Mikhail Gorbachev lamented this week that Vladimir Putin has undone all that Russia has accomplished in establishing freedom. There's no doubt that Putin has taken a step back towards Russia's cold war days. Their involvement in the Middle East is increasing as is their belligerence towards the U.S. Things are really heating up in the Syria.
The Arab Summit broke up early with nations arguing over Saudi Arabia's push to help the rebels in Syria. Prince Bandar bin Sultan, Saudi Arabia's chief of intelligence admitted that his agents purchased Russian made MLRS and Hurricane 957 launchers capable of firing scores of 220 mm rockets up to 70 kilometers away. They have put them in the hands of Syrian rebels with the specific purpose of helping them to capture the Syrian air base at Nairab; part of Aleppo's international airport.
This is significant as the battle for Aleppo has been at a virtual stalemate for a year but more so because Russian and Iranian cargo planes loaded with weapons and replacement parts for Syria's military are now landing at Nairab. Rebel forces control more of the area around the airfield at Damascus and forced Russian planes to stop landing there.
Lately both Russia and Iran have doubled the number of planes landing at Nairab and warned Syrian rebels if they fire on planes landing at Nairab the way they fired at Russian and Iranian planes landing in Damascus then Russian troops will take over the area around Nairab and ensure it's protection themselves. If Russia inserts its military directly into the conflict, what would the U.S. do? Nothing, given Obama's history. Oh, there would be lots of words but no action of importance.
This situation has also widened the rift in the Arab world between Saudi Arabia and Qatar especially. Qatari and Saudi delegates to the Arab summit engaged in fist fights and arguments after Saudis admitted obtaining and sending heavy weapons to specific rebel units not tied to al Qaeda or the Muslim Brotherhood. Saudi officials believe Qatar is trying to support al Qaeda forces fighting in Syria and wants to establish another government run by the Muslim Brotherhood in the Middle East. We don't have to explain how bad that would be...
But it comes down to this, U.S. policy has failed miserably in the Middle East. The only thing that would be worse is complete isolationism, letting it sort itself out and threatening a significant source of energy, not to mention letting al Qaeda and other radical sects of Islam obtain significant military assets including nuclear technology. Yeah, lets let that happen.