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04 March 2015

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Lars

There are times, when I wonder why nothing has really changed in that general area over the last 13000 years. Middle East peace is probably the ultimate pipe dream.

Aka

Sir,
Yes the SAF does seems like the logical choice as an ally for anyone who wishing to destroy ISIS.

However, USG has a better idea. Re-brand Al-Nusra and other jihadi groups as moderate rebel groups and equip them with the help of Qatar.

Seems like a good plan that will work well in the long run.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/04/us-mideast-crisis-nusra-insight-idUSKBN0M00GE20150304

turcopolier

Aka

Is this a joke? Nusra is a wahhabi jihadi group that is a branch of AQ. You think they are going to become a reliable ally of the U?. Qatar is the only Wahhabi state in the Arab World other than SA. They have been instrumental in funding jihadi groups, particularly in Syria. Why do they allow the US to have facilities in the "sand bar?" They are afraid of SA and Iran. The other resistance people you refer to are just riff raff who will not fight anyone and have not. pl

The Beaver

Aka

Just ask yourself this question:

How much blood or planes have been lost by the Qataris, either over Libya in 2011 or currently in battling IS in Northern Iraq?

Babak Makkinejad

All:

Backgrounder:

Drought as instigator:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/climate-change-and-rising-food-prices-heightened-arab-spring/

I wonder if Somalia was destroyed because of draught?

different clue

Babak Makkinejad,

I believe I remember that the very first article by William R. Polk that was posted here said a fair bit about the recent several-years drought in Syria as being contributory to the pre-rebellion instability there.

Norbert M Salamon

Babak:
Your citation is a restatement of previous analysis of over two years ago. It is valid for Somalia as it was valid in the conflict of N/S Sudan. In the near future this problem will cause similar outcomes, as change in weather and shortage of water will create problems for agriculture, ergo for population at large.

For financial reasons, and lack of foresight Syria exported her agricultural product before the draught started and had very little saved.

Norbert M Salamon

Babak:
I have posted this article before [on this site] this indicates all the other countries which will have similar food shortages and subsequent demographic problems including riots etc.

http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/a-complex-systems-model-predicted-the-revolutions-sweeping-the-globe-right

Charles I

What??

I just posted here somewhere back a bit that one of the first units of the original "FSA" set up and trained by the U.S. had just disbanded itself and its fighters were pursing their "rebranding" efforts BECAUSE OF THE COMPLETE FAILURE OF U.S EFFORTS TOWARDS THE STATED OBJECTIVE.

Rebranding is not a strategy, let alone a good one Doomed in the shorter never mind long run. It is the pathetic whirling of ignorance, hubris and narcissism's response to cognitive dissonance that while loud enough to distract, has not yet broken through to debunk their ever-so-gratifying delusion that things are still in hand. . .

Charles I

ps

http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/us-backed-opposition-group-disbands-syria-1834881582

Babak Makkinejad

Thank you.

I think Afghanistan, Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Central Asian states have also been affected by drought.

Most of them, however, have more resources and better government structures to deal with the problem of draught.

I think Europe never experienced draught.

Then there was always salted fish for 2000 years.

Ex-11B

I think he may have been being sarcastic. I would have a hard time thinking anybody would be that far behind current events. Nothing the mean girlz club has touched has escaped massive failure. Anybody who hasn't groked that is probably just been rescued from an uncharted island Tom Hanks style.

Speaking of jokes, Victoria Nuland won some kind of diplomacy award. I swear you couldn't even make that up. Maybe they can display it at the white house right next to O-bombers Nobel peace prize.

different clue

Norbert M Salamon,

Didn't the SyriaGov also pursue forms of irrigation-based agriculture based on assuming there would always be water?

readerOfTeaLeaves

DClue, you recall correctly. For readers who missed the Wm Polk link on Syria the first time out, it is here:
http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2013/11/download-part-i-understanding-syria.html

The Guardian had a recent article on this topic, as well:
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/02/global-warming-worsened-syria-drought-study

Poul

Draught does happen in Europe but normally it was rain or cold that was the problem as can be seen in the early 14th century.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Famine_of_1315%E2%80%9317

Poul

The last major European famine not caused by war. The same causes as in the 14th century, rain and cold.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finnish_famine_of_1866%E2%80%9368

Aka

Charles I and Beaver,
guys i was being sarcastic (joking) when I said it was a good plan. I don't see much difference between ISIS and Al-Nusra other than their name and PR.

Unfortunately, Qataris are not joking when they say that Al-Nusra is ready to drop ties with Al-Qaeda (so that they could better fund them without a hindrance).

Also James Clapper is not being sarcastic when he said,
" So we picked people that not only are moderate, whatever that is, but also we have to be sensitive to complying with the international rules of law, which in this environment is a pretty tough order".

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/syria-qatar-plotting-al-nusra-front-dump-al-qaeda-challenge-isis-1490425

http://www.cfr.org/intelligence/kenneth-moskow-memorial-lecture-homeland-security-counterterrorism-james-r-clapper-jr/p36210

Aka

sir,
Yes. I was being sarcastic.

Unfortunately, US DNI is not when he says that
"Moderate these days is increasingly becoming anyone who is not affiliated with ISIL".

Also when Qataris are planning the Al-Nusra re-branding.

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/syria-qatar-plotting-al-nusra-front-dump-al-qaeda-challenge-isis-1490425

http://www.cfr.org/intelligence/kenneth-moskow-memorial-lecture-homeland-security-counterterrorism-james-r-clapper-jr/p36210

Aka

Charles I and Beaver,
I think I inserted the wrong quote here. The quote I was hoping to attach was was,

"Moderate these days is increasingly becoming anyone who is not affiliated with ISIL".

It's in the same CFR article I linked.

Aka

Ex-11B,
It looks like Victoria Nuland award is a satire.

http://nsnbc.me/2015/02/15/victoria-nuland-wins-nsnbc-proscar-award/

The Beaver

There goes the neighbourhood:
Syria's al-Nusra Front commander 'killed in strike'

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-31757502

Charles I

cheers, I'll be alright

Babak Makkinejad

Yes, thanks.

In 2001 there was famine in Afghanistan and while the Taliban Government was busy harboring terrorists, forcing Sikhs to wear distinctive clothing, destroying what was left of the Buddhas of Bamyan, and generally practicing what ISIS is doing in Iraq minus a few things, Afghans were trekking over the mountain passes to Iran in order to survive the famine.

Many young children did not make it; they froze to death in the mountain passes.

Patrick Bahzad

Two things I'd like to get off my chest regarding this topic:

1. as stated by PL, the SAA is not on a verge of self-imploding, and it is not just Hizbollah that is saving the day for Bashar al-Assad, as has been said by various US officials or "political" analysts. However, the regime is aware of demographic problems a war of attrition would cause for the Alawis and their allies. That's why their strategy is based on selective campaigns regaining ground of high value (in terms of demographics, economics, logistics and resources), while leaving unsettled areas and regions with high density of various rebel factions to the insurgents. The main strategic problem Bashar al-Assad is facing is the lack of control over the borders with Turkey and the loss of oil and wheat producing regions in north-eastern Syria. If he can find alternative replacements for the loss of revenue and resources in those areas, he won't be too alarmed about these territorial upsets, especially given that the areas concerned are mostly under ISIS control, which may serve the regime in the long run. Looking at things more globally, the trend is for the regime to retake or keep control of the coastal areas as well as regions along the axis Damascus to Aleppo, while leaving it up to split-up and rival opposition groups to compete for peripheral areas, some of which are highly contested for their resources and/or the predominance of either Kurdish or Sunni extremist groups.

2. Regarding recent articles about the 'drought' being the reason for the start of the Syrian civil war, this is as ridiculous a statement as saying the 'Boston Tea party' was the reason why the American Revolutionary War started in the 13 colonies. Allocation of agricultural land and resources, in a period of low water supplies, has indeed been an issue in Syria for years, not just since 2011, but it is only one element among many others that caused social unrest and dissatisfaction among part of the (Sunni) population. For example, there have been areas where the drought has been just as bad and that have stayed loyal to the regime.
Again, this is cherry picking by people who have no real back-ground knowledge and think they have discovered the silver bullet explaining it all.

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