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19 March 2017


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The Beaver

@ Peter AU

I see it more because of this corridor:

Since the beginning of March, PUK and KDP are at each other's throats, after PUK seized a oilfield from the ruling KDP's forces last Thursday near Kirkuk.

What has Barzani promised Erdogan?
Barzani (in a deal with the Sultan) wants to control Sinjar with its own militias (the Peshmerga).

Cutting through a Sunnistan in Eastern Syria will make a lot of sense -thus we are back to the Qatari-Turkey gas pipeline that Assad did not agree with in the first place .


IMO, is to secure a second/alternative gas supply route to europe from Qatar, and reduce Russian supply influence on europe, that's why some wonder why a little politically shit country like Qatar is so invested in this.


off topic, but Reuters is reporting the YPG has announced Russia will set up a base the Western Kurdish canton of Afrin. Russian troops are already on the ground there.


I wonder if Russia is planning a Kurdish push into Idlib in conjunction with the Syrian Army from Aleppo? The RuAF is pounding northern Idlib atm.

Larry Kart

I've just finished Edgar F. Puryear Jr.'s big, fat (605 pages) "American Admiralship: The Moral Imperatives of Naval Command" (Naval Institute Press), which is based on extensive interviews with all sorts of high-ranking naval officers from WWII to 2005, including virtually every former CNO (these latter perforce members of the JCS), and a good many of the figures interviewed including well-known customers like Thomas Moorer, Arleigh Burke, William Crowe, John Holloway, etc. speak in some detail of significant instances in which the JC fed both geopolitical and domestic political considerations into their thinking and thus into their eventual recommendations.

I could mention some of these instances. Of course, things often have gone the other way as well. For instance, there is the apparent supineness of the JC during the run up to and aftermath of the invasion of Iraq under Bush II. OTOH, another example, where things went that way, also seems to me striking evidence that the JC at times did not/do not not merely operate on a "They tell you to fight, you fight" basis.

Arleigh Burke on the Bay of Pigs: “The [administration’s] chief mistake was that they didn’t realize the tremendous importance of the operation or the effect it would have on the world…. It was a game to them. It was another election. They were inexperienced people.

“….That operation was not under the military. We [the JCS] were told that every time we got anywhere near it — we had no responsibility for it, we were not supposed to comment on things unless we were asked to. It was not our show, it was a CIA operation and you stay the hell out of it, we will not permit any regular force of the United States to become involved in this, and so you chiefs cannot become involved.

“This was the president himself. Every time. And it was repeated over and over again. It was a military operation conducted by amateurs, all from top to bottom. And it was a horrible fiasco.

“The chiefs did not realize how little the administration knew or how small their capability was for that kind of thing. And we [the JCS] didn’t insist upon knowing. They would have told us probably, but we were not tough enough. The [administration’s] chief mistake was that they didn’t realize the tremendous importance of the operation or the effect it would have on the world…. It was a game to them. It was another election. They were inexperienced people.

“This was the president himself. Every time. And it was repeated over and over again. It was a military operation conducted by amateurs, all from top to bottom. And it was a horrible fiasco.

“The chiefs did not realize how little the administration knew or how small their capability was for that kind of thing. And we didn’t insist upon knowing. They would have told us probably, but we were not tough enough. Our big fault was standing in awe of the presidency instead of pounding the table and demanding and being real rough. We were not. We set down our case and then we shut up. That was a mistake.”

Yes, as Burke says, the Bay of Pigs “was not under the military.” But he makes it fairly clear a) that he and others on the JCS were taking into account the likely effect the operation would have on “the world” and b) that he thinks that \the JC should have intervened to attempt to block the Bay of Pigs, should have been “pounding the table” and “demanding” instead of “standing in awe of the presidency.”


Larry Kart

You don't understand what you read. Military and naval officers have opinions. If they are senior enough they have the opportunity to voice that opinion to the elected leaders of the US government, but they have no authority whatever to refuse an order from the elected government of the United States. Neither Arleigh Burke nor any other military official has any authority whatever to countermand an order from SECDEF or the president. Their opinions are interesting but only that. As it happened I worked in the orbit of Admiral Crowe when he was CJCS. I was the head of DIA MENA intelligence then. I went to many meetings at the WH representing him on the intelligence side. We were listened to but the administration of the day went its own way in policy and it was often not in the direction that DoD would like have seen. pl



So, Qatar, a Wahhabi country, which opposes all things Shia or Quasi-Shia like the Alawis in Syria is seeking to help Iran? Does that make sense to you? l



I don't get your point. Yes. The government does not consider decisions in a vacuum. How could it? pl


Col: Do you believe that Syrians actually shot down an IDF plane? No photos have been produced.

Does anyone know of any examples where Israel's neighbors suppressed evidence of successful operations against the IDF?


How does one say Crap? Seems that some stolen nuclear stuff is at play and has been detected by the Russians, which they are none too happy about.

Ir-192 stolen from Iraq http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/isis-nuclear-dirty-bomb-iraq-oil-field-a6879481.html was detected by the Russians (translated url provided) https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=ru&u=http://tass.ru/mezhdunarodnaya-panorama/4109719&prev=search">http://tass.ru/mezhdunarodnaya-panorama/4109719&prev=search">https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=ru&u=http://tass.ru/mezhdunarodnaya-panorama/4109719&prev=search which has prompted Russian MOD units activities.

So the stolen from Baghdad Ir-192 makes its way to Armenia then appears was loaded on a plane and transported from Armenia through Belarus's Gomel airport, where it was flown on to Bulgaria.

Ever since the Ir-192 theft from Baghdad, the Russians installed signature detection through out the Russian Federation.

This has all the makings for a new Hollywood movie entitled Peacekeeper 2. Will George Clooney and Nicole Kidman star in this one also if its ever made? Stay tuned.....


Alexander Mercouris gives a different read. No Israeli plane was shot down, but the Syrian attempt to shoot down an IAF fighter took place over Israeli territory. There's more at the link



Netanyahoo's claim of "transfer advanced weapons to Hezbollah" near Palmyra is of course bullshit. Palmyra is a blind ally. All that is going there is front line logistics.

There are lots of Russian troops in the area. Some 150 engineers were send to clear mines in Palmyra. At the T4 airport there are lots of Russian special forces and other services. Israel trying to attack near to them is a pretty lunatic step.

What did Trump tell Netanyahoo that he believe he could take such a step?

Russia now official says that it summoned Israel's ambassador. There is no escape for Netanyahoo from that. The many Israeli voters of Russian heritage will sure ask what is going on there.



Technically true but irrelevant. No matter what the Israelis do the full backing of the US military will be there to bail them out. They could fly up to Tartus and shoot the place up then if the Russians fire back there will be cruise missiles landing in Tartus shortly afterwards. Trumps Russia engagement policy would be dead. We all know it and more importantly Netanyahu knows it.

You are correct the military would be asking WTF? But the politicians will be rushing to be the first to sell out American interests in favour of Israeli interests cause that's how you get paid.


To prevent Iran from doing it. Duh


Take what the Russians say with caution but ...

"Moscow has no plans to deploy new military base in Syria — Russian Defense Ministry"




The "duh" is disrespectful. You are banned. pl

Babak Makkinejad

I think he meant that Qatar wants to sell her gas to Europe, through Syria.

Babak Makkinejad

The most important point in your post, in my opinion, was this:

"It was a game to them."

And it has been so ever since.



So, the US will establish a protectorate in eastern Syria to accommodate Qatar? that is nonsensical. pl

Patrick S.

The real intent would be to weaken Russia economically by replacing their sale of gas to Europe with Qatari gas. Washington has made multiple moves over the last few years to accomplish this objective by blocking Russian pipelines to southern Europe. It is known that they requested permission to build a pipeline in eastern Syria, and were turned down. This happened just before the Syrian war started.


We may have plenty of oil and gas ourselves, but the saudis and Qataris buy a lot of US weaponry and treasuries with the dollars they get from where they do sell their product. It does make sense that we seek to protect that fiat conduit.


eakens et al

So in your collective world Qatar obtains the agreement of Saudi Arabia, then Jordan or Iraq for a pipeline that will enter a US protectorate centered on Deir al-Zor or Raqqa thence across Syrian government held territory to a port on the Syrian coast also in Syrian government held territory? Does this happen in some alternate universe? Do you have a grasp of what it would cost the US in blood and treasure to try to accomplish all that AND stay there? pl


@Pat -

the Qatari plan, rejected by Syria before the war, was a pipeline from Qatar through SA, Iraq or Lebanon, east-Syria, Turkey and on towards Europe.

From a U.S. and EU strategic standpoint that pipeline would break Gazprom's near monopoly in Europe and significantly hurt Russia.

A competing project was a line from Iran (tapping the same South Pars Gulf gas field as Qatar) through Iraq and Syria to the coast where it would be liquefied for over sea transport or move through a subsea pipeline to Greece.

Syria officially rejected the Qatari project and together with Russia favored the Iranian project.

The project was reported on since 2009

The "Salafist principality" in east-Syria would again enable that project.


Sorry colonel I was away, but I meant a new pipe line from Qatar to Europe via Iraq or Jordan dean to Syria and Turkey, this will reduce Europe' energy dependence on Russia. I don't know if this is viable or not but I have read this theory on few different sites. Colonel I do t believe Iranian gas will or can go any further west then Iraq and Turkey. That leaves Europe, dependent on Russia and northe Africa, a third major supplier like Qatar or even US will make an stratgic change on europes dependency on Russia energy. They say the current pro and anti Assad, countries matches the beneficiaries of this supply line.

Babak Makkinejad

Nah, just interpreting the conspiracy theory.

Sam Peralta

Col. Lang

I continue to be surprised by the deep seated belief by many SST correspondents who parrot the classic tinfoil theories that US interventions are all about economics. It is always about petro-dollar, oil & gas, natural resources, etc. b's Moon of Alabama site is an excellent watering hole for such anti-American types whose loony theories boggle the mind.

Facts that oil producers sell their product under contracts with varying terms & conditions including currency mean nothing to these people. The additional fact that currency trading is the largest liquid market and that dollars can be exchanged for euros which can be exchanged for yen in scale with low bid/ask spreads again show that facts don't matter when economic rationales for US perfidy are readily available.

US shale oil production and its continually lower breakevens is breaking the cartel behavior among OPEC producers who need higher prices to fund their immense budget deficits. And with US technology there are now huge finds of shale oil in places like Argentina. Interestingly the Peak Oil crowd is less vociferous now.

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