È questa la domanda che Judy Dempsey rivolge ad alcuni esperti di politica internazionale per la rubrica Judy Ask di Carnegie Europe: rispondono  Federiga Bindi, Ian Bond, Ian Bremmer, Joerg Forbrig, Florence Gaub and Nicu Popescu, Kristina Kausch, Marc Pierini, Gianni Riotta, Ulrich Speck, Paul Stronski, Nathalie Tocci e Pierre Vimont.

L'opinione di Gianni Riotta:

Yes. But is Russian President Vladimir Putin ready to play ball? The conflict in Syria now more closely resembles a plot from the TV series Game of Thrones than the immutable, glacial, frozen trenches of World War I. Friends and foes change overnight. Maps of the bombing patterns of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s army and of the self-styled Islamic State reveal that the two sides rarely hit each other, as they both focus their fire on other rebel militias. 

Putin wants to keep his safe harbor at the Syrian coastal city of Latakia while having a bargaining chip on the table. He may bet on diplomacy and try to engage U.S. President Barack Obama in some kind of talks. But Putin is a tactician, never a strategist. So he will not wage war in the Middle East, a task too difficult for today’s Russia. Instead, he will brawl and flex his muscles, but mostly, he will wait and see what the United States and Europe do.

So what will they do? I wish I could pen an articulate answer full of innuendos and smart speculations. My guess, sadly, is that the Americans and Europeans will sit and talk, launch a few air strikes, and wait for the next wave of refugees.