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06 November 2015


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Babak Makkinejad

China will do nothing overt or covert to help anyone - they have no dog in that fight and find it an excellent distraction for NATO States, the Russian Federation, Iran, Arabs (and Muslims in general).

Israelis will do nothing but try to extract more out of NATO states.


The proxy war via the CIA continues... despite recent new articles indicating otherwise, US still invested in supporting "moderate rebels".

U.S., Allies to Boost Aid to Syria Rebels - Shipments of arms, supplies are aimed at pressuring Assad while countering Russia, Iran http://www.wsj.com/article_email/u-s-allies-to-boost-aid-to-syria-rebels-1446682624-lMyQjAxMTI1NTAxNTgwMTUxWj?alg=y
The U.S. and its regional allies agreed to increase shipments of weapons and other supplies to help moderate Syrian rebels hold their ground and challenge the intervention of Russia and Iran on behalf of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, U.S. officials and their counterparts in the region said. The deliveries from the Central Intelligence Agency, Saudi Arabia and other allied spy services deepen the fight between the forces battling in Syria, despite President Barack Obama’s public pledge to not let the conflict become a U.S.-Russia proxy war.

U.S. officials said the Obama administration is pursuing what amounts to a dual-track strategy, which aims to maintain military pressure on Mr. Assad and his Russian and Iranian supporters while U.S. diplomats see if they can ease him from power through negotiations. U.S. officials said the pressure track was meant to complement the diplomatic track by giving the U.S. leverage at the negotiating table. Saudi and Turkish officials say the level of U.S. support for rebel groups remains insufficient, despite the latest U.S. promise to do more. Pledges to expand the weapons pipeline came as Washington sought support from Saudi Arabia, Turkey and other allies in the region for a new diplomatic track that includes Russia and Iran, diplomats in the region said.

… In the past month of intensifying Russian airstrikes, the CIA and its partners have increased the flow of military supplies to rebels in northern Syria, including of U.S.-made TOW antitank missiles, these officials said. Those supplies will continue to increase in coming weeks, replenishing stocks depleted by the regime’s expanded military offensive. An Obama administration official said the military pressure is needed to push Mr. Assad from power.



The bleating and shipments of the US nuts, the Saudis and the turks won't mean anything if the rebels and IS are defeated on the ground. pl


"and find it an excellent distraction ..."



Foodstocks being exhausted and with the naval blockade remaining in place, famine sinks its teeth into Yemen. Pictures of starving babies are largely absent from western media but are common in Arabic social media.

Meanwhile, the cholera outbreak in Iraq and Syria continues to escalate. It looks to dwarf the last great outbreak of 1998 where 200,000 were afflicted.


When they started the Russians announced a limited action of 3 to 4 months, this does not seem congruent with what happens currently on the ground, so:
- Was this just propaganda/maskirovka?
- Do they actually run in difficulties they did not expect?
- Do they *really* mean to have limited objectives?



Have three to four months passed? The campaign is progressing well. Their "limited objectives" are the destruction of the jihadis, all of them. pl

Babak Makkinejad

During the time-period - 1954 until 1979 - Iran was a semi-sovereign state - a vassal of US. She recognized PRC only when US told the Shah that he could do so.


Anti-colonial and anti-American rubbish. That's the crap Khamenai and friends dish out in Tehran. Is Germany a satellite of the US? I think not. pl

Babak Makkinejad

We will have to differ on this.

Another example: Ali Amini, the Prime Minister that Kennedy imposed on the Shah to carry out limited reforms lest there be a peasant war in Iran as well.

Germany is definitely a semi-sovereign state, just like Japan - in my opinion.



Your desire for hostility is evident. pl

Babak Makkinejad

I think it will be useful to have a dialogue on this issue; since this is very much an ingrained understanding among large numbers of people in Iran.

In fact, that the Shah was a traitor, or a puppet, or a man under undue influence by US is almost an article of faith in Iran.

I think it will be a good idea if you could articulate why you dissent from that view point - not just for myself but for many other Iranians who likely are reading this weblog.

(I read a few years ago in an Iranian paper I read an interview with the Russian Ambassador to Iran in which he fielded accusations regarding Russia's duplicity and foot-dragging on the Bushehr Nuclear Reactor project.

While I did not find all his responses satisfactory, I think that ambassador did a good job of putting to rest certain innuendos and insinuations.

Perhaps we could do likewise here.)



It is unreasonable for you or any other Iranian to expect me to prove the negative of a false narrative. If you had been in US government in those days and had experienced the stubborn resistance of the Shah's government to the wishes of the US, you would know the truth. Do you think the Saudis or Israelis are US puppets? pl


Having secured their strategic objectives of control of the M4 and M5 corridors to Saraqib and replacement of the training jets at Kuweires with RuAF jets they begin to take advantage of their manoeuver and technological advantage. In the west a push north from Latakia clears the triangle bordered by the Med. to the west, M4 to the east and Turkish border to the north tidying up and shortening the frontlines. Jihadis in this area flee north over the border but without most of their weapons due to constant aerial harassment. The area east of this section of the M4 is also cleared as far as the Latakia governorate boundary which runs along the peaks overlooking the 50 by 10km fertile north-south section of the plane. Likewise an air and airborne assault on strategic high ground near Shahranaz leaves forces in the plane and surrounding area in the unenviable position of being overlooked by satellite, AWACS, drones and these observation and artillery positions. In addition the increased airbases and planes make for very short sortie response times and the motorways can now allow for the rapid deployment of ground forces and interdiction of anything trying to enter or leave these pockets, or just putting their heads above ground. The Assad government badly want this highly productive agricultural land, but with as little damage as possible, (ditto for the Aleppo industrial base) so while it may not be retaken in this time period it will be denied outside aid, as far as possible, and when targets present themselves they will be swatted aided by probing attacks aimed at exposing their positions.
North of Saraqib the M5 to Aleppo is also secured as another supply route but Idlib is approached but not taken in this period. North of Aleppo Menagh airbase is retaken and used as strong point/supply base and for Helicopters, I am not sure the runways are long enough for RuAF jets and there are no hardened shelters.
The Kurds approach the R+6, as the US seem unable to contain Turkey, and the RuAF agree to extend them air cover. The US are told that Turkish incursions into Syrian air space will not be tolerated and make it clear to Turkey that any losses incurred in Syrian air space will not bring aid from NATO. After their jets have been painted and run off a couple of times they get the message. The Kurds now get looped into the R+6 intel network and are aided by CAS, intelligence and some weapons. They begin to make better progress securing the border.
Hezbollah are having a similar problem with Israel and ask for similar assurances, the Russians are still mulling that one by the end of this period as shooting down IAF jets could produce some less predictable consequences.
IS are still not a main focus some interdiction of supply lines and targets of opportunity but for this period the priority is still degrading JaN+Unicorns. IS may make some moral boosting offensive in Iraq.
The US. By the end of this period it is clear that JaN+U are never going to overthrow Assad and begin a serious discussion on cooperation with the end game with IS. They abandon any remaining FSA as a lost cause.
KSA+Gulf are hopping mad with the US as it abandons its pipedream of installing a post Assad Chalabi wannabe and claim it was always primarily about getting rid of IS.
China take a R+6 diplomatic stance and get engaged in diplomatic negotiations but not militarily, their eyes are on reconstruction and future trade opportunities.
(I have omitted the last part of your comment as not applying to Turn 2 -pl)

Babak Makkinejad

I was not asking you to prove a negative.

You have, in fact, supplied a response which is along the lines of what I had in mind:

"...If you had been in US government in those days and had experienced the stubborn resistance of the Shah's government to the wishes of the US, you would know the truth."

I think that is a discussion-starter and one could begin then - through such a discussion - establish the boundaries of historical truth in case of the Shah.

The historical truth must be somewhere between "Shah was a US puppet" and "Shah was a sovereign monarch.".

No I do not think that Saudi Arabia and Israel are US puppets.

My model of the relationship of US to members of her alliance structure is that of "Primus entre pares". I think of Western Diocletian states and their derivatives - for the most part - as the "pares" in this context.

But I do not have a good way of thinking of Saudi Arabia or Israel but they are not core to the "Primus" or the Pares.



""Shah was a US puppet" and "Shah was a sovereign monarch."" He was no more our puppet than the head of state/government of any of the NATO countries. pl

Babak Makkinejad

I think that is good then since one of the concerns of Iranian leaders - always expressed publicly over the years - has been that US aims to regain power over Iran that she enjoyed under the Shah.

US diplomats can then reassure Iranian leaders that such was never the case and not even with the Shah.



But would they believe it? pl

different clue

In the past war-game set of comments, someone noted that most of the Syrian refugees in Lebanon were/are passive Assad-SAR supporters, but not to the extent of fighting against the rebellion. The issue of carrot and stick to get them physically involved was raised.

The Assad/SAR government has been thinking about this also. They have announced the following carrot and stick. Any pro-government fighting-age refugees in Lebanon who come back to fight for the government will be allowed back in with their families and given every assistance to rebuild their lives, property, etc. if the government wins. Those who don't come back to help fight while the fighting continues . . . will never ever be allowed to return if the SARgov wins without their help anyway, and they will enforce that permanent ban on re-entry by any and all means convenient.


different clue: That's genius, actually. During our War of Independence, it's stunning how many people sat on the sidelines--and sold goods to both the Continentals and the British Army--while Colonel Lang's ancestors were actually putting their lives on the line to birth a new country.

Since the Jihadis will literally murder the secular Syrians, darn right the refugees should be barred return if they won't fight.

Ken Roberts

I have not the expertise to contribute to this game overall. However there are a couple of aspects which perhaps someone might consider in their scenario...

From PL's context: "The Russians have reached the limits of their available naval sea lift and air lift for reinforcement and supply." Presumably this is forseen already, hence actions to deal with bottleneck are already under prep? Might those start to appear in "turn two" timeframe.

Turkey seems potentially ambivalent. The prospect of becoming an energy conduit country, Russia --> Europe, must be appealing. What carrots can/should be offer?


Was Romania in the 80's a satellite of the USSR? They did condemn the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 68.


What do you think Lebanon's answer would be to such a proposition? Or Hezbollah's answer to changing the demographics from Lebanon from majority Shia to Sunni?

My war game contribution would be in this case 10 days later the second complete cabinet re-suffle in which only Assad survives.


i made a boo boo in that post. It's SAA for Syrian Arab Army. don't know where i got the SAR from. but once it's posted it's gone.

alba etie

The EU decides to admit Turkey provisionally as a member if it meets the following criteria:
1) immediately enacts a cease fire with all Kurds factions it is fighting ,
2)agrees to allow US Special Forces to operate and other USG assets to operate unimpeded from Turkish territory - to defeat ISIS-Daesh
3)Erdogan disavows all support for ISIS Daesh period full stop , and takes full responsibility for the dead SF killed in the Turkish air raids on the YPG .

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