"... analysts say there is little doubt that the pendulum is now swinging in favor of Assad, potentially putting him in a strong position to set terms if the negotiations with the opposition that the Obama administration and Russia last week agreed to sponsor eventually take place. “If things continue as they are, the government will certainly be the party that has the major advantage” in any talks, said Charles Lister of the London-based IHS Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Center. “If we press pause on where we are today, it is clear the insurgency does not pose an existential threat to the regime.” Pro-Assad analysts credit a major restructuring of government forces that has better equipped them to confront the insurgency. The ranks of the conventional Syrian army — weary, depleted and demoralized by defections, casualties and more than a year of continuous fighting — are being swelled by the deployment of some 60,000 militia irregulars trained at least in part by Hezbollah and Iranian advisers." Washpost
Well, well well, Does this mean that the forces of R2P do not inevitably triumph? I have been in attendance at various Washngton meetings at which the mouthpieces of; WINEP, AEI, The Institute for the Study of War (Kagan/Nuland neocon tool), the Syrian Rebels, etc. all proclaimed that "history was on their side" and that the Assad government would soon fall to be replaced by a liberal, multi-confessional blah-blah, etc. The IDFGeneral Staff does not share this view. They dread the emergence of a jihadi run theocracy in what is now Syria.
Fouad Ajami, that learned man (he who may not be questioned), opines in his oped piece cited below that the great Syrian liberalization could take place, might take place, is to be hoped for, etc. I would remind this sainted person that hope is not a fitting basis for policy and that in fact the US has no ability whatever to determine the political outcome in Syria unless we want to do another major military intervention. All the baloney in the world about the CIA or SF sneaking around, training people or dropping bags of money out of helicopters (my experience in SE Asia and other places) will not make the Syrians obey the US. I am a UW trained and experienced SF officer and I am here to tell you that winning wars and political outcomes that come from wars require real people with real guns who put themslves in real jeopardy.
What should the US do? We should mind our own business.