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Thread: Syria

  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by parafly View Post
    Of course there is/was a threat of real force. Obama could have acted regardless of the support of Congress. It hasn't stopped him in the past (see Libya and a host of other drone stricken regions).

    Russia and Syria have no interest in calling Obama's possible bluff. It's easily the main influence in this potential solution.

    In the end, the United States wins big. If all goes according to plan, Syria is chemically disarmed, the world is a little bit safer, and not a single missile was fired.
    This has nothing to do with the threat of force. These Middle Eastern dictator types consider U.S military strikes against them a badge of honor. They dont fear them, especially when their own country is experiencing a civil war. This is all about Russia exerting influence in the region and garnering credit from the rest of the world, all while making the U.S look weaker and less influential. So basically Syria will trade some chemical weapons for 10x the amount of conventional weapons from Russia, and Assad stays in power like Russia wants.

  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Churchill View Post
    Good. The only thing worse than a homicidal tyrant is a gang of homicidal isalamic theorcratic fundamentalist "rebels".
    Agreed.

    Someone better let the CIA know that, though.

  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by JetPotato View Post
    Many a war has been won on big risk.

    By all accounts, the rebels have been fractured severely in recent months. Like I said, it looks like Assad will wrap things up soon while the West sits idly by for months watching him slowly transfer weapons he has no use for any more. Syria isn't worried about it slighting their power. Iran has their backs... potentially with nukes. Not to mention China and Russia.

    We've been played like a damn fiddle.
    The West had been sitting idly from the beginning while Assad was decided winning the civil war. The chemical weapon attack did nothing but stir a hornets nest. His strategy was to risk the US and other countries getting militarily involved while everything was already going very well for him? Doesn't add up.

    Quote Originally Posted by JetPotato View Post
    parafly, I really don't see how you can't see what a mess Obama made here. When even people like Maureen Dowd are calling him out for being a joke, doesn't that tell you something?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/11/op...ust.html?_r=1&
    The President has undoubtedly handled the situation poorly. I will concede that "victory for the country" was a poor choice of words on my part. I was merely expressing my feelings as a citizen toward US military involvement being averted. Not as a defense of the administration.

    Quote Originally Posted by Churchill View Post
    They're not "giving up" anything. Their close millitary ally, Russia, will "oversee" their Chemical Weapon Stockpiles.

    That'd be like the U.S. "overseeing" the Isralis nukes. Means less than nothing in any real world terms.



    Ony viable alternative needed for Syria: Its not out ****ing problem, so we're not getting involved. Best of luck U.N.



    Actually, there is no U.S. victory because there was no U.S. interests.

    But Russia sure made out big time here. They look like World Leaders now who beat us in the game of diplomacy, as we didn't stand up to our bull**** threats, backed down against their threats, and they et diplomatic victory AND get to protect their ally. We just look like derps..
    Good post. Agree with pretty much all of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by sec.101row23 View Post
    This has nothing to do with the threat of force. These Middle Eastern dictator types consider U.S military strikes against them a badge of honor. They dont fear them, especially when their own country is experiencing a civil war.
    Disagreed. There may be an element of a "badge of honor" present, but they definitely fear a large scale, targeted US strike directed straight toward them. This wasn't about some drones strikes in remote areas, it was about a US mission to take him out personally.

    This is all about Russia exerting influence in the region and garnering credit from the rest of the world, all while making the U.S look weaker and less influential. So basically Syria will trade some chemical weapons for 10x the amount of conventional weapons from Russia, and Assad stays in power like Russia wants.
    This is an assumption on your part. No deal has actually been reached yet.

  4. #84
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    "Credible threat of force". LO-fvckin-L. Nothing This administration does is credible. Love this spin and new talking points though.

  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by parafly View Post
    Good post. Agree with pretty much all of it.
    I enjoy when we can agree.

  6. #86
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    [QUOTE=parafly;498222




    Disagreed. There may be an element of a "badge of honor" present, but they definitely fear a large scale, targeted US strike directed straight toward them. This wasn't about some drones strikes in remote areas, it was about a US mission to take him out personally.

    .[/QUOTE]

    Except everything Kerry and the president have said is that this will be small in scope and regime change is not in the works. Again, the threat of force was not a factor in any of this.

  7. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by sec.101row23 View Post
    Except everything Kerry and the president have said is that this will be small in scope and regime change is not in the works. Again, the threat of force was not a factor in any of this.
    From my understanding, the rhetoric has been "small compared to Iraq" (aka not a full blown invasion). In all honesty, we don't really know what the military plan/goal was because it's been communicated so poorly.

  8. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by parafly View Post
    From my understanding, the rhetoric has been "small compared to Iraq" (aka not a full blown invasion). In all honesty, we don't really know what the military plan/goal was because it's been communicated so poorly.
    What do you think Assad is afraid of? Most of the country is a s**t hole to begin with, Assad will be unharmed and will remain in power since regime change is not a possibility right now, and he is at war with his own people already. This all about Russia flexing their muscles and being able to say THEY dictated this whole process and THEY brokered this solution. The reality is that nothing will change and Russia gets everything it wants. I'm sorry if you cant see that the threat of force has NOTHING to do with this right now.

  9. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by sec.101row23 View Post
    What do you think Assad is afraid of?
    What every dictator is afraid of ... losing his power.

  10. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by parafly View Post
    What every dictator is afraid of ... losing his power.
    Except regime change is not on the table, Obama and Kerry have both said so. How can there be regime change without "putting one boot on the ground" Again, the threat of power has nothing to do with Russia's and Syria's decisions right now.

  11. #91
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    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...LEFTTopStories

    Elite Syrian Unit Scatters Chemical Arms Stockpile
    Assad Regime Has Moved Weapons to as Many as 50 Sites.


    A secretive Syrian military unit at the center of the Assad regime's chemical weapons program has been moving stocks of poison gases and munitions to as many as 50 sites to make them harder for the U.S. to track, according to American and Middle Eastern officials.

    The movements of chemical weapons by Syria's elite Unit 450 could complicate any U.S. bombing campaign in Syria over its alleged chemical attacks, officials said. It also raises questions about implementation of a Russian proposal that calls for the regime to surrender control of its stockpile, they said.

    U.S. and Israeli intelligence agencies still believe they know where most of the Syrian regime's chemical weapons are located, but with less confidence than six months ago, U.S. officials said.

    Secretary of State John Kerry met Thursday in Geneva with his Russian counterpart to discuss a road map for ending the weapons program. The challenges are immense, Mr. Kerry said.

    The U.S. alleges a chemical-weapons attack by the Syrian government on Aug. 21 killed more than 1,400 people, including at least 400 children. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Thursday again denied any involvement in a chemical attack, but he said his government was prepared to sign an agreement banning the use of chemical weapons. Syrian officials couldn't immediately be reached for comment on the weapons.

    Unit 450—a branch of the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center that manages the regime's overall chemicals weapons program—has been moving the stocks around for months, officials and lawmakers briefed on the intelligence said.

    Movements occurred as recently as last week, the officials said, after Mr. Obama said he was preparing to launch strikes.

    A man affected by what activists say was nerve gas received assistance in the Damascus suburbs last month.
    .The unit is in charge of mixing and deploying chemical munitions, and it provides security at chemical sites, according to U.S. and European intelligence agencies. It is composed of officers from Mr. Assad's Alawite sect. One diplomat briefed on the unit said it was Alawite from "janitor to commander."

    U.S. military officials have looked into the possibility of gaining influence over members of Unit 450 through inducements or threats. "In a perfect world, you would actually like to co-opt that unit. Who cares who pays them as long as they sit on the chemical weapons," said a senior U.S. military official.

    Although the option remains on the table, government experts say the unit is so close-knit that they doubt any member could break ranks without being exposed and killed.

    The U.S. estimates the regime has 1,000 metric tons of chemical and biological agents. "That is what we know about. There might be more," said one senior U.S. official.

    The regime traditionally kept most of its chemical and biological weapons at a few large sites in western Syria, U.S. officials said. But beginning about a year ago, the Syrians started dispersing the arsenal to nearly two dozen major sites.

    Unit 450 also started using dozens of smaller sites. The U.S. now believes Mr. Assad's chemical arsenal has been scattered to as many as 50 locations in the west, north and south, as well as new sites in the east, officials said.



    The U.S. is using satellites to track vehicles employed by Unit 450 to disperse the chemical-weapons stocks. But the imagery doesn't always show what is being put on the trucks. "We know a lot less than we did six months ago about where the chemical weapons are," one official said.

    The movements, activities and base locations of Unit 450 are so sensitive that the U.S. won't share information with even trusted allies in the opposition for fear the unit would be overrun by rebels, said current and former U.S. officials.

    The U.S. wants any military strikes in Syria to send a message to the heads of Unit 450 that there is a steep price for following orders to use chemical weapons, U.S. officials said.

    At the same time, the U.S. doesn't want any strike to destabilize the unit so much that it loses control of its chemical weapons, giving rebels a chance to seize the arsenal.

    "Attacking Unit 450, assuming we have any idea where they actually are, would be a pretty tricky affair because…if you attack them you may reduce the security of their weapons, which is something we certainly don't want," said Jeffrey White, a veteran of the Defense Intelligence Agency and a defense fellow at The Washington Institute.

    Within Syria, little is known about Unit 450 or the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center. One of the buildings is in a sprawling complex on the outskirts of Damascus.

    Even high-ranking defectors from the Syrian military that form the core of the rebel insurgency—including those who served in units trained to handle chemical attacks—said they hadn't heard of Unit 450.

    The Pentagon has prepared multiple target lists for possible strikes, some of which include commanders of Unit 450.

    But a senior U.S. official said no decision has been made to target them, reflecting the challenge of sending a message to Unit 450 without destabilizing it.

    In some respects, officials said, the hands-on role that Unit 450 plays in safeguarding the regime's chemical weapons secrets makes it too valuable for the U.S. to eliminate, even though the U.S. believes the unit is directly responsible for the alleged chemical weapons abuses.

    The Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center answers only to Mr. Assad and the most senior members of his clan, according to U.S. and European officials. Attack orders are forwarded to a commanding officer within Unit 450.

    If the Russians clinch a deal for Mr. Assad to give up his chemical weapons, any prospective United Nations-led force to protect inspectors and secure storage sites would likely need to work closely with Unit 450 and the research center, current and former administration officials said.

    Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the U.S. military's Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said that President Barack Obama directed him to plan for "a militarily significant strike" that would deter the Assad regime's further use of chemical weapons and degrade the regime's military capability to employ chemical weapons in the future.

    But officials said the U.S. doesn't plan to bomb chemical weapons sites directly because of concerns any attack would disperse poison agents and put civilians at risk.

    In addition to satellites, the U.S. also relies on Israeli spies for on-the-ground intelligence about the unit, according to U.S. and Israeli officials.

    Though small in size, Unit 450 controls a vast infrastructure that makes it easier for the U.S. and Israel to track its movements. Chemical weapons storage depots are guarded by the unit within larger compounds to provide multiple layers of security, U.S. officials said.

    Whenever chemical munitions are deployed in the field, Unit 450 has to pre-deploy heavy equipment to chemical mixing areas, which the U.S. and Israel can track.

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