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01 May 2017


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Babak Makkinejad

Then they be wrong; this particular adversary has to be annihilated on the field of battle.

Babak Makkinejad

I agree.

Also that Mursi was not a revolutionary; that would be his damning epitaph.

Babak Makkinejad

That would be news to Christians in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, and Egypt.


Serge, I'll try to read Clausewitz.

But if I do, it may be partly since some around here tried to establish themselves as some type of a modern Tiresias/Teiresias (in my language) similar to you, somewhat, lately. To the extend I watched, they seemed to practice something similar in variation: "I told you so." Meaning: from my pretty limited perception, they claimed they always demanded as necessary, something I only noticed Pat had considered necessary quite early.

Could you put your first paragraph into something like a nutshell for slow learners, like me?

Would this be close what you are trying to tell us: Russia hasn't been quite sunken in the expected quagmire (semi-irony-alert), but it sure has sunk too much money already. It will not and does not put more troops on the ground.

But Iran should?

Have the Iran sanctions been lifted? Did it get the freezed money back it didn't deserve to have back, according to Trump, anyway?

And if they did, what would be the "international" support for it? Referring to "internationally-supported jihadi heartland" here.


"I'd be interested in others' opinions on a rationale for what we are seeing."

'b' has part of it up top in that a lot of this is reaction to things the opposition has done.

But another piece is that this is a proxy war and every buddy has their own interests. The Syrians want to keep their people alive and make sure they have water etc. The Russians care more about the area to the West where their bases are. The Iranians care more about the East where Daesh is. If you want to keep the players in the game you have to keep them happy.


'Why did Trump bomb Cherat?' by Theirry Meissan at Voltaire. net...a fascinating hypothesis.

Larry Kart

What follows may be far above my pay grade (if so, I'll no doubt be reminded of that), but a big part of the problem there, I believe, was that Monty was an intractable jerk/know-it-all who in fact did not know it all, while Brit forces had understandably pretty much run out of gas in terms of their ability/willingness to press things home. See their near-disastrous failure to take the peninsula that enfiladed Antwerp when it was ripe to be taken, which delayed further operations a great deal for Allied forces throughout much of Europe because Antwerp could not be used as a much-needed supply port until the German forces on that close-to-Antwerp peninsula were defeated.

Patton, too, had some jerk (or rampant ego) in him, but his forces were full of ability/willingness to strike forcefully/boldly, as was their commander. Ike's problem was that politically -- in terms of the Allied military high command and, above that, the FDR/Churchill alliance -- he had to make further operations at least look like a team effort. Monty's proposed (and IIRC post-Arnhem, lest we forget) "Let me do this while you guys pretty much cover my ass" would-be thrust into the northern Germany probably wouldn't have worked for the reasons mentioned in the first sentence above, and also because, quite intentionally so on Monty's part, it would have blown the appearance that this was a team-effort to kingdom come (and, again, almost certainly, Monty's approach would have failed military terms).

Throwing as much weight as possible (supplies, especially) behind Patton might have been a much better approach militarily (though in the event Patton would get wastefully stalled at Metz), but apparently that was not a politically possible strategy, again for the reasons mentioned above. Thus the broad front approach, lots of lost time, lots of deaths that might have not occurred. My sense is that if Monty could have been gagged or outright removed from command, the war would have been over a good deal sooner.

Account Deleted

Parallels in Syria with the International Brigades are evident. How is your Kurdish? The SDF has a sizable contingent of foreign volunteers (incl. from USA) judging from their media output. If you are OK with their femo-marxist politics - or are just happy they are not salafists - it is always an option.

The soldier of conscience faces the additional risk of scrutiny on returning home, but Western governments seem to be generally taking a soft line on SDF volunteers, so far. That may change if they come into conflict with Turkish NATO troops in the future.

I'll be restricting my resistance to the Borg to the homeland, but I have the greatest of respect for all those that choose this option.

Babak Makkinejad


Speech by President Erdogan at the Atlantic Summit - April 29, 2017:


Babak Makkinejad

But I fail to see how your narrative serves as a legal basis for the Mursi's indictment, let alone trial.

He was acting in his capacity as the Head of State - he ought to talk to any and all, including criminals, enemies etc. That is part and parcel of being the Head of State.

Was the Prophet any less for conversing with Meccans and reaching a Hudna with them?

Or Imam Ali with Muawiya?

Or Saladin with the Crusaders?


I think that Russia is clear that the jihadis need to be neutralized with extreme prejudice but we are talking about not humiliating their financiers and war architects in Doha, Riyad, DC, Jerusalem, Brussels, Ankara, Amman. I refer you as an example, to the Debalsevo cauldron where mercs Soldiers of Fortune and NATO SF were surrounded and slated for anihilation but instead were rescued by Putin giving a helpful hand and peace pipe to Merkel, Hollande and Poroshenko with the Minsk accord.

William R. Cumming

Thanks for this Post P.L.! Am I correct that Assad continues to not understand his failures and the persistence of his enemies?

Peter in Toronto

Has anyone been able to survey what the main source of the manpower for the Jihadst Sunni insurgency in Syria is?

How can they pose such a formidable challenge to the Syrian state? We're all aware of the hundreds, perhaps thousands of Jihad tourists out of the West and the Russian Commonwealth, but the standing armies that HTS (ex-Nusra) and Ahrar al Sham are able to deploy number in the tens of thousands.

Has there been a demographic shift within Syria herself, favouring the rural Sunnis and the resurgent Muslim Brotherhood?


Larry Kart

Maybe you are right about Market-Garden but I have my doubts about that. British 30th Corps did not press hard up the road that 1st Allied Airborne Army had cleared for them at the bridges. A close friend of mine (Bill harris) was with the 82nd in that operation and he remembered the British sitting down in the afternoons to brew up tea as well as a Hussar officer who came to report to Gavin in his blue and scarlet "patrol" uniform. Gavin was nonplussed and offered the captain a hit of his best bourbon which the man gratefully accepted. An then there was the awkwardness of British 1st Airborne Division being dropped six miles from the objective bridge with radios that did not network with supporting headquarters or England. seem to me the signals officers should have gotten Article 45. And finally there was the ultimate awkwardness of Obergruppenfuehrer Bittrich and his SS Panzer Corps which just happened to be around Arnhem. I think this might have worked and mightily embarrassed the German if 30 Corps had suddenly been across the Rhine. pl


Peter in Toronto

There always were a lot of rural Sunni Arabs. IMO that and the tourist jihadis account for the numbers. pl



I think he is still very much in control and does not understand the lesson I am trying to teach. pl



Don't make cryptic references on SST. Explain what the man said. pl



Michael Handel, perhaps the greatest modern scholar of Clausewitz, used to tell me that even in translation "On War" was very much written in "heavy, early 19th Century, academic kraut." Don't expect an easy read. pl

Green Zone Café

Not to mention that if anyone had Al Zawahiri's phone number, Al Zawahiri would be dead.


Zawahiri never used the title of "Emir of Believers" or commander of the faithful (quoted as amîr al-muminîn at min. 25:36 in the referenced video), he always referred to Taliban leader Mullah Omar using this title until 2015 and opposed al-Baghdadi using it. Having someone claim second-hand that Mursi used the title literally repeatedly without being objected or corrected by the pedantic Zawahiri sounds pretty dubious to me.


Yes, it's pretty much what I'm saying, in a nutshell I don't believe that the Russians see themselves as having enough skin in the game relative to the amount of treasure they are using on Syria and would be required for a massive deployment(whether this is an accurate assessment on their part is another question). I believe that the Iranians do believe that they have skin in the game. I used international jihadi heartland to differentiate from ISISland, which I have always believed since 2013 is a fully independent and sovereign outfit, beholden to noone, which is not the case for those in Idlib et al who are all direct proxies to one GCC or another or to Turkey. The international support for it would be a continuation of cash and arms, even with all the attrition suffered by the idlibites since Russian intervention I continue to believe that manpower is not an issue. The youth bulge is a thing, and looking at their troop composition a very good part of the internationally supported jihadis were pre pubescent when the SCW started, and this segment of youth were the core from the start.


agreed. "Apol

Don't make cryptic references on SST. Explain what the man said. pl"

Why did Trump bomb Cheyrat?
by Thierry Meyssan

"Based on this action, he began negotiations with the deep US State, or at least with one of its spokespersons, Senator John McCain. A representative of Israël, Senator Lindsey Graham, was also present during the discussions.


As for Syria, this agreement, if ratified by both parties, should mark the end of the US war against the Syrian Arab Republic – a war that was pursued thanks to the initiative of the United Kingdom and Israël, with their allies (Germany, Saudi Arabia, France, Turkey, etc.). Little by little, the phony « Friends of Syria », which united 130 States and international organisations in 2012, began shrinking. There are only 10 left today."

Patrick S.

It seems to me that the SAA is attempting to close out some of the persistent pockets, thereby freeing up soldiers to focus on other fronts to close those out, while playing defense where near-term victory is probably not achievable. In some cases this is by diplomacy, and in others by siege. Concentrating their opponents in Idlib might make sense if they can thereby reduce the number of fronts, ultimately allowing for a focused invasion of Idlib. That said, it seems that whenever a few pockets are eliminated, new fronts crop up -- as if there were some over-arching influence organizing the jihadis. Now there is the invasion from Jordan into the eastern desert to worry about.


My impression is that they are still hoping that the supply lines get closed. The offensive on Idlib would have the potential to create a refugee surge to Turkey, we might well be near the point at which Turkey decides to pull the plug. I have seen it alleged the Turks are already providing intel for the RuAF targeting there.

Babak Makkinejad

The International Brigade analogue here would be the Shia Muslims from Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan and some of the Persian Gulf Arab states.

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