Atlantic Council Senior Adviser Harlan Ullman writes for the Pakistani Daily Times on President Obama’s potential strategy in Syria amid Russian intervention:
To take Martin Luther King wildly out of context: I too have a fantasy. Suppose it is President Barack Obama and not Russian President Vladimir Putin who is the cleverer strategist. Suppose Mr Obama cunningly set a trap in Syria for President Putin that either will lead to a negotiated political settlement or embroil Moscow in a Syrian quagmire? Or is this a dream run amuck in that there is no way that a community organiser turned university law professor could have outwitted and outmaneuvered a former KGB spymaster?
Last week was not a good one for either the US or for President Obama. The annual UN General Assembly (UNGA) meeting of heads of government became the venue for President Putin making a mockery of Mr Obama’s Syrian strategy. Putin then stunned the anti-Islamic State (IS) coalition with the announcement that Russian aircraft were striking Syrian “terrorists” aiming to topple the Damascus government headed by Bashar al Assad. Adding insult to injury, Russia created an intelligence centre in Baghdad linking the US’ erstwhile ally Iraq with Russia, Iran and Syria.