Only Russia has a clear goal—we should join it or stay outby Rachel Polonsky / October 9, 2015 / Leave a comment
Published in November 2015 issue of Prospect Magazine
As David Cameron prepares the way for a vote on bombing in Syria, Britain faces an ugly choice: whether to back Russia in targeting Islamic State, if that also means propping up President Bashar al-Assad—see James Harkin’s July 2013 cover story and Bronwen Maddox’s piece “Which side is Britain on?”. That is clearly Russia’s goal, and its deployment of aircraft and other forces gives it the upper hand. Rachel Polonsky argues here that this is the best course. Many would disagree, and see backing Russia—and Assad, whose military has killed so many Syrians—as a false answer and the fuel for civil war or for the country splitting. But many will agree, too, that the west has to talk to Russia—and that it has no clear plan of its own.