To no one’s surprise, after Trump orders U.S. troops out of Syria, Russia swoops in almost immediately. A week after our withdrawal, Turkey’s Erdogan flew to sign an agreement with Putin in what’s been described as a major victory for Russia.
But some have argued that this might not be so great for Russia. It might be more headaches than it’s worth. It’s a legitimate argument. Remember, Russia was in Afghanistan before the U.S. and see how that turned out. So the question is what do Russia and Putin stand to gain by entering Syria?
To understand Putin’s plan, you have to look back just a few years. To 2014 exactly. He annexed Crimea, was battling Ukraine, and was slapped with sanctions. He was a pariah on the international stage.
Not only did it seem like he overplayed his hand, but he was also appearing increasingly irrelevant and weak in influencing the course of global politics.
But by interjecting himself into the center of the Middle East, he’s regained legitimacy and is now seen as a major power broker. Not just in this region but for the world.
Americans invested so much blood and treasure in Iraq, battling ISIS, and building up allies. But in one fell Tweet, Trump’s handed over the future of all of this over to Putin.
Yes, this may turn out to be a bigger problem than Putin expects but accepting the keys to the kingdom is the kind of problem Putin dreams about.