Saturday, April 8, 2017


President Trump has vowed to destroy ISIS. The coalition offensive to retake Mosul and Raqqa is on the way. But removing the Sunni vanguard creates a power vacuum that will give the Iranian opponents free reign for more terror. With President Trump, the reinvigorated coalition is tasked with shaping a new paradigm for peace in the larger Middle East. 

UPDATE: A few random observations. It is unclear who used the chemical weapons, but this much is certain: the Assad forces bombed the hospital where the victims were being treated, probably in an effort to cover up the attack. While the West likes to believe the war in Syria is about democracy versus tyranny (which it is not!), the larger conflict is about Shia versus Sunni Islam, or on the level of states, between Iran and the Sunni Arabs. Morality is not going to help us make sense of this conflict. It is also true that in foreign policy, states do not have friends. They have interests and allies. Aside from the morality concerning the use of chemical weapons, there is still the issue of the violation of (internal) agreements and treaties. While it is debatable if there is such a thing as international law, contracts are still legally binding documents. Russia and Syria are signatories to the Geneva convention. Russia is in serial violation of weapon treaties. This is not happening in a vacuum. There is a context.