Today, everybody has a surrogate. Some people make a living being surrogates. They are called lawyers. No matter what you do, they will stand in front of God, a judge, and a jury of your peers and tell them that "some other dude done it". After you enter a plea to the judge of "not guilty", you do not have to say another word. The lawyer will do the talking. Handy things these surrogates.
I have a couple of young grandsons that don't worry about somebody picking on them. They have surrogates in the form of a couple of big brothers. Both, also my grandsons. Even Barack Obama has surrogates. That would be who ever is available to be thrown under the bus at any given time. Very handy things these surrogates.
Even countries have surrogates. If Russia wants something to happen in the middle east, their people whisper in the ears of the Ayatollahs in Iran. But Iran has surrogates too. They are called Hamas, or Hezbollah, or Syria. While Syria is not on speaking terms with Al Qaeda, Hamas and Hezbollah are. So you can see that a word whispered by the Russian leadership, can stir up all kinds of evil mischief in that miserable and unhappy part of the world.
In the international community, the bigger you are the more likely that other countries will be willing to be your surrogate. You have largesse to give to those that are your close friends. You have powerful weapons to loan or give outright, and you offer protection from the other big dogs. If North Korea weren't a surrogate for China, the Kims would have been gone decades ago.
The United States used to have surrogates. They were allies, certainly. We could ask them to do some of the light work as long as we were around to do the heavy lifting. But we are seen as a confused and uncertain friend in these early years of the twenty-first century. We are no longer seen as the robust and infinitely loyal friend that we were in the days of "The Greatest Generation". Truth be told, we are no longer that country. We could be, but in our nations capitol we have traded statesmen for politocrats that care naught for their country. They care only for themselves.
Today we have actually become a surrogate nation. For instance, with all of the turmoil in the middle east has anyone ever seen a Saudi Army deployed. They don't have to deploy. They have oil. We need oil. Case closed. Does Kuwait or Oman or any somewhat friendly country in that part of the world even own weapons of defense? They are never seen to be used. They don't have to. They hold us in thrall with their oil.
So we give away our wealth and shed our blood so that those that really don't like us much can prosper. Since we have adequate energy resources under our own soil along with our two close neighbors, Mexico and Canada, this strikes me as insanity and incompetence. I suspect more than a few people out there agree with me. Take care of our own needs first. Then we will no longer be someone's surrogate. But, most of all, stay out of Syria.