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Author Topic: US warships near Syrian waters  (Read 8976 times)

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Offline Hades

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Re: US warships near Syrian waters
« Reply #50 on: August 28, 2013, 01:19:39 PM »
I see very little benefit to the US in making any sort of military strike against Syria.  Unfortunately, following the same flawed "Domino Theory"* that was our driving principle during the Cold War and got us involved in Vietnam, I also see the same pieces of the board moving into position to make a military strike.

The argument will go something like this I imagine:  Within the Middle East, Iran is the largest supporter for Syria and the Assad government.  This support comes through direct aid as well as through the terrorist group Hezbollah, as well as other similar groups.  Weakening Assad by proxy weakens Iran.

To me though, the argument falls flat because even if Assad is removed from power Iran is still in a better position than the US to influence the next leadership of the country, whatever shape it takes.  Or conversely, since I believe Syria is like most of the rest of the Middle East and predominately Sunni in population (as opposed to Iraq and Iran, which are majority Shiite) then the new government will be influenced by the likes of Saudi Arabia.  Either way, we spend millions or more likely billions of dollars we don't have and gain...what precisely from that expenditure?

I also think it's a bit hypocritical on the part of our government to condemn any sort of chemical weapons use, when released CIA documents shows we were accessories to the largest use of chemical weapons post World War I.


*The Domino Theory was the idea that if one country fell to communism, then it would set up a chain reaction where all its neighbors would become communist as well. 
« Last Edit: August 28, 2013, 04:00:56 PM by Hades »

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: US warships near Syrian waters
« Reply #51 on: August 28, 2013, 01:51:53 PM »
I think the argument will be that if we don't get involved that Syria will disintegrate as a politically relevant country and there will a grab for territory. No one wants Iran to grow larger.

Right now.. I see now way to build a negotiating structure between the factions involved in the civil war.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: US warships near Syrian waters
« Reply #52 on: August 28, 2013, 02:14:54 PM »
I think the argument will be that if we don't get involved that Syria will disintegrate as a politically relevant country and there will a grab for territory. No one wants Iran to grow larger.


...or get any closer to the Mediterranean, and to Israel.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: US warships near Syrian waters
« Reply #53 on: August 28, 2013, 02:20:00 PM »
...or get any closer to the Mediterranean, and to Israel.

Well let's see.. we got the Kurds.. who would LOVE to carve off a homeland.. and NO ONE in that region who isn't a Kurd wants that (that includes Syria, Turkey, Iraq). We got several different ethnic groups who all want to put it to Assad's people (his ethnic group is a minority), at least three different political/faction groups within the rebels.

And let's be honest.. if I was Lebanon and Israel.. I'd give the whole mess a good kicking, put my forces on the border and wait for the smoke to clear. Neither of them have a high opinion of Assad or his predecessors and they both have the rights of it.

Offline Deamonbane

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Re: US warships near Syrian waters
« Reply #54 on: August 28, 2013, 02:29:01 PM »
Israel never had a high opinion of anybody, and the feeling is mutual except for a few Israeli Lobbies in the American government... and Lebanon's armed forced are a joke, at best...

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: US warships near Syrian waters
« Reply #55 on: August 28, 2013, 02:35:12 PM »
Israel never had a high opinion of anybody, and the feeling is mutual except for a few Israeli Lobbies in the American government... and Lebanon's armed forced are a joke, at best...


I am not saying it was a BRIGHT idea..

 Fun note. before the PLO took it apart... you know who used to be called the 'Paris of the Middle East'? Lebanon. Fifty/Sixty years ago before the PLO/Hammas and the rest of them came to roost there.

Used to be a nice moderate nation known for their banking and businesses. Syria has paid insurgent groups in Lebanon for YEARS .. mostly against Irael but not always. more than a few of their members of Government and media were killed, most likely by supported groups, for being against Syrian interests.

Offline Retribution

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Re: US warships near Syrian waters
« Reply #56 on: August 28, 2013, 03:30:20 PM »
*watches the above debate* uh and how will lobbing bombs fix any of this? That is where I am at I am arguably a hawk. I will not share some of my other views because I am sure I would give some of you a stroke. I just do not see how tossing a few bombs is going to fix any of this other than making people feel better because we 'did something.' I am just of the opinion that something should be accomplished if you 'do something.'

Offline Deamonbane

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Re: US warships near Syrian waters
« Reply #57 on: August 28, 2013, 03:35:12 PM »
Heh.... very nice point, Ret...

Offline Kythia

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Re: US warships near Syrian waters
« Reply #58 on: August 28, 2013, 03:36:09 PM »
Look:

Obama is not, repeat, not going to invade Syria.

I will bet every one of my dozens and dozens of dollars on this. Invasion is just not on the table. Period.

Depending on what you mean by "invade" I may take that bet.  I'll see your $36 dollars and raise you *checks bank balance* 3.78 that US troops will be on the ground in Syria by this time next year.

Your point about the ineffectiveness of airstrikes is spot on, but its what leads me to disagree with you.  Airstrikes will happen, Syria will continue to descend, domestic voices will have Obama between a rock and a hard place - he's committed the US to a level of military intervention which hasn't worked so either he pulls out and looks not "weak" but "inept" or he's forced to put boots on the ground and claim that was the plan all along, to soften 'em with airstrikes prior to a more traditional invasion.

Offline Oniya

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Re: US warships near Syrian waters
« Reply #59 on: August 28, 2013, 03:39:29 PM »
Yeah, I've got my doubts on the effectiveness of bomb-lobbing, too.  Finger-shaking ain't gonna work either.  Negotiations require compromise, and I'm not seeing a whole lot of 'bending' going on from either (any?) of the involved parties.  More options?

Offline Deamonbane

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Re: US warships near Syrian waters
« Reply #60 on: August 28, 2013, 03:44:16 PM »
I would say to leave them to their own devices, and once they realize that they won't get any help from the outside that they might try and get some peace happening... However, I don't think that is gonna be happening any time soon, since the media won't be leaving it alone, not to mention that some more nefarious powers in the world will be working to keep this very profitable war going... So not many options...

Offline Retribution

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Re: US warships near Syrian waters
« Reply #61 on: August 28, 2013, 03:45:41 PM »
*watches a bit more* thus my earlier post. Ignoring is not an option as WW2 showed, but am inclined when within country boarders let them slug it out. If they step outside their boarders (invade neighboring country, turn it into a battle field, hide cross boarder so on....) then my hawkish nature comes out and I am of the opinion both sides should be reduced to the stone age, no brick left on top of another...you get the idea.

But if they stick inside their own boarders let them duke it out. IMHO nation building has never worked, bombing has not worked, sanctions have not worked....it all has not worked so why do we keep doing it again expecting different results? Then Kythia makes a good point on how our leaders then paint themselves into a political corner.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2013, 03:47:41 PM by Retribution »

Offline Kythia

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Re: US warships near Syrian waters
« Reply #62 on: August 28, 2013, 03:52:45 PM »
But if they stick inside their own boarders let them duke it out. IMHO nation building has never worked, bombing has not worked, sanctions have not worked....it all has not worked so why do we keep doing it again expecting different results? Then Kythia makes a good point on how our leaders then paint themselves into a political corner.

Nation building has worked - the Marshall Plan.  I read an article, and sadly I don't remember where, that made a good argument that it was only the sheer scale of the project that made it viable.  In essence, that it cant work on a country level, only a continent one.

Offline Retribution

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Re: US warships near Syrian waters
« Reply #63 on: August 28, 2013, 03:57:45 PM »
Nation building has worked - the Marshall Plan.  I read an article, and sadly I don't remember where, that made a good argument that it was only the sheer scale of the project that made it viable.  In essence, that it cant work on a country level, only a continent one.

Am not familiar with the Marshall Plan so will need to look it up at some point. But I am going to say that on a continental level is a pretty rare occurrence.

Offline Deamonbane

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Re: US warships near Syrian waters
« Reply #64 on: August 28, 2013, 04:04:50 PM »
Wasn't that the one that they did after WW2?

Offline Hades

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Re: US warships near Syrian waters
« Reply #65 on: August 28, 2013, 04:08:24 PM »
It was, yes.  And highly controversial at the time.  After all,  it proposed giving economic aid to the country we just done bombing back to the dark ages.  But the Berlin Wall going up silenced debate on that particular plan.

Offline Kythia

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Re: US warships near Syrian waters
« Reply #66 on: August 28, 2013, 04:25:43 PM »
It was, yes.  And highly controversial at the time.  After all,  it proposed giving economic aid to the country we just done bombing back to the dark ages.  But the Berlin Wall going up silenced debate on that particular plan.

I think you're thinking of something else - not sure what.  Berlin Wall went up ten years after the Marshall Plan ended.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: US warships near Syrian waters
« Reply #67 on: August 28, 2013, 04:30:58 PM »
Nation building has worked - the Marshall Plan.  I read an article, and sadly I don't remember where, that made a good argument that it was only the sheer scale of the project that made it viable.  In essence, that it cant work on a country level, only a continent one.

Back then, the U.S. had hell of a lot more money, a racing industry at home and a more powerful executive arm than today.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: US warships near Syrian waters
« Reply #68 on: August 28, 2013, 04:42:11 PM »
Depending on what you mean by "invade" I may take that bet.  I'll see your $36 dollars and raise you *checks bank balance* 3.78 that US troops will be on the ground in Syria by this time next year.

Recall that this was also said about Libya and has not happened. Obama doesn't need to undertake or get sucked into any vast mission to "fix" Syria by military force; he just has to take some kind of action to get it out of the news for a few cycles in order to get into a situation that affords him other options. If you look at the entire policy of his administration, the trend has been toward carefully extricating the US military from large engagements, and establishing whatever domestic credentials for toughness they felt were needed by pursuing other less economically and politically expensive methods than "boots on the ground". That's why the primary military controversy of the Obama era is about drone strikes.

Some later administration may be tempted to invade Syria if it continues to go south (I rather doubt it given the humiliation of Iraq, but who knows). The time for schemes for large foreign nation-building projects is certainly past, I think; the Marshall Plan and the reconstruction of Japan were carried out at the absolute height of American economic power, statesmanship and confidence. It stretches credulity to think that a country whose Congress regularly battles to the point of government shutdown over just raising the debt ceiling could make it happen.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2013, 04:45:43 PM by Cyrano Johnson »

Offline Oniya

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Re: US warships near Syrian waters
« Reply #69 on: August 28, 2013, 04:49:11 PM »
The Marshall Plan was in effect for four years, from 1948-1951, when it was replaced by the Mutual Security Plan.

While the physical Berlin Wall wasn't started until 1961, the Soviet Union, under Stalin, had a metaphorical 'grip' on East Germany (Churchill's 'Iron Curtain' speech was in 1946, slightly before the Marshall Plan came into effect), which necessitated the Berlin Airlift of 1948.  The Soviet Union refused the aid offered through the Plan, since that would give the US some influence over the communist states. 

The major reason that the Wall itself took so long to build was because of the importance of Berlin as a transportation hub - when the line that goes around Berlin was finished in 1961, that logistical barrier was removed and construction started.

Offline Kythia

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Re: US warships near Syrian waters
« Reply #70 on: August 28, 2013, 04:56:31 PM »
Recall that this was also said about Libya and has not happened. Obama doesn't need to undertake or get sucked into any vast mission to "fix" Syria by military force; he just has to take some kind of action to get it out of the news for a few cycles in order to get into a situation that affords him other options. If you look at the entire policy of his administration, the trend has been toward carefully extricating the US military from large engagements, and establishing whatever domestic credentials for toughness they felt were needed by pursuing other less economically and politically expensive methods than "boots on the ground". That's why the primary military controversy of the Obama era is about drone strikes.

Some later administration may be tempted to invade Syria if it continues to go south (I rather doubt it given the humiliation of Iraq, but who knows). The time for schemes for large foreign nation-building projects is certainly past, I think; the Marshall Plan and the reconstruction of Japan were carried out at the absolute height of American economic power, statesmanship and confidence. It stretches credulity to think that a country whose Congress regularly battles to the point of government shutdown over just raising the debt ceiling could make it happen.

I don't recall any narrative about the US going in to Libya - though I freely admit that might just be faulty memory.  But the UK is pretty clearly gearing up for "direct military action" in a way we certainly didn't for Libya and I can't believe that would be happening without backroom talks with the US (amongst others).

And sure, the Marshall plan was a different time and the lessons aren't necessarily applicable today.  I mainly brought it up because it seems to me that a load of US nation building rhetoric is based on the massive success of the Plan.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: US warships near Syrian waters
« Reply #71 on: August 28, 2013, 05:12:44 PM »
I don't recall any narrative about the US going in to Libya - though I freely admit that might just be faulty memory.  But the UK is pretty clearly gearing up for "direct military action" in a way we certainly didn't for Libya and I can't believe that would be happening without backroom talks with the US (amongst others).

The model likely being used for strikes on Syria, given all the floating of Kosovo comparisons, is this one. Libyan strikes were at a relatively smaller scale. But yes, all the same predictions we're hearing now about mission creep and Syrian invasion were made from various quarters about Libya, and I think are fallacious for most of the same reasons.

Offline Retribution

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Re: US warships near Syrian waters
« Reply #73 on: August 28, 2013, 06:46:50 PM »
Honestly, the airstrike plan has a very familiar feel to it. "Something must be done! This is something; therefore, we must do it."

Offline Oniya

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Re: US warships near Syrian waters
« Reply #74 on: August 28, 2013, 07:17:17 PM »
And sure, the Marshall plan was a different time and the lessons aren't necessarily applicable today.  I mainly brought it up because it seems to me that a load of US nation building rhetoric is based on the massive success of the Plan.

So, if we can get Peter Sellers to become the Syrian head of state... *Hopes at least one other person gets the reference*