There was a time when America had the confidence to do anything. When failure was not an option. Granted, sometimes that backfired, but the confidence was real. Our capacity to act was real. Our enemies knew that.
Now, in regard to Syria, which is approaching 500,000 dead in a complicated civil war-plus that the administration declined to forcefully intervene (by fully supporting anti-Assad rebels) nearly 500,000 dead ago out of fear of further militarizing the conflict, the administration cannot even admit that they have failed in Syria:
The State Department on Wednesday refused to say that U.S. policy and strategy has failed to bring peace to Syria, and instead argued that the failure is a result of policies pursued by Syria, Russia and Iran.
That's the damnedest thing about foreign policy, everybody else has a foreign policy that interacts with our policy. So far the foreign policies of Iran and Russia are working better. We want the fighting to end and for Assad to go. Russia and Iran are willing to kill as many Syrians as they need to in order to keep Assad in power. And our forceful intervention in Syria against ISIL serves to help Assad, as necessary as it is to fight ISIL.
Behold the "reality-based community" in action. Where once failure is not an option, now admitting failure is not an option.
Not that you could get the administration to admit that Syria under Assad, Russia, and Iran are our enemies working against what without them would no doubt be a brilliant--dare I say nuanced--Syria policy. Oh no!
But refusing to admit failure is actually an improvement for these clowns. Recall that in their own review of 2015, the State Department called "bringing peace, security to Syria" a "significant success" for the year!
It's sad. Kirby seemed like an honorable man when he represented the Navy to the media. Now in State Department service, he just seems to cheapen his reputation. Another casualty of our foreign policy. Although don't expect me to mourn a mere staining of reputation.