The Obama administration has tried to play it safe in Syria. But even a safety play has risks. The New York Times has the story:
The past few months have witnessed the emergence of larger, more organized and better armed Syrian militant organizations pushing an agenda based on jihad, the concept that they have a divine mandate to fight. Even less-zealous resistance groups are adopting a pronounced Islamic aura because it attracts more financing.
The administration did not press for an early entry into the war. It also did not move arms and money quickly to moderate rebel groups. The risk now is that a long war is radicalizing the people on the ground. As of yet, there are few foreign fighters in Syria, and reports indicate that there are real tensions between most ordinary Syrians and the new jihadists. But as war eats away at the sinews of civilization the chances are that these new radicals will end up having a disproportionate say in the future of a post-Assad Syria. Sometimes, a safety play can be the most dangerous course of all.From outside government, it’s hard to see exactly what the administration is doing now. There are reports that the flow of arms money and equipment to some rebel groups has increased. Let’s hope that there is a coherent strategy behind these moves, and that the strategy works.Otherwise, we could well see a worst possible case scenario unfolding not only Syria but in the neighborhood.