Saturday January 21, 2017
A new coalition of US-based organizations is pushing for a more aggressive US intervention against the Assad regime. But both the war in Syria and politics in the United States have shifted dramatically against this objective.
When it was formed last July, the coalition hoped that a Hillary Clinton administration would pick up its proposals for a more forward stance in support of the anti-Assad armed groups. But with Donald Trump in office instead, the supporters of a US war in Syria now have little or no chance of selling the idea.
One of the ways the group is adjusting to the new political reality is to package its proposal for deeper US military engagement on behalf of US-supported armed groups as part of a plan to counter al-Qaeda, now calling itself Jabhat Fateh al Sham.
But that rationale depends on a highly distorted presentation of the problematic relations between those supposedly “moderate” groups and al-Qaeda’s Syrian offshoot.
Plan for a Clinton White House...
The “Combating al-Qaeda in Syria Strategy Group” was formed last July by the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), according to the policy paper distributed at an event at the Atlantic Council on 12 January.