Russians in Syria
I have a couple of pieces at the National Interest looking at how Russia and ISIS may fight one another, if they get around to fighting.
With respect to the larger strategic significance of the Russian move into Syria, my thoughts generally accord with those of Josh Busby and Dan Nexon. Russia is weakening (economic dependence on a giant pool of hydrocarbons is rarely good for national power), and Putin’s “bold” initiatives of the last two years have primarily been about shoring up disastrous situations. Unfortunately, the foreign policy conversation in the United States remains infatuated with the idea that we can dictate terms to whomever we want, where ever we want, on whatever timetable we want. The foreign policy punditocracy behaves like antibodies to the idea that inaction (or even carefully considered action) might be the best policy.