Another great read from The New Yorker.
In the same interview (with The Wall Street Journal), Trump articulated a new Syria policy:
He suggested a sharper focus on fighting Islamic State, or ISIS, in Syria, rather than on ousting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. “My attitude was you’re fighting Syria, Syria is fighting ISIS, and you have to get rid of ISIS. Russia is now totally aligned with Syria, and now you have Iran, which is becoming powerful, because of us, is aligned with Syria. . . . Now we’re backing rebels against Syria, and we have no idea who these people are.” If the U.S. attacks Mr. Assad, Mr. Trump said, “we end up fighting Russia, fighting Syria.”
A careful reading of the logic behind this policy is that President-elect Trump accepts that American foreign policy should be guided by Russia. According to Trump, if Russia has an interest and military presence in a region, the United States needs to align with Russian interests or “we end up fighting Russia.” Later that day, after Trump talked to Putin, the Kremlin issued a statement welcoming a “dialogue of partnership with the new administration.”