I’m bemused by neoconservatives who simutaneously pillory the Obama administration for the Benghazi screw-up, yet call for greater efforts to “do something” in Syria. What happened in Benghazi, and Algeria, and Mali are the direct follow-ons from the last time the U.S. ramped up its efforts in a non-strategic situation. If anything, it seems clear that Obama has learned from that lesson — as well as the Afghanistan “surge” — and determined that the utility of military intervention is more limited and the costs are even greater than he imagined in 2008. Furthermore, as the Congo comment suggests, he’s also conscious that if one really wants to apply liberal ethical criteria to the use of Amertican force, then Syria is not at the top of the queue.
Daniel W Drezner on Obama’s foreign policy preferences
If he will try to go, to leave, to exit, he will be killed by his own people. If he stays, he will be killed by his opponents. He is in a trap. It is not about Russia or anybody else. It is about his physical survival.
Fyodor Lukyanov, editor of a Russian foreign affairs journal, on Syrian president Bashar al-Assad