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  1. #1
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    U.S. Ready for War in Syria?

    The USS Eisenhower, an American aircraft carrier that holds eight fighter bomber squadrons and 8,000 men, arrived at the Syrian coast yesterday in the midst of a heavy storm, indicating US preparation for a potential ground intervention.
    While the Obama administration has not announced any sort of American-led military intervention in the war-torn country, the US is now ready to launch such action “within days” if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad decides to use chemical weapons against the opposition, the Times reports.
    Some have suggested that the Assad regime may use chemical weapons against the opposition fighters in the coming days or weeks.
    The arrival of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, one of the 11 US Navy aircraft carriers that has the capacity to hold thousands of men, is now stationed at the coast of Syria, DEBKAfile reports. The aircraft carrier joined the USS Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group, which holds about 2,500 Marines.
    “We have (US) special operations forces at the right posture, they don’t have to be sent,” an unnamed US official told The Australian, which suggested that US military troops are already near Syria and ready to intervene in the conflict, if necessary.
    If the US decides to intervene militarily in Syria, it now has at its disposal 10,000 fighting men, 17 warships, 70 fighter-bombers, 10 destroyers and frigates and a guided military cruises. Some of the vessels are also equipped with Aegis missile interceptors to shoot down any missiles Syria might have at hand, according to DEBKAfile.
    “The muscle is already there to be flexed,” a US official told the London Times about the US military’s presence outside of Syria. “It’s premature to say what could happen if a decision is made to intervene. That hasn’t taken shape, we’ve not reached that kind of decision. There are a lot of options, but it [military action] could be launched rapidly, within days.”
    The move comes after NATO made a significant strategic decision Tuesday to deploy Patriot Air and Missile Defense Systems in Turkey on the border of Syria where opposition groups have the stronghold. The defense would be able to protect Turkey from potential Syrian missiles that could contain chemical weapons, as well as intimidate Syrian Air Force pilots from bombing the northern Syria border towns, which the armed rebels control. Syria is thought to have about 700 missiles.
    “The protection from NATO will be three dimensional; one is the short-range Patriots, the second is the middle-range Terminal High Altitude Air Defense [THAD] system and the last is the AEGIS system, which counters missiles that can reach outside the atmosphere,” Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said.
    DEBKAfile’s anonymous military sources claim the THAD and Aegis arrived at the Syrian coast aboard the USS Eisenhower.
    “The United States now stands ready for direct military intervention in the Syrian conflict when the weather permits,” the news source wrote.

    http://rt.com/usa/news/us-eisenhower...-military-369/
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  2. #2

    Re: U.S. Ready for War in Syria?

    We've avoided getting involved in a land war in the Middle East for awhile. I'm hoping Assad decides he likes sunnier climes and moves on.
    Oh heaven...I wake with good intentions but the day it always lasts too long... Emeli Sande

  3. #3
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    Re: U.S. Ready for War in Syria?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-Amie View Post
    We've avoided getting involved in a land war in the Middle East for awhile. I'm hoping Assad decides he likes sunnier climes and moves on.
    I would be fine with his demise.
    Open wide.

  4. #4

    Re: U.S. Ready for War in Syria?

    Assad has nowhere safe to move and will fight on (without chemical weapons).
    The grass master

  5. #5

    Re: U.S. Ready for War in Syria?

    Quote Originally Posted by suliso View Post
    Assad has nowhere safe to move and will fight on (without chemical weapons).
    Iran and Venezuela will take him (although Venezuela would do so covertly, but as incompetent as Hugo is, somebody would find out in a few hours).
    Little story
    I worked in Syria in 2006-07. I loved Damascus, as it is a beautiful city. Aleppo was gorgeous, and Palmyra, where I was, was breathtaking.
    A week before going there, I was at the CCS airport to go on a vacation. I had arranged my flights to Syria next week, doing Alitalia (CCS-MILAN-DAM). As I was in the airport, I noticed there was a direct flight CCS-DAM, and called my travel agent (who is a friend) and jokingly asked her why she had not put me in the direct flight. She told me it was Conviasa, the Vennie Government airline, and if I wanted, she could. I declined.
    A while later, a story came out. The flight was actually Caracas-Damascus-Teheran. An Airbus 340, the story was that the stop in Damascus was to re-fuel as the plan was at its range limit.
    But a news story on CNN found out that it was impossible to book a seat in the flight. Not for a few weeks, but for months. The CNN story claimed that the plane was used to carry weapons and cash between the three cities.
    So Iran will take him. Venezuela is big enough for him to disappear out there.
    He has a few choices left, but as psychotic as he is, he will stay longer. I agree that he will not use chemical weapons, but he is truly insane. So you must factor that one. I believe his generals will not push that button, though.

    ps: The US MUST NOT get involved there by itself. If NATO comes along, maybe. But by itself, no way. And with Europe so bankrupt, I wonder how much support such a move would have. I would love to hear some opinions from our European correspondents (yes, by now TAT is a news agency too).
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  6. #6

    Re: U.S. Ready for War in Syria?

    Why do you think he is insane? Honestly I don't see any evidence of it. How is he different from any other king, emperor, dictator etc. who has faced armed rebelion in the last 3000 years and tried his best to squash it?
    The grass master

  7. #7

    Re: U.S. Ready for War in Syria?

    I would love to hear some opinions from our European correspondents (yes, by now TAT is a news agency too).
    Indeed.
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  8. #8

    Re: U.S. Ready for War in Syria?

    Quote Originally Posted by ponchi101 View Post
    ps: The US MUST NOT get involved there by itself. If NATO comes along, maybe. But by itself, no way. And with Europe so bankrupt, I wonder how much support such a move would have. I would love to hear some opinions from our European correspondents (yes, by now TAT is a news agency too).
    I am not claiming any special insight and neither my country of origin nor my country of residence will be sending any troops or money there.

    I think with a moderately careful public opinion manipulation there would be about as much support as for Libya operation, maybe even a bit more in the key West European countries (UK and France really for things of this sort). I don't think those governments will be as eager as last time, though.

    Ground troops, other than special forces in secret, are completely out of the question - it just costs too much and bad publicity from any casualties would be too detrimental. Even worse, the countries participating would be partially responsible for the aftermath. Militarily winning conflict like this would be trivial even without a significant help from USA. Technological advantage is enormous and this is what matters most in the conventional army vs army war. I believe that was demonstrated quite convincingly in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and many smaller conflicts. It's keeping peace and dealing with guerrilla warfare that is both very difficult and very expensive.

    There are various "small" reasons why Syria is a less likely target for intervention than Libya. In no particular order - farther from West Europe; no oil; rebel movement already strong enough to stand for themselves; unease about aftermath in Libya and surrounding countries further south; economic climate in the West; Assad keeping a lower profile (smart move!), no personal animosity between him and key Western leaders. If he starts doing something stupid like using chemical weapons then there will be air strikes, if not then only some limited help for opposition with money and weapons. Even without direct involvement by NATO and/or USA his chances of staying in power long term are now below 50%.
    Last edited by suliso; 12-07-2012 at 11:12 AM.
    The grass master

  9. #9
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    Re: U.S. Ready for War in Syria?

    Forgive me if this is a dumb question, but is there a way for us to arm the FSA without U.S. military personnel actually participating in the conflict? Personally I wish we had done that long, long ago. Especially since there have been some recent reports indicating that, in the absence of support from the West, the FSA has been getting arms and actual personnel support from Al Qaeda. Which scares the bejezus outta me. (Those reports may be nothing more than propaganda. Still...)
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  10. #10

    Re: U.S. Ready for War in Syria?

    The problem with that at this point is that Russia is giving arms and support (or at least had been) to the Assad government and I don't think that the Western powers (NATO) want to be in a proxy war (like during the Cold War).
    We All Play for Canada

  11. #11

    Re: U.S. Ready for War in Syria?

    Quote Originally Posted by suliso View Post
    Why do you think he is insane? Honestly I don't see any evidence of it. How is he different from any other king, emperor, dictator etc. who has faced armed rebelion in the last 3000 years and tried his best to squash it?
    Putting it that way, he is not MORE insane. He is not crazier than Kim Jong Il or Sum (I lost track by now).
    But his political apparatus in Syria was really terrifying. I was only able to talk openly to some people once I was outside Damascus, and that was because we were comparing psychos (mine vs theirs. I lost ). People disappearing in the desert, torture and the lot.
    To me that is insanity. But your point is very valid. He is no more than others. But that is still scary.
    BTW. There is oil in Syria. That is what I was there for. Just not in the same quantities as Libya (your example, and a good one), and it is not so easily found. But some areas have potential.
    Last edited by ponchi101; 12-13-2012 at 03:40 AM.
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  12. #12
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    Re: U.S. Ready for War in Syria?

    President Barack Obama on Tuesday recognized the leading Syrian opposition coalition as the legitimate representative of the country's people, marking a "big step" in U.S. engagement with the nearly two-year-old crisis.

    "We've made a decision that the Syrian Opposition Coalition is now inclusive enough, is reflective and representative enough of the Syrian population that we consider them the legitimate representative of the Syrian people in opposition to the Assad regime," Obama told ABC's Barbara Walters.

    "So we will provide them recognition and obviously with that recognition comes responsibilities on the part of that coalition," he said. "It is a big step."

    The United States joins Britain, France, Turkey and the Gulf Cooperation Council in recognizing the opposition.

    The move will be a major psychological boost for the rebels, but it doesn't mean Washington will be arming them anytime soon.

    More at: http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/11/world/...html?hpt=hp_t3
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  13. #13
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    Re: U.S. Ready for War in Syria?

    Gender should never be a death sentence. http://www.facebook.com/The.Worldwide.War.on.Girls. A civilized nation doesn't tolerate violence against women. http://www.facebook.com/TheSilenceStopsNow?ref=hl. Microlending harbors tremendous potential to improve the economic, social, political, and educational empowerment of women and children. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Globa...417742?fref=ts

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