Saturday, September 15, 2018

We need to tread very carefully in the Middle East

I'm growing more and more concerned about the escalating conflict in Syria, particularly the war of words between the USA and Russia.  It seems pretty pointless to me from a US national security perspective.  Precisely what vital national security interest does the USA have in Syria, that would justify the deaths of US servicemen in a conflict there?  No-one has ever answered that question, as far as I know.  There's been lots of waffling about "punishing Syrian President Assad for using chemical weapons against his own people", but why is that a US national security interest?  The same goes for "countering Russian influence in the Middle East".  Why does that concern us?  If Russia's influence in Syria is diminished, in what way will that serve US interests?

Here are two video reports on US involvement in Syria, both dating from April this year.  The first is from a left-leaning source (MSNBC), the second from a right-leaning one (Fox News).  I find it very interesting that both tend towards the same conclusions.  Please watch them both before reading further.

We're now seeing precisely the same pressure from the "establishment" to escalate our conflict with Iran.  Here's Tucker Carlson again, last July.

I ask the same question about Iran that I do about Syria.  Precisely what vital national security interest does the USA have in Iran, that would justify the deaths of US servicemen in a conflict there?  If it's to stop Iran acquiring nuclear weapons - something that's not on the table in Syria - that might be a worthy objective, but is war the only way to achieve it?  There are many other ways in which to exert pressure, and many are already being used.  They're having a dramatic economic and social impact.  Why not give them more time to work?

Unless and until those questions are answered, fully and completely, in a way that is readily understandable by the American people and will attract their support, I shall be opposed to any further US intervention in those countries.  I've seen war - rather too much of it.  I can't support any expansion of war that is not absolutely necessary . . . and I've so far seen no convincing explanation as to why that's the case, for the USA, in Syria and Iran.  It may be the case for other countries in the region, due to their own national interests:  but we're thousands of miles away.  Why should our soldiers die for a cause that isn't really ours at all?  Have we learned nothing from the thousands of US servicemen who died, and the tens of thousands who were injured and maimed (some for life), in Afghanistan and Iraq, where all our intervention has not produced peace, or even the semblance of peace?

Besides . . . isn't the preoccupation of the establishment with Syria and/or Iran ignoring the far greater long-term threat posed by countries that are far more powerful, and are spreading their influence far and wide?  Would we not be better served to focus more attention and resources on our near-peer competitors, rather than minor powers who are, at best, pawns in the geopolitical game of chess?

What say you, readers?



Rob said...

I didn't watch the videos... that was time I just didn't have to spend but I have an opinion on our troops in the Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Like you said, "what vital national security interest" does the US have in those countries?

I think it's about the money being spent & the power/ego to be able to do it.

I also wonder how we're going to end this?

kurt9 said...

Getting into another Middle-eastern war is pure idiocy, of course. For reasons I cannot fathom, the neocons seem obsessed in getting us into another Middle-eastern war and possibly with Russia. I think its the residual neo-cons in DC (and the beltway) that are trying to push us into another war. Trump needs to complete his purge of the neo-cons out of government service.

Sam L. said...

China is my worry.

stencil said...

If there were any basis for sending troops to places like Syria or Yemen or Belarus, some expeditionary entrepreneur would be able to crowdfund it.

Dov Sar said...

We should not be in Syria like we are; unless we were defending the Israeli border, but we are not there for that. And Iraq and Afghanistan....what seriously are we doing there other than spilling blood and wasting treasure.

All these years of undeclared, unconstitutional wars have drained us dry of good men and treasure, and severely destabilized the middle east and north africa. We took out tyrants and replaced them with radical Islam.

The American people have no say in this; there is almost a script that elected officials follow no matter what their earlier promises or political party. One would ask why.

Old NFO said...

There is a connection to Israel in all this mess. We have a joint defense treaty with them, and it would be them against the entire middle east if we abandon them. They have also said they WILL use nukes if it comes down to it. So the choices are a nuclear winter/destruction of the middle east and oil facilities, or a limited US presence to 'mitigate' the rapacious behavior of Iran et al.

Divemedic said...

The biggest reason, as I see it, for a war with Iran is that Iran is destabilizing the area and continues to threaten to close the Straits of Hormuz. Threatening to shut off the oil supply directly threatens the nation's strategic need for energy.

The US can't admit that this is why, because "No blood for oil," but it is undeniable that our economy cannot sustain itself without oil. I would guess that the same is true of Syria. You either deal with them now, while they are small, or wait until they invade enough countries to be a more direct threat to oil supplies, and are even harder to engage.

One way to avoid having to fight wars for oil would be to drill for our own, but American liberals won't allow it. Instead, we have to deal with all of the savages in the mideast.

MrGarabaldi said...

Hey Peter;

The only reason to deal with iran is the straits of Hormuz, we got into a shooting war in the late 1980's because Iraq was firing silkworm missiles at tankers and planting mines. They got caught on both and we shot up several of their boats, captured a mine-layer and shot up a couple of their oil platforms.
We have no real reason to deal with Syria unless they get real froggy and threaten Israel because we have a treaty with them.

Skip said...

I'm with Miss Ann...move the troops out of the ME and post them on our southern border.

Will said...

We don't need ME's oil now. We have more than Saudi Arabia, at a minimum. The Left doesn't want you to know this, and doesn't want us to drill for it. I don't mind using up everyone else oil, but our dollars are propping up those Islamic arseholes, so we should stop.

It turns out the world is awash in oil, especially since the side drilling/fracking innovations.

Let Israel turn the rest of the ME into a glow-in-the-dark parking lot, if they feel threatened. They have enough nukes to do the job. I suspect this is what it will take to get Islam into a containment system.

Let China take over ME security, as that is where they currently get their oil. I suspect that if China saw the immediate decision of watching their oil supply get a glass cap, or going into Iran and company and stomping them flat, the availability of fling kitties will increase dramatically.

The sooner the world gets a clue, the better for both sides. Western Civilization doesn't seem to notice there are two sides here, and they are currently on the losing side, if things don't change.

Ray - SoCal said...

Syria is a mess and it’s a bigger headache for Turkey than the US.

Assad uses poison gas as a terror weapon, and Trump did an amazingly calculated response. I was surprised by how effective it was. It was a test, and the US passed.

Assad is very happy if he can embarrass the US.

Isis is still an issue.

Iran the us is not doing much about in Syria, but Israel is. The us is protecting themselves....

Russia we are not deliberately targeting, but will defend.

Kurds are a responsibility/ challenge. Hopefully they can make a deal with Assad do we can leave.

Feather Blade said...

Not our continent; Not our problem.

Dad29 said...

Somehow or other, the State of Israel's interests seem to be on a par with the interests of the USA, so much so that the USA sends targets in the form of troops.


Paul said...

Read Revelations. I don't think we can stop it so best get through it.