© Sputnik/ Sergei Guneev
00:29 09.05.2016(updated 00:30 09.05.2016) Get short URL
Russia has demonstrated to Middle East leaders that it is a country willing to act, which had completely changed the region’s perception of the US, according to former top Obama White House aide on Middle East issues, Dennis Ross.America may seem strong regarding its military capability in the region, but for some reason local leaders are becoming frequent visitors in Moscow, not Washington DC, Ross wrote in a piece for Politico. The diplomat noted that the Arabs as well as Israelis gave up on Obama because of his indecisiveness.
"Because perceptions matter more than mere power: The Russians are seen as willing to use power to affect the balance of power in the region, and we are not," he explained.
According to Ross, the problem lies in Barack Obama's different approach and view on the situation. He believes that the lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan influenced Obama's reluctance to apply force unless his country is directly threatened. It explains why the US president is justifying preemptive action against terrorists and why he thinks Moscow will lose as a result of its military operation in Syria.
Meanwhile, Middle East countries, including US allies, favor Moscow's policy, the diplomat emphasized.
"The Russian military intervention turned the tide in Syria and, contrary to Obama's view, has put the Russians in a stronger position without imposing any meaningful costs on them", He wrote.
Ross added that the Syrian operation didn't just consolidate the position of Bashar Assad but in many respects pushed Moscow out of international isolation. Moreover, it is now President Obama himself calling Putin and seeking his assistance in pressuring Assad, making it obvious who has the stronger position.
"Middle Eastern leaders recognize it as well and realize they need to be talking to the Russians if they are to safeguard their interests," Ross wrote "It would be better if, internationally, Putin were seen to be losing. But he is not".
He concluded that in order to remedy the situation US has to perform a number of steps, including toughening declaratory policy toward Iran, preparing to arm the Sunni tribes in Iraq and threatening Russia to develop safe havens with no-fly zones in Syria.
Read more: http://sputniknews.com/world/20160509/1039282040/middle-east-obama-putin.html#ixzz486lY9abR