Monday, July 14, 2014

Reputation Matters

I read that Jordan is balking at hosting the floated administration plan for a $500 million training program for Syrian rebels fighting Assad.

The Jordanians fear Assad retaliation or the presence of armed rebels on their soil   (if the rebels fail and have no place to go).

If we still had a reputation for overcoming difficulties to win, this wouldn't be an issue of concern for Jordan.

But the Obama administration squandered our reputation built on Iraq and the surge.

Remember, all the talk so far from the Obama administration about arming and training rebels has been for the purpose of pressuring Assad into negotiations rather than for helping non-jihadi rebels win.

I asked how do you get Syrians to fight and die in a revolt for anything other than victory?

Also, I wondered, how do you frighten Assad into negotiations if he knows we aren't trying to defeat him?

Now we can ask how do we get Jordan to help arm, train, and host rebels who aren't expected to defeat Assad?

Jordan obviously has to wonder what they will do after striking Assad but not killing him? Will we stick around to defend Jordan after President Obama declares the Syrian revolt "responsibly ended?"

It's tough enough to achieve victory when we are trying to win. How much more difficult is it to win when Assad, the Jordanians, and the rebels we want to help all know we aren't even trying to win?