"A tricky problem is that the rebels have been fighting alongside a group called Jabhat al-Nusra, which is an affiliate of al-Qaeda. Sources said Tuesday that it’s likely that in coming days a Jabhat al-Nusra faction will split publicly from al-Qaeda and join the Army of Conquest. At that point, there could be a tipping point in the north, with a broad coalition allied against both the Assad regime and the Islamic State. Jordan and Israel have developed secret contacts with members of the Jabhat al-Nusra group along their borders.
Another potential game-changer is a new U.S. willingness to support a no-fly zone along the Turkey-Syria border. This haven, backed by U.S. air power, would allow some refugees to return home while providing a staging area for an expected assault by a U.S.-trained new Syrian army, whose first units have just been formed, against the Islamic State’s capital in Raqqa." Ignatius
IMO Ignatius is a mouthpiece for CIA and the Obama White House. In this column he has identified himself as a Koolaid distributor:
- It is a "tricky problem" that Nusra is an AQ affiliate? Nusra IS AQ. AQ is a sworn enemy of the US. Aligning ourselves with them is a lot like the brilliant scheme the Germans had for sending the Bolsheviks into Russia in 1917.
- At last! At last! "There could be a tipping point in the north..." This smacks of cloud cuckooland self delusion by CIA and the kiddies at the White House. The key phrase here is "there could be." Yes, and the moon may be made of green cheese. This is log rolling at its worst. The problem with this is that it will have to be made to happen in reality not in fantasyland. Hizbullah and the Syrian armed forces are moving right along in clearing the Qalamoun sector.
- "... a new U.S. willingness to support a no-fly zone along the Turkey-Syria border." Really? Really? The US armed forces leaders, SECDEF and CJCS have made it publicly clear that a "no fly zone" is the first act in a new war, a war in which the US will have to destroy the Syrian Air Force and anti-air defenses and keep them destroyed and suppressed so that a victory of the - What? "Army of Conquest" will march triumphantly into Damascus so that the head chopping of all who oppose Wahhabi jihadism can begin in earnest. The term "Army of Conquest" is a reference to the sweeping early Muslim conquests in the Levant, Iraq, Iran and North Africa in the 8th Century AD. The name tells us all we need to know. The Israelis want this? They have gone mad. If such a scheme should succeed the Izzies would have a jihadi state facing them on the Golan Heights. Who will fly in support of this "no fly zone?" Will it be the CIA Air Force, a new Air America? General Welch, the USAF Cof S was on Morning Joe this morning. Was he there to pimp for the "no fly zone?" He looked uncomfortable and his hosts looked puzzled.
- "a U.S.-trained new Syrian army, whose first units have just been formed," Just been formed? Just been formed? After months and months of searching for Syrian recruits who would not quickly defect to the jihadis after graduation, there are now a handful of men in training to form the cadre of a force expected to reach 20,000. The WH and CIA are locked in a competition for the title of "Least Knowledgeable In Military Affairs." Well, pilgrims, It will take AT LEAST a couple of years to train such a force. First you train the individuals, then you train small units like squads (ten men maybe), then you train companies (150 men maybe), then you train battalions (500 men maybe) than you train brigades (1500 men maybe). At the same time command staffs must be educated to work together and a multiplicity of special training tasks in signals, weapons, etc. must be accomplished. While you are doing this you hope the whole political structure of external support. internal rivalries, etc. does not simply fall apart as things do so frequently in the ME.
"An expected assault against the Islamic State Capital of Raqqa..." This is not worth commenting on ...
IMO David Ignatius wins the title of most gullible, most sold out and "Least Knowledgeable In Military Affairs." pl