We've already had clues to that being in the works with Trump claiming "he's going to absolutely do safe zones in Syria"Updated! Trump to Order Plan for Syria "Safe Zones": Document Then the additional movement of thousands of troops. 400 Marines. A contingent of Army Rangers and then 2,500 additional troops to Kuwait, ready to fight in Syria and Iraq. I was surprised at how quietly this news came and went..... Is it because so many want to believe Trump is different? The US Military Dives Deeper into Syria, Hunkering Down for the Long Haul
Let's start at Arutz Sheva first- Retrace my path from yesterday, ok?
excerpt written by Mark Langfan
An aside that comment reads much like the comment made here last week
Today, the US Secretary of Defense under the command of President Trump is on his way to cutting the Gordian Knot of Syria. The vague outlines of SecDef Mattis’ strategy are apparent.
Critically, it is clear SecDef Mattis is not only on his way to solving the Syrian conundrum, but is setting the structural foundation for a Pan-Sunni/Israeli/ (Sunni) Kurdish regional mutual defense against Iran.
Trump really wants Iran defeated, and understands Syria is where their dreams of absolute Persian hegemony over the Arabs and their oil can be defeated. AKA, with Trump, the gloves are off when it comes to defeating Iran, and defeating it badly. Militarily, ISIS is really the easy problem. It’s Iran that’s the more difficult strategic puzzle to solve.
It’s clear Turkey has to come to grips with the reality that the United States is not going to betray the Kurds.
And as candidate Trump has admonished, President Trump is not going to publicly announce his strategy. Trump is going to execute it, and destroy ISIS, and Iran first, and then talk about it later. So, you’re not going to see me remotely explain what SecDef Mattis is doing. All I’ll say is I believe SecDef Mattis is unfolding a brilliantly planned strategy.
Secretary of Defence Mattis is "unfolding a brilliantly planned strategy"
Let's talk about that very briefly.
Late February/early March Mattis unfolded his brilliantly planned strategy while everyone was focused on eitherTrump's distraction of the day- (Donald Trump's Major Policy Shift Regarding Undocumented Immigrants?? or the Oscar "flub" that wasn't a flub. La La Land Starring Donald Trump & Hillary Clinton we missed the unfolding of the brilliant plan, However, In early March it was the Manbij situation, mostly ignored, and the movement of all those troops- you can find all posts from that time frame embedded in one post Manbij Dead Lock: Russia, Turkey, U.S. Hold "Surprise" Military Talks) that clued us in to the brilliant plan in action.
* Mattis presented the White House with an ENTIRELY classified plan to defeat ISIS
"Defense Secretary Jim Mattis presented a classified plan to the White House Monday for the rapid defeat of ISIS that was reportedly an updated version of the Obama administration's strategy of relying on local forces to carry the brunt of the fight"
Recall my post regarding the continuity and expansion of the US foreign policy from Obama to Trump? Did Trump Really Pull The Trigger on Obama’s Raqqa Plan?
"This Washing Post article is working hard to present an idea that there is some change between Obama and Trump in the remake the Middle East/North Africa agenda.
So far I only see continuation of policy. Same as occurred when Bush changed to Obama.
So we're dealing with a perception change promotion- which the media is happy to deliver. And those that self identify as leftists/liberals/progressives are happy to believe. These same dupes stayed quiet as the Obama administration wantonly bombed and droned, globally but are now so incensed about Trump- It's the theatre of the absurd with an audience of the dull and dumbed down"
"The plan called for the involvement of "all elements of national power" in what Davis called a "trans-regional approach" to defeating the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
McMaster had been at the Pentagon last Friday to be briefed on Mattis' proposals which Davis described in general terms as a "broad plan. It is global. It is not just military. It is not just Iraq-Syria." Davis said Mattis intended the plan to require choices by the president and his team "but it's not a "check-the-block, pick A or B or C kind of a plan."It's global? So like a one world tyranny kind of global?
"Last week, Army Gen, Joseph Votel, commander of U.S. Central Command, told reporters traveling with him in the Mideast that the U.S. might provide artillery support to the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces now closing on the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa.
At the Brookings Institute last week, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford said that the U.S. was looking to the possibility of a long-term presence of U.S. troops in Iraq following the ouster of ISIS from its last remaining stronghold in the northwestern Iraqi city of Mosul"What Mattis exactly proposed is classified- However Mark Langfan thinks it's great!
Now we're going to read the Jerusalem Post together:A new strategy against ISIS
" His special forces teams increased their operational tempo to such an extent that they carried out 300 raids per month, dismantling al-Qaida cells one after the other.
That presence will probably will be reflected in increased activity of special forces, mainly from JSOC. The current commander of JSOC is Gen. Austin Miller, who just like McChrystal began his career as a paratroopers officer (82nd Airborne Division), served in the Rangers and commanded a contingent of Delta Force operators in the Battle of Mogadishu (and was awarded the Bronze Star). The most significant operation so far carried out the during his term as commander of JSOC is the raid carried out by the Navy SEALs on an al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) headquarters in Yemen. The operation, the first commando raid authorized by Trump, turned into a shootout in the midst of the village because the force was compromised before hitting its objective. Navy SEAL Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens was killed and three others were wounded. 14 AQAP fighters were killed in the raid, some of whom were also terrorist network leaders and facilitators"Recall his widow and Trump paying homage to her- Lots of crying and praying involved?
The Jerusalem Post op ed implies that the special forces will increase activity in the area as part of the new strategy- this already seems to be the case.
AEI- America's Way Ahead in Syria
-To protect American interests, President Trump’s goal cannot be a quick end to the war in SyriaA global war certainly won't end quickly will it?
-The US must stop bringing a counterterrorism strategy to a counterinsurgency fight.
-Current US strategy empowers al Qaeda. The US has prioritized defeating ISIS before turning to al Qaeda. This has allowed al Qaeda to strengthen its own insurgency in the background.This implies a type of bait and switch tactic will be employed to expand and extend the fight- The wagging of AQ harkens back the the creation of Sunni Councils in Iraq after the invasion- which is mentioned in all this planning- I've written about the fraud of these Sunni Councils previously-
- Iran’s strategy in Syria is designed to prevent America from protecting its interests. Iran is doing so with a functioning, interoperable, and deployable coalition of its proxies and with Russia’s help.
-US leadership is needed to drive a multinational strategy that rallies regional powers capable of building the moderate Sunni Arab resistance essential to defeating the ISIS and al Qaeda insurgencies.
-The US must act soon in Syria if it hopes to destroy ISIS and al Qaeda and prevent their reconstitution.-The first phase of a series of multiphase campaigns should prioritize seizing and securing a base of operations in southeastern Syria to create a de facto safe zone in the region. Success will depend on US forces fighting alongside, recruiting, and training local Sunni Arab forces to conduct an immediate offensive against ISIS and future operations against al Qaeda. Subsequent phases will require establishing a no-fly zone in southern SyriaBelow are the first three paragraphs of the WSJ article hosted at AEI also- Written by the Kagans-Frederick and Kimberley
The Trump administration is set to supersize President Obama’s strategy to defeat Islamic State, sending more American forces to the region and lifting restraints on direct participation in combat and when to use armed force. Yet any victory under the current approach will be ephemeral. Even if American proxies, backed by U.S. military forces, wrest Raqqa, Syria, and Mosul, Iraq, away from ISIS, success will be fleeting.
The most important error is the near-exclusive focus on Islamic State at the expense of serious efforts against al Qaeda. Destroying ISIS is necessary but not sufficient. As the Obama administration turned its attention toward ISIS, al Qaeda learned from its failures. It has temporarily deprioritized spectacular attacks on the global stage and focused on embedding itself within Sunni communities in Syria, Yemen, North Africa and elsewhere to develop long-term strength and resilience.
Al Qaeda also has become more cautious in imposing its radical version of Shariah. It now indoctrinates populations over years rather than forcing immediate compliance with strict Islamic law. It does not demand that fighters place themselves formally and publicly under its command. Its affiliates in Syria do not even insist that local groups accept its ideology as long as they fight common foes. Al Qaeda today introduces its beliefs slowly and carefully, and the false message that it is more moderate than ISIS resonates around the world.
I did manage to get the article and print it- I can't link to the entire piece at all- However I can share a little more below
"The U.S. has no meaningful presence among the Sunni Arab tribes in Iraq and Syria (lie) that ISIS, al Qaeda and others are vying to control. This appears to confirm al Qaeda’s claim that it is the only effective armed force dedicated to protecting Sunni populations from a combined assault by all the world’s powers. That message may win out if Washington does not rapidly change its approach America’s backing of Kurdish-led forces to take Raqqa exacerbates these problems and offers little gain. (except for Israel?) Raqqa’s fall will represent only a tactical victory— and al Qaeda, Iran, the Assad regime and the Kurds will compete for the spoils. Sunnis will lose, diminishing the chance of forging a strong Sunni leadership opposed to ISIS and al Qaeda.
The key is finding new Sunni partners and taking the fight to new terrain, specifically, southeastern Syria, where ISIS leaders have refuge. American military forces will be necessary. But the U.S. can recruit new Sunni Arab partners by fighting alongside them in their land. The goal in the beginning must be against ISIS because it controls thelast areas in Syria (this benefits the sunni muslim kurds)where the U.S. can reasonably hope to find Sunni allies (they already have the Sunni Kurds?) not yet under the influence of al Qaeda. But the aim after evicting ISIS must be to raise a Sunni Arab army that can ultimately defeat al Qaeda and help negotiate a settlement to the war.
The U.S. will have to pressure theAssad regime, Iran and Russia to end the conflict on terms that the Sunni Arabs will accept. That will be easier to do with the independence and leverage of a secure base inside Syria. America should also liberate itself from the troublesome reliance on Turkey(As stated here repeatedly- the US has betrayed Turkey) by shifting its base of operations south, where a reliable ally, Jordan, is fully committed to fighting Salafi jihadism.
Both these moves would give Washington access to Sunni partners not heavily infiltrated by al Qaeda. No single military operation can achieve victory in Syria. But an operation against the enemy’s heartland, freed of the constraints imposed by problematic proxies, would change the assumptions of America’s friends and enemies. President Trump should break through the flawed logic and poor planning that he inherited from his predecessor.He can transform this struggle, but only by transforming America’s approach to it.Nice spin in the article's final paragraphs- The plan continues on unimpeded by whichever President or political party is holding the managerial position in the US
Recall? Trump's Presidency: A Dangerous Deception
Might be time to revisit that one?
Last time the betrayal/taking down of Turkey was discussed: West Unhinged Over Turkish Referendum