The president's abrupt decision to arm Syrian rebels is a huge mistake, one driven by emotion and propaganda not they kind of strategic White House plan that has marked past successful interventions in civil wars, according to former Carter-era national security chief Zbigniew Brzezinski.
In a broad attack on President Obama's vague interventionist policy, the highly-respected international affairs analyst warned that by jumping in to Syria's civil war with no plan is likely to lead to another costly and extended military action that could eventually draw U.S. forces into a clash with Syria's top ally Iran.
"I think our posture is baffling, there no strategic design, we're using slogans," slammed Brzezinski on MSNBC's Morning Joe Friday. "It's a tragedy and it's a mess in the making," he said. "I do not see what the United States right now is trying to accomplish."
The administration Thursday changed its wait-and-see policy, sparked by Syrian admissions it had used chemical weapons in the civil war. The new policy of arming rebels was announced by deputy national security advisor Ben Rhodes.
"It all seems to me rather sporadic, chaotic, unstructured, undirected," said Brzezinski. "I think we need a serious policy review with the top people involved, not just an announcement from the deputy head of the NSC that an important event has taken place and we will be reacted to it."
Several lawmakers have been pressing Obama to arm rebels and create a no-fly zone, two things the president is finally willing to do. The effectiveness of a go-it-alone policy, however, has been questioned in the military, especially plans for a no-fly zone.
Brzezinski said, "we are running the risk of getting into another war in the region which may last for years and I don't see any real strategic guidance to what we are doing. I see a lot of rhetoric, a lot emotion, a lot of propaganda in fact."
Instead, he advised that the administration build a coalition that includes Russia, Japan, China and India to put pressure on Syria's ruling regime to give up.
"That is the kind of response that might have some effect. Instead we are essentially engaging mass propaganda, portraying this as a democratic war," said Brzezinski.