With some help from Anon's links in the previous post. Thanks Anonymous, who I still wish had a name.....
Just the highlights
"United States needs to determine an endgame in Syria before it takes further military action in the beleaguered country"
"Escalated involvement in Syria by the U.S. military would lead to “a full-throated, very, very serious war.”
"When asked what if anything the U.S. should do to topple President Bashar al-Assad's regime, Mattis said the United States must first consult with regional powers to determine a framework under which to operate before engaging militarily"
John Kerry is in the ME presently...
And...the US is shoring up "friends" in Lebanon: "The 71 military Humvees were offloaded at Beirut Port in the presence of senior military officers and the U.S. defense cooperation office in Lebanon"
“Then we need to be very clear about our military end state and political end state. Otherwise you'll invade a country, pull down a statue, and say, 'Now what do we do?'” Mattis said"
"The Obama administration has been reluctant to enter another military engagement, but announced in June that it would provide military support to start rebel fighters after it determined al-Assad’s forces had used chemical weapons - a red line that President Barack Obama warned the regime not to cross"
U.S. military prepares for potential chemical weapons in Syria
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, told a Senate panel Thursday that he has military options for Syria -- should the president ever give the order. That order might come if Assad's chemical weapon stockpiles are in danger of falling into the wrong hands. U.S. troops are training for that, and we went along.
About 1,500 paratroopers dropped out of the night sky from an altitude of just 800 feet, bringing with them nearly 190,000 pounds of equipment. They were the first of some 4,000 soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division parachuting into an exercise designed in part to prepare for the worst in Syria.
After seizing an airfield in the woods of North Carolina, they launched a helicopter assault on a compound where, for purposes of this exercise, chemical agents were believed to be stored. Their mission: get to the chemicals before they fall into the hands of terrorists who would use them against Americans.
Maj. Gen. John Nicholson is commander of the 82nd. "As we look at the evolving situation -- Syria and other places around the world -- we're preparing to deal with the reality of securing chemical weapons," he said.
Prepping to secure 'chemical weapons'
"Mattis cautioned that setting up a no-fly zone would be a complicated and costly endeavor that is not a pragmatic military solution in a conflict where most of the violence is occurring on the ground"
"The retired general also said the administration’s plan to supply arms to the rebels is not without risk, as the weapons could get into the wrong hands. But that risk can be mitigated by thorough training, employing the secret services of surrounding countries and using U.S. special ops to monitor the situation"
If al-Assad falls, it would be the “biggest strategic setback in 25 years” for Iran.
One thing Mattis said he knows for certain is that should Iran get a nuclear weapon, Israel would launch an airstrike on Iran’s nuclear facilities
Muslim Brotherhood & Egypts break up for Israeli benefit?