Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Brookings: Deconstructing Syria-Order from Chaos

de·con·struct/ˌdēkənˈstrəkt/
verb
  1. analyze (a text or a linguistic or conceptual system) by deconstruction, typically in order to expose its hidden internal assumptions and contradictions and subvert its apparent significance or unity. 
Deconstruct- Also to take or tear apart- as opposed to construct which is to build-

Therefore: Brookings is putting forth the method of destroying Syria. It's very 'humanitarian' of course (completely facetious) The one lone difference is the US is going to publicly acknowledge this plan as "the plan for Syria"

Highlighting interesting bits:

While the Obama administration’s strategy for Iraq requires substantial upgrading in light of recent Islamic State (or ISIL) successes in and around Ramadi in particular, the plan for Syria is in much worse shape. The peace process is dead. (Was there ever a real peace process? ) So are a quarter million Syrians, with another 12 million displaced. Joint Chiefs Chairman General Martin Dempsey has just testified to Congress that only some 150 moderate opposition fighters are currently receiving training from the U.S. Department of Defense—at a time when ISIL’s forces may number 30,000 
(KurdIShIS)  and President Bashar al-Assad’s army several tens of thousands as well. Meanwhile, ISIL continues to threaten the region and to inspire lone-wolf terrorist attacks around the globe.
Lone Wolf terror attacks? (eyes roll)
What to do? Counterintuitively, at this stage, the only realistic path forward may be a plan that in effect deconstructs Syria. ( Counterintuitively? not different then what I had expected from the NATO global tyranny/ but definitely NOT what seems right/ natural or correct) A comprehensive, national-level solution is too hard even to specify at this stage, much less effect. Instead, the international community should work to create pockets with more viable security and governance within Syria over time. With initial footholds in place, the strategy could develop further in a type of “ink-spot” campaign that eventually sought to join the various local initiatives into a broader and more integrated effort.
 Safe, autonomous zones (aka balkanization always the plan)

This approach builds on current U.S. strategy, but with a much less glaring mismatch between means and ends. Requiring ideological purity of opposition fighters would no longer be quite as high of a bar. Training them in the safety of Turkey, Jordan, and other friendly countries would still be the first step, but not a sufficient one.

The idea would be to help moderate elements establish reliable safe zones within Syria once they were able. American, as well as Saudi and Turkish and British and Jordanian and other Arab forces would act in support, not only from the air but eventually on the ground via special forces. The approach would benefit from Syria’s open desert terrain which could allow creation of buffer zones that could be monitored for possible signs of enemy attack. Western forces themselves would remain in more secure positions in general—within the safe zones but back from the front lines—at least until the reliability of such defenses, and also local allied forces, made it practical to deploy and live in more forward locations.
Creation of these sanctuaries would produce autonomous zones that would never again have to face the prospect of rule by either Assad or ISIL. They would also represent areas where humanitarian relief could be supplied, schools reopened, and larger opposition fighting forces recruited, trained, and based. U.N. agencies and NGOs would help to the extent possible; regardless, relief could certainly be provided far more effectively than is the case today.
The end-game for these zones would not have to be determined in advance. The interim goal might be a confederal Syria, with several highly autonomous zones and a modest (eventual) national government. The confederation would likely require support from an international peacekeeping force, if this arrangement could ever be formalized by accord. But in the short term, the ambitions would be lower—to make these zones defensible and governable, to help provide relief for populations within them, and to train and equip more recruits so that the zones could be stabilized and then gradually expanded.
Changing the approach (no change, other then a public acknowledgment by the US of having a plan)
This plan would differ from current strategy in three main ways. First, the idea would be plainly stated as the avowed goal of the United States. This could reduce disagreements with other sponsors of the insurgency, and many of the insurgents themselves, since American policy would be based on a more realistic squaring of means with ends. It would also help dispel the lurking suspicion that Washington was content to tolerate the Assad government now as the lesser of two evils. Among other benefits, this could reduce frictions in America’s relationships with Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and several other key regional countries.
Vetting insurgents will not change- which means KurdIShIS will still be morphing in and out of it's good guy/bad guy drama- "collaboration with extremists will not be a scarlet letter
Second, Syrian insurgents would be vetted on a somewhat different set of criteria. While extremist ideologies would still be seen as disqualifying, past collaboration with extremist elements of the insurgency would not itself be viewed as a scarlet letter—since some of that collaboration could have been a necessary means of surviving on Syria’s complex and challenging battlefield. Third, multilateral support teams, grounded in special forces detachments and air-defense capabilities as needed, would be prepared for deployment into parts of Syria once opposition elements were able to seize and reliably hold strong points.
Safest zones perhaps in the ethnically cleansed by the Kurds areas? Why I could never have seen that coming....Facetious again- Saw that one coming for some time now.
This last part would of course be the most challenging, and the actual deployment of any such teams the most fraught. It need not be rushed. It could be undertaken in the safest zones first—perhaps in Kurdish areas, for example, and then near the Jordanian border in conjunction with Jordanian forces. But it’s a necessary part of the effort. Beginning the planning immediately would not only help prove American seriousness about the overall campaign plan, but also allow for coordination with humanitarian and development groups.
All this talk of humanitarian concern? Except when the Kurds kill people, call in bombing "all clears" and burn villages to displace. There is no concern for humans then. Why?

The plan would be directed not only against ISIL but in part against Assad as well. In a bow to reality, however, it would not explicitly seek to overthrow him, so much as deny him control of territory that he might still aspire to govern again. The autonomous zones would be liberated with the clear understanding that there was no going back to rule by Assad or a successor. In any case, Assad would not be a military target under this concept, but areas he currently controls (and cruelly bombs) would be. And if Assad delayed too long in accepting a deal for exile, he could inevitably face direct dangers to his rule and even his person.
And if Assad doesn't go along with a deal for exile, he will be killed- Wow!

Don’t kick the can

This type of plan may be the only realistic path forward, recognizing battlefield realities, the key interests of various regional actors, and the actual options we have before us. Moreover, while it is not without risks for the United States, the scale of military involvement envisioned is not substantially greater than what we have been doing the last year or so in Afghanistan. President Obama can stay true to his most important pledges—to downsize America’s role in the wars of the Middle East, while doing everything in his power to protect the country from further terrorist attack—with such an approach. He should not view Syria as a problem to hand to his successor, but rather a crisis that demands his attention and a new strategy now.

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13 comments:

  1. My only comment to the above is, when will Americans rise up?!

    gc

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    1. I am afraid that they are in the terminal phase.

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  2. Maybe Netanyahu gave it to Brookings to publish. Not much difference.

    Anyway, it reads like a plea to Obama. Help us and we will give you better PR. Or something like that. It is just talking their book. The more realistic issue is that the West can probably create a Kurdish state of sorts. Politics is based on lies, spin, and such, so this is just more in that line. Iranian or Russian propaganda is much more reality-based.

    Paul

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    1. Doesn't read like a plea to Obama to me.

      You know Paul, sometimes I get the impression you come by to leave subtle put downs of the information posted- Why would that be?

      This isn't the first time I've come away with that idea from your comment and I wonder why that is?

      Perhaps you can clarify hollow statements such as "Politics is based on lies, spin, and such, so this is just more in that line"

      What's the point in making that statement at this time?
      Could it be to distract or downplay?

      Jordan to set up buffer zone in southern Syria

      http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/ead1961a-1e38-11e5-ab0f-6bb9974f25d0.html#axzz3eYjL5PRh

      "Jordan is preparing to set up a security zone in southern Syria to prevent a jihadi victory in the area, carving out the first humanitarian “buffer zone” for rebels and refugees in four years of civil war"


      Brookings:

      " It could be undertaken in the safest zones first—perhaps in Kurdish areas, for example, and then near the Jordanian border "

      Reads like a plan- Not a plea. Interested in clarification

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    2. @Reads like a plan

      Penny,
      You know that I couldn't agree less. And we know what the plan is. Just slightly amended. It must detail the new tactics imposed by the situation in the field. It must be published, people need to have written directions otherwise they risk to FU too many things. There is no risk in it, because people would not believe that one can be so open about their intentions. Proof, Paul's comments. He is not alone.

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    3. Wiz,

      All wars are based on deception. It is the most important part of war. And truth is the first casualty of war, so looking for truth in a Rothschild paper is not where I would start.

      As for people needing written directions. Well, I have had family and friends involved in classified matters of various sorts, and everything was compartmentalized to the max. "The shooters don't know who shot Kennedy." would be one way of saying it. Do you really think the guy shepherding al-CIAduh forces on the edges of Syria needs an article in the FT to tell him what to do? And all the sharks involved in this, such as KSA, Turkey, and France, all have somewhat different goals and would sell out many others in a minute. A life insurance policy for Erdoghan might be expensive these days. This means that anything you and I know, the other players would know.

      I agree that the enemy has chuzpah, and they rub things in our face and tell us about things like terror attacks before they pull them off, but war is based on deception. And telling us they have a plan to smash Syria is nothing new. I could have told you that ten years ago, as could many readers of this blog, and I assume Penny as well.

      My wild guess would be the Kurdish areas near Turkey are the important ones, and discussions of Jordan are not so important. I might be wrong, and don't pretend to be any expert on the Middle East. But the big game at this point is a Kurdish state. It would be a big plus for the Anglo-Zionist Empire. The destruction/weakening of Syria has already been achieved for the most part.

      Paul

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  3. Penny,

    Because it seem to me you take at face value what they say. I don't trust them at all. To me, if a rat like Erdoghan says he is going to do X, it means he isn't. He did everything possible to convince Assad that they were new best buddies. Jordan hardly has the ability to do much, but, in any case, they can just do it. When they do something, such as attack Palmyra, they don't announce it for weeks and ask for Obama's support. They just do it. Perhaps 90% of what the Western media have said regarding Syria over the last four years has been lies. We know they want to smash and partition Syria.

    It seems to me that we are getting closer to the endgame, and that is likely to involve partitioning Syria. But that means the lies are going to escalate. At the end of the day, do you think Jordanian or Turkish troops are actually willing to enter Syria? Not shoot down planes near the border, but actually enter? I doubt it. Iran and Russia are not minor issues. Besides, it could easily turn into a disaster for Turkey. Anti-tank weapons are too good these days. If Turkey and Jordan don't enter, what would be different from the current state?

    So I see a lot of positioning, especially in the media. There are undoubtedly meetings with Russia and Iran about a Kurdish state. Besides, why would the criminals in the anti-Syrian alliance tell you and me their plans? So, I would assume that any plan we can see is a lie. This would be, for example, to encourage Damascus and Tehran to guard the Jordanian front while the actual plan is somewhere else.

    Apologies if this seems negative to you. I appreciate your good work.

    Paul

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    1. Hi Paul:
      "Because it seem to me you take at face value what they say. I don't trust them at all"

      If that was the case at all, or even close to it, would I even be espousing my KurdIShIS theory?
      Or would I be regurgitating the people without a nation meme? As so many do.
      Would I have hit the nail on the head with the plan to out Maliki? Believing what they say is not my only or sole MO

      Looking at what they do and have done is my way, as I have said already, but sometimes, yes, what they say, when one can read critically also speaks volumes.

      I actually had & continue to have serious doubts about Turkey moving into northern Syria- as was telegraphed all over the place.
      (you notice I didn't take that bait?)

      And by that I mean as in Turkish troops acting under Erdogan's order
      Turkish troops have long been involved in this destabilization under NATO's leadership- not under Erdogan's

      "Besides, why would the criminals in the anti-Syrian alliance tell you and me their plans?"

      I don't think they would hesitate to speak pseudo publicly about their plans, knowing full well most of the public isn't paying attention
      Really what difference would or could it make?

      btw:

      There was nothing new in the above plan except for one thing- and I said as much in the post.
      The only change I could see was there was going to be a public acknowledgement of this being US policy- the partitioning of Syria
      because really nothing else was a surprise a shock or anything

      "no change, other then a public acknowledgment by the US of having a plan"

      It's just what you say things like all wars are deception etc., I think Paul, you're stating the obvious- An obvious I'm already painfully aware of.

      Also, Paul, conversing this way has it's limitations and I felt it was better to ask for clarification then to jump to conclusions
      And, therefore I thank you for clarifying :)

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    3. take two to Wiz Oz:
      "And we know what the plan is. Just slightly amended"
      Yup. But for now- we are just looking at a small piece of the puzzle

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  4. Penny,

    One other thing. The anti-Syrian criminals have regularly over the last four years had big PR campaigns that they are about to invade when they are doing poorly on the ground, which is what seems to be the case lately. So it is just lying to their sucker soldiers. It has happened so many times it isn't noteworthy. Of course, this time could be different.

    I apologize for being a bit curt when your site is good. Sometimes, just seeing a heading like this strikes me as falling into one of the games the bad guys play:

    "Jordan to Create Militarized Buffer/ No Fly Zone in Syria- Order out of Chaos"

    I agree that the criminals in their arrogance can tell us a certain amount. Where I disagree is that I don't think this info is often usable and is normally designed to deceive as opposed to illustrate their great power/hubris. How much do we know of Iran's and Russia's plans in Syria? Rather little, as it would then get to the enemy. The Western approach is to constantly lie. In my opinion, it is their spiritual duty.

    Paul

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    1. Hi Paul:

      " The anti-Syrian criminals have regularly over the last four years had big PR campaigns that they are about to invade when they are doing poorly on the ground"

      I've noticed that on many occasions

      'How much do we know of Iran's and Russia's plans in Syria? Rather little, as it would then get to the enemy."

      Totally agree with that-
      And if you ever see anything that could help me flesh out a bigger picture, please, let me know, please- that's what I love- that kind of working together to expand our knowledge base

      "The Western approach is to constantly lie. In my opinion, it is their spiritual duty"

      But even in lies, there is truth. Even in disinfo their is info
      It's just to be able to parse it to the best of ones ability

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