Just as well that world powers have agreed to seek a nationwide “cessation of hostilities” in Syria after talks in Munich. Till Thursday’s announcement, the Syria issue looked pretty deadlocked, seen from Brussels. Defence ministers of the anti-ISIL coalition, which basically seems to be 66 countries, met at NATO headquarters to talk about ways to retake parts of Syria and Iraq. It seems to have been basically an exercise in US Defence Secretary Ash Carter stamping his foot and having a hissy fit.
Mr Carter appears to have wagged the finger at many European and Gulf countries. “There are a lot that need to make more contributions,” he said.
And that appears to be, wait for it, a bigger contribution of attention. And belief in the US strategy for recapturing the bits of Syria and Iraq that ISIL has captured. Once the erring nations have listened to America, they can go off and “make an assignment for themselves.”
What does that mean? That America will be commander-in-chief and everyone else unquestioning footsoldiers? That would be fine if America didn’t have this rather dreadful record on winning wars. Before Korea, it had never lost a war. Since then, other than the first Gulf War, it hasn’t won any.