Newsweek quotes Brent Scowcroft Center Senior Fellow and NATOSource Director Jorge Benitez on the Obama administration’s possible strategies against Russia deployments in Syria:
“We could have stopped this deployment is Syria,” said Jorge Benitez, a senior fellow in the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security at the Atlantic Council. “We do have a partnership with the government of Iraq, whose airspace Russia used to move weapons and aircraft. We could have played a stronger negotiating role to try and prevent that, but so far this administration has not been successful in persuading Baghdad to stop it.”
Benitez says the U.S. could blockade the Port of Tartus in Latakia, Russia’s only naval base in the region, to prevent the Kremlin from being able to ferry in equipment and weapons.
In addition, because the Russians don’t not have advanced weapons like the U.S. would use—”bombs that have almost no guidance,” Benitez says—it’s likely they could miss their intended targets and harm civilians.