What we may be seeing in US policy is competing agendas. The diplomatic track appears to be favored by the White House and State Department as a more efficacious way of achieving regime change against the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad. But the Pentagon, and specifically the CIA, has its own militarist schemes, even if that means providing weapons to terror groups with much greater fire power and risking a proxy war with Russia.Because of its deep cover, it is very difficult to unravel the details of this fascist "deep state". However here is my general interpretation based on 60 years as an activist and a student of political events related to US policies.
The upshot is that US foreign policy is dangerously all over the place because of competing power players within Washington. The disturbing conclusion is that the American president and his State Department are simply not in control. It’s like watching a driver of an articulated truck whose grip on the wheel has no steering.
A deep, darker state within the official state is by no means a new concept to describe American government and its foreign policy. More than 50 years ago, President John F. Kennedy was so perplexed by CIA covert operations undermining him on Cuba and Vietnam that he declared he would “smash it into a thousand pieces.” That intention probably caused Kennedy his life at the hands of the deep state and its military-industrial complex.
Since end of WWII the fascist "deep state" has gradually taken control of the US behind a facade of "democratic" governance which is the formal mechanisms of government. (They clearly demonstrated their ascendancy with the Kennedy assassination and with several others that followed.) The latter provides essentially the public relations cover for the fascist deep state. Their actions are what is reported in corporate media, while the hidden capitalist deep state is in actual control of policies and actions which are all decided in secret. Beyond this framework things get a lot more speculative as to the details, especially how policies are mediated within the deep state. But what is clear is that government officials under this arrangement are subservient to the deep state apparatus. Cunningham points out the contrast between the policies of what he views as a bifurcated government, but in reality there is no bifurcation. There is only a public relations facade covering over a fascist deep state. Furthermore, I do not believe that the deep state is controlled by generals, although there may be some among the directorate of the deep state. The overwhelming majority are from major financial institutions and Wall Street in general.
But, make no mistake by believing that the deep state relies completely on their facade to control the American populace. It's just that they have had so much success with manipulating, deceiving, distracting, dumbing-down, and confusing Americans with their control of all institutions (media, education, and entertainment) that they do not see any reason to dispense with this facade. They decided long ago not to rely completely on it by constructing an elaborate police state apparatus (militarized police forces that function with impunity) complete with laws that, should they decide to fully implement them, will legally support such an overt fascist state.