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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Current Events > The Middle East > Syrian Civil War, 2011 - ?

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Syrian Civil War, 2011 - ? From a local uprising to a proxy war, we discuss the chaos in Syria.

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  #1  
Old 27 Mar 16, 07:56
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Putin's Splendid Little War' - intervention does not have to mean quagmire

'Putin's Splendid Little War' - intervention does not have to mean quagmire

Am currently considering/developing some tutorial topics on the Middle East and thought this might be an interesting thematic to explore.

Essentially it's an idea, that some commentator's have recently pointed out.

The suggestion being that Putin with his carefully planned, crafted and executed use of airpower to assist local 'native' (I can use the term and get away with it people BUT please don't try this at home!) to achieve 'stage one' limited objective (keeping Basher Baby in power) has provided a salutary lesson to the 'it'll be another Iraq-type quagmire' doomsayers in the Western political/military establishment.

Of course the Russians don't operate under the same restrictions and conditions that Western military forces are supposed to.

I don't think another Afghanistan-style quagmire is looming for the Russians.

Regards lodestar
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  #2  
Old 31 Mar 16, 16:35
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The big deciding factor still seems to be having boots on the ground.

By supporting another military force rather than using their own, Russia helps to avoid the quagmire by allowing Assad's soldiers to take that burden themselves. Compare that to the US drone strikes as an example of how non-quagmire intervention options are part of any military thinking about the Middle East.

In both of these decisions, the key reason for why they're not a "quagmire" for the intervening nations are the existence of an allied military force / state in the conflict already who either tacitly condones their actions, or acts as surrogate "boots on the ground".

The reason Iraq especially acts as a contrast is because in Iraq the US and coalition partners were taking out a state on their own, not operating in support of a group with significant forces of their own. What happened in Syria in 2015 couldn't be repeated in Iraq in 2003.
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"In Iraq, the U.S. intervened and occupied, and the result was a costly disaster. In Libya, the U.S. intervened and did not occupy, and the result was a costly disaster. In Syria, the U.S. neither intervened nor occupied, and the result is a costly disaster."
-- Philip Gordon, 2015
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  #3  
Old 31 Mar 16, 18:33
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Way too early to tell one way or the other.
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  #4  
Old 31 Mar 16, 20:09
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daemon of Decay View Post
The big deciding factor still seems to be having boots on the ground.

By supporting another military force rather than using their own, Russia helps to avoid the quagmire by allowing Assad's soldiers to take that burden themselves. Compare that to the US drone strikes as an example of how non-quagmire intervention options are part of any military thinking about the Middle East.

In both of these decisions, the key reason for why they're not a "quagmire" for the intervening nations are the existence of an allied military force / state in the conflict already who either tacitly condones their actions, or acts as surrogate "boots on the ground".

The reason Iraq especially acts as a contrast is because in Iraq the US and coalition partners were taking out a state on their own, not operating in support of a group with significant forces of their own. What happened in Syria in 2015 couldn't be repeated in Iraq in 2003.
Should not have happened at all in 2003, imho.
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Old 31 Mar 16, 21:44
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Should not have happened at all in 2003, imho.
The question is how long could it be avoided? Considering the one million dead in the Iran Iraq war how much worse is the situation today because of Bush folly?
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Old 01 Apr 16, 03:42
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A lot worse.
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Old 01 Apr 16, 06:22
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Originally Posted by wolfhnd View Post
The question is how long could it be avoided? Considering the one million dead in the Iran Iraq war how much worse is the situation today because of Bush folly?
The Bush follies were two-fold: 1) invading on a cooked-up pretext, and 2) IF invading was so darned necessary, not putting Iraq in a proper occupation lock-down.
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Old 01 Apr 16, 06:27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daemon of Decay View Post
The reason Iraq especially acts as a contrast is because in Iraq the US and coalition partners were taking out a state on their own, not operating in support of a group with significant forces of their own. What happened in Syria in 2015 couldn't be repeated in Iraq in 2003.
That does not apply to the Kurds in northern Iraq, who played exactly that kind of role, and continue to be the most capable ground force in both Iraq and Syria. But it's kind of indicative how when the fighting winds down, and they are no longer as necessary, they keep being forgotten, again, and again, and again...

Heck, the Iraqi government could have called on the Peshmerga for help a lot sooner when Daesh started its push the other year, but left it too long due to Iraqi domestic policy issues, with the result of Daesh getting more entrenched that should have been actually necessary.
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Old 01 Apr 16, 10:07
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Effectively Rumsfeld was trying to do it on the cheap which was only going to work if he had had some proxy force to take over and batten down Iraq or he was prepared to pull out immediately and let either Iraq end up like Libya has today or watch the Iranians take over. There was no way to do it on the cheap
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Old 01 Apr 16, 17:35
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The US intervention in Iraq / Russia in Syria

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
Effectively Rumsfeld was trying to do it on the cheap which was only going to work if he had had some proxy force to take over and batten down Iraq or he was prepared to pull out immediately and let either Iraq end up like Libya has today or watch the Iranians take over. There was no way to do it on the cheap
Surely the important lesson to learn was that it shouldn't have been 'done' at all.

Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 for Pete's Sake, the WMD justification was completely fabricated and bogus.
The damage done by Bush's folly to US image, interests and geopolitical position in the region was massive and probably going to take decades to repair.

The 'Vietnam Syndrome' so confidently declared dead and buried by Bush Snr at the end of the 1991 Gulf War is back with a vengeance.
The ability of any US administration to suggest a major US 'boots on the ground' option in the Mid-East is now very limited.


Nice going George, Donald, Dick, Paul and Richard - blithering idiots!

All those Iraqis dead for what?
All that US blood and treasure for what?

However, this thread is about how an intervention in the ME does not have to be a quagmire.

Who knows maybe the Russians may still find its easier to talk about limited intervention than to actually carry it out without eventual escalation?

Regards lodestar
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Old 02 Apr 16, 10:56
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Originally Posted by lodestar View Post
Surely the important lesson to learn was that it shouldn't have been 'done' at all.

Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 for Pete's Sake, the WMD justification was completely fabricated and bogus.


Regards lodestar

1) wrong


2) wrong and irrelevant : no one said that Saddam was behind 9/11.


The attack on Iraq was more than justified and if Clinton had worried about his job as president,instead of amusing himself with Monica (and the others) , there would have been no need for the attack .
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Old 02 Apr 16, 10:58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
Effectively Rumsfeld was trying to do it on the cheap which was only going to work if he had had some proxy force to take over and batten down Iraq or he was prepared to pull out immediately and let either Iraq end up like Libya has today or watch the Iranians take over. There was no way to do it on the cheap
That's not correct : the war was cheap and over in a few days and it was possible to leave Iraq without creating chaos.
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Old 02 Apr 16, 20:11
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Saudi money owns Americas political elite. Following 9/11 the anger of the American people was deliberately misdirected to places where it could be expended with absolutely no result except squandered billions and dead and wounded. The aim was to protect Saudi wahhabi ideology from being linked to salafist global terror.
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Old 03 Apr 16, 09:12
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That's not correct : the war was cheap and over in a few days and it was possible to leave Iraq without creating chaos.
Only if leaving the Baath Part still running the country more or less like Saddam did. Which would beg the question what the US was over there in the first place?

Alternatively if it had been done as a UN-led huge international project, with all the "nation building" one could shake a stick at lined up and ready. But the way the US played it, that becamse a non-starter.
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Old 04 Apr 16, 10:10
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From Pravda, Alexander Prokhorenko

"Officer: command I am compromised, repeat I am compromised.

Command: please repeat and confirm

Officer: They have spotted me, there are shooting everywhere, i am pinned, request evacuation immediately

Command: evacuation request acknowledged

Officer: please hurry I am low on ammo, they seem to everywhere, I can’t hold them for too long please hurry

Command: Confirmed, hold them off, continue return of fire, go to safe position, air support is monitoring, state coordinates

Officer: gives coordinates which are blurred in the translation

Command: command repeats coordinates which are blurred. Confirm

Officer: confirmed, please hurry I am low on ammo, they are surroundig me, bastards

Command: 12 minutes until evacuation, return to safe line, I repeat return to safe line

Officer: They are close, I am surrounded, this may be the end, tell my family I love them dearly

Command: return to green line, continue return of fire, help is on the way, followed by air support

Officer: negative, I am surrounded, they are so many of these bastards

Command: 10 minutes, return to green line

Officer: I can’t they have surrounded me and are closing in, please hurry

Command: move to green line, repeat move to green line

Officer: They are outside, conduct the airstrike now please hurry, this is the end, tell my family I love them and i died fighting for my motherland.

Command: Negative return to green line

Officer: I cant command, I am surrounded, they are outside, I don’t want them to take me and parade me, conduct the airstrike, they will make a mockery of me and this uniform. I want to die with dignity and take all these bastards with me. please my last wish, conduct the airstrike, they will kill me either way.

Command: please confirm your request

Officer: They out outside, this is the end commander, thank you, tell my family and my country I love them. Tell them I was brave and I fought until I could no longer. Please take care of my family, avenge my death, good bye commander, tell my family I love them

Command: No response, orders the airstrike"
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