« "CORRECTION TO: The French Intelligence Report of April 26, 2017 Contradicts the Allegations in the White House Intelligence Report of April 11, 2017 by Professor Theodore A. Postol" by Publius Tacitus | Main | POTUS does not understand the limits of his power. »

29 April 2017


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Unfortunately I think the US betrayal of the Kurdish movement in Syria is a question of when, not if. When IS is neutralized, what use will we have for a bunch of feminist commies who seriously irritate a NATO ally? Unlike Barzani & Co in Iraq, I doubt they are interested in a long - term client relationship. I hope the YPG/YPJ are smart enough to have a contingency plan when the inevitable arrives.



It's insanity what is building up. Turkey added another 130 F35 to its arsenal, which is indicative of a regional war in the offing (not just Syria). Russians putting more combat troops into Syria to counter U.S. buildup in the Turkey border area.

And the Brit PM went on BBC two days ago and said that nuclear weapons usage is a viable first option strategy. Nutz just plain nutz.

Whatever happened to peace and prosperity?

Allen Thomson

> Ranger battalions

Totally irrelevant for the present discussion, but a new edition of the Ranger Handbook just came out. FYI & FWIW:



And the Brit PM went on BBC two days ago and said that nuclear weapons usage is a viable first option strategy. Nutz just plain nutz.

Are you alluding to the special pick by the FT? Recent, meaning May's January 17th speech?


I have to admit that I somewhat doubt that she reached some quarters of the no-to-Europe-vote with that speech, or with her emphasis of 'multicultural' Great Britain, the British history and the Commonwealth.

But yes, the "nuclear option" no doubt aligns the GB, France, the US and others ...


The third and final reason I believe we can come to the right agreement is that cooperation between Britain and the EU is needed not just when it comes to trade but when it comes to our security too.
Britain and France are Europe’s only two nuclear powers. We are the only two European countries with permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council. Britain’s armed forces are a crucial part of Europe’s collective defence.
And our intelligence capabilities – unique in Europe – have already saved countless lives in very many terrorist plots that have been thwarted in countries across our continent. After Brexit, Britain wants to be a good friend and neighbour in every way, and that includes defending the safety and security of all of our citizens.
So I believe the framework I have outlined today is in Britain’s interests. It is in Europe’s interests. And it is in the interests of the wider world.

I do not think that is her most important or decisive trump factor in the upcoming GB - European leave talks. The more decisive factor will be that GB has a lot more leverage in specific European countries then in others, compared to Russia as far as commerce or the jobs it creates is concerned then e.g. concerning decisions like sanctions against Russia or Iran. ... Let's see how united the EU can stand in this context.


I have seen unconfirmed evidence that Russian troops are now patrolling the Turkish-Syrian border of the Kurdish Efrin region in north-west Syria. There have been clashes too in the area. The (coordinated?) Russian-U.S. message to the Wannabe-Sultan seems to be "stay out!"

What is the U.S. going to do with eastern Syria? It will be a free for all of everyone against it. It is a landlocked area with potential enemies all around (who thinks that Jordan is a safe way out has not been watching). To me this all looks like some tactical CENTCOM decision with zero strategic through and knowledge behind it.


Our folks may be thinking that the Turkish threat would justify the Kurds and their allies into accepting a permanent base in their region and that it would protect the region from an Assad reconquest of the area.


“Massive Turkish Armed Forces reinforcements have arrived in Sanliurfa near Syrian border opposite side of Tal Adyad.” Mutlu Civiroglu, a Syrian and Kurdish affairs analyst, tweeted along with a link to a YouTube video. “ANHA reports YPG responded to Turkish attacks on west of Tal Abyad by destroying a radar system and tank.”

TTG, I tried to follow you into videos for quite a while now trying to understand what you see, but which I obviously cannot. Meaning you have experienced-fighting-expertise enabling you to recognize your earlier US brethren on the ground, which I cannot truly distinguish from other--simplifying matters--other uniformed fighters.

The video is pretty blurred? What is it supposed to tell us? You recognize the vehicles on the hill? As Stryker vehicles? Notice, I am aware, I may be miles of in my interpretation.


So what are we to make of this? I can’t tell what unit is at the border. There are unmarked Strykers prominently flying American flags. I’ve seen no distinctive markings on the troops either, although I do see some non-standard uniform items.

More video's circling on YouTube via Twitter? Or earlier videos on your mind? Some arrival of vehicles you alluded to earlier?


It might be an acceptable alternative to all and sundry, (except the Kingdom, of course,) to simply deny Eastern Syria to the jihadis. Assad might make a deal with a Shia dominated Iraqi central government to share any mineral resources sited in the east of Syria? My question is; can the "other" Shia groups make common cause with the Alawites?
I find it vexing to consider the "realities" of a region where the only "actor," (Syria,) that espouses religious tolerance and secularism is being targeted for extinction by the West. Shooting oneself in the foot seems simple in comparison.

The Twisted Genius


That ANHA video is of a YPG attack on a Turkish vehicle and radar site. There are several videos of the US Strykers. Here's a good one with lots of detail. You can see the Stykers are new, unmarked and fairly recently painted. The troops' uniforms strike me as special operations (Rangers) rather than regular Marine or Army soldiers. Someone who understands the narration may be able to tell us more. I believe some is in Italian.



I was told 75th Ranger is in the area. The few Strykers there do a show of presence. No more for now.

I was asked what the NATO procedure are when the U.S. and Turkey both invoke Article 5 against the other. Anyone knows?


Fox News Sunday (4/30/2017)

H.R. McMaster: "Here you have a Russian president acting against the Russian people's interest."



Man, I wish there was a "like" button on this site for that comment.



I saw HRM on Fox News Sunday. He looked bad. Very, warlike, he seems bent on finding someone to fight in order to to justify his "Triumph." The claim of Russian assistance to the Taliban seems particularly implausible. I'd like to see some evidence on that. The worst thing he said IMO is that diplomacy must be directly linked in a causal relationship to a threat of military action. That once again, IMO, will place the US in a box in which if the NoKos call our bluff we will have to fight them. pl

Babak Makkinejad





Colonel, The only reason I can imagine Russia arming the Taliban would
be simple pay back for what we did back in the 70's to Russia by arming
the Mujahideen against them. Sometimes blood lust vengeance seems to take
precedence over common sense with certain people. Sometimes it's called

Regarding NK: I keeping running across articles about them arming their
spy satellites & hitting us with an EMP attack. Do they have the ability
to do that? If so it would seem necessary to neutralize their satellites
as an a priori to full blown conflict.



What I see in this US-Turkish row is another sign of the possibility of a looming divorce of Turkey from the Western bloc. The recent referendum in Turkey was one such sign for EU-Turkish relations, and now the military differences over the YPG may be a similar sign for US-Turkish relations. And if would come out this way, would that be good or bad?

What I think many people overlook are news like these:

Tass, April 27: Gazprom plans to begin laying Turkish Stream in summer


Tass, April 28: Turkey, Russia clinch agreement on S-400 air defense system deliveries


As far as I understand, the Borg are very much opposed to these deals, because they could set Turkey on a course of divorce from the Western bloc, but now they seem to go forward. And due to the US-Turkish tensions over the YPG, I don't see much the Borg could do to stop these deals. Putting more pressure on Turkey would likely just accelerate the tendency of a Turkish divorce from the Western bloc.

And then, I think, what needs to be thought through is, assuming there would really be a Turkish divorce from the Western bloc, like Turkey giving up it's EU membership bid and leaving NATO, where would leave that the US and the Borg? The US would then have as clients in the region just two groups of Kurds: Barzanis Kurds in Iraq and a PKK offshoot in Syria. None of those have a state and both sit on landlocked territory. So, if Teheran, Bagdad, Damascus and Ankara would find any common formula on how to deal with the Kurdish question, like they may try to work it out in Astana, the US would be completely out of influence in the region. But then again, would that be bad or good?

While the Borg see having the US out of the region as a disaster, I think for people who don't like the US as a empire there could be made a strong case that it would be good - and very much in line with Trump's campaign tune. Why not spent more money on building roads, trains and bridges in the US instead of spending it on military ops for trying to dictate how people in the middle east get along with each other? I think the current development in US-Turkish relations may help to get to such a policy, whether the Borg like it or not.

The Twisted Genius


I am replacing your Persian character set URL with a TinyURL just because.


different clue


Based on my totally amateur lack of background in the subject, I can't imagine a spy satellite carrying up a big enough battery or a big enough charged capacitor or anything else with enough stored electric charge in it to be able to generate an EMP from it big enough to harm our chips and grids
down here on the ground.

I should think it would need a big H-bomb detonated in earth orbit to generate a big enough EMP to affect us here on the surface. And if even that wouldn't do it, then what could the NorKors put up there that would do it? And not do it to their Chinese sponsors and Russian bystanders as well?


This doesn't' make sense, look at map of Turkey in comparison to Kurdish areas of middle east, the strategic value of Turkey is much higher than that of the landlocked Kurdish areas, no one in sound mind ( a superpower) should want to trade off Turkey (who strategically has held of for 75 years against
Russians) with a land locked non sovereign Kurdish entity that no neighbour will recognize. IMO, US/West is not that crazy to let Turkey go, and mainly IMO the reason Kurds get the thick end of the stick every time is, this end of the day value calculation which the Kurds come short. IMO, if El Presidente Sultan Erdo. walks too far off the ranch he will have a real chance of having his own Gaddafi moment, before he can become a Putin ally. Kurds (due to not having any other choice, and mostly of their own tribal mafiaism) for their history, have been used as balancing tool by various local or non-local powers, and when done, and no more useful, they are the first to get trade off and thrown away under the bus.



I would speculate that the Russian interest in Afghanistan may be simple business, i.e. Taliban need weapons and Russia needs cash. Also the idea that establishing Afghan and Pakistani influence the Russians get a bit more of a buffer at the borders, which they seem to like.

Barbara Ann

If Turkey decides to go to war proper with the Syrian Kurds I can't see a few patrolling Rangers dissuading Erdogan from such a course of action. US troops engaging the forces of a supposed ally in a country we are not supposed to getting more deeply involved in would be a PR disaster. The halt in SDF operations in Raqqa (excl. Tabqa btw) resulting from Turkey's actions has barely been reported, by contrast. If push comes to shove the US can leave the SAA & it's allies to deal with Daesh in Raqqa after the RuAF has finished it's Grozny treatment of Idlib.

Turkey is infinitely more important to the rest of NATO than Rojava will ever be and Erdogan knows it. He has his elected dictatorship mandate now and seething hatred & mistrust of suspected US involvement in the July 15th coup attempt is still fresh. The Kurds will surely go under the bus again if that is what is expedient.



The whole notion that it would be "crazy to let Turkey go" for the US/West hangs on the premise that having a US empire is a good thing for the US. While I surely understand why strong supporters of Israel love to see a lot of US empire power in the middle east, I doubt the US capital to maintain the empire there is spent wisely regarding the interest of average US people. I think that US capital would be more wisely spent to rebuild the US. I remember Trump made similar arguments in his election campaign and it resonated quite well with voters.

Besides that, I doubt the US has the ability to give Erdogan the Gaddafi treatment. In recent years the US and friends already unsuccessfully tried the following things to unseat Erdogan:

- using kompromat (prosecutors linked to Gülen accusing Erdogan of corruption)
- color revolution (Gezi protests & related propaganda campaign)
- election interference (US help for opposition in recent Turkish elections)
- military coup (badly failed last year)

So, what's left in the toolbox of the empire? Economic sanctions will likely push Turkey just closer to Russia and China. And a full scale US-led war on Turkey completely lacks domestic support in the US and other NATO countries.



Maybe I am getting on in years, but there is something about the way the "Americans" move that just doesn't seem quite right.

I got a funny feeling about this.


Bandolero, I somewhat dislike seeing the Gezi Park protests reduced to a color revolution. It started out as protest against redevelopment of the park. Converting it into whatever shopping mall or high priced residences, or both. Legitimate concerns ... other equally legitimate concerns followed.

The building boom seems to have been the basis of Turkey's economical wonder under Tayyip. Arab money? At least partially?

But I agree with you, I cannot see RTE, the 'Reis', facing Saddam's fate. I don't think Turkey ever made it on the to-be-regime-changed list of ME'ern states.

Babak Makkinejad

Then you would be wrong.

Russians and Chinese and Indians and Iranians want to settle Afghanistan.

Whether US or Pakistan are interested in the same thing is the big question.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

February 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Blog powered by Typepad