This should be expected from the New Yorker as the MH17 shoot down provides the author the opportunity to resurrect past history to discredit the US.
But despite that the author does highlight the risks of using indigenous forces (or proxies) that cannot be controlled by the sponsor (and not just the US as a sponsor). This history has to be studied and not overlooked whenever anyone decides that working through and with indigenous forces might be an option. We should never discount that potential option solely because of the history as it may be the right method for a given strategic situation but we also must figure out how to mitigate the potential blowback from doing so. But his conclusion regarding Putin is very important: