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War Against ISIS

This is a discussion on War Against ISIS within the Geo-strategic Issues forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Originally Posted by old faithful Come on Bonza, everything he wrote after "I think" is aimed at starting an argument.....please.... ...


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Old June 3rd, 2013   #16
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Come on Bonza, everything he wrote after "I think" is aimed at starting an argument.....please....
Perhaps I could have been more concise and a little more eloquent in my previous post.

My point is that it would more feasible for the Syrian government to consolidate western Syria, regroup and reinforce. And, instead of immediately attempting to retake the rest of Syria the goal should be to force a war of attrition onto the rebels. The goal would be to cause the most amount casualties possible, eventually leading to the situation whereby the rebels can longer muster an effective fighting force. Then fill the power vacuum or make an accommodation with a "friendly warlord". This is where the heavy weapons come in.
The russians did something something similar during the second Chechen war and it proved quite effective.

Last edited by spikehades; June 3rd, 2013 at 09:39 AM. Reason: grammar
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Old June 3rd, 2013   #17
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what will the West and the Arab Gulf states will do if Assad makes significant gains on the battlefield and starts to re-capture a lot of the territory taken by the rebels?
On the diplomatic field, resolutions condemning regime's offensives against rebels strongholds, like the British drafted reso. from a day or two ago, and, on the battlefield, further aid in man power, as well as support in money and arms and hope they don't lose their breath.
Aside from that, hardly anything. For now, much of the momentum for an intervention seems to be lost. With Moscow backing him (Assad) both diplomatically and militarily, the price tag just keeps going up. With things stirring up at home, Turks are on the bench. Israel won't act alone unless Assad does something really stupid, like firing those Scuds along the border. And on top of that, there's an upcoming US-Russian-sponsored Geneva conference on Syria, with most of the major western powers partaking which by itself is a way of saying - we have no choice but to talk with him.
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Old June 3rd, 2013   #18
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with most of the major western powers partaking which by itself is a way of saying - we have no choice but to talk with him.
True, the fact that Assad has managed to hold on to power, and the fact that not only the Alawites [as to be expected] and other minorities, have stayed loyal [due to fears of sectarian violence if the rebels win], must be a big ''inconveniance'' [to put it mildly] for those who want him gone. Another danger is the situation in Lebanon worsening.
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Old June 3rd, 2013   #19
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My thoughts

Hezballoh has stuck their neck awfully far out there for Bashar al-Assad. Israel is watching two of it's most bitter enemies getting chewed up in an insurgency. Great strategic and tactical opportunities await them assuming their Washington lobbyist can play the "terrorist organization" trump card and gain support. It's a flankers delight.

As for the rebels it's all or nothing. The second the Syrian army troops deserted to the FSA they signed their own death warrant. Everyone tied in with that lot are marked for death. They no longer have a choice, they have to win.

Bashar al-Assad is in too deep now, if he turned back some months ago he could had probably negotiated his freedom. If he is lucky the ICC will get him though I imagine he will probably die like Gaddafi. the blood of 80,000 simply doesn't wash away. He is going to fight this insurgency to the death just like his father did. That is his inspiration and his father pulled it off. He is gambling that he can do the same.

The Syrian army is going to continue raising their escalation of force until the rebels situation is no longer tenable. Tip toeing along perilous lines trying to find the right balance between combat effectiveness and not provoking the West. Striking hard simply isn't going to be enough to turn the tide against fanatics.

I'm curious what the West is going to do. You start handing out weapons... Mission creep is a slippery slope....

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Old June 3rd, 2013   #20
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Perhaps I could have been more concise and a little more eloquent in my previous post.

My point is that it would more feasible for the Syrian government to consolidate western Syria, regroup and reinforce. And, instead of immediately attempting to retake the rest of Syria the goal should be to force a war of attrition onto the rebels. The goal would be to cause the most amount casualties possible, eventually leading to the situation whereby the rebels can longer muster an effective fighting force. Then fill the power vacuum or make an accommodation with a "friendly warlord". This is where the heavy weapons come in.
The russians did something something similar during the second Chechen war and it proved quite effective.
You were perfectly concise. You advocated for the use of chemical weapons in a civil war and referred to the rebellion as a whole as "thugs with guns".

You were looking to arc people up and now you've got the attention you wanted but all of a sudden you want to change the discussion to something more reasonable. Do you think this isn't blindingly apparent to everyone looking at the thread, and your post history?
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Old June 4th, 2013   #21
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Hezballoh has stuck their neck awfully far out there for Bashar al-Assad. Israel is watching two of it's most bitter enemies getting chewed up in an insurgency.
Is Syria really Israel's greatest enemy? Under Assad the Elder, Syria's priority was internal security, safeguarding its key interests in the Lebanon and keeping an eye on other Arab countries, like Iraq, not confronting Israel. When Assad the Elder entered Lebanon, on the side of the Christians, the Israeli's gave their consent. And as long as Assad was not willing to ditch Iran and meet other conditions set by the Israeli's, the Israeli's could hold on to the Golan. With a dictator in power the Israeli's know what to expect but with a liberal democrat in power, the Israeli's might be placed in an uncomfortable position.

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As for the rebels it's all or nothing. The second the Syrian army troops deserted to the FSA they signed their own death warrant. Everyone tied in with that lot are marked for death. They no longer have a choice, they have to win.
The same could also be said for the Alawites, in that they have no choice but to win because their fortunes are tied to Assad staying in power. The Alawites haven't forgotten that prior to the Baathist seizing power, the Alawite community weren't treated very well by the Sunni majority, who viewed them as country bumpkin heretics.

It was only to be expected that the longer the war dragged, on that '' other''elements [what the West calls ''extremists'' and ''Islamists''] would enter the picture. Things would be much more simple if the ''FSA'' [who portray themselves as secular non-Islamists''] were the only players against Assad.

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Bashar al-Assad is in too deep now, if he turned back some months ago he could had probably negotiated his freedom. If he is lucky the ICC will get him though I imagine he will probably die like Gaddafi.
As far as he's concerned, why should he cut and run, given that the business elite, the security services and the army as a whole [and the minorities] are sticking by him? Running away was never an option as there was no guarantee that he wouldn't be dragged to the ICJ at a later date.
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Old June 4th, 2013   #22
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Is Syria really Israel's greatest enemy? Under Assad the Elder, Syria's priority was internal security, safeguarding its key interests in the Lebanon and keeping an eye on other Arab countries, like Iraq, not confronting Israel. When Assad the Elder entered Lebanon, on the side of the Christians, the Israeli's gave their consent. And as long as Assad was not willing to ditch Iran and meet other conditions set by the Israeli's, the Israeli's could hold on to the Golan. With a dictator in power the Israeli's know what to expect but with a liberal democrat in power, the Israeli's might be placed in an uncomfortable position.
After the clusterf*cks of Libya and Egypt, you really think the opposition will create a liberal democracy if they come to power? Your greater point is correct, it does seem that the opposition could end up being more problematic both for Israel, and for the region, then Assad, who is after all a known quantity.

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TAs far as he's concerned, why should he cut and run, given that the business elite, the security services and the army as a whole [and the minorities] are sticking by him? Running away was never an option as there was no guarantee that he wouldn't be dragged to the ICJ at a later date.
Or just murdered. Winning is really Assad's only viable option.
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Old June 4th, 2013   #23
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After the clusterf*cks of Libya and Egypt, you really think the opposition will create a liberal democracy if they come to power?
No I don't have any illusions that the FSA and the other rebels will be liberal democrats.This whole idea of using or backing ''nice'' chaps - who in theory would later establish Western friendly semi-democratic governments - to topple Western ''unfriendly'' regimes, was dreamt up by outsiders who are living in gagaland. I firmly believe that the main factor holding back Uncle Sam, Britain and France from providing the ''rebels'' with arms is not the Russian factor but worries about what will happen later - we saw this in Afghanistan and later in Libya.

The Saudis on the other hand - despite their past experience in supporting ''extremists'', ''jihadists'' and ''Islamists'' and later having these ungrateful chaps bite the hand that feeds them - appear to have less concerns. The Saudi aim of overthrowing Assad, which in turn will leave Iran further isolated and weakened, overides their concerns of what will happen in a post-Assad Syria, controlled by various groups who can't agree on the kind of government that should be formed. And it goes without saying that the Saudis and Qataris will not complain if a post-Assad Syria is not ruled by liberal democrats, as a real democracy there [in Syria] might result in some ''democratic'' ideas flowing back to Saudi and Qatar, which is the last thing the rulers in both these countries want.

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Old June 4th, 2013   #24
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No I don't have any illusions that the FSA and the other rebels will be liberal democrats.This whole idea of using or backing ''nice'' chaps - who in theory would later establish Western friendly semi-democratic governments - to topple Western ''unfriendly'' regimes, was dreamt up by outsiders who are living in gagaland.
Or by cynical manipulators, to justify western support to the rebels.

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I firmly believe that the main factor holding back Uncle Sam, Britain and France from providing the ''rebels'' with arms is not the Russian factor but worries about what will happen later - we saw this in Afghanistan and later in Libya.
Maybe. But the whole Syria-Libya situation had the look and feel of a backroom deal, with Russian conveniently selling Libya down river, after the unloyal back and forth Gaddafi did with the rights to the oil and gas fields, as well as the defense contracts, while protecting Syria to the last. But maybe I'm getting paranoid, or maybe it was a tacit understanding rather then an explicit agreement. One thing I would consider is that the Russian factor, and the consequences are not two separate issues but one and the same. The reason they're listening to the Russian factor is because they understand the consequences of a misstep.

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The Saudis on the other hand - despite their past experience in supporting ''extremists'', ''jihadists'' and ''Islamists'' and later having these ungrateful chaps bite the hand that feeds them - appear to have less concerns. The Saudi aim of overthrowing Assad, which in turn will leave Iran further isolated and weakened, overides their concerns of what will happen in a post-Assad Syria, controlled by various groups who can't agree on the kind of government that should be formed. And it goes without saying that the Saudis and Qataris will not complain if a post-Assad Syria is not ruled by liberal democrats, as a real democracy there [in Syria] might result in some ''democratic'' ideas flowing back to Saudi and Qatar, which is the last thing the rulers in both these countries want.
Saudi politics are very complex and Byzantine. I would not attempt to read their actions. Maybe you're right.
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Old June 5th, 2013   #25
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One of the main concerns is that the longer the rebellion continues the more likely that it will spread. Already in Iraq May has been one of the bloodiest since the end of Operation Iraqi Freedom .

Over 1,000 killed: Iraq sees deadliest month in 5 years, UN says — RT News

There have been clashes in Lebanon and unrest in syria, a downing of a Turkish jet, exchange of fire in Turkey, (not to mention Israeli incursions into Lebanese and Syrian airspace).

There have also been credible reports that rebels have gained access to substantial amounts of chemical weapons and are fully intent on using them;

Turkey finds sarin gas in homes of suspected Syrian Islamists – reports — RT News

So, not only is the conflict expanding in terms of scope but also in intensity. It is with this in mind that a more aggressive stance form Syria and Russia can be understood.
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Old June 6th, 2013   #26
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Assad just retook Al Qusayr, a major opposition stronghold. It really looks like he could still turn it around, though it's kind of hard to tell from here. I wonder if there are any reliable sources of what the actual situation on the fronts is there.
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Old June 6th, 2013   #27
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We are presented with a highly bizzare situation in which Al Qaeda and the West have the same aim, both want Assad gone. The key difference is that Al Qaeda want the masses to overthrow Assad and establish a strict Muslim state [as opposed to the secular state that has long existed under the Baathists] and the West wants the masses to form a 'democratic' state which is 'friendly' and 'non-threatening'.

Al-Qa'ida head Ayman al-Zawahri posts video call for Syrians to topple President Assad after fall of border town Qusayr - Middle East - World - The Independent

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There have been clashes in Lebanon and unrest in syria, a downing of a Turkish jet, exchange of fire in Turkey, (not to mention Israeli incursions into Lebanese and Syrian airspace).
The country most vulnerable is Lebanon.... We can only hope that sectarian clashes there do not get worse, that would be the last thing the country's already fragile socio-political enviroment needs.

Assad on the arms deal -

Syria President Bashar Al-Assad: I will honour weapons deals with Russia - YouTube
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Old June 9th, 2013   #28
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Assad just retook Al Qusayr, a major opposition stronghold. It really looks like he could still turn it around, though it's kind of hard to tell from here. I wonder if there are any reliable sources of what the actual situation on the fronts is there.
One thing I can tell you ever since the Iranian and Party of G-d sent in
advisors and fighters the tide has change. This just show you how well-trained the Party of G-d. If Syrian Army keep up the pressure they might take back Homs and Allepo.
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Old June 9th, 2013   #29
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This just show you how well-trained the Party of G-d
''Well trained'' is a relative term. Compared to those amongst the rebels who had no prior military training prior to taking up arms against Assad, Hezbollah fighters are indeed ''well trained'' but against rebels who were career soldiers in the Syrian army, the difference might not be that great. Not every Hezbollah fighter has years of experience clashing with the IDF. Bear in mind that Hezbollah is now fighting in unknown territory. The main value - apart from the show of solidrity - in having Hezbollah there is that they can replace Syrian army units which are worn out.

We just don't have enough information to be able to say for certain that is was largely due to the presence of Hezbollah that Al Qusayr was re-taken by Assad's side. The loss of that town could have been due to other factors.
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Old June 10th, 2013   #30
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''Well trained'' is a relative term. Compared to those amongst the rebels who had no prior military training prior to taking up arms against Assad, Hezbollah fighters are indeed ''well trained'' but against rebels who were career soldiers in the Syrian army, the difference might not be that great. Not every Hezbollah fighter has years of experience clashing with the IDF. Bear in mind that Hezbollah is now fighting in unknown territory. The main value - apart from the show of solidrity - in having Hezbollah there is that they can replace Syrian army units which are worn out.

We just don't have enough information to be able to say for certain that is was largely due to the presence of Hezbollah that Al Qusayr was re-taken by Assad's side. The loss of that town could have been due to other factors.
The Syrian Army is right now having issue with itself anyway. You must look at it from another view. Any Army in the world who has lots AWOL, abandon posts, units that switch sides , and etc gonna have problems period. The(Party of G-d) Hezbollah is the only group that is well organized to assist them in that area that is close by and they know not to bite the hand that feed you. The Syria units are stretch out and its wearing down the morale of Syrian army. Hezbollah pretty much trying get Syrian Army back motivated again sometime unit need other unit to assist them and motivate them this is what Hezbollah is doing. Assad strategic options he need assistance in getting his Army on the offensive after couple years of fighting some of your own units and armed citizens. @sturm that is true to replace units that are wore out, and also to motivate the Syrian units. I will said this and then I'm outta here If Hezbollah is truly a good force you will see some improvement in Syrian units in the next 6 months as Hezbollah assist them with there morale.
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