Sunday, September 8, 2013

Syria: Not a "Real" War: To Be Bigger, More Intense

Obama vs. Assad (they seem to be saying):
Let me make one point; No, let me make one point

Update for September 8, 2013 follows this review.

Background to this point: From Russian President Putin (the wild card in this mess):

During the G-20, Putin, when asked whether Russia would agree to military action if Damascus were proven to have carried out a chemical weapons attack, said, “I do not rule it out.”

At the end of the G-20, Putin said if Syria were attacked, Russia would continue to help them anyway possible.

Putin also made it clear that Russia is not yet prepared to accept U.S. and European assertions that Assad's forces were behind an August 21 chemical weapons attack that Washington says killed more than 1,400 people, including over 400 children, saying in part: "We have no data that those chemical substances - it is not yet clear whether it was chemical weapons or simply some harmful chemical substances - were used precisely by the official government army."

From President Obama: In essence he has said the action will be narrow, limited, and focused with these key points always in his speeches (paraphrased):

1.  What will be the outcome, short and long term if Assad is not punished?
2.  What is the U.S. prepared to do if more chemical attacks take place and and we do not act?
3.  What will we do is Assad employs chemical weapons in nearby Israel?
3.  What will be the cost and who pays and what price is acceptable?
5.  What level is enough even with the so-called limited and narrow attacks?

Members of Congress blast Mr. Obama all over the networks for "drawing the RED line and not backing it up," yet they are not willing to back him 100% - that's raw politics. So, do they want him to act alone, for more political gain when it goes South, or not act alone (and not give him authority to act) and them blame him for "making America weaker than ever?" The GOP: they want it both ways: cake and eat it, too.

Update (September 8, 2013) from the LA Times - and keep in mind, no attacks have been approved and not action started yet:

The Pentagon is readying more intense and longer attacks on Syria than originally planned, set to last three days. War planners now aim to unleash a heavy barrage of missile strikes to be followed swiftly by additional attacks on targets that may have been missed or remain standing after the initial launch, the Times cited officials as saying.

Two US officers told the newspaper that the White House has asked for an expanded target list to include "many more" than the initial list of around 50 targets. The move is part of an effort to obtain additional firepower to damage Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's dispersed forces.

Pentagon planners are now considering using Air Force bombers, as well as five US missile destroyers currently patrolling the eastern Mediterranean Sea, to launch cruise missiles and air-to-surface missiles from far out of range of Syrian air defenses, according to the report.

The USS Nimitz aircraft carrier strike group with one cruiser and three destroyers positioned in the Read Sea can also fire cruise missiles at Syria. "There will be several volleys and an assessment after each volley, but all within 72 hours and a clear indication when we are done," an officer familiar with the planning told the Times.

As I've said all along: (1) Where are our allies, (2) where are the countries around Syria (it's their backyard first and foremost), (3) where is Congress and the will to stand up to a real WMD attack (not a bogus one like that which got us into Iraq), (4) why must or should the U.S. go it alone - short answer: we must not.

More to follow — stay tuned. Comments always welcome.

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