SMALL WARS COUNCIL
Go Back   Small Wars Council > Conflicts -- Current & Future > Other, By Region > Middle East

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-10-2012   #381
jmm99
Council Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 4,021
Default Whither the Atrocities Prevention Board ?

Since someone asked.

From Whither the Atrocities Prevention Board?:

Quote:
Back in August, President Obama signed into existence PSD-10, a Presidential Study Directive on Mass Atrocities. When it was first released, PSD-10 was well-received by liberal interventionists and those who believe that preventative diplomacy and coordinated action can head-off mass killings, Anne-Marie Slaughter and myself included. ...
...
... The Directive determined that an interagency study, led by the National Security Advisor, would be complete within 100 days, to determine the full mandate and make-up of the body, as well as its processes. The resulting Atrocities Prevention Board was to begin its work 120 days after the signature of PSD-10, on August 4, 2011. It has now been 147 days.

Since August 4th, precisely nothing has come out of the White House on the matter. There have been no stories written, in the mainstream media on the development of the Board since late August. None. Nothing on interagency squabbles that would prevent its creation, nothing on how close it is to launch, nothing on how David Pressman’s War Crimes, Atrocities and Civilian Protection directorate at the NSC is proceeding. Nothing.
That was posted on December 29, 2011.

From Human Rights First:

Quote:
DNI Testimony Reiterates Administration Priorities on Genocide Prevention
2-10-2012
By Crimes Against Humanity Program

Last week, a little-noticed passage on mass atrocities made its way into the Director of National Intelligence’s (DNI) annual testimony to Congress. The passage reaffirmed the President’s proclamation that the prevention of mass atrocities and genocide is a core U.S. national security interest and moral responsibility, and committed the U.S. intelligence community (IC) to play a significant role in the forthcoming Atrocities Prevention Board.
IF the Board has been appointed and staffed since 10 Feb 2012, I'd like to know the personnel selected, since they would shape its findings and proposed COAs. As the President stated in the Directive:

Quote:
In the face of a potential mass atrocity, our options are never limited to either sending in the military or standing by and doing nothing. The actions that can be taken are many: they range from economic to diplomatic interventions, and from non combat military actions to outright intervention. But ensuring that the full range of options is available requires a level of governmental organization that matches the methodical organization characteristic of mass killings.
Actions do speak loudly.

Regards

Mike

PS: I know I'm not eligible. When I took my wife out in Jan (anniversary), I noticed I forgot to shave for two days (occupational hazard of a Retired Gentleman), and told her: "Hell, I look like George Clooney." She (immediately): "No you don't."
jmm99 is online now  
Old 03-10-2012   #382
jmm99
Council Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 4,021
Default Ankara Update

TZ for 9-10 Mar has a number of "Syria" articles. Two were of most interest to me.

Syrian army officers defect to Turkey:

Quote:
9 March 2012 / AP, ANKARA

Turkish officials said Friday that two Syrian generals, a colonel and two sergeants have defected from the Syrian army and crossed into Turkey, a day after Syria's deputy oil minister also deserted President Bashar Assad's regime.

The defections come amid reports of Syrian army assaults on the northern Syrian province of Idlib, which borders Turkey, and as UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos toured Syrian refugee camps along the Turkish-Syrian border before talks with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.
...
On Thursday, Syria's deputy oil minister became the highest-ranking civilian official to join the opposition and urged his countrymen to "abandon this sinking ship" as the nation spirals toward civil war. Abdo Husameddine, 58, announced in a video that he has defected.

The officers and the two sergeants were in a group of some 234 Syrians who have fled to Turkey since Thursday, Yusuf Gler, the administrator for the Turkish border town of Reyhanli told Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency, without providing any information on their identities.

Gler said the defectors and other refugees were taken to camps near the border with Syria. Some 12,000 Syrians now live in six refugee camps in the region.

Brig. Gen. Mostafa Ahmad al-Sheik, who fled to Turkey in January, was the highest ranking officer to bolt. ....
and PKK card tests Turkish-Syrian relations, experts say:

Quote:
9 March 2012 / ABDULLAH AYASUN, İSTANBUL

With Turkey appearing at the forefront of discussions over international intervention in Syria -- particularly regarding the implementation of a humanitarian corridor in order to bring help to civilians who are trapped in besieged cities-- the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) is one of the key elements in a puzzle that could radically change Turkeys stance towards the tumultuous country.

The unfolding Syrian puzzle, which has continued for over a year, poses complicated challenges for Turkey stemming not only from humanitarian concerns over the unabated violence carried out by Syrias Baath regime but also signs of the growing PKK presence in northern Syria, which are fuelling uncertainty over the future of relations between the two countries.
...
Facing a battle of survival, experts have noted the Baath regime is likely to attempt any measures possible to prevent or delay its collapse with regard to a possible foreign military intervention. For this reason, according to some observers Syria may begin to play the PKK card against its northern neighbor if Turkey is seen to take the lead in a possible military operation against the stricken country.

On Tuesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu touched upon the case and issued an open warning to Damascus, saying that Turkey would deploy troops in Syria to protect its national security. Pointing out that every option is open for discussion, Davutoğlu signaled that the government would seek authorization from Parliament to send Turkish troops over the border if it is deemed necessary to prevent the PKK crossing into Turkish territory.

A report appeared in Todays Zaman on Wednesday that addressed the growing PKK influence in northern Syrias current power vacuum. However, the question arises: What is the nature of the PKK presence in Syria? Would Syria give a free-hand to the PKK to do whatever it wants? To what extent will it turn a blind-eye to PKK operations in the North?

The fact is that the presence of armed PKK groups has become visible and obvious in Syria, particularly near the Turkish border near the southern regions of Gaziantep and Kahramanmaraş. This is real. Nobody can deny that, but the Turkish authorities seem unaware of the seriousness of the situation, said Gkhan Bacık, an international relations professor and director of the Middle East Research Center (MESRC) at Gaziantep Zirve University, in remarks to Todays Zaman made earlier in the week.

Bacık argued that Syria is unlikely to let PKK groups use its borders to attack Turkey for the time being, in order to avoid giving Turkey a reason to intervene. But, he added, the PKK is not a monolithic structure and is not controllable and therefore nobody is sure what course of action they will choose to take. He noted that Turkey would only act if the PKK staged a series of attacks against Turkey from across the Syrian border.
Regards

Mike
jmm99 is online now  
Old 03-10-2012   #383
JMA
Banned
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Durban, South Africa
Posts: 3,902
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TDB View Post
I confess to not having read all of the posts on this thread. But to be clear, JMA you support an intervention just not by the USA?
Since you ask so nicely...

=====================


Opinion: The killings of opposition groups – men, women and children – by the minority Syrian regime must stop.

Opinion: I realise that Syria is a complex and unique problem.

Fact: The old Middle East Sunni/Shia is one major issue then there is that of Russia having Mediterranean ‘warm water’ port facilities there.

Fact: Then we have Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey who stand to get scolded if Syria burns.

Fact: I accept that any talk of military intervention by the US and maybe the EU will be interpreted by Russia and others as a pretext for regime change.

Fact: Regime change in Syria will most likely mean the end of access to Syrian port facilities for the Russians.

Fact: A new Sunni Arab government in Syria will change the balance in the Middle East significantly.

Fact: There are many vested interests in maintaining the status quo in Syria.

Fact: The insurrection in Syria has been bubbling for more than a year with increased intensity over the recent months.

Opinion: The longer the insurrection lasts and the more violent it becomes the more difficult it will be to impose a peaceful settlement in Syria.

Fact: When challenged with an insurrection has one of two choices – act or abdicate.

(Negotiation is the soft route to abdication but few regimes willingly relinquish power and tend to try to hold on too long until overthrown or forced to surrender.)

Opinion: The Alawite minority will try to cling to power until a negotiated settlement is no longer possible.

Opinion: I am told that there is a saying among the (15% minority) Alawites and that is, “we either hand individually or we hang together”. I believe they have chosen the latter.

Opinion: If the Alawites lose power they will become a persecuted minority (and also on the receiving end of some serious payback). Will they submit to democratic elections willingly? No.

Opinion: The Alawites should therefore be removed from power by the quickest means as this will end the current killing and also reduce future payback effected on the Alawites.

Fact: There are clearly efforts being made to bring economic (sanctions) and diplomatic pressure to bear on the Syrian regime to end the carnage. Safe in the arms of Mother Russia the Syrian regime is unmoved.

Opinion: The more weapons that find their way into the hands of the opposition groups the more difficult it will be to bring an effective cease fire into effect. Hence my opinion that opposition groups should not be armed and the urgent need to bring the Assad regime to heel.

What are the possibilities that Russia will change its position?

Opinion: Not much… until the writing is on the wall for the Assad regime and then some.

So where to apply the pressure?

Opinion: On Assad’s inner circle and the military units involved in the mass atrocities.

Who should do this?

Opinion: Anyone other than the US … or US assets placed under direct French or Brit military command.

Anyone other than the US able to do this?

Opinion: No. Military intervention is therefore unlikely as the Germans and the Dutch have already surrendered (no doubt with more to follow).

Why should the US not lead the intervention?

Opinion: Because (based on their track record) they will cock it up.

Where to from here?

Opinion: wait and see.
JMA is offline  
Old 03-10-2012   #384
J Wolfsberger
Council Member
 
J Wolfsberger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Michigan
Posts: 806
Default

From Space War: Commentary: Is Syria 2011 Spain 1936?
by Arnaud De Borchgrave

I don't agree with all his conclusions, but it does a good job of placing the Syrian uprising in the broader context. In particular, it brought to mind the political science definition of prestige: a state's reputation for being able to assert its will. With that in mind, De Borchgrave makes the point that, in the Middle East and especially around the Arab Gulf, U.S. is low. Whether that is an argument for or against intervention, he does point out the risky consequences of intervention.

He does make the interesting assertion that:
Quote:
Saudi Arabia is helping arm Syrian rebels who now call themselves revolutionaries
__________________
John Wolfsberger, Jr.

An unruffled person with some useful skills.

Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-10-2012 at 06:43 PM. Reason: Citation in quotes
J Wolfsberger is offline  
Old 03-10-2012   #385
JMA
Banned
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Durban, South Africa
Posts: 3,902
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by J Wolfsberger View Post
From Space War: Commentary: Is Syria 2011 Spain 1936?
by Arnaud De Borchgrave

I don't agree with all his conclusions, but it does a good job of placing the Syrian uprising in the broader context. In particular, it brought to mind the political science definition of prestige: a state's reputation for being able to assert its will. With that in mind, De Borchgrave makes the point that, in the Middle East and especially around the Arab Gulf, U.S. is low. Whether that is an argument for or against intervention, he does point out the risky consequences of intervention.

He does make the interesting assertion that "Saudi Arabia is helping arm Syrian rebels who now call themselves revolutionaries."
He also notes:

Quote:
Privately, Persian Gulf leaders say Iran has concluded the United States' days as a superpower are numbered. Iran's aging theocrats tell their visiting gulf interlocutors that America has lost two wars in 10 years -- Iraq and Afghanistan -- and is pulling out of Europe and "pivoting" to Asia where China is already dominant.

and...

Unless Iran's current view of a rapidly declining U.S. superpower can be reversed, a number of Arab Gulf rulers will be tempted into longer lasting accommodation with Tehran.
JMA is offline  
Old 03-10-2012   #386
Ray
Council Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Calcutta, India
Posts: 1,117
Default

I wonder how far is it doing good in so far as western interests are concerned.

Libya has been liberated. Egypt has been liberated.

The radicals seem to have taken over!

They are still in a flux to make a solid 'impression'.

But given the way things are in the Islamic world, Islam is über alles!

And Saudi money flowing all over the world is no help!

Last edited by Ray; 03-10-2012 at 06:21 PM.
Ray is offline  
Old 03-10-2012   #387
jmm99
Council Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 4,021
Default Hi Ray,

Welcome to the interesting situation in Southwest Asia.

I agree that the "Arab Spring" could go off in an extremist (Islamist) direction. Moreover, the best result that could be expected in any country is the present state of Turkey (as I'd likely view the results from where I sit). As things stand in Southwest Asia and North Africa, Turkey is a moderating force.

The AKP - Justice and Development Party (Turkey) and its "paper of record", the Turkish daily Zaman ("era in time"; as in "our times" or the "Times") [TZ - Today's Zaman, the English-language edition], as moderate Islamics (not Islamists), portray themselves as favorable to both the Western world and to the Arab world. In the Turkish political spectrum, AKP advocates a conservative social agenda and a liberal market economy that includes Turkish membership in the European Union; but has pursued an aggressive "good guy" image to the Arab world since 2005.

While Turkey has not always been an admirable society, its core component (its ordinary people, solidly Islamic) have qualities that I find admirable. E.g., during the Korean War, Turkish POWs died not from starvation (they ate weeds), but from wounds inflicted by their captors. When the senior Turk was removed, the next senior took his place. The Turks never broke. The net result is that I follow TZ whenever something comes up in the Turkish sphere.

That being said, my news item is not from TZ, but from the Washington Post.

Syria’s Bashar al-Assad firmly in control, U.S. intelligence officials say (by Greg Miller and Karen DeYoung, Published: March 9; Updated: Saturday, March 10) (emphasis added):

Quote:
A year into the uprising in Syria, senior U.S. intelligence officials described the nation’s president, Bashar al-Assad, on Friday as firmly in control and increasingly willing to unleash one of the region’s most potent militaries on badly overmatched opposition groups.

The officials also said Assad’s inner circle is “remaining steadfast,” with little indication that senior figures in the regime are inclined to peel off, despite efforts by the Obama administration and its allies to use sanctions and other measures to create a wave of defections that would undermine Assad.

Assad “is very much in charge,” said a senior U.S. intelligence official responsible for tracking the conflict, adding that Assad and his inner circle seem convinced that the rebellion is being driven by external foes and that they are equipped to withstand all but a large-scale military intervention.
... (much more in article)
In contingency planning, one must consider "a large-scale military intervention" as a contingency. Given the geographic proximity, one must first consider Turkey (sans US-NATO to keep it basic) as the intervenor, giving my two basic hypotheticals (presented a few pages ago):

Quote:
1. If Turkey were to proceed with a conventional armed intervention - a 1 on 1 with Syria with full commitment of military forces by both states, who would win ?

No US-NATO support of any kind for the Turks; and Russia and China stay out of it completely (other than making noises about "aggressive war", etc.).
Quote:
2. If Turkey were to proceed with a conventional armed intervention into Syria, and Iran responds with a conventional armed attack on Turkey - a 2 on 1 with full commitment of military forces by all three states, who would win ?

No US-NATO support of any kind for the Turks; and Russia and China stay out of it completely (other than making noises about "aggressive war", etc.).
If you want a definition of "win" - find, fix and finish by destroying the enemy's will to resist.

Contingency planning would also include diplomatic solutions. Here is one suggested to me from reading TZ and its columnists over the last few months:

Quote:
A Turkish-brokered diplomatic deal involving Turkey, Iran and the Arab League (Saudi and the Gulf states as the money partners) being the "peacekeepers" and guarantors of limited negotiated external interests (Russia-China; US-NATO) - a reverse Sykes-Picot, in effect.
That would enhance Turkey's "good guy" image, but would probably involve some other goodies that the AKP appears to want.

Finally, my personal position stands alongside Gian Gentile and Peter Munson.

Regards

Mike

Hey Ray: Cooperation and Friendship !
jmm99 is online now  
Old 03-10-2012   #388
ganulv
Council Member
 
ganulv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Berkshire County, Mass.
Posts: 885
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
But given the way things are in the Islamic world, Islam is ber alles!
When the mosque is the only civil institution not systematically snuffed out of existence by the bloaty strongman and his cronies over the decades-long course of their rule--because there are lines it is not smart to cross and because someone has to provide social services since most of the tax revenues are going into your offshore accounts--you end up with situations like these.
__________________
If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. – Mark Twain (attributed)

Last edited by ganulv; 03-10-2012 at 09:59 PM.
ganulv is offline  
Old 03-11-2012   #389
Fuchs
Council Member
 
Fuchs's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3,189
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
If you want a definition of "win" - find, fix and finish by destroying the enemy's will to resist.
I swear someday I will learn where this strange widespread insistence on "fix" in such simple three word rules comes from. Pretty sure the UK FMs are not the root of this obsession with the actually unnecessary "fix" stage.
Fuchs is offline  
Old 03-11-2012   #390
Dayuhan
Council Member
 
Dayuhan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Latitude 17° 5' 11N, Longitude 120° 54' 24E, altitude 1499m. Right where I want to be.
Posts: 3,124
Default Trying to ask nicely...

... for clarification on some points.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JMA View Post
So where to apply the pressure?

Opinion: On Assad’s inner circle and the military units involved in the mass atrocities.
How do you propose to apply this pressure, and what end do you expect it to achieve?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JMA View Post
Opinion: The more weapons that find their way into the hands of the opposition groups the more difficult it will be to bring an effective cease fire into effect. Hence my opinion that opposition groups should not be armed and the urgent need to bring the Assad regime to heel.
If the proposal is to remove the regime without arming the rebels... in your opinion, would it be possible to remove the regime purely with air/missile strikes, or would you propose an actual invasion... or is there a third option?
__________________
“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

H.L. Mencken
Dayuhan is offline  
Old 03-11-2012   #391
Dayuhan
Council Member
 
Dayuhan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Latitude 17° 5' 11N, Longitude 120° 54' 24E, altitude 1499m. Right where I want to be.
Posts: 3,124
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
I swear someday I will learn where this strange widespread insistence on "fix" in such simple three word rules comes from.
It sounds cooler if they all start with "f", and the sequence has to be three.
__________________
“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

H.L. Mencken
Dayuhan is offline  
Old 03-11-2012   #392
ganulv
Council Member
 
ganulv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Berkshire County, Mass.
Posts: 885
Default I guess there is a reason Germans are the measure in lexicography.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
I swear someday I will learn where this strange widespread insistence on "fix" in such simple three word rules comes from. Pretty sure the UK FMs are not the root of this obsession with the actually unnecessary "fix" stage.
They have a tendency to insist that words are supposed to mean something. I’ve wondered the same myself. Are Fs #1 and #2 redundant (in the same way as a fellow I know who insists on signing his name as <Dr. King, PhD>)? Or does F #2 mean ‘keep in place’ (which is at least part of what I assume is meant when I read that Rangers support CAG operations)?
__________________
If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. – Mark Twain (attributed)

Last edited by ganulv; 03-11-2012 at 12:42 AM.
ganulv is offline  
Old 03-11-2012   #393
Fuchs
Council Member
 
Fuchs's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3,189
Default

Yes, usually the "fix" part is about stopping and pinning down the enemy, apparently in order to make it easier to move into a good assault position, aim well or simply for having some time for deliberations.

The Find/Fix/Destroy sequence elevates "fix" well beyond it league, though. It's the most unnecessary part (to finding and to destroy isn't always useful either).


I dislike such simple maxims because they're dumbing down too much.
Fuchs is offline  
Old 03-11-2012   #394
jmm99
Council Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 4,021
Default More complexity here, if you need it

F3EAD: Ops/Intel Fusion “Feeds” The SOF Targeting Process
by Charles Faint and Michael Harris
Journal Article | January 31, 2012



Quote:
Fix

Once a target is identified, the full gamut of intelligence collection capability is applied against the target in order to develop operational triggers to “fix” the target in space and time. Fixing a target simply means that the intelligence effort has progressed enough that the operations function has sufficient information to execute the mission, whether that mission be kinetic or non-kinetic. When possible, SOF utilizes a practice of “federating” or spreading the intelligence effort out amongst multiple agencies in order to maximize effects while minimizing costs, effort, and time. This is often done as far forward as possible in order to increase the speed of the process, but much of the effort can be accomplished via reachback. Federated intelligence processes enable the organization practicing F3EAD to spread the collection effort across the IC, calling on specific organizations and in some cases specific personnel to provide the expertise and capability to bring the process into the “finish” phase. Redundant, persistent, and centralized intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capability allows commanders to mass ISR against a specific target for the period of time necessary to support F3EAD. The goal of an ISR is to provide an “unblinking eye” squarely focused on the target, to bring the targeting process into the decisive next phase.
The Targeting Process: D3A and F3EAD
by SWJ Editors
Journal Article | July 16, 2011

Quote:
The Operational D3A framework emphasizes full spectrum operations throughout the conduct of operations. It takes the entire staff to identify the sources of instability that interdict the Shaping Operations that were designed to set the conditions to decisively achieve the Strategic Objectives outlined in the Campaign Plan. In contrast, F3EAD enables the dynamic tasking process required at Tactical targeting level in support of Full Spectrum Operations. Currently, F3EAD has emerged as the methodology of choice to address certain sources of instability such as Personality and Network Based Targeting.

D3A is a great planning tool but it lacks in agility to execute the dynamic tasking process in the full spectrum operations environment. F3EAD is a great execution tool in the full spectrum environment but it lacks in depth and fidelity during the planning process! Simply put, D3A is a great planning tool and F3EAD is a great execution tool for short suspense targets!
The Targeting Process: D3A and F3EAD
by Jimmy A. Gomez (pdf linked from SWJ Editors)

Regards

Mike

Last edited by jmm99; 03-11-2012 at 05:00 AM.
jmm99 is online now  
Old 03-11-2012   #395
ganulv
Council Member
 
ganulv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Berkshire County, Mass.
Posts: 885
Default I wonder if Assad has a version of that graph?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
F3EAD: Ops/Intel Fusion “Feeds” The SOF Targeting Process
by Charles Faint and Michael Harris
Journal Article | January 31, 2012

Because from afar it looks like Air Force Intelligence is doing a fairly decent job of all of the above.
__________________
If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. – Mark Twain (attributed)
ganulv is offline  
Old 03-12-2012   #396
davidbfpo
Council Member
 
davidbfpo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 8,177
Default First hand reporting inside Syria

Hat tip to Circling The Lion's Den's author for his interview of The Sunday Times photographer injured in Homs:http://www.asharq-e.com/news.asp?section=5&id=28769

Hat tip to Zenpundit for pointer to a Nir Rosen interview of the Free Syria Army and other opponents in Syria:http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/fea...020166516.html and a longer FP article:http://mideast.foreignpolicy.com/pos...yrian_uprising
__________________
davidbfpo

Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-12-2012 at 10:06 PM.
davidbfpo is offline  
Old 03-14-2012   #397
Uboat509
Council Member
 
Uboat509's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: CO
Posts: 681
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
This article leads me to a second question for military experts (the first one - a Turkish-Syrian 1 on 1 - is still on the table):



Regards

Mike
JMM,

I do not claim to be an expert on Turkish, Syrian or Iranian military strength. I am inclined to believe that, no matter what, Iran is unlikely to become directly involved in any military intervention in Syria, especially against Turkey. For a start, Iran has worked long and hard to cultivate goodwill among populations of the Sunni Arab states (though not necessarily with the governments of those states). I do not believe that it will be prepared to squander that by attacking another Muslim state in order to protect a regime that is probably doomed anyway. Iran is acutely aware that whatever goodwill that it has managed to build in the Sunni Arab states (mostly through the rhetoric directed at Israel and the West), is fragile. If it takes too strong a stance on supporting Assad then it runs the risk of fomenting a big anti-Shia/anti-Persian backlash, something that more than one Sunni Arab government would be more than happy to support. On top of this, Iran is still faced with the possibility of a military intervention on its own soil. It more likely to want to conserve both its military forces and any goodwill on the part of its Sunni Arab neighbors as a hedge against such an eventuality. I believe that the keystone of Iranian foreign policy has been to keep Arab animosity focused on Israel and the West, and therefore off of Iran. Direct action against Turkey could undo that rapidly. For all their bluff and bluster, I believe that Iran is far more rational than they are given credit for.

That said, I do believe that Iran would have no problem quietly stirring up the Kurds against Turkey. They need little enough stirring as it is. That could create all sorts of problems for Turkey. If the Kurds were to ratchet the violence up against Turkey it would almost certainly invite an even more brutal crackdown by the Turkish military, which needs little provocation anyway. Such crackdowns are damaging to Turkey's carefully cultivated image of a rational, moderate and enlightened modern state. For the time being, Turkey seems to have lost some of its enthusiasm for joining the EU (which is rapidly becoming damaged goods anyway) but that does not mean they have shut the door on the possibility. Kurdish problems do not help them on that regard and Iran knows that and who is better at operating through proxies than Iran?

That is my take anyway.
__________________
“Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.”

Terry Pratchett
Uboat509 is offline  
Old 03-14-2012   #398
jmm99
Council Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 4,021
Default Hi Uboat509

A professional answer from a professional. Thank you.

Timely in view of your comments is, in TZ, Russia says it won't intervene militarily in Syria:

Quote:
14 March 2012 / AP, MOSCOW

Russia's foreign minister says Moscow is providing Syria with weapons to fend off external threats but has no intention to use military force to protect Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Sergey Lavrov said Wednesday that Russia isn't supplying any arms that could be used against protesters.

He told lawmakers that a military intervention in Syria would contradict Russia's national interests.
Regards

Mike
jmm99 is online now  
Old 03-15-2012   #399
Uboat509
Council Member
 
Uboat509's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: CO
Posts: 681
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
Russia says it won't intervene militarily in Syria.



Regards

Mike
You never know when you might need your military forces to "shore up" public support for the regime. Just sayin'...
__________________
“Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.”

Terry Pratchett
Uboat509 is offline  
Old 03-15-2012   #400
Uboat509
Council Member
 
Uboat509's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: CO
Posts: 681
Default

The more I think about it the more I think that US (or any other Western state) intervention in Syria would be a gift to Iran. That would potentially allow them to play the anti-imperialist/anti-crusader (or take your pick) card and take a more direct role in supporting the Assad regime. I very much doubt that they would risk a full scale invasion but they certainly could be more overt about sending materials and "volunteers" with less risk of a backlash in Sunni Arab opinion. That is a potential catfight we do not need to get dragged into right now (or ever really). The Arab Spring has shown Arabs that these authoritarian regimes can be over thrown. Assad's forces may clear an area but as soon as they leave the rebels come back. That is not a sustainable position for the regime, not indefinitely. If the rebels could somehow convince Syria's minorities, such as the Christians that they would be protected from a Sunni backlash after the fall of the regime it would hugely undermine Assad's support. Unfortunately, that is probably an academic argument. I am not so sure that they can be protected, even if the leadership of the rebellion wants to. Even if they could be protected I am also not so sure that those minority groups could be convinced that they would be protected. The fact that two thirds of Iraq's pre-war Christian population has fled Iraq does not set a particularly encouraging precedent.
__________________
“Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.”

Terry Pratchett
Uboat509 is offline  
Closed Thread

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Gurkha beheads Taliban... Rifleman OEF - Afghanistan 22 10-30-2010 03:00 AM
McCuen: a "missing" thread? Cavguy Futurists & Theorists 18 07-20-2010 05:56 PM
Applying Clausewitz to Insurgency Bob's World Catch-All, Military Art & Science 246 01-18-2010 12:00 PM
The argument to partition Iraq SWJED Iraqi Governance 26 03-10-2008 06:18 PM
General Casey: Levels of Iraqi Sectarian Violence Exaggerated SWJED Who is Fighting Whom? How and Why? 3 03-07-2006 10:21 PM


All times are GMT. The time now is 07:55 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8. ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Registered Users are solely responsible for their messages.
Operated by, and site design © 2005-2009, Small Wars Foundation