Forecast: The Syrian Theater

A normal person might think that our continuous war in the Middle East has hit upon a stalemate….the news about Russia, North Korea, health care, protests by athletes, etc…the Middle East is a place of quiet reflection right now.

Nothing could be further from the truth…..civilians are still dying, ISIS is still attacking in various ways, Kurds are demanding independence and so on…..and since this is the region that I focus most of my work on then I need to keep my readers up to date as much as possible…..

Unless you read blogs then you might think that all is well in the Middle East especially Syria…..

This is a report by the Institute for the Study of War……..

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The United States will continue to risk its vital strategic interests in the Middle East unless it changes its policies in Syria and Iraq. President Donald Trump and his administration inherited a weakened U.S. position, with Russia imposing constraints on American freedom of action and options. The Trump administration has taken initial steps to advance U.S. prestige in the region by reassuring America’s traditional allies and acting more firmly against its enemies and adversaries. The tactical tasks of recapturing Mosul and liberating Raqqa from the Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) are complete and nearly complete, respectively. Nevertheless, its efforts to define and execute policies that secure America’s vital interests are moving more slowly than those of America’s enemies, adversaries, and spoilers who are more agile than the U.S. These actors include Russia, Iran and its proxies, Turkey, ISIS, al Qaeda, and some Kurdish elements, who are pursuing goals that threaten American objectives and are exploiting the current situation to make strategic gains as the U.S. champions short-term gains and tactical success.

The Trump administration has not yet broken with its predecessor’s approach to the Middle East, particularly in Syria and Iraq. It has prioritized conducting counterterrorism operations against ISIS to recapture ISIS’s territory. American military forces have accelerated this campaign by relying on the most readily available local forces, including Kurdish forces in northern Syria that are aligned with terrorists targeting Turkey. The administration has eschewed a U.S. role in addressing the regional war’s underlying drivers, including the role of the Bashar al Assad regime in Syria and sectarianism in Iraq stoked by Iran. The main effort of the counter-ISIS fight must become preventing the organization from reconstituting and its rivals from inheriting its leadership of the Iraqi and global jihad. ISIS re-emerged from a defeated al Qaeda in Iraq and controlled Iraqi cities only three years after American troops departed in 2011.

Read the full report (PDF).

AS the reader can see….there is more going on than the news media lets us mere mortals onto…..but thanx to my dogged desire to see that the situation in the Middle East remains in the forefront….and that my readers keep abreast of the situations that they will be paying for in the future with cash and blood.

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2 thoughts on “Forecast: The Syrian Theater

  1. Always interesting to see how the media switches focus, as if last week’s news has gone away. As far as I can tell, the Syrian conflict is as bad as ever, still unresolved, and likely to remain so for a long time. The idea that Assad has ‘won’, and it’s all over, just seems to be a media invention.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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