"... he said Syrian President Bashar Assad should be told that the U.S. Air Force will sweep Syrian warplanes from the sky if Syrian aircraft drop any more “barrel bombs,” a vicious generator of refugees. “We have that capability,” he noted.
That would at long last demonstrate U.S. seriousness — something lacking for Syria ever since President Obama erased his own “red line” on the use of chemical weapons early last year.
Petraeus advocated the formation of enclaves, protected by air power, supplied with radios and perhaps U.S. advisers. The mission should be protection of Sunni Arabs from all enemies, Assad’s troops as well as the Islamic State controlling much of Syria and adjacent Iraq. To that end the United States should embed advisers with Iraqi brigade headquarters and consider deployment of U.S. tactical air controllers to direct air strikes.
It was the first appearance of Petraeus before Congress since his conviction, probationary sentence and $100,000 fine for suppling a mistress with classified documents, something for which he apologized to the committee — again. That lapse in judgment surely has not made his expertise any less useful. Boston Herald
The Boston Herald thinks this is great thinking and wonderful advice.
It is not! It is terrible advice, and typical of a man whose much overblown reputation rests on the illusion that somehow he "won" the war in Iraq. In fact, he took advantage of a largely sui generis revolt on the part of Sunni Arab tribesmen against AQ. Petraeus had the brains to seize upon this revolt as something that would make the AEI inspired "surge" of additional US troops look good. That is what happened.
He wants to create enclaves of sanctuary in northern Syria to "protect" the Sunnis from the Syrian government? Hey David! The Syrian Army has many, many men in it who are Sunni Muslims. He thinks such havens could be protected by US Air? What planet does this man live on? Where has air power ever sufficed to protect any large area full of civilians? No. Such enclaves would have to be defended on the ground and not against the Syrian military. No, the real enemies are the jihadis. The enclaves would have to be defended against the jihadis. Who will do that? Who?
He wants to destroy the Syrian Air Force? Words fail me... What a good idea! (irony alert) Let us remove an anti-jihadi force from the chess board in the game being played in the ME. What a good idea!
The Egyptian president, Sisi, today told some newsbabe that if the Syrian government falls to the jihadis, the jihadis will then destroy what is left of modernism in the ME, But, no matter, what does he know? What does he know?
I would not be surprised to see Petraeus appointed by Obama and The Girls to take John Allen's job as apprentice savior and deputy messiah (ME) for the salvation of the R2P dream of a world where the lions and the lambs do lie down together. Good luck, David! The world has not become different. If you take the job you will fail again.
If Petraeus is lucky, the final collapse of present government in Iraq and Syria will not come so soon as to block his nomination to be some Republican or Democratic candidate's VP running mate. pl