Vance Serchuk confirms that we can ignore his analysis of Iran’s role in Syria:
Of course, there is another aspect of the Iraq war the Obama administration might consider before wishing a similar experience on Iran: namely that, in the end, the United States prevailed [bold mine-DL].
On the contrary, the Iraq war was the greatest strategic blunder the U.S. has made since Vietnam. There would have been no insurgency, much less any “al-Qaeda-linked insurgency” if there had been no war, and there would have been no way for Iranian-backed militias to operate in Iraq if it had not been for the invasion. The U.S. was eventually able to extricate itself from this debacle, but the U.S. and its allies didn’t prevail. If Serchuk truly believes that the U.S. won in Iraq, we have to wonder how divorced from reality the rest of his analysis is.
Suppose that there was a U.S. client state suffering from a large internal rebellion, and the U.S. sent weapons, funds, other proxy forces, and military advisers to aid the client government to keep it from being overthrown. Then imagine that almost every other major regional government was supporting the rebellion to one degree or another with the express purpose of defeating the U.S. client. Wouldn’t everyone understand that the client state was becoming a drain on the U.S. and that the conflict was swallowing up resources that could be used elsewhere? Even if the conflict in Syria doesn’t “exhaust” Iran, it imposes more costs on Iran simply to prop up a client whose value to Tehran is diminishing daily.
It can’t be considered a “win” for Iran to have to keep a weakened client in power by expending its own resources and damaging its reputation throughout the region. Syrian regime forces may be gaining ground, but that is only after they had lost control of at least half the country, and it is unlikely that they will be able to retake all of what they have lost. The rebellion against Assad and his regime has already been a calamity for Iran, and even if it keeps Assad in power for a few more years it will have done so by frittering away resources and influence that it won’t easily replace.