Why Syria is important

Are you an interventionist or an isolationist? An interventionist-isolationist following the Powell Doctrine (“You break it, you buy it”)? Or, like the President, undecided?

The importance of Syria is its indirect location. The ultimate goal of this phase of the Great Game is control of the Gazprom- and OPEC-breaking oil under northern Israel. Previously, Israel only had to worry about its border with Lebanon. Now, Mubarak and the Muslim Brotherhood deposed, and Syria in chaos. the conditions are perfect for regime change. Target: Jordan’s King Abdullah II.

Egypt is in danger of neutralizing itself as a danger to Israel. Jordan  has a long border  that will stretch Israel’s defenses, including the vaunted Iron Dome, to the breaking point. Israel will have to economize its forces somewhere, or once again be broken economically and desparately reliant on an inconstant US of A. The problem is Jordanian King Abdullah II. He’s loyal to his people, and that means peace and markets and use of ports in Israel – unacceptable to the terrorists.


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  1. Slater says:

    And here I was thinking you were advocating the use of the force in Syria. Which, would be an uncalculated master stroke that would push a so-so presidency to the brink of ruin in the eyes of History as Syria is not in the Strategic or Grand Strategic interests of the United States.

    • vmijpp says:

      Ah yes. Slater– I have learned to read carefully everything DaveO writes, two or even three times until I get it right. He no speak with forked tongue.

      (BTW– King Abdullah, my fellow Gunsite graduate.)

  2. vmijpp says:

    Bottom line: There is ugliness afoot in the Mid East. I am not at all sure we are postured to influence events as much as we'd like. We should prepare accordingly. … Will we?

  3. Slater says:

    If we want to be able to fight then we must do things accordingly within the Budget Pie…if you want to use the jackhammer then the jackhammer needs bodies, so cut funds from the bakery.

  4. Mike_Burke says:

    Interesting idea-several sources question whether the oil finds reported glowingly in mostly Israeli sources, or which rely on statements from people in the Israeli energy industry, are as great as some think. But who knows? and who knows how hard it will be to extract? I am no expert. Time will tell–I also think King Abdullah and the kingdom of Jordan need peace more than anyone else in the middle east–he may also find it hard to be a power broker–his father was wilier, good at playing a weak hand. Not so sure about the son. I can't imagine our getting into yet another war with a Muslim nation so soon–our track record isn't very good on these things. I often think that if we wanted to alter the balance of power in Syria we would operate the best largest refugee camps (with schools!) on the planet and simply draw the population away to them–it would also improve our standing in that part of the world.

  5. Mike_Burke says:

    I guess I am recalling my brief experience supplying our division's refugee camp in Iraq until the Red Cross could take over after the first Gulf War–US food, medical care, and security bought us a tremendous amount of Iraqi goodwill, until we pissed it away over a botched cease-fire that let the Iraqis fly their helicopters and kill off the marsh Arabs in the south.

    • Paul Hirsch says:

      "until we pissed it away over a botched cease-fire that let the Iraqis fly their helicopters and kill off the marsh Arabs in the south." That always has mystified me. 'OK, you can use helicopters for humanitarian purposes.' Boom! 'Those weren't humanitarian purposes.' Doesn't seem complicated, but I guess it was.

      Also, do you know who was guarding Schwarzkopf at the meeting in the tent? They were serious men in civilian clothes. State Department diplomatic security people? The optics, as they say, were wrong. Should have been soldiers in uniform.

      • Mike Burke says:

        I didn't know that–I never saw the TV coverage (was still in Iraq)–you're right–soldiers would have sent a different message. I guess our rush to go home was no real help–one of my fellow majors said the Gulf war was a perfect example of fight like we train–four-month buildup, four-day ARTEP, and redeploy. Not sure that is entirely fair. As i mentioned in another context on this blog, i wonder if the gulf war will become the 20th century equivalent of Omdurman–the last cavalry charge of the British Army. will it be the last time we do combined arms campaigning on a large scale?

      • PSYOP Cop says:

        They would not have been DS, unless diplomats were present and DS agents were part of their protection detail. Instead, they were likely the general’s security detail, made up of agents from CID, NCIS, and OSI. It is quite possible they may have been from USASOC, who occasionally tasks their soldiers out for personal security details (ironically enough, usually with training from DS).

        • VMI Warrior says:

          In ’94 I served with a guy who had been on Schwarzkopf’s PSD. He had been enlisted during the war, completed OCS afterwards. He was an MP, and said that during his time in the Gulf he wore everything from Dress Blues to civies depending on where they were going. (He was quartered in a 5-Star hotel in Riyahd, in much better conditions than the average Joe in the field too). He never mentioned specifically being at the cease fire, but I imagine he was.

  6. Doug says:

    Without a clear, pre-stated goal that we are willing to fully accomplish I say we steer clear of Syria. Even with my preconditions it is clear from what has happened in Iraq and Afghanistan that the locals are much more easily swayed by the Muslim Brotherhood and their ilk then by us.

  7. Slater says:

    Sounds like we're about to throw down.

  8. bullnav says:

    What's the real point? From today's briefings and press, it appears to be narrowed to punishing the use of chemical weapons, or rather WMD's. Will this influence the overall conflict in Syria or will it be a sideshow as the "civil" war there continues? I would love to see the target list…

    Check your moon rise times.

  9. nolakeydet says:

    The Gazprom idea is interesting, but unlikely a short term motivation given that that field is just a discovery, i.e. not producing. This field is not like Iraq, or the US for that matter, where there are plenty of fields with producing wells.

  10. Herodotus says:

    Seems like the administration is now talking about "sending a message" with a coupla' cruise missiles and some air strikes. The only message this sends is that we send messages. There is no real danger to the Assad regime from such actions. And what would be the mission here?

    • Slater says:

      And what kind of message would you have us send…although since 'embody worried about Miley this might be the time for him to start "His War."

    • maj w says:

      Hows it shakin up there heretodus? maj w.

  11. maj w says:

    There actually “are” no reasons why Syria is important. let them melt down on their own – we don’t need to help them with missile attacks. Why do we think we need to “fix” everything everywhere ALL the time the last 50 odd years. Come on now…. really.

  12. Doug says:

    After three years of civil war is there anything left in Syria worth striking that would send any kind of message?