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01 February 2017

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turcopolier

Thomas

Wildly optimistic. pl

LG

OT, but Mike Flynn has put Iran on notice. And the attack on the ship in Yemen looks like a pretext for more war.
Any thoughts on this?

Babak Makkinejad

Gulfies are the Good-For-the-West Muslims.

Shias are the Bad-For-the-West and Bad-For-Israel Muslims.

There is no disconnect here.

Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia were, as I recall, on Bush II hit list.

Nothing seems to have changed.

Babak Makkinejad

Does the United States wish to terminate the cease fire deal between the Fortress West and Iran?

I do not think so.

Nor will the Iranian do anything to destroy that cease fire deal.

Trump is the anti-war President and he cannot accomplish his domestic agenda while starting a new confrontation in the Middle East - likely interminable during his presidency - be it 4 or 8 years.

Since, through JCOPA, the United States has accepted all the Iranian Nuclear activities within NPT, then, in my opinion, the major impediment for negotiations with Iran has been removed.

Trump, if he be willing, could, under the guise of re-negotiation of JCOPA with Iran, initiate strategic negotiations with Iran. Once Iran and US have established the contours of their deal, others could be invited in for further details and consultations.

Since Trump has expressed an interest in the resolution of the war in Palestine, he ought to be prepared to put that on the table with Iranians as well - even though Iranians should not expect anything for free.

It is really his opportunity.

The Twisted Genius

LG,

Looks like Trump will continue the policies of allying with the Saudis, the fountainhead of Wahabbi jihadism, and animosity towards Iran, a frontline state in the fight against those jihadists. It makes no more sense now than it did under Bush and Obama. How this will square with the developing relationship with Russia, on the part of both the US and Iran, is anybody's guess.

kooshy

TTG, I hope the governments and political planers of US, France and U.K. Will hold your views on Kurds, but IMO unfortunately Kurds have been used and will be used for western power' great game geopolitics plays.

The Beaver

@ Babak

Since Trump has expressed an interest in the resolution of the war in Palestine, he ought to be prepared to put that on the table with Iranians as well

He is betting that the new rapprochement between the Saudis and Israel will bring the Arab league closer to Israel- thus peace to the ME ! .Hence the inclusion of Bannon in the NSC since Bannon is teaming with Jared Kushner as per this:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/01/31/steve-bannon-builds-a-new-node-of-power-in-the-trump-white-house.html
Then it is war with Iran (the ME against Iran) and then China (Bannon's wish)

Both KSA and UAE are defending Trump's decision to ban people from 7 Muslim majority countries from entering the US _ makes one wonder since 17 terrorists came from those countries

kooshy

BTW, even Assad's allies, the Russians, agree that the Syrian Kurds should get "some" degree of autonomy.
Mike, that's a lot better than before, but this hole thing as far as I can remember circles around that SOME you mention.
What and how much is that some,does having an independent army, foreign policy and financial system included in that some?
Inviting foreign military advisers against wishes of republic/ centeral goverment ? IMO enteral goverment of known requgnized 4 Kurdish inhabitant states will agree
To use of language, religion, local elections and representation, and spending the income and earrings in Kurdish regions, even accepting for life warlords, but not an independent
FP, or inviting and basing forign forceses.

The Twisted Genius

kooshy,

The Kurds have been a pawn in our great game geopolitics as long as I can remember. I first met a Barzani in 1988 and to try to convince him to assist us against Iran while he was telling me what a threat Saddam was. The great game of geopolitics is more often than not a series of tragic absurdities.

turcopolier

All

Both Flynn and Derek Harvey are belligerent ignorami. They have no idea of much of anything concerning the ME that is not the product of ignorami group think. Harvey used to hang around my Pentagon offices when he was a captain hoping for a pat on the head in passing. God help us since Trump does not understand the ME either. pl

Sam Peralta

Col. Lang

Since both Flynn and Derek Harvey are belligerent ignorami concering the ME and if we give some credence to the speculation that Bannon was inducted into the NSC to provide a check on Flynn, and since as some SST correspondents believe that he is the new svengali, do you think it will serve Bannon's agenda and purpose for Trump to add to the interventions in the ME in the service of the Likudniks and the Saudis?

mike

Below is a link to this morning's briefing by the coalition spokesman, Col Dorrian. It is just shy of 48 minutes long, but most of that is Q&A by the press. But IMHO most of the reporters only seem to want to get him to speculate on issues outside of his cognizance, or to trip him up.

Key points:

- He clarifies that the Guardian vehicles were given to just one group within the SDF, he calls them the Syrian Arab Coalition, locals from in and around Raqqa.

- He does not confirm the number of Guardians provided, only that it is a small number.

- He mentions that the Guardians are basically up-armored Ford trucks that only provide some protection against IEDs and small arms.

- He mentions the APKWS2 as a precision stike capability that has been used to avoid collateral damage in urban areas, and that will be used in Raqqa.

https://www.dvidshub.net/video/507774/operation-inherent-resolve-spokesman-updates-reporters

Might be better to watch it on YouTube if you can find it there. The DVIDS site is slow and cranky; there were many stops and starts while I was watching.

kooshy

Yes Sir,and we all know what happened to Iraqi Kurds after US/Iraq first war. Some of them still are living in
Iran' west Azerbaijan city of Naqadeh. To prosper First thing Kurds need to do, is to get rid of Barzani and Talabani Clans , second thing is to forget about crony french socialism and stalin communism mentality injected into Kurd mentality.

mike

Kooshy -

Reportedly the Russians have only offered the Syrian Kurds a 'cultural autonomy'. In other words, they can speak their own language and practice their own religion and dress in their own style. The regime has said no autonomy - period.

The Kurds politely told Lavrov that the issue needed much more discussion. They do want the local elections, representation, and local spending that you mention. They are not asking for an independent foreign policy, although they surely want some input into that policy by the regime. They are not asking for the basing of foreign forces and warlords.

Perhaps you are conflating the Syrian Kurds with the Iraqi Kurds?

VietnamVet

TGG,

I agree with Babak’s comment that Donald J. Trump was elected as the peace candidate. WaPo rumors indicate that only GOP’s 3rd or 4th rated Stringers are coming aboard. That makes sense. Steve Bannon decided to go to war against corporate globalists. Those willing to join the Trump Administration must have an ideological reason such as revenge for imagined slights, privatizing education or gutting environmental regulations to risk having the corporate revolving door slammed in their face. If Israel Firsters want a war with Iran that means taking on Russia and China too. Much else is muddled. Do the Nationalists really want a war with Iran? If the Great Game is back on, the USA must be Best Friends Forever with the Gulf Monarchies. If the Balkan and Middle East Wars escalate, the American Empire will collapse (Turkey is gone) and WWIII could ignite.

ann

And then the Iranians test fire a missile I don't know missiles and if it was "legal" under the agreement, but it was a statement of some sort.

Now do the Russian's stay friendly with Iran, or dump them in favor of Turkey and to appease Trump.

Keith Harbaugh

Question 1: So what happens if IS is driven out of the cities it currently occupies?
Question 2: Is it even possible to
"wipe the Islamic State from the face of the earth"?

I think the answer to Q2 is "No".
The IS will become a state of mind, in the minds of uncountably many "Holy Warriors",
aka "dragon's teeth".
This is a fight the U.S. should avoid.
(Please excuse a brief historical summery now, which the experts of course know.)
Since Islam was founded in 610, there have been many periods of active war between Islamic forces and those of the West,
the last that I know prior to the establishment of Israel being in 1918, at the end of The Great War.
See, for some examples https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottoman_wars_in_Europe
which includes the fall of Constantinople.

Why on earth any sane Westerner would want to do anything to rekindle those West/Islam conflicts seems truly an act of insanity.
Seems as insane as trying to restart the Wars of Religion between Catholicism and Protestantism.

For some specific predictions on what the fall of those cities would lead to,
from someone who unquestionably knows a lot about the state of mind of mujahedin,
namely Michael Scheuer, see his 2016-11-19 post
http://non-intervention.com/2460/mr-trump-here-is-a-worthy-perhaps-final-opportunity-to-put-america-first/

I really hope some of the experts who read SST will take the time to read that post, and provide their thoughts on Scheuer's predictions.
You certainly can't deny the accuracy of many (not all, but many) of his predictions in two of his books,
Imperial Hubris and Marching Toward Hell.

Here is a sample from that post:

[T]he loss of the cities that IS held or holds in Syria and Iraq is a blow to the organization’s prestige, and is costly in financial and manpower terms. It does not destroy the eternal goal of recreating the caliphate, or the IS organization. Indeed, in the counter-intuitive ways of insurgent warfare – where losses are often wins — those defeats will make IS stronger, more elusive, and more appealing to young Muslims. ... An Islamist insurgency being waged from Damascus eastward to the Iranian border, however, will be only one part of the catastrophe which will be delivered by the coalition’s successful campaign to drive IS from the cities. As noted, IS will return to its strongest military skill, and it also will return to kind of warfare that requires less manpower. IS leaders, therefore, will be free to redeploy their fighters to areas of its choosing, and, as the history of the last 20 years has shown, the arrival of even a few veteran mujahedin can make a notable difference to the quality and lethality of local jihadi operations.

In other words, be VERY careful about what you wish for!

Origin

Trump has repeatedly said he "loves war" and "we are preparing for war", so it's probably war.

Is not running a nuclear war the greatest ego trip possible?

My thought is we should simply take Trump at his word and expect him to follow through. Trump has stated how impressed he is with nuclear war. The question is whether he will start on a small fry like Iran or challenge a big boy like China in the Spratlins. His impulse control is minimal. Why should we expect him to delay.

C'est la vie. C'est la guerre.

kooshy

Mike, I am talking about what would be a maximum possibility that all kurds from all 4 different countries, can respectively get from the central government's of each country (Iran,Turky,Iraq,Syria),. For example in Iran, Kurds will starve if Money from central government is not injected in Kurdistan Province. Iraqi Kurdistan is a Mafia Style clan families, is not, a government, is a family business without any care for any Kurd, except Barzani and Talabani family. That shouldn't be allowed in Syria, my estimation is that the Kurds in Turkey will not get any better than what they have, understanding the deep down feeling of Turks general public toward the Kurds.

kooshy

IMO, the western government' war with or on terror is fony to the bone, and meaningless. IMO for these western governments the terror attacks of likes Paris, San Bernardino, Orlando, etc. that took life of many innocent citizens, was just an inconvenience, or as they call it, collateral damage. Soon we will learn how serious and truthful Trump administration' war on terror is, so far on the first few initiatives, IMO they don't mean terror and they don't mean muslim, they are after usual geopolitics at any price even terror at home.

Fred

Origin,

"Why should we expect him to delay."

Because he's not Hilary - he knows America wouldn't survive a nuclear war.

Origin

What is this meant to mean?
"Donald J. Trump ‏@realDonaldTrump
Iran is rapidly taking over more and more of Iraq even after the U.S. has squandered three trillion dollars there. Obvious long ago"

Fred

Origin,

Ask Chalabi's daughter. She just had an oped in the Guardian. Nice connections too.

Origin

He knows Iran has no nuke with which to retaliate, so in his mind, why not just use a small "tactical" nuke to "impress" those mullahs. After all, Iran, like the snotty fifth grader, is on "notice" and needs to mind the Trumpster. Remember he has said if you have them, why shouldn't you use them?

The experience of the last few days might lead us to expect he is likely to do what he says he will.

The Twisted Genius

Keith Harbaugh,

You're right about not wiping IS off the face of the earth. The remnants of the current "caliphate" will pop up somewhere else, especially with their Saudi sugar daddies protected by the U.S. Until we come to our senses about the Saudis, we should still kill as many of the jihadi bastards as we can for as fast as we can. Even if we reduce the current Wahabbi jihadist to a handful of angry broken men in a mosque, a new effort to purify Islam and the world will spring up years or decades into the future.

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