US Split Over Proposal to Cooperate With Russia on ISIS War

Kerry Headed to Moscow to Discuss Plan, But Pentagon, Intel Officials Opposed

Recent discussions of the US possibly exploring some direct cooperation with Russia on the war against ISIS in Syria have come amid a shift by US officials on al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front, which they’d previously been pushing Russia to avoid targeting.

Secretary of State John Kerry is said to be one of the main administration officials in favor of the planned increased cooperation, and is heading to Moscow this week to discuss improved ties that would lay the groundwork for such an effort.

Acrimony toward Russia appears to be driving a lot of resistance to that effort, with reports that there is considerable opposition to the plan by both intelligence officials and some in the Pentagon arguing that the US and Russia have opposite goals in Syria and such a partnership can’t work.

That the intelligence community feels that way is unsurprising, as previous reports have suggested that most of them have been pushing to stop fighting ISIS in general and shift the war to imposing a regime change on the Assad government.

The Pentagon was said to be opposed to the CIA’s regime change stand, however, so their reluctance to work with the Russians likely reflects longstanding distrust, as well as the reality that keeping Russia at Cold War-level arm’s length has allowed them to push for major budget increases. It would be a lot harder for the Pentagon to argue war with Russia is imminent if they’re directly cooperating with them.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • good_night_good_luck

    This could be a very positive step in slowing down if not ending the Cold War …

    • ericsiverson

      It doesn’t sound like that is what they want to do . I think it would be great if NATO concentrated on helping Libya and Iraq two countries they ist put their development plans on .

  • Don G.

    Wow! This is a breakthrough! Now we are going to see the opposition to the initiative and they are not going to be able to stay hiding in their closets.

    I’ve been thinking for quite some time now that Obama was going to do something very meaningful before his time expired.

    This is the single most important development in many years and it should be talked about here at antiwar.com and not forgotten. Please, everybody do their best to keep this alive!

    • Larry

      Not exactly news. After all, the Pentagon faction and the CIA faction have been openly fighting in Syria this year.

      Kerry is not in favor of more cooperation. He’s been openly promoting more war in Syria, and just recently ‘leaked’ that report prepared by his department calling for more war. Nothing Kerry has done has in any way indicated that he wants anything less than more war. Notice that no one is going to end up next to Chelsea Manning for that particular leak.

      Kerry has been openly functioning as “Al-Qaida’s diplomat” If he’s in any way calling for a ceasefire, its because Al-Qaida is now cut off in Allepo facing total destruction of all fighters who can’t dress like a woman and slip away into the night. Al-Qaida’s diplomat is mainly trying for a cease-fire to save them.

  • Just more dog and pony show from the MIC! Aug 7, 2015 US Intelligence Confirms US Support for ISIS

    A partially-declassified DIA report brings disturbing details about US support for jihadists in Syria. What kind of game is the US government playing in the Middle East?

    https://youtu.be/d2WrwUM2RwI

    http://www.judicialwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Pg.-291-Pgs.-287-293-JW-v-DOD-and-State-14-812-DOD-Release-2015-04-10-final-version11.pdf

  • Johnson

    A couple of years back, some political scientists showed that the US was an oligarchy and not a democracy. In those terms, notice that this article doesn’t mention polls or the American people at all.

    When I saw the headline ‘US Split’, that’s what my old and out of date mind thought. That this would be about some poll showing that half the people are fooled by the propaganda and want a war with Russia, and half don’t want a nuclear war.

    Instead, its just another dot to connect to the report of the political scientist types. That is, this reads much more like an authoritarian government where different factions have different power bases and don’t agree on what policy the Great Leader should be following. The American people no longer matter.

  • Yonatan

    The US doesn’t want al Qaeda to be targetted? The US wants to protect the outfit ‘responsible’ (in the same way Oswald was ‘responsible’ for the Kennedy execution) for 911? That is one big ‘F*ck you’ to those that died on the died, and those that died in Afghanistan and Iraq.

  • Yonatan

    Russia is going out of its way to show that the US does not want to stop what is happening in Syria (the actors may change but the play goes on). Is it working? Difficult to know in the land of the Naked Emperor.