The Obama administration is “operating on a crisis basis” in the Middle East, says Leon Panetta, and doesn’t “have any kind of larger strategy” for the region. The president’s recent actions there, including the deployment of 50 special operations troops to Syria, are too incremental and “will not work,” says Fareed Zakaria. Indeed, the situation in that country has “spiraled out of control,” according to Vox’s Max Fisher in a post headlined “Unfixable: How Obama Lost Syria.”
The most telling moment in 60 Minutes’ report this weekend on the fight against the Islamic State, ‘Inside the Air War,’ passed without comment. As correspondent David Marin took a tour of the Qatar-based combat operations center from which the air war is coordinated, there was a brief camera shot of a screen showing the location of aviation assets across the region. The image showed that there were a couple of dozen or so friendly aircraft in the skies above Iraq—but over Syria, where the U.S. has few friends on the ground and is being pushed aside in the skies by the Russians, it appeared that there were only two or three.
That tells a story, but not a story about which the Pentagon wants you to reflect.