Consequences of the U.S.-Gulf Cooperation Council summit at Camp David last month already seem to be falling into place, with significant geopolitical consequences regarding the civil wars in Syria and Iraq.
The first result seems to be that the Obama administration will offer no significant upgrade other than the 3,000 U.S. troops already in Iraq. The president announced last week that he would add a few hundred more military advisers, but Gulf Arabs will supply the fighting forces. In return, those countries will acquiesce to the U.S.-Iran nuclear agreement.
In addition there are several hundred military personnel in Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey's Incirlik NATO airbase where coalition forces, largely American, are training a reported 1,500 vetted fighters from Syria.
But the vetting process is haphazard, and undoubtedly many fighters who previously fought with other jihadist groups have joined vetted fighters.
Never miss a local story.
The administration's assessment that the American people don't care that much about the wars in Iraq and Syria is correct, in spite of hawkish members of Congress who trumpet the need for more "boots on the ground." This situation could quickly change if a Republican were to be elected president.
At the summit, the Obama administration reportedly also accepted that jihadist forces, some affiliated with al-Qaida, could also join the battle against the al-Assad regime.
Indeed, it is the possibility of such an understanding that is facilitating agreement between Turkey and the U.S. to establish no-fly buffer zones along the Turkish-Syrian border. The zones would be protected on the ground by jihadist forces supported by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
One of the goals of such no-fly buffer zones would be to prevent ISIS forces from reaching the border. Importantly, it would also allow the probable defeat of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party in Syria and provide a significant challenge to the PKK, a Kudish Libertarian socialist organization in Turkey.
The toppling of the al-Assad regime, the weakening of Iran's Hezbollah ally and the defeat of Kurds would be for Turkey like killing several birds with one stone. It would also allow Turkey to return some of the estimated 2 million refugees from Syria which would contribute to strengthening Turkey's economic projection into northern Syria.
Once the buffer no-fly zones are fully established with vetted jihadist forces on the ground, these same forces would be in good position to attack al-Assad's army and supporters. This would also please Washington's Gulf Arab partners, as well as Israel, which is now cooperating with Saudi Arabia against ISIS. These developments may explain the reduced U.S. airstrikes against ISIS the past few weeks.
If the al-Assad regime collapsed, another major factor would be what actions the jihadist groups take toward Christians and Alawites, another religious minority. They largely support the al-Assad regime.
Given ISIS' barbarous treatment of religious minorities, Christians and women, the alliances to topple the al-Assad regime could result in a Faustian pact with the devil with major ethnic cleansing, like what happened to Bosnian Muslims and in Rwanda.
In those two genocides the United Nations, international community and the U.S. did little to prevent the killing.