Lee Smith analyses the current US administration's stance on Syria, questioning whether it will build the foundations of a new Middle East or usher in an era of instability that will affect the entire world. The author contends that the many apparent shifts in the administration's Syria policy were part of a messaging campaign intended to camouflage President Barack Obama's determination to stay out of the Syrian conflict.
Smith concludes that the next White House will have to deal with the region that this one will hand off to it, containing more violence, betrayed allies, emboldened adversaries, and Iran on the verge of a nuclear breakout that will further destabilize a vital strategic region.
Lee Smith is a senior editor at The Weekly Standard. A senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, he is also the author of The Strong Horse: Power, Politics, and the Clash of Arab Civilizations (Doubleday 2010).