For John, BLUF: Incoherent foreign policy? Nothing to see here; just move along.
From The Boston Globe and Assistant Editor John L. Allen Jr. we have "The risks of letting Putin posture as Charlemagne in Syria".
It’s a well-known Achilles heel of Western foreign policy to undervalue the strategic importance of religion, and perhaps nowhere is that more clear at the moment than in assessments of Russia’s intervention in Syria and Iraq.It is for sure an Achilles heel, but I am dubious about it being well-known.
Regarding the Russian intervention in Syria,
A growing swath of the Christian minority in the Middle East, who are among the primary targets of ISIS, can’t help but respond with gratitude. Last year, the Global Post website quoted a Syrian Christian woman as summing up the sentiment: “Thank God for Russia!”Before President Obama declared that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must go, President Assad was the one protecting minorities of all shades in Syria. He was brutal, but he was protecting minorities from larger menacing groups. Then he became "the bad guy" and we went after him. And there was no one left to protect the minorities. We know that Daesh♠ will not. They are into beheading minorities. Now Russia steps in and becomes the protector, the good guys. Remember when we were the good guys?
Hat tip to my Wife.
Regards — Cliff
♠ To some that would be ISIL or ISIS or IS.