Watch this exchange at the recent Senate Hearings on US strategy in Syria between Senator Lindsey Graham, Defense Secretary Carter and Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Durnford. Graham grills the other two on US strategy in Syria and gets the following answers – we don't know, perhaps, I don't know, maybe, don't know, could be, who knows.
Carter and Durnford have no idea whether their latest effort will pay off or what the consequences will be: they haven't a clue. Graham abuses them but has no answers himself. Which, come to think of it, is a little strange given his propensity for tough-guy talk: To Putin: "If you think you’re gonna muscle your way around Europe, forget it." To China: "you’re gonna have a contest." To Iran: "We’re gonna sink your navy and we’re gonna shoot your air force down." Perhaps even he is capable of recognizing a dead end when his nose is pressed hard against it.
But all there agree that Something Must be Done. And that Something turns out to be More of the Same but slightly different.
There isn't the slightest consideration that what they did before has completely failed and that it might be time to re-think all their assumptions.
The video should be watched in full especially to see the stupidly hopeless expressions on the faces of all concerned.
This will stand as one of the moments when the hyperpower of yore is revealed to be running on empty. These people all know, at some level, that it's empty but they don't know what to do except keep going.