Syria–The Nation

For a couple of years the Us and its allies in NATO have been bombing the crap out of the country trying desperately to bring down the group commonly known as ISIS….let’s us say that it is final and ISIS is destroyed what of the future of Syria?

Not long ago I offered a post on the future of Syria…

Source: Does Syria Have A Future? – In Saner Thought

I said that the future of Syria did not have much of a bright spot….and then I read a report by the Rand Corporation…….

This paper offers recommendations for U.S. policy for a postconflict transition in Syria that prevents state collapse, reduces the potential for the recurrence of war, and defeats terrorist groups that have taken hold in the country. These three objectives, we suggest, are best achieved by working with Russia and through the United Nations Security Council, especially in the absence of a regional consensus to end the war. Furthermore, Syria’s political culture and modern history reflect a tradition of centralization and nationalism, which should be acknowledged in postconflict planning. In contrast, policies that seek to divide the country or deliberately or inadvertently weaken or destabilize state institutions — such as support for armed groups that carry out attacks against the state or postconflict governance and reconstruction plans that overemphasize local governance at the expense of the state — may ultimately prove counterproductive in preventing a return to conflict and violence.

The analysis and recommendation presented in this paper should be of interest to policymakers, media, and scholars who specialize in U.S. foreign policy, Syria, and the Middle East.

Source: Preventing State Collapse in Syria | World Affairs Journal

The problem with this paper is that it assumes that there is a state apparatus remaining in place.

I do not see it.

If and when this fight is over then there is still so many groups that live in various parts of the country and they will demand many things from any remaining Syrian state…..if the state is not willing to grant these concessions then the fighting will start up once again.

I fear that without much more diplomatic input this situation will be self-perpetuating….and a deadly situation.

There is a reason for my pessimism…..

Report: Syria is emerging as the newest and most important safe haven for al-Qaeda as the radical Salafi-jihadi ideology threatens to subvert the pluralistic and nationalist goals of the 2011 Syrian Uprising. And it is Bashar al-Assad who is directly responsible for creating the conditions that are empowering al-Qaeda in Syria, as the policies pursued by his government are creating the sociopolitical conditions for extremism to thrive. – Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy

Only time will tell the fate of Syria…..and the fates are not smiling on it.

Even the major players can be at odds over the future……

The differences between the Russians, the Turks, and the Iranians in Syria are slowly surfacing and gaining greater weight. An Iranian news site — TABNAK

Source: Syria and the Complex Geostrategic Game of Russia-Turkey-Iran | Middle East Briefing

A game that the Syrians will lose in the end.

A “Fighting” American Speaks

Everybody has an opinion on what to do in Syria….these “ideas” range from “making sand glow” to full engagement to “get the Hell out”….

I read an interesting thought by someone who has actually fought in Syria….I trust his thoughts more so than those of people that have never fought in a war…..in my opinion those that stayed home have nothing to say worth listening to….but I digress…

This is from a soldier that was fighting with the Kurds……

“This reminds me of when I was fighting ISIS,” Robert Amos told me, improbably, one sunny September day as we rode in a white Jeep through the streets of downtown Washington, DC. The vehicle was packed with four elderly Kurdish passengers in sweaters and suit jackets, members of the American Kurdish Information Network, a nonprofit organization. They complained in their native Kurmanji dialect about the broken air conditioner, and Amos occasionally chimed in with phrases that he learned during six months he spent as a soldier with the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, the predominately Kurdish militia that controls a 200-mile stretch of territory in northern Syria known as Rojava.

Source: This American Fought ISIS. Now He’s Trying to Get Washington to Untangle Its Syria Policy | Mother Jones

Every “lawmaker” should heed the words of this person….since NONE of them had enough guts to fight and die in this conflict (well maybe not all)….commonsense is needed….and commonsense does not inhabit Washington on any level.

Bombs Away!

The US has set a new all-time record….it has dropped more bombs in 2016 than any other time….it will be an Obama legacy…..

The U.S. dropped 26,171 bombs last year, 3,027 more than 2015.

According to an analysis of Defense Department data from the Council on Foreign Relations, a non-partisan think tank, the majority of the bombs were dropped in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. leads an international coalition fighting the Islamic State group in both countries and has carried out air operations in attempt to reduce the area controlled by the terrorist organization.

Nearly the same amount of bombs were dropped in Syria (12,192) and Iraq (12,095) last year.

All that death and destruction what has the US really gained from all this?
Glad you asked and I have an answer for you….PROFIT!  But not for the country rather those defense contractors that keep us at war constantly.
That’s bad news for the people in those countries the bombs are falling on, and bad news for the taxpayers, but it’s great news for a handful of key US arms makers, who are seeing their sales soar on the orders that the military has placed to replace the dropped bombs and fired missiles.

These bombs aren’t cheap, with even the smaller “dumb bombs” amounting to $30,000 or more, and more advanced technology like Lockheed Martin’s Hellfire missiles costing in excess of $100,000 each. With thousands of Hellfire missiles being fired, that’s a costly proposition.

From the Pentagon’s perspective, the big issue in all of this is that the companies are having trouble escalating production fast enough to meet demand, and they are fretting that bombs are being dropped faster than they’re being replaced.

There is your answer…..”War is good Business”.

Iraq: The More The Merrier

There has not been much in the news about the battle for Mosul in Iraq during the first days of this new year….

Last year I was concerned that the slow uptick of US troops would once again be a problem for the US….I still think that the problem is still growing…..

As Iraq continues to try to get their military offensive against the ISIS-held city of Mosul going, the Pentagon has announced that the US has doubled the number of advisers embedded with Iraqi forces in the area, saying there are “about 450” advisers now involved in the fight.

Military spokesman Col. John Dorrian further confirmed that there are an “unspecified,” but expanding number of US “advisers” embedded inside the city of Mosul itself, where heavy fighting is constantly ongoing. Iraq claims to have about 60% control over eastern Mosul, the less populace half of the city.

Despite repeated reports out of Mosul portraying the situation as non-stop fighting in the city, Dorrian was quick to reiterate that none of the US troops are technically involved in “direct combat,” and are simply deployed into combat areas in support roles.

Which is misleading at best, as was the Pentagon’s report that 4,935 US troops are currently in Iraq. The number of troops “officially” in Iraq is a carefully negotiated figure between the US and Iraqi governments, and officials have repeatedly admitted that the US has made a habit of keeping large numbers of troops in Iraq off the books by labeling their deployments as “temporary.” Though there is no accurate figure on the total number of US troops in Iraq, most estimates put it around 6,000.

(antiwar.com)

We keep adding troops …slowly…..the added troops will make the chances of Americans being killed more likely with each new report.

How many more will it take before too many is enough?

Does Syria Have A Future?

Note:  I have a massive amount of “drafts” in waiting…..as we start a new year I need to drop some on you guys and clean out the file….hopefully these will give my readers something to consider…….there is so much about to happen that I need the space…..please bear with me.

Now moving on to the rest of the day……

Most Americans are aware of the situation in Syria…but not all.  The destruction of the country is of little concern of us but it is paramount to anyone living in Syria or that has family in the war torn country.

There is a ceasefire….well a partial ceasefire…..

There are some that like to look at a way to solve any further complications once this civil war is over…..I have written a couple of posts about a possible future….

https://lobotero.com/2016/08/09/syria-a-balkanizing-future/

https://lobotero.com/2016/08/30/the-partition-of-syria/

 

As you can see most of the “solutions” have little to do with saving Syria but rather dividing it up that will cause even more problems down the road…

Our new president has offered up a plan…..well sort of a plan…..

Donald Trump’s “Thank You” tour rolled into Hershey, Pa., Thursday night, where he promised to do something to end suffering in Syria. “When I look at what’s going on in Syria, it’s so sad,” he said, per the New York Times. “It’s so sad, and we’re going to help people.” He promised to “build and help build safe zones in Syria, so people will have a chance,” and said Gulf states would help pay for the move. Analysts have warned that such a move could set up a confrontation with Russia, and the Times notes that this is the first time Trump has repeated his “safe zones” promise since he started receiving security briefings.

Just where would these so-called “safe zones” be located?  Or how would the “safety” be guaranteed?

These are more campaign promises than an actual plan.

“Peace For Our Time”

Those are the now infamous words uttered by Neville Chamberlain after is meeting with Hitler over the annexation of parts of Czechoslovakia….the path that proved to lead to a larger conflict.

These days it is words that could be applied to the conflict in Syria….with the same results in the end.

The Syrian army has announced a nationwide ceasefire, the AP reports. In a statement carried by state news agency SANA on Thursday, the military command “declares a comprehensive nationwide cessation of hostilities as of midnight.” State TV says the ceasefire paves the way for reactivating negotiations to end the conflict and says the ceasefire comes after the “successes achieved by the armed forces,” an apparent reference to the capture of rebel-held neighborhoods of Aleppo earlier this month. Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that Russia and Turkey will guarantee the truce, and he’s ordered the Russian military to scale down its presence in Syria, where it has provided crucial support to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces. Turkey supports the opposition.

Putin didn’t say how many troops and weapons will be withdrawn and noted Russia will continue “fighting international terrorism in Syria” and supporting Assad’s military. Turkey’s Foreign Ministry says groups regarded as terror organizations by the UN Security Council will be excluded from the ceasefire, apparently referring to ISIS and the al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat Fateh al-Sham Front. It says the government and the opposition have agreed to halt attacks, including aerial attacks, and not to expand territories under their control in a way that would be detrimental to each other. Meanwhile, Ahmad Ramadan of the Syrian National Coalition said in text messages to the AP that members of the Free Syrian Army, a loose alliance of several moderate rebel factions, will abide by the truce but retaliate to violations by government and allied forces. The ceasefire is to be followed by renewed peace negotiations to end the nearly six-year conflict.

Seriously?

Chamberlain had to deal with one lunatic…this time around it is far more complicated than in 1938….this time there is many more lunatics than in the past.

Syria Ceasefire Agreed, backed by Russia and Turkey | World Affairs Journal

ISIS and the AQ affiliate are not part of this ceasefire….so how does this constitute a ceasefire in the entire country?  So the war on these groups will continue, right?  How does that constitute a countrywide ceasefire?

I could say this is a good first step….but knowing the players…..will be a momentary lull.

I mean with so many players what could possibly go wrong, right?

There Is A Syrian Plan?

The Civil War has been raging in Syria for years and it appears that we are NO closer to an end game than we were last year…..but wait!

According to the Tasnim News Agency Iran, Turkey and Russia have issued a statement on the future of Syria……

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran, Russia and Turkey issued a joint statement on Tuesday, calling for continued cooperation on Syria and reiterating their respect for Syria’s sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity.

Source: Tasnim News Agency – Iran, Russia, Turkey Underline Respect for Syria’s Territorial Integrity

So far I have not been able to confirm this elsewhere so there is a possibility that this is just a propaganda piece….but it needed to be covered because of the implications.

Whereas the statement above is a bit of positive news there are others in the Middle East that do not see the “good” of this plan…..

This is an op-ed piece in another news source in the Middle East, al-Monitor….

Despite successful cooperation with Moscow to help retake Aleppo, Tehran is likely to remain suspicious of Russian intentions and maneuvering in Syria.

On Dec. 8, Moscow announced a new round of talks between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his US counterpart, Secretary of State John Kerry, to try to find a solution for the embattled city and possibly the entire country. As anticipated from the moment the talks were announced, and like the previous peace efforts by the two powers, the new diplomatic initiative did not lead to a successful outcome. Indeed, as early as Dec. 12, it was declared that the dialogue had ended in deadlock.

Of interest, however, is that Iran was once again not a part of Russia’s diplomatic maneuvering on Syria, and this raises questions about Tehran’s place in Russia’s overall Syrian strategy. In fact, although Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bugdanov said that he had informed Iran of the latest US proposal, the Iranians denied receiving information in this regard.

Source: Three reasons Iran should worry over Russia’s Syria plans

Conflicting views of the situation in Syria…..seems it is not only the West that has these types of thoughts….

Just wanted to let my readers know that the divisions over Syria are not just a western problem……

The only thought I have is….Syria is so screwed!