"The regime approach to ISIS is part of its long-war strategy for the conflict, which now prioritizes targeting both Islamist and non-Islamist armed groups in important areas of western Syria, especially urban areas and the highways connecting them. It fights ISIS where and when important regime interests are at stake. When such interests are not at stake, the regime is content for ISIS to fight the rebels without interference and even to tacitly assist the group.
Fighting between regime and ISIS forces is nontrivial, with each side probably suffering thousands of casualties -- with hundreds killed -- in sometimes vicious combat. Both sides have committed atrocities against the other, including executing and beheading prisoners.
In the Syrian war, the regime is completely pragmatic regarding whom to fight with or against, as well as where and when to fight. This suggests that any U.S./coalition notion of the regime as an ally in the war against ISIS needs to be approached carefully. At best, the regime would be an unreliable ally, putting only limited effort into the fight while putting its own interests first, including cooperating with ISIS when deemed expedient. At worst, it would exploit any perceived or real cooperation with U.S. or coalition forces to further its political aims and reinforce its own military operations against the Syrian opposition." Jeffrey White
Come now, Jeff, what government does not place its own interests first among its priorities? That is true in any alliance. No alliance is ever successfully absolute in its demands for selfless sacrifice on the part of the members.
As an example the ANZACs and South Africans withdrew their troops from the European theater once the Second World War had moved far enough away from their homelands. Finland withdrew from its alliance with Germany once the Red Army had pushed the Germans back to the west.
The US has done nothing in the last 20 years to encourage a cooperative arrangement with the Syrian government.
How can we possibly know to what degree the SAG would be a useful ally when we have not tried to make them one since the First Gulf War?
Other than that, this is a very good article. I suppose your employment demands some expressed reverence for the views of WINEP. pl