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Syria is a proxy war between the US and Russia regardless of what the administration claims

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By the very definition of a proxy war, the United States is very clearly engaged in one. We support the “moderate” Syrian rebel forces through weapons and training and we have been since around the beginning of the civil war. Some even believe that we helped start the civil war in the first place.

Despite the fact that troops that we support are being bombed and killed by Russian forces in Syria, the administration is still very clear that it’s not a proxy war. This puts them in a very poor situation as far as actions are concerned. If we acknowledge that it’s a proxy war and the the CIA has been supplying the rebels for some time, then it can be asserted that Russia started the conflict with our proxies. By denying that we have been supplying the rebels (which in itself is funny since every news organization, government, and casual reader of the news knows that we have), it means that any intervention we would bring to the table now would make us the instigators since Russia is already openly active in the region.

In other words, by denying involvement, we cannot get involved and we have no right to tell Russia that Bashar al-Assad’s regime needs to go. They are propping him up and there’s nothing we can do about it without escalating to direct conflict with Moscow, whether politically or militarily.

Thanks to our position in and on Syria, there is really nothing we can do other than work with the Russians against the Islamic State. Unfortunately, most of their efforts are currently focused on the rebels, so working with them would entail the United States coalition doing most of the heaving lifting. Either way, all of this is turning out very badly for everyone in Syria except for Assad and the Islamic State.

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