Why is Russia giving up on cooperation? For one:
... The Americans did nothing, as in nothing, to eliminate what is called the marbling of supposedly moderate rebels from those of supposedly more radical stripes. This was probably never possible for practical reasons alone: It is prima facie impossible to require rebel militias of any kind to leave their own towns and cities to fight in unfamiliar districts.
More to the point, the Kerry-Lavrov deal produced a moment of truth on the ideological side: Moderate Islamists favoring one or another form of tolerant democracy do not as a rule carry assault weapons, plain and simple. This fiction now explodes. Last week The Nation published an open letter signed by 157 prominent Syrian intellectuals—some, many, or most of them Muslim, all of them secular democrats. It should be read—in full knowledge that the US strategy in Syria has nothing to do with their cause apart from undermining it. The last thing Washington wants in the Arab world is democracy, as any history book can make plain.
This is part of the signatories’ point, indeed. As Moscow has finally grasped, there is no persuading the Americans to drop their obsession with advancing another coup in the cause of great-power rivalry. From here on out, we can forget about this iteration of the Reagan era’s “freedom fighter” narrative. And we can dismiss the Obama administration’s “strategic ambiguity” as to its objectives in Syria as so much rubbish. The Russians, please note, just did. ...
Read article for full details.