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Secretary Powell infamously told President Bush "if you break it, you own it" in the lead up to the Iraq war and he was proven correct...beyond anyone's wildest imaginations. President Putin is on the cusp of making that same catastrophic mistake in Syria and I say have at it.
I've always thought that Putin is acting from a place of weakness and not strength and his pending military involvement in Syria proves my theory correct yet again. Intervening on behalf of a dictator in a seemingly never ending civil war is not a show of strength and anyone who disagrees with me should take a minute to hear me out.
Bashar al-Assad has lost large swaths of his country and no amount of Russian involvement is going to change that. The most recent map of the conflict shows that al-Assad controls a tiny fraction of his country and all of it is on the western front. The Islamic State controls triple to quadruple the amount that al-Assad does and Kurdish forces have firm control over the northeastern part of the country. A hodgepodge of opposition forces that aren't part of the IS control small areas surrounding Damascus and Aleppo.
So what does Russia hope to gain here? They would need a full blown military intervention to help give al-Assad portions of his country back and we all know how America's last full blown military intervention into a hostile country went. Does anyone actually expect IS or other rebel groups to just lay down their arms and surrender?
Russia's military is already stretched thin in Ukraine and in their North Caucasus region. They are stirring up a hornets nest without the proper protection and they are going to pay for it. I say...go for it. I wish them the best of luck when they put boots on the ground in Syria.