With great fanfare and “surprise” Russia once again seemingly out-maneuvered Western leadership in Syria. While much ink has been spilled debating whether President Vladimir Putin is executing a sound strategy—or is merely a tactical opportunist—it is clear that he has achieved his primary strategic goal: making Russia geopolitically relevant again and forcing the West to begrudgingly accept that it must take into account Russian interests. But there is an ulterior motive to Putin’s partial withdrawal.
A withdrawal in name only
Hold on a minute. Yes, the Russians are withdrawing some military personnel and hardware—but by and large, it is a withdrawal in …read more