From one of the greatest strategic thinkers in modern times, as well as one of Vladimir Putin's greatest foes. Here is an analysis of the situation in Syria given by Gary Kasparov:
Cynically referring to the al-Assad regime’s vicious war of oppression against the Syrian people as a civil war is a mendacious trick that invites parallels to the Spanish Civil War. Francisco Franco’s rebellion against the elected government of Spain in 1936 eventually turned the country into the host of a grinding proxy war that could have been avoided by early decisive action. But France and Great Britain, eager to avoid conflict and even more eager to reach an accord with Hitler’s Germany, immediately promoted a policy of nonintervention regarding the coup by Franco’s forces. Of course, Germany and Italy supplied the Spanish fascists regardless, Hitler providing air power and Mussolini ground forces. Putin’s Russia is happy to take the role of Hitler’s Germany in this bloody reenactment in Syria, while Iran and Hezbollah are playing the Italians.
With no help from Britain and France, by 1938 the Spanish Republican forces were dominated by the only remaining government sponsor, Stalin’s Secret Police, meaning communism and fascism were soon the only options. Although the positions of the rebels and the government are reversed in Syria, the escalating proxy war and the fatal tentativeness of the pro-democracy forces are clearly echoed. Many in the West worry that arming the Syrian rebels will lead to al Qaeda coming to power there. But by withholding support this outcome becomes more likely, not less. If the primary source of support to the Syrian rebels remains the Saudis, it should be no surprise if al Qaeda is the main beneficiary. Will Obama and David Cameron pose for more photos with Putin while their dithering guarantees the destruction of the remaining moderate elements among the Syrian rebels? If yes, the options will soon be limited to al Qaeda and Hezbollah.
I find his analysis rather compelling. Like a true chess master, he sees the end game developing. The whole article is worth reading, as it lays into the West's inept handling of Putin.
I know there is strong opposition to being involved in Syria here on Ricochet, but doesn't Kasparov make a good point? Our unwillingness or inability to act gives Putin and other undemocratic regimes great latitude. Wasn't failure to act the greatest crime of the democratic nations in the prelude to World War II? Are we not setting the stage again for fascistic forces to gain power and position?
Read the whole article, at the Daily Beast. It spins my head just how well Putin is playing all of this. Back in 1938 the world at least had Churchill who saw through Hitler. Who do we have?