Reports keep coming every few weeks claiming that momentum has turned in favor of one faction or the other, but the Syrian Civil War is as stalemated as ever, with growing frustration over the seemingly endless clashes that don’t amount to any territory exchanges.
That’s in keeping with US policy, as officials have conceded the goal of their aid for pro-West rebels is to keep them from either losing or winning in hopes of eventually imposing a settlement, where the US can use its status as a moderator to get concessions they couldn’t otherwise secure.
So they got there stalemate, but what now? The indications are that 30 months into the war there’s no end in sight, and little appetite for negotiation, especially among rebels who seem convinced that sooner or later they’re going to be installed outright.
A big problem with the US strategy here is that it rests on the assumption that a stalemated war will automatically bring about negotiation, and so far that doesn’t seem to be the case, and rather is skewing the rebels toward more and more militant Islamist factions who are less and less willing to talk.