Think back a year or more ago…..Syria had just used CWs on its population and the Neo-cons went bat crap crazy……..they demanded that the US do something……none were really too clear on what….but something must be done!
We have sent some humanitarian aid and various amounts of small arms….but neocons demanded more that we were killing the resistance to Assad by not sending bigger and better weapons and of course….we needed to do what we do best….airstrikes.
Well the Pentagon is set to pour more money into the Syrian civil war….they are seeking something like an extra $500 million for training of the Syrian rebels…….first we should ask….which rebels? There are moderates and there are the fringe lunatics like ISIS……and how would we guarantee that the “proper” rebels would get the training?
The next question should be…..would this money be a waste? Why ask that?
For one, it seems that Assad could be winning this war…….
Territorial Control: Syrian government troops have managed to hold on to most major urban centers, but large parts of the countryside are either in rebel hands, or a heavily contested no-man zone. The pro-Assad forces have a strong grip on the capital Damascus in the south, central Syria with the Homs province, and the Mediterranean coast in the west. The government controls key strategic routes connecting the capital with the coastline and with the Jordanian border in the south, ensuring the survival of the regime.
Military Power: Syria’s regular armed forces have been stretched thin by the widespread rebellion, suffering heavy casualties from daily ambushes and bomb attacks. However, the elite units numbering about 50 000 men are well-equipped, manned by Alawite loyalists from Assad’s home region, and backed by air support and heavy artillery. Plus, the regime has organized tens of thousands of supporters into paramilitary units that could continue the fight even if Assad himself were to lose control of the capital.
Even Syria’s dire enemy Israel does not see the rebels as winning the war……..this from a piece in the Times of Israel…….
“Assad has secured 70-80 percent of essential Syria,” the official said, sketching a line from Aleppo in the north down through Hama, Homs, Damascus and the southern areas near Jordan and the city of Dara’a – a Syrian city where the war began and, currently, a channel through which Sunni extremists enter Syria from Jordan.
The official’s depiction of the situation in Syria contradicts an assessment given by a top defense official, who in May told several journalists that Assad’s forces have lost the entire Golan Heights, aside from Quneitra and one enclave, and that, “In Aleppo, in Damascus, in the north near the Turkish border, in the Golan Heights – in all of these places he is losing.”
If Assad is truly winning the civil war….what will extra training for the rebels actually accomplish?
And we can ask…..If we had listened to John McCain would the outcome be different? Would airstrikes in the early part of the war have made a difference?
I am sure that the GOP will make hay out of any defeat of the rebels as ….”Obama’s fault”……..The argument could be made that we could have made a difference……it could be made….but not be me.