24 August 2015


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Colonel, you did not mention what you think Russia is going to do.



I think they have reached a point at which they will accept a negotiated solution that partitions Syria. they have a lot of trouble with an increasingly unpredictable US and have been showing signs of weariness with the whole thing. Lavrov's reported reaction to the various Syrians showed a great deal of frustration. pl

William R. Cumming

How many Syrian refugees in Lebanon and what is their makeup?


Colonel, I read reports in the internet that a Russian S-300 shot down an Israeli F16. This was not reported in the west, and, strangely, not even denied. If true, it would indicate a hardening of Russia. Also, I was under the impression the Syrian war was over a pipeline from Qatar, which would weaken Russia's position against Europe. So, I would not be to sure that Russia gets out because everybody else wants a deal. Time will tell of course.



Once you hand over munitions, they are no longer yours and you cannot control their use. The war in Syria is not about economics. It is about communal conflict. pl

The Beaver


Are you watching what has been happening in Beirut for the past 2/3 days?

FB Ali

"...the jihadis of various colorations...will struggle over the extent of their territories..."

Certainly to start with. However, IMO there is a distinct likelihood that they will agree to jointly rule over the seized territory, which will gradually lead to one of them (probably IS) absorbing the others.


FB Ali
Certainly. pl


Would blocking E.U. Markets to Turkey have any effect on it's support for ISIS?


Disagree that partition dooms the Syrian government. It seems Plan B is a reduced rump state in which the remnants of the SARG still cling to power. This appears likely.

The Iranians still need a friendly entity in Damascus to provide Hizbollah strategic depth, hence the operations in Zabadani and Qalamoun. The ethic terra-forming has already occurred in Homs, which remains the geographic center of gravity in this fight.

Bashar may have to go, but he will be replaced by someone the Iranians believe will suit their interests.

If Damascus falls to the opposition, the chances of another Israeli adventure in Lebanon (similar to 2006) rise significantly.



I don't care what you call it. That is still partition. pl


It is beyond me that the EU - now struggling with an unprecedented wave of migration from all countries (40,000 arrived from Syria to the EU last month) - is unable to act in its own collective self interest regarding Syria.

Instead it suffers potential destabilisation while the architects of this war (namely Israel and the Saudis) bear no consequences. There are no Syrians trying to get to Israel or to Qatar. They know they would be shot trying to enter. US policy in Syria has no direct consequences on the US, it is free to play, just as it does in Ukraine, without fear of immediate consequence. Just the distant and apparently implausible idea that all this might be weakening the US in the long term.

Where next for Europe I wonder? Lebanon? Egypt? Perhaps there will be some kind of "solution" for the Kurds and Europe will be flooded with Kurds from Syria, Iraq and Turkey. Tunisia? Algeria? The madness of this logic doesn't end.


"they have a lot of trouble with an increasingly unpredictable US"

There, as if to illustrate the point, is IMO a distinct chance that if R's come in, they might just bomb Iran anyway, deal, schmeal.

Actually, everybody does have a lot of trouble with an increasingly unpredictable US, and I wished American politicians would come to understand that as the LIABILITY that it is in foreign policy.

LIABILITY as in 'peril' and 'interesting times'.

However, despite the disturbing continuity that characterises many of Obama's policies, it has to be pointed out in fairness that even the chaotic, unpredictable ways of Obama administration are progress from predictably stupid foreign policies of the Bush years.


Agree it is partition. But where is the analytic connective tissue that links partition to government downfall? Why can't a rump state survive?



A rump state that is essentially a coastal enclave in Alawi country may well survive. I don't think the present Alawi led coalition of forces that support the government can hold Damascus very long in the context of a general collapse of government positions in much of the country. pl

William R. Cumming

That is why I am asking!

William R. Cumming

P.L. and ALL: If Partition were a given for Syria what drawing of lines would be best for future stability?

Babak Makkinejad

You do not understand; extremist action to oppose Iranian power is no vice and accommodation with Tehran is no virtue.

Shia are the Manichean bad-guys and head-choppers - while appalling - are needed to oppose the Shia.

Once the Shia are gone from the scene, the head-choppers could be controlled.

Babak Makkinejad

May be Syria and Lebanon can now be combined into a single country.


IS and al-Nusra will no doubt do their best to try. And I can't see the Lebanese unifying in order to stop them.

Babak Makkinejad

The best recipe for stability is to bring the Seljuks back.

Just as it would be best in Europe to resurrect the Austro-Hungarian Republic.

Babak Makkinejad

EU states can break with US on the Middle East and dismantle their Cold War against the Shia Crescent.

They can start by making loans to Syrian government to buy weapons, material, consumer goods etc.

The English are pumping oil out of Basra - BP; may be the rest of EU could be as practical as the Perfidious Albion.

When did France become the enemy of the Shia and Iran - I wonder.


BM: re-combined?


In your opinion, what are the ultimate aims of western powers regarding Iran? By western powers I mean US, UK, France, Germany, Canada and Australia to name a few.


Partition or not, who says that the Jihadis will stop fighting?

In short term, sure, but then? For how long will an armistice last? Probably they'll use the time to consolidate and then fight again. I think that anybody who suggests otherwise is kidding himself.

ISIS and JaN are IRRECONCILABLE towards 'apostates' or 'heathen', be they Jezidi, Shia, Druze, Bahai, Zoroastrians, Alawi or Alevi, same goes for Christians and Jews. Period.

The Izzies are lunatics if they think that they'd rather have Jihadis next door rather than the Syrian government. The nutters usually firing rockets at them from Gaza usually are dissident Al Qaeda type Jihadis for whom Hamas is too soft. And they aid and abet something like that to develop in southern Syria because it is anti-Assad? Insane.


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