View Full Version : Targeting......Syria......And The 5 Rings

08-27-2013, 07:52 PM
Your Mission is to deter the future use of Chemical Weapons by the Syrian regime. You can use any Air,Electronic,Intelligence assets of the USA military services and the CIA.

Using Warden's 5 rings what would your targets be?

08-27-2013, 08:09 PM
Assuming that we really want to save the poor Syrian people from chemical weapon attacks, and assuming that the evil Assad regime actually launched the attacks (both open to question to some degree, but lets play along):
Leadership and nothing else. With drones and sigint and humint (I am just having fun with these words), daily hits on any leader (meaning anyone in the Assad family, known close associates, senior military, secret police chiefs, etc) who happens to be found.
Even then, it would be important to have a backchannel to them saying "if you do X, you are off the hit list".
Oh yes, daily list of "Obama's most-wanted", posters on the internet (just for show, there is little internet left in Syria now, but we could have wanted-poster design competitions in high schools), playing card decks with pictures of the bad guys for TV reporters. Running totals. Video games showing bad guys getting hit. Video of bombs entering chimneys. That sort of thing.
It would work too.
Seriously it would. But we are too nice to do that, not nice enough to stay away.

08-28-2013, 11:45 AM
Diplomacy, diplomacy, diplomacy. Isolate all elements from external support. Work WITH Russia, Chine and the UN. Prevent arms supplies to ALL parties. Establish a ceasefire within Syria. Monitor with UN forces and air power. Strike any elements breaking ceasefire. Get all side to the negotiating table. Do NOT take sides (increases legitimacy of monitoring force in eyes of primary participants). Once internal elements are unable to resupply they will exhaust themselves. Include Assad government in any and all negotiations. Sit back and let them make their own peace/mess.

Alternative? Create a new Egypt or Libya and watch it all go to pot. Use air strikes and watch Uk and Us create new enemies for themselves, sit back and learn no lessons from history and then wonder how we got ourselves into this mess.:D

John T. Fishel
08-28-2013, 01:18 PM
Slap, what you go after depends on what you want to accomplish. First strategic question: what is the objective? Follows from; what is the US interest? Then there is the Clauswitzian question: what kind of war are you embarking on?

Last first: intervention in a sectarian war involving Iran as a support and through proxies. The US interests are to (1) weaken Iran and its proxies; (2) demonstrate the high cost to Russia of supporting a criminal regime; (3) protect the people of Syria to the extent possible given that we have failed to do so for over 2 years. Objectives: (1) make the use of chem weapons so costly that they will not be used again; (2) weaken Assad to the point where the rebels have a chance to defeat him (that means hurting the regime and therefore its allies); (2) strengthening those elements of the opposition that are most supportive of US goals in the region.

Rings: (1) degrade C2 especially that of the AF. (Leadership but limited); (2) Crater airfields (infrastructure); (3) destroy Syrian AF (deployed mil forces). If you look at this I am following the lead of GEN jack Keane:D



09-08-2013, 05:27 AM
Institute for the Study of War has a nice PDF form the requirements to degrade Syria's Air Force was done at the beginning of August this year to.


09-08-2013, 05:45 AM
Link December to 2012 article from the Montgomery Advertiser by Colonel Warden on the idea of intervention in Syria. Read closely it suggest that Obama was thinking about serious intervention all the way back then.


09-08-2013, 01:00 PM
Not really deterrence, but:

Leadership: Give Assad and his family an exit option. Due to sanctions and the threat of facing trial
in the Hague, they cant go anywhere and have to fight to the end with all means at their disposal.

Population: Give Alawites and Shiites a survival option. They face danger of elimination from Sunni islamist groups.
Their best bet now is staying loyal to Assad and his family.

09-08-2013, 10:37 PM
Any strike that does not target the leadership and any policy that does not include a VERY serious effort to figure out how to protect the Alawites and Christians in the aftermath is immoral and is going to create more problems than it solves.