Ultimately, while this strategy may have been temporarily successful in pushing back Bashar al-Assad’s forces, it was certainly not going to lead to a peaceful Syria without the presence of terrorist groups plotting against the world. So, the basic models with which the United States has intervened militarily in the Middle East seem to have striking flaws for which there are no simple answers. The U.S. military is still capable of significant destruction, but any nation-building efforts or attempts to shape the region’s political dynamics through local proxies seem unviable. This likely has been the case all along.
Ali Ahmadi is a graduate student at the University of Tehran and an analyst focused on economic statecraft and U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. His work has been published by The Diplomat, The National Interest, Palladium Magazine, and others.