Greetings and Good Day,
“The beauty of words leads to literature, poetry and prose. A cat walks into a corner.”
When going through the most important literature in military affairs, from Sun Tzu to Clausewitz or other modern thinkers; the art of conventional & asymmetric war combined to counterinsurgency, offers a lot of calculation, thought and considerations, on several aspects of a conflict including the day after.
Analogies and studies abound, yet we all know that each context plays for its own self. It could be a catwalk for the world if the Assad regime continued to kill his own citizens without using the gas, however this game changer do oblige all responsible decision makers to change the prism. In fact the national interest of the US was perfectly carried on with a prolonged conflict in Syria that would not endanger the overall geopolitical environment with gas, while the administration could dedicate its efforts to sane the budget and revamp the economy.
This is not the case, as the interests of the US are directly challenged now with the use of CW, be this because Syria has a geographic importance or because on the long run the Mediterranean gas and oil exploration will be very much at stake. The same goes for China a nation that has an enormous interest for a free flow of oil from the Mediterranean. The Assad regime abused its own people and miscalculated the international red line.
As the world expects a military action to be conducted and led by the US, military planners are still adjourning objectives and contingencies. We know by now that UN inspectors will travel back to NYC on Saturday and will consign the report to the general secretary on the same day, we know also that the UK parliament is not keen on action and that more than a hundred US congress men sent a letter to the US President to engage with the congress.
Time is a very precious commodity and while the US is a democracy that enables all people to express themselves, it is also constitutional for the president to order military actions in presence of challenges and concerns that threaten the US national interests. This is the perfect case, hence congressmen while engaged by phone will excuse the president for not checking in at the congress hall.
My understanding of the military action is that it needs to be well planned and it has to reach its objectives. The objectives are to send a clear message to Assad not to use CW again, and secondly not to retaliate and cause an enlargement of the conflict.
In a previous contribute I explained that 3 salvos of 24 missiles targeting some air defense assets, a couple of missile batteries and a republican guard garrison can be of high visibility and sufficient for the message to be delivered, but now I add that perhaps this is not enough for Assad to think twice before any retaliation.
Saturday will be the crucial day, as the Security Council will continue to meet to find an agreement on the resolution and this time will permit the Assad forces to shift and hide and alter the ground positioning.
Military planners will be asking about the wisdom not to take out the runways immediately? From here I am sure that special force members are already close to Damascus and will pinpoint several operations to disrupt communications and create a kinetic effect of sabotage.
In truth the warning to Assad not to use CW again will be effective only if we take out his capability to retaliate by shutting the runways or if the air forces will be brought down in NFZ.
Considering the risks of the conflict enlargement to Israel and that a worst case scenario can well include some Syrian missiles with chemical weapons and many others from Hezbollah landing on Israel , it is an obligation for the US planners to target also Syrian runways and Syrian Missile batteries.
From above the soft scenario of 24 missiles is updated to become an enforced attack combined from sea and air to target a multitude of targets stretching from C4R to runways and batteries.
It is obvious that whenever a golden target will be found it will be taken also. We need to be counting on rational thinking and not on wishful thought, the opening salvo will start the hostilities but the evolution of the actions and the conclusion is unknown.
How will hostilities be terminated? Will there be a cease fire? A conference will be called by the UN secretary in Geneva? Will world powers find a compromise and where stands the intersection of interests between western nations and Russia, between China and the KSA? Is it true that who will benefit more than anyone else is the KSA?
Will the meeting of G20 be a platform for the ending of hostilities and the imminent start of negotiations? How Israel and Lebanon will be affected?
Can the US action target Syria efficiently and deter it from enlarging the conflict to Israel and Lebanon?
If the Syrians and Hezbollah will shoot missiles into Israel, we can envisage a ground operation of the Israelis in the South of Lebanon and in the Golan.
Until Saturday evening US time all efforts will be conducted to embark Russia on board in a UNSC that will authorize a collective action against Assad, and this is the best scenario. I am not very optimistic that these efforts will succeed therefore the most likely happening is the opening salvo.
The opening salvo at this stage will be on Sunday morning at 2 am Damascus time, and it will entail many air sorties on runways and missile batteries and different waves of cruise missiles on air defenses, clearly a reaction can be expected and Israel will be given a green light to conduct military operations at will. The analogy with the second gulf war doesn’t consist.
The game changer is the use of Gas and the duty of women and men is to act to ensure that the major part of the interests of the global communities will be safeguarded.
“The beauty of actions is that these are done following a process of thought and method “
- Fifth US warship joins cruise missile ships in Mediterranean (freebeacon.com)
- Israelis Line Up for Gas Masks as U.S. Ponders Syria Missile Strikes (world.time.com)
- Analysis: Are Syrian and Iranian threats just bluster? (jpost.com)
- How Assad might strike back (mideast.foreignpolicy.com)
- The Syrian Regional War: NATO on deck! (wartard.blogspot.com)
- Israel warns Syria not to retaliate if action taken (nzherald.co.nz)
- Israel calls up reservists, deploys missile defences against Syria – Reuters India (in.reuters.com)
- Strike on Syria could trigger retaliatory attacks, terrorism, cyberwar (bangordailynews.com)
- U.S. Warships Set for Cruise Missile Strikes on Syria (freebeacon.com)
- Cyprus placed in the cross hairs of Syria mess (cyprus-mail.com)