Marvin Kalb, a professor emeritus at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, is a senior adviser to the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and the author of “The Road to War: Presidential Commitments Honored and Betrayed.”
An eerie silence has fallen over President Obama’s confusing policy toward the civil war in Syria.
A month or so after Obama announced, through a spokesman, that he had changed his policy and decided to send military supplies to the rebel forces fighting the Assad regime, the rebels contend they have yet to receive “a single bullet.” Questions mount by the day. Allies in the region wonder what’s up. And there are no clear answers.
Is the United States sending supplies to the rebels or not? If the rebels — who are split into competing clans — falter badly, as may now be the case, will Obama commit U.S. forces to the fight, or will he grudgingly accept an Assad victory? Is the United States facing another war in the Middle East or another strategic retreat — and humiliation?