Twitter and email info

Friday, October 24, 2014

U.S. Will Train New Syrian Army For Defense, No Offense

Links: A. U.S. To Train Syrians To Defend Territory

           B.  Lots Of Terrorist Training Camps In Iraq And Syria

           C. Al-Qaeda Reborn On The Indian Subcontinent

As I've said before, the first thing I do in the morning when I wake up is read the Long War Journal.  Previously I couldn't leave the house without a quick look at the Drudgereport.  Now I have doubled my morning reading selection.  To put it bluntly, the Long War Journal (LWJ) is in a class by itself.  I am so impressed with the real-time nature of the reporting, not to mention the amazing breadth of coverage.  Let me step away from brown-nosing the LWJ just long enough to get angry all over again.  According to the Stars and Stripes (see ref A), the surrogate New Syrian Army that was going to represent the good guys in the ground war against the Islamic Front (IS), will only be trained to defend territory.  They will not be trained or ordered to take any territory.  The first problem that jumped out at me is that we are still talking in "future" terms.  The New Syrian Army "WILL" only be trained to defend.  Are we to believe that the training of our surrogate saviors hasn't even started?  Aren't we already over a month into the air campaign?  The second, and much more disturbing bit of news from Stars and Stripes, is that when we finally get started with the training, it will consist exclusively of defensive warfare.  And what if, by the time our New Syrian Army is ready for battle, the IS has already occupied ninety percent of Syria.  I assume they will be content to just IGNORE the "defense only" New Syrian Army, who won't be able to attack unless someone attacks them?  If this development weren't so desperate and dangerous, it would be hilarious.  How can the military brass just accept these kind of "political" intrusions into military strategy?  Is there anyone at the Pentagon who is old enough to remember Vietnam?  DEFEND ONLY doesn't work in warfare, especially against an enemy like this.  Why would the Obama Administration adopt this approach?  Are they concerned about killing IS operatives?  After the last week of bombing at Kobani it would seem as if they don't mind killing the bad guys one bit.  So why are we going to spend billions of dollars training an Army for the sole purpose of "defense"?

Ref B should also come as no surprise.  The IS has occupied huge swaths of territory in eastern Syria and Western Iraq.  I'm a bit surprised that with at least five coalition Air Forces in the area (maybe only four; I keep adding the Brits out of habit), anything is able to move in the desert without getting blown to bits.  Even with a daily dose of Stars and Stripes and LWJ, I'm still totally confused about the organization of the air campaign.  What I do know is that the U.S. and France are willing and able to deploy over both Syria and Iraq.  Now here is where things get cloudy.  The Qatari and Emirati Air Forces, flying the shiniest and newest F16s, seem to pick and chose when they get involved.  They are willing to bomb some folks, but not bomb others.  Something smells rotten here (which is no surprise, since deodorant is definitely optional in this part of the world).  Since when does a military coalition partner turn in  a list of "folks we will bomb", and "folks we won't"?  Being the brilliantly suspicious asshole that I am, something tells me that both the Qataris and Emiratis are sympathetic to certain terrorist groups active in Syria.  Qatar's thinly-veiled support for Islamic Extremist groups is not a news flash (I'm sure glad we didn't deliver those five Guantanamo residents we traded for Bergdahl to a place like Qatar), but the Emiratis are usually much more discrete.  Either way, it may explain why the bad guys are able to open numerous training camps right under the eyes of our spy satellites.

Ref C is the least interesting of Thursday's "multiple Links" night.  It probably comes as no surprise to my well-read readers that Al-Qaeda (AQ) has found ripe fruit to pick amongst the one hundred thirty-three million mostly poor, Muslims of India.  Regardless of which party is in power in India, religious tension always seems to be boiling just below the surface.  I thought that the Congress Party, under the direction of Sonia Ghandi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, would make a sincere effort to address some of the many legitimate grievances of the Muslim community, but it didn't happen.  Excuse the cliché, but India truly is like an Onion.  Once you peel it, you have another layer, and then another, and another....India is a nation built upon one set of hierarchies after another.  Addressing the grievances of the Muslim community will probably result in the continuation of bigotry in another part of Indian society.  Be that at is may, Osama bin-Laden recognized the opportunity to recruit and cause trouble here, and AQ has been a stealth presence in Muslim India for years.  The attention focused on AQ on the Indian subcontinent comes as AQ releases its newest online magazine, the English-language "Resurgence".  I've seen photos of the cover of the magazine and the insides, and it has an appealing, colorful modern look to it.  Then you read the articles.  Most of the magazine focuses on the Indian subcontinent, with writers offering explanation for the AQ plan to hijack Pakistani naval vessels.  The hijacked vessels were supposed to attack the U.S. Navy warships, but the plan never got off of the ground.  I don't understand why AQ has always persisted in offering explanations for its actions.  AQ despises the United States and the way Americans live their lives.  AQ also resents the influence and the presence of the United States around the world, financially, militarily and diplomatically.  I think that covers it.  "Resurgence" does include a very interesting article (with a nice graphic) on what targets would cause the most damage to American interests.  They conclude that disrupting the flow of oil would be the most effective way to hurt the U.S.  Obviously they have some real deep thinkers over there at AQ University.  Back on the subcontinent, the potential is great for an escalation of AQ-sponsored violence.  In fact, its inevitable. India has an effective, well-run internal law enforcement agency (the Central Bureau of Investigation - CBI), and I would not envy any Indian AQ members who get picked up by the CBI.  If AQ orchestrates a large-scale attack, the Indian police will lock-up first and ask questions later.  India has a relatively new government and it will be very interesting to observe how the New Democratic Alliance (NDA) (basically the BJP and a handful of like-minded parties) approaches this issue, and how they respond to the inevitable AQ attack. 

No comments:

Post a Comment