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24 March 2018

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Bill Herschel

Thanks very much for this analysis.

What I am now very worried about is the possibility of our unilaterally attacking North Korea. Bolton wants to do that and believes that there is absolutely no justifiable reason not to do it. Trump sits down with Kim--without SK present--gets up and says, "We're attacking."

What happens next is open to conjecture. But the least that will happen is that a lot of people in SK will be killed, Americans and South Koreans, and the U.S. will not be able to "win" the war. In other words, it will be, at the very, very best Afghanistan II with about 50,000 dead Americans and many more dead Koreans.

But there's a huge problem with that best case. Does North Korea have missiles pointed toward Japan? if it does, the extraordinary economic dislocation resulting from industry in the South being disrupted will be magnified a hundred-fold by what happens in Japan. Please recall that NK has no love for Japan.

About the only thing that Trump can get out of all this is the suspension of civil rights in the U.S., the introduction of martial law, and the canceling of the next Presidential election, and can he even get that?

Finally, though China and Russia may "sit on their hands", they will sure as hell do nothing to promote an American military presence on their borders (recall that Russia has a land border with NK). Arms, material, etc will flow freely into NK.

Of course, Bolton disagrees with all this. Bolton, Bush... maybe it would be best to bomb Yale and throw in Harvard to be on the safe side.

janes

thanks ttg.. good overview... i agree with your concerns in the last paragraph..

b

@TTG - there are quite heavy rumors about a new "rebel" attack in Daraa planned by the U.S. and the usual suspects. (There is also a build up of sorts in Tanf.)

The Saudis just bought another 6,600 TOW. These are for their defense against the 1st and 2nd Yemeni armored corps which threaten to invade their country (not).
When the Saudis bought their last batch of 13,000 TOWs the CIA distributed them to its "moderate" Takfiris in Syria.

Washington does not like that it "lost" in Syria. It will try again and again.

Anna

It will.
Meanwhile in the UK, an investigative journalist suggests the hypothesis about Skripal affair as related to the highest echelons of the UK government and judiciary and their involvement in money laundering and pedophilia: https://www.sgtreport.com/2018/03/did-elite-pedophiles-fake-nerve-gas-attack-in-salisbury/
"The Conservative Party has received something close to £850,000 in donations from the Russian oligarchs.
Just as the Russian bribery scandal is exposed, as if by magic, a Russian inteligence officer, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter are alleged to be poisoned by a mysterious substance... "

JohnsonR

Bearing in mind the evident personal obsessions that many of the US military and regime seniors have that mandate war with Iran, if they can swing it, in the interests of Israel, one major question is how do these people think that a war with North Korea will impact their chances of getting the war they really want, with Iran.

Does Bolton really believe that a war with North Korea can be a clean "targeted/massive strike followed by government surrender or collapse" that will then boost American enthusiasm for wars elsewhere? Do any of the military men around the regime believe that?

War with North Korea seems to be at most a practical issue for most of these men, war with Iran more of an emotional and/or ideological goal.

Godfree Roberts

In 1961, China and the DPRK signed the Sino-North Korean Mutual Aid and Cooperation Friendship Treaty.

It obliges both parties to offer immediate military and other assistance to the other in the case of an outside attack.

This treaty has been prolonged twice, and is valid until 2021.

Since the first signing, China has developed the capability to destroy any ship, plane or army that comes closer than 1000 km to her borders.

An attack seems unlikely.

jdledell

TTG - From the perspective of my contacts in the IDF and IAF, with the supposed support of Israel's political organization, they very much want to degrade Assad's forces and the supporting Hezballah fighters.Israel is not afraid of the ISIS headchoppers since they don't think they are capable of strategic military operations. However, Israel is VERY concerned about Hezballah's capabilities especially with Iran's continued support and would very much like to get rid of Assad as the facilitator of Iran's support and not have to face a growing Hezballah force across their entire northern border with Lebanon and Syria.

Laughably, I've even heard Miri Regev say that "Israel has been assured by Saudia Arabia that they will keep ISIS in check so Israel doesn't have to worry about them".

catherine

''We can expect a dramatic rise in the anti-Damascus and anti-Iranian propaganda as well as a rise in Israeli military support to their jihadist allies in the region. That’s a given. The real question is how Trump and his new NSA and SecState will react. ’Tis a puzzlement.''

The Isr hawks know how to play Trump. They tell Trump that all the people who caution him about US warring on Iran are really "Anti Trumpers" who don't want him to be Great. It worked on Bush Jr.

Dmcna

The people of many towns protested for SAA as they approached, 100,000 were removed under ceasefire to safety and then peace was negotiated for what was left. Favourable comparisons are really by the by, though this was better than Aleppo. This was perfection.

JW

'What's next' or.. what will be the continuing theme(s) ? I would suggest that even punitive strikes against Iran, unless directed IAF-style at 'nuclear' facilities, will be unlikely even under Bolton-Tzu's tutelage. However, both the US and Israel's objectives, if actually separate, in neutralising Iranian influence can be achieved by cutting the developing Shia Salient between Tehran and the Mediterranean by closing the gap between Jordan and Rojava. Erdogan has stolen most of the (now freshly shaven) jihadists to use against the Kurds, but that doesn't mean that subject to a US=Turk deal, green busloads of them could not later appear at the Rojava southern corner and head south west, razors humming, along the Syria-Iraq border.
Neither Assad nor Putin would disagree; Assad does not want former-Syria used as a Iranian staging area and space for a IDF-IRGC war, and Putin doesn't want Iranian competition for Assad cuddle-time or wharf space.

JamesT

jdledell -
It appears to me that Israel (with its allies) intentionally launched an operation in Syria to overthrow Assad and install a Saudi controlled or Saudi allied salafist dictatorship. So what I am wondering is - does anybody in the Israeli establishment think "wow, we really messed up (ie overreached) this time"?

My understanding is that before the war Assad was aiding Hezbollah to some degree, but now Assad has every reason to take the gloves off and jump into an alliance with Iran and Hezbollah with both feet. I spent a few weeks in Syria and I found the Syrians to "really have their act together" (by Arab standards, frankly) ... and to be very, very tough. I would think that the Syrians are in nothing close to a concilliatory state of mind. The Syrians and the Assad leadership are also smart enough to retaliate against Israel in a calm, methodical, long term way - for example by helping Iran build Long Range Precision Strike capabilities in Syria and Lebanon.

Bill Herschel

Devil's advocate: We can't let NK have nuclear weapons because that is a precedent for Iran having nuclear weapons, and, what is more, NK will ship nukes to Iran.

The problem with that is whether the American voter will participate in the panic this kind of thinking produces in the diseased minds of Bolton, Netanyahu, etc.

The treaties mentioned by Godfree(sp?) below make my best case above impossible. China would do anything at all to avoid a shooting war on the Korean peninsula, but they have their limits. So it is not even clear than anything resembling a "victory" for the U.S. could follow an attack of choice.

I wonder if Bolton or Netanyahu's minds actually are sufficiently diseased to want a nuclear war? It's an interesting question.

My dollar is on Trump teaming up with Lavrov and Putin to discover a "peaceful solution" to NK. Eliminate the impossible... Trump emerges with a wreath of laurel on his head soon to be doubled with a "peaceful solution" to Iranian influence, once again teaming up with Lavrov and Putin. He gets reelected and everybody lives happily ever after. Well, not everybody, but most people on earth.

Richardstevenhack

Iran has no interest in nuclear weapons and wouldn't develop them regardless of what happens to North Korea. Iran knows they have no "use case" and have said so repeatedly.

And North Korea won't be sending them any because nuclear powers don't share their nukes unless they have far more than they need - and North Korea won't have that until they at least match China's arsenal.

aleksandar

Iran has been very clear about nuclear weapons.
You don't need nuclear weapons when you can:
- close strait of Ormuz
- destroy all desanilization plant in all ME
- destroy all electric power plant also
- create the worst economic crisis than ever.
Try to imagine SA,UAE,Oman, Kuwait without electricity and clean water.

Bill Herschel

I am not the Devil. What happens on the Korean peninsula should be left to the Koreans and their bordering neighbors China and Russia. The 25,000 American troops in Korea should be removed immediately. if a tripwire is needed it can be fulfilled with United Nations troops stationed on the border, perhaps 500.

Why hasn't NK invaded the South already? The same reason they won't in the future. Recall that China is a signatory to the armistice. The world has moved on.

English Outsider


https://www.newstatesman.com/world/middle-east/2018/03/foreign-agendas-have-changed-shape-war-syria-it-s-not-over-yet

I don't think the truth about Syria is going to come out in the Western media.

Babak Makkinejad

As well as the oil installation and infrastructures across multiple countries.

J

TTG,

I would love to see the expression on CENTCOM's faces when one mentions all the Russian EW stuff that has been moved into Syria, since D.C. is playing paddy-cake with the Liver eaters. Some of that EW 'stuff' can really ruin CENTCOM's day.

Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

I'd like to see Yale levelled by a fleet of Zeppelins. The Skull and Bones "Temple" building first. Strike a blow at their Satanic Majeties. These anglo-american aristocrats have had things all their own way since the days of William Cecil. Trump voters had hoped to make them eat a little humnle pie in Foundation land, but they're back on top as usual, it seems.

Fred

aleksandar,

Who and why?

The Twisted Genius

J,

I'm sure CENTCOM has been aware of the formidable Russian RAC (radio electronic combat) capabilities for quite a while now. We talked about it here several times over the years.

http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2015/10/russian-jamming-system-blocks-all-nato-electronics-inside-bubble-600-km-in-diameter-over-syria-ttg.html

http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2017/02/another-look-at-russias-radio-electronic-combat-ttg.html

J

TTG,

True, but I would love to see their expressions especially in light of the Russians laying down the gauntlet and drawing a line in the sand.

Many of our Command and Control systems could really be screwed with, and throw CENTCOM's AOB's out of whack.

How many 'losses' on our side has CENTCOM factored into their equations.

Especially since the Russian AF head Colonel Gen. Сергей Суровикин has turned the tide in Syria, and recent comments (tossing the gauntlet and drawing a line in the sand) by Начальник Генерального штаба - Вале́рий Гера́симов.

Гера́симов's dead serious in his comments, Гера́симов as the expression goes 'ain't playin games'. I hope that CENTCOM understands.

mikee

From Wikipedia:
"Israeli nuclear weapons: Current estimates put the size of the Israeli nuclear arsenal at between 75 and 400 nuclear warheads, and the country is believed to possess the ability to deliver them in a variety of methods including: aircraft; submarine-launched cruise missiles; and the Jericho series of intermediate to intercontinental range ballistic missiles."

In my opinion it is naive' to believe that the Iranians would not seek to counter this threat.

Ante

JamesT,

That's the question. Netanyahu has been able to quash opposition, and probably relishes a phony war to bolster his credibility as he's indicated on various corruption charges.

What's the gap between Israeli public opinion, opposition to hawkish policy, and capability to change the course of the Likud government?

J

TTG,

Here's a picture of Gen. Dumford, Turk General, and the Russian General (who recently drew the line in the sand) discussing Syria in March of last year.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valery_Gerasimov#/media/File:Joseph_Dunford,_Hulusi_Akar_and_Valery_Gerasimov_170307-D-PB383-003_(33152412382).jpg


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