committed and supported by Russia, Iran, ISIS and Syrian forces loyal to Assad.  Russia and Iran’s professed desire to defeat ISIS is trumped by their support for a tyrannical regime and their desire for strategic dominance in the Middle East that diminishes the influence of the United States.

The disintegration of cooperation between Russia and the United States in Syria has strategic implications.  The Obama Administration has stated that the defeat of ISIS hinges on the resolution of the civil war in Syria, that ending the war there first will deny ISIS a safe haven and headquarters in Syria. That resolution has never been more out of reach.  Thus, by the Administration’s own standard, the defeat of ISIS is also failing. 

This failure is further complicated by the Obama Administration’s refusal to heed the advice of its general officers and other war-planners who have called for clearly naming the enemy and conducting the fight against radical Islamic jihadists as an actual war.  In any successful military operation, the first task is articulating the desired end-state.  To begin by refusing to name the enemy, placing arbitrary limits on the number of troops we will use, and publicly stating the limits of what we are willing to do to win the war only emboldens our adversaries. It puts our troops already there at risk and does nothing to end the slaughter of innocent people that includes Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq and Syria.

The trumpet is sounding an uncertain sound.

What is the next step to end the violence in Syria and to take the fight to ISIS?  White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest talking to the press said, “...the president is going to consider a range of options, and the president is regularly being updated by his national security team about the options that are available to him, and this is something that they certainly will be talking about more frequently in the days ahead, considering that the United States is no longer engaged in talks with the Russians."  But the President already rejected the advice of John Kerry to use military force when Assad began using chemical weapons against the civilian population in Syria.  So far, he has also rejected calls for the implementation of a no-fly zone in this war-torn nation.

Meanwhile, Putin has upped the ante. The Russians have delivered the latest version of anti-aircraft missiles to Syria.  Putin continues to capitalize on the perceived weakness and indecision by the Obama Administration.  The state-of-the-art S300V4 super-long-range missiles are in Syria to deter the one world power which has had the capacity to stop the carnage of air attacks on civilians there, by enforcing a no-fly zone: The United States. The Russian system is not only capable of downing aircraft, but also can intercept and destroy cruise missiles.  As time goes by, the options for American intervention to stop the atrocities get fewer and smaller. 

The actions of Russia, Syria, and Iran---along with the ongoing threat of ISIS--- constitute a clear and present danger to the Western World and to all who stand for peace, liberty and justice.  The situation calls for the other nations of the world to unite and to take a stand against the darker forces seeking to gain control. The price of wavering resolve is too high to do otherwise.

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