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06 September 2016

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FkDahl

The kind of small truck that gets stuck everywhere and needs a IFV to pull loose. Nope... faked. A couple of BMPs driving full tile might have made it, with fruit puree in the back!

FkDahl

I want to see an America that leads the world by example, a country that values personal freedom and the rule of law, rather than a Borg using it's might for missions Wormtongue lobbyists convinces it to.

pj

Israel has been treating our President(s) and diplomats with enormous disrespect for some time. Certainly other countries have noticed.

Will

Even if the Syria mess resolves, Iran is still the blind spot for Trump and his adviser Michael Flynn. Maybe they'll come around. Flynn was repeatedly asked in an interview whether the world was better off with less Pewrsian centrifuges than the hitherto existing more centrifuges. When finally pinned down, he made an affirmative admission.
about the 28 minute mark
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SG3j8OYKgn4

there a lot of hate toward the MuQwamma (Hezb'allah) left over from the Beirut airport bombing of almost thirty years ago. Talked to a Marine friend that makes a lot of anti-Iran fb posts why he thought they did it. He said that's what the Intelligence people told them on that occasion. The US Navy started bombing the Chouf mountain to help Gen Aoun. The other parties characterized that as "taking sides." Cui bono?

Always thought the Druze had the most to gain from that, b/c they were the ones getting bombed. Who knows? Talking about Druze, watch what the weather vane Walid Jumblatt, the Lebanese Druze leader, does. When he turns friendly toward Syria again, then we'll know there has been a turnaround in perception as to who is winning. Maybe not- he would have to give up the Saudi and Gulf money. The Syrian Druze know that the takfiri jihadists are not their friends. At some point the Israeli Druze will take a stand that Israel should not be backing jihadists that threaten their Syrian kinfolk.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Souk_El_Gharb#Battle_of_Souk_El_Gharb_of_September_1983
(disclosure- i authored the initial article)

Thankfully, we made it through the tenth anniversary of the Lebanon war, without Israel starting another one. It would have probably been an effective gambit to draw Hezbollah out of Syria to help the "moderate" rebels and even "immoderate" ISIS/Daesh/IS. Maybe the retaliatory threat to rain down missiles on the Ammonia plant in Haifa was taken seriously?

Has anyone noticed the Houthis chant in Yemen. Mawt (Death) to America, Mawt to the Yehud. What is going on there?

herb

Although time and complete victory is on the R+6 side, boxing in a future President Clinton is incentive enough for Putin to accelerate the process and come to an agreement which is superficially face-saving for Obama. It would be good for Putin, good for Assad, good for Erdogan and good for Obama.

But that only creates the opportunity, there is no guarantee it can get worked out.

Castellio

Well, one can't really hold it against Americans for not knowing where England is, when the English themselves can't make up their mind.

different clue

mbrenner,

This would all be fine if a President Clinton wanted to take the "plausible pollitcal strategy" way out. But if she chooses to see Assad-still-standing as an affront to her honor, requiring violent and visible public correction; then she will not be interested in your face-saving way out.

A President Trump might be very interested in it. He could say: "Syria is not MY mess. I inherited it from the Clintobama Administration. We will just stroll away with dignity as we mend fences with some very big important countries." After all, Trump has already indicated that his honor is not affronted by Assad-still-standing.

VietnamVet

Colonel,

A great thanks for the Syrian updates.

I assume that Turkey’s safe zone will be a R&R site for the Jihadists. Turkey will have a real war of occupation on its hands if it takes on the Syrian Kurds. I doubt that the head choppers will look kindly to having Ottoman overlords. The West keeps doing contortions to keep the Russians and Iranians fighting the Sunni Islamists.

The only way to eliminate the Islamists threat and return the refugees home is for the West to ally with Russia and China and agree to a Middle East peace settlement that eliminates the Caliphate. The tribal wars will continue as long as the globalists promote a world war for profit and for Israel and Saudi Arabia's interests. The destruction of sovereign states continues. The rule of law and democracy are fading away.

BraveNewWorld

>"I am having difficulty seeing how the U.S. can be given the illusion of a diplomatic victory, perhaps it is there, just having trouble seeing it."

Maybe they move an aircraft carrier off the coast of Syria, few things say victory like a carrier task force. Hang a big banner to make it look good say "Mission Accomplished" thats catchy. Fly the prez in on a fighter jet to declare victory. Tada the US has won the war in Syria.

BraveNewWorld

I know you don't like links to social media but perhaps you'll make an exception here. Because this one is so on the money.

https://twitter.com/Souria4Syrians/status/772804956072120320

Pundita

Thank you, Colonel Lang. Everything I note about the Syrian conflict supports your conclusion. But then the pessimist in me whispers, Never underestimate a cornered rat. A very large faction here and abroad has made this about Russia. For now, though, I will take your words as inspiration to keep slogging on through the nightmare called the long war.

Poul

https://twitter.com/RevolutionSyria/status/762268052067147776

I don't think the story of three trucks getting into Aleppo is incorrect but you don't feed 200,000 people using pickups. Proper trucks can't use the short cuts/roads available to smaller vehicles.

Also it was right after the rebels had taken the Artillery College and the Ramouseh residential quarter. The government troops were reeling and disorganized.

jld
They have been entirely discredited in their reporting of Syria and the Ukraine.

No, I don't think the MSM or anyone else have been "discredited" by junk news.
Beside small fringe populations like SST readership nobody gives a hoot, its' all about gossip and the show.

Dubhaltach

"If HC becomes president she will have to face the prospect of a new, and bigger war if she wishes to reverse the situation."

Colonel,

Given her record is that not a cause for concern?

shooter six

Well, sir, I would gladly subscribe to your rambles and musings, but the subscription button on your page only produces HTML script/gobbledygook, which scares me ... (and a Twitter retweet button would help your ramblings gain purchase immensely.)

Assuming a robot doesn't read this, I look forward to improvements every day ... a lonely task, thus far.

Cheers

Lemur

Loyalist forces now pushing out toward Tell Nusaybin in the Northern Aleppo and toward Khan Touman in the South.

You can see on the map here:

https://a.disquscdn.com/uploads/mediaembed/images/4214/1710/original.jpg

Looks like we might see major gains in the next few weeks as Russia continues to pound rear bases and supply routes in Idlib, and the SAA capitalize on the loss of forces in the Aleppo battle the Col. enumerated. Hopefully the head choppers will be forced to pull forces from Hama too in order to defend the Aleppo front.

btw Col., Russia Insider is publishing your Syria posts now. Getting the word out.

Lemur

I think the latest national polls indicate the typically Republican states will vote Trump (contra dem agitprop), so I guess it all comes down as usual swing states. These could also include traditionally blue strongholds like Oregon.

Ante

The largest question remaining is, who will fight for a united Syria? Even with Aleppo under control, there remains the fullity of Idlb, and the Israeli and Jordanian borders. How long will it take for the Syrian army to be rebuilt, will Russia deploy ground forces, will Russia increase its commitment without equivalent from Iran, can ISIS be defeated in Iraq quickly enough for the use of PMUs coming en masse from the east?

The ceasefire was a ruse, but the Syrian army needed time to become somewhat less shattered. It will take endless labor, negotiations and threats to bring back some degree of professionalism to Syrian loyalist forces, for lack of a better term.

Turkey can easily renege on its promises, and I see no desire from the US or the Gulf to end the war, they'd love to see a fragmented state and a mass exodus of Alawites.

But it is nice to see borg gambit after gambit fail. The cost in human suffering is always high, not that it bothers them.

jonst

If HC becomes president she will have to face the prospect of a new, and bigger war if she wishes to reverse the situation". I only hope someone, or something, really can pin her down on precisely, repeat, precisely, who will be fighting this possible 'new' and 'bigger' war. And that is, the same, weary, over deployed, over micro managed, group of mostly American males. Who loath, and are loathed, by the very types--endless lip service aside, by the very class that will be sending them off.

I am not so optimistic this harsh and painful truth can or will be, sold.

turcopolier

Ante

You make a number of statements that are unsupported by present reality. Who will fight for a united Syria? A lot of people are presently fighting for a united Syria. At Aleppo the SAA and Hizbullah have closed the breach and once again isolated East Aleppo. They have also broken into the rebel position at Khan Touman. Do you think that ghosts accomplished these things? Do you not see that these things were done by force of arms? Idlib? Rebel positions across the province are being pounded unmercifully from the air and Turkey has evidently cut off rebel supply lines into Hatay Province as part of their bargain with Moscow. According to today's press Syrian and Turkish officers are to meet to discuss future relations. Does that sound promising to you concerning the prospects of the rebels? The southern battlefields? The SAA has been steadily advancing in East Ghouta while IS and the other jihadis are busy fighting each other over next to the Golan Heights. The SAA is shattered? I don't think so. Clausewitz wrote that the best training for war is war. Put another way - whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. IMO today's SAA is a smaller, more compact organization that is smaller than what is needed but which has a lot of combat experienced and very effective Hizbullah, NDF, Iranians, Palestinians and Russian allies. You don't seem to notice how well they have been fighting since the Russian intervention. BY PMU you mean Iraqi Shia militia? IMO they are irrelevant to the core Syrian situation and should continue working on the IS problem. pl

HawkOfMay

You may have read this but Col. Lang has made the argument for universal service for just this reason: the average American is too far removed from the realities of our (the U.S.'s) interventions. I agree with him 100%.

http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2016/08/we-need-to-revive-the-military-draft.html

turcopolier

HawkofMay

Thanks for the support but it is not "universal" service that I favor. I want to see a draft run without any deferments or loopholes provided to the children of the rich and privileged so that the people who send others to war also have "skin in the game." The armed forces have no need for drafted privates in the numbers that a universal draft would produce but the risk of combat service must be extended to all. pl

turcopolier

shooter six

I just gave myself money using the donation button so I don't know what you are talking about. I have no idea what a Twitter retweet button is. Is that a feature of my twitter account? pl

turcopolier

Poul

"the short cuts/roads available to smaller vehicles." Yes, but the main issue is the barrier of fire that would be impossible run through. pl

Lemur

Turkey wants to have a go at Raqqa:

http://katehon.com/agenda/prospects-turkish-offensive-against-raqqa

Is this a way Turkey can counter the Kurd problem (by showing the US they are the more effective power against ISIS) while maintaining significant influence in the final resolution of the conflict?

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