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From the start, President Obama's Syria policy has foundered because of a gap between words and deeds.The director of national intelligence has testified that the opposition to the Bashar Assad regime is comprised of 1,500 separate militias.ISIS controls about one-third of the country, and the other militias control a little less than 20 percent.The non-jihadist groups collectively control less than 5 percent of Syria.An American strategy of escalating airstrikes in Syria – even if coupled with ground forces – would wish that the weakest and most disorganized forces in the country somehow become the strongest, first defeating ISIS, then the Assad regime, all the while fighting off the Nusra Front and Khorasan. It's true that the demonstrations against the Assad regime in the initial months seemed to be carried out by more secular and liberal people.For any strategy to work in Syria, it needs a military component and a political one. This is not something that the United States can engineer in Syria.The Obama administration is pursuing many elements of this strategy.
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