Here's the vital US security interest in Syria
A major objection to American involvement in Syria appears in the form of a question: “why is this our problem?”
It is indeed our problem, for cold reasons of geopolitics that have nothing to do with humanitarian intervention, R2P, or liberal internationalism.
In Caroline Glick's latest column in the Jerusalem Post, is the stake for U.S. security interests around the world.
Here's the money quote (emphasis added):
By adopting a strategy of total war, Putin has ensured that far from becoming the quagmire that President Barack Obama warned him Syria would become, the war in Syria has instead become a means to transform Russia into the dominant superpower in the Mediterranean, at the US’s expense.
“In exchange for saving Assad’s neck and enabling Iran and Hezbollah to control Syria, Russia has received the capacity to successfully challenge US power. Last month Putin brought an agreement with Assad before the Duma for ratification. The agreement permits – indeed invites – Russia to set up a permanent air base in Khmeimim, outside the civilian airport in Latakia…
…The Russians have also decided to turn their naval station at Tartus into something approaching a full-scale naval base.
With Russia’s recent rapprochement with Turkish President Recip Erdogan, NATO’s future ability to check Russian power through the Incirlik air base is in question.
Even Israel’s ability to permit the US access to its air bases is no longer assured. Russia has deployed air assets to Syria that have canceled Israel’s regional air superiority.
Under these circumstances, in a hypothetical Russian-US confrontation, Israel may be unwilling to risk Russian retaliation for a decision to permit the US to use its air bases against Russia.
America’s loss of control over the eastern Mediterranean is a self-induced disaster.”
It's an open secret in Jerusalem that Caroline Glick often reflects the thinking of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
What has happened in Syria, as Glick demonstrates, is that Mr. Obama has enabled Putin to reverse one of the three great foreign policy accomplishments of the Nixon administration: the ejection of the Soviet Union from the Middle East.
This is what this president has done to the U.S. defense posture in Europe and the Middle East. Meanwhile, in the Far East, the Chinese are trying to flip the new Philippine government into the anti-American column.
If they pull that off, Beijing will have successfully broken out of the nine-dash island chain and penetrated the U.S. defense perimeter that has contained China since the end of the Korean War.
As Victor Davis Hansen wrote this week, "a hard rain is coming."