Vladimir Putin is a chess player and the game today is taking place in Syria. He has moved his chess pieces -planes, soldiers, missiles –into Syria. He is convinced this show of force will intimidate and defeat groups such as ISIS, but especially Syrians who hate Assad and want him to leave the office of president. It is a big gamble for Putin. One might say, a chess game which is truly–winner take all. What most probably will be the outcome of this chess game?
1. Russian troops will die. That is the bad news. The good news is that in authoritarian Russia, the populace is cowed and will not protest.
2. Russian troops at this moment have high morale. That sense of being in charge will rapidly change to one of being beleaguered.
3. The Russian air bombing simply can not and will not work. This approach to dealing with guerrillas has failed time after time.
4. Most probably at some moment, Putin will force Assad to leave. Putin does not handle defeat very well. Entering Syria is a lose-lose proposition and someone has to take the blame– Assad.