U.S. to Step Up Role in Syria

"FSA rebels cleaning their AK47s" by VOA News; Scott Bobb reporting from Aleppo, Syria - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDAxseKRHw4. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons

National security officials within the Obama administration convened last week to discuss a plan to move the U.S. strategy for defeating ISIS to Syria after efforts in Iraq have fallen flat in recent months.

The move, according to officials, could mean a more aggressive move to arming Syrian rebels much in the same way American armament has been sent to Kurdish forces north of Iraq.

The strategy, however, is fraught with serious existential threats to a balance of power in the region precisely at a time when Russia and Iran have coalesced to arm the Assad regime in Syria for its ongoing civil war.

U.S. reinforcements of the rebel effort would likely pose a double-edged threat: first that it could help gain an upper hand against ISIS but second that the U.S. would be seen as escalating efforts to topple Assad and diminish Russian influence in the Middle East.

Eerily similar to the events that led to the Cuban missile crisis, some experts suggest that the tension could lead to a second Cold War with Russia.