strategy of the Syrian nightmare


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The strategy of the Syrian nightmare merits a book in itself, not a mere blog post, but I will share some strategic insights in no particular order, based on my experiences with America’s post-Cold War military adventures.

1. The enemy gets a vote. Always. He will react in ways you cannot accurately predict. Israel is close-by: hint.

2. When your enemy is on “death ground” – as Assad and his Alawi and Christian supporters surely are – they care a lot more about this fight than you do, or ever will.

3. “Surgical strikes” belong in PowerPoints by greedy defense contractors, not the real world of warfare.

4. When all belligerents in a conflict are morally repugnant, you ought to chose sides carefully (better yet: don’t).

5. Proxy wars will last far longer, and turn out far nastier, than seems logical, especially when the stakes seem high for one or more outside players.

6. If you want to seriously effect change you will wind up putting boots on the ground. Period. If you ignore this reality – or worse, guess wrong about how many troops you need – you may create a firestorm (see: Iraq 2003).

7. Putting Western boots on the ground in cultures where we and our values are hated is a bad idea unless you are willing to play by their rules, ie be highly brutal on a grand scale towards even civilians. Better not to do it.

8. Never, ever stop thinking about the value of the object, ie what do we really want here? Negative aims are fine, but not having clear, achievable aims is a good way to lose quick.

9. Certain cultures are not impressed by “surgical strikes.” They use mass brutality and think anything less is weak, even effeminate.

10. US and NATO are very good at ISR and precision strike, we have learned an enormous amount about the tactics of hi-tech killing over the last dozen years of war in CENTCOM. But this is not the same thing as strategic wisdom or political insight. Strategy trumps tactics in the long run, always.

More as it happens … and you can bet a lot more will be happening soon.\

Lesson #1. The supposed reason of stopping gas attacks is total US bullshit.
Lesson #2. If Iraq and the phony claims of WMD's didn't teach the amerinazi war apologists anything then nothing ever will.
Lesson #3. The US is treading on pretty soft ground now with the UN but most likely will blackmail enough countries at the UN into supporting it's plans for war.
Lesson #4. US politicians usually only support their own president's wars but the Repubs love wars of aggression so dearly that they will have a hard time denying even Obama who they hate.
Lesson #5. Syria is the next US victim in it's long list of wars of aggression on behalf of Israel and maintaining US control over ME oil.
Lesson #6. Forget all the phony hype and other bullshit that is being used to justify this coming war.