Sunday, October 11, 2015

Retd US Army Col. W.P. Lang on Syria


What to do?-  I was asked today to state what I think should be done:
    * Accept the truth that we destroyed the Iraqi state and from that act of vandalism all present chaos in that country derives.
    * Don't do it again in Syria.
    * Stop saying that no "Assad cronies" can be in the government or head the government.  They ARE the government.  Assad himself is dispensable, but not the government of Syria.
    * Act like Russia, China and Iran matter as something other than rivals and adversaries.
    *  Ignore Erdogan's Turkey.  It is  a manifestation of the jihadi enemy.  They will deny us use of Incirlik and the other bases?  Fine, that would clarify the situation.  Move onto Syrian bases or the big, unused NATO built base north of Tripoli in Lebanon.
    * Ignore Saudi Arabia's wishes with regard to Syria.  They are jihadi supporters.
    *  Ignore Israel's wishes with regard to Syria.  Natanyahu's government is pursuing a mistaken and short sighted policy of eliminating coherent government in Syria for the purpose of crippling their Lebanese Hizbullah adversaries whom they think exist because of Syrian and Iranian help.  The Likud's imagined interest in Syria is not America's interest.
    * Accept Russian and Iranian co-belligerence in the war against the jihadis, ALL JIHADIS.
    * Fully coordinate operations, intelligence analysis sharing and logistics with the co-belligerent partners.

And here:

"Jaysh al-Fateh - the Army of Conquest - is a broad alliance of hardline Islamist groups, which includes both Jabhat al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham."

What part of that sentence in bold above is difficult to understand?  ALL THE JIHADIS ARE ENEMIES, not just IS.  ALL OF THEM.

If Jabhat al Fath, captures Latakia, is it not as much lost to modernity as it would be if IS captured the town?
Madmen like McCain and various empty headed retired generals are busy on the media pushing the US public toward war with Russia.  What is the matter with these people?

And here:

The US Government continues to resemble a petulant child who, having dominated the schoolyard, is faced with another child who takes control of a game.  The petulant one then announces that the new kid is cheating and walks away from the scrum. 

IMO Russia+allies (R+5) [Russia+SAG+Hizbullah+YPG Kurds+Iran +Iraq] have an opportunity to reverse the jihadi threat to the Syrian government and the region.

Steps to be taken by R+5:

- Continue to reinforce Russian air capabilities in NW Syria.   Harden air bases to make it obvious to the Israelis or anyone else that it would not be an easy thing to take Jack (Ripper) Keane's advice to crater all the runways that the Russians are using or may use.

- Continue to coordinate and support Syrian, Hizbullah and IRGC force in drives to eliminate the insurgent pocket north of Homs and along a broad front to the NE of Latakia for the purposes of chewing up rebel forces and effecting the relief of Aleppo.

- The Homs area operation is important because success will re-open the north/south axis that is needed for national coherence.

- IMO Russia will need to bring an armor heavy ground task force into the country to act as  stiffening for its combined offensive operations.

- Relief of Aleppo would inevitably lead to direct combat with IS forces north and east of Aleppo, the Russian commander should be forward planning for that development.

-  As TTG wrote today a YPG Kurd alliance with Russia is an option that should be earnestly pursued by the Russians. 

- Deep planning for Iraq should be underway in anticipation of success in Syria.  pl