>>Barack Obama’s repeated insistence that Bashar al-Assad must leave office – and that there are ‘moderate’ rebel groups in Syria capable of defeating him – has in recent years provoked quiet dissent, and even overt opposition, among some of the most senior officers on the Pentagon’s Joint Staff.
>>The military’s resistance dates back to the summer of 2013, when a highly classified assessment, put together by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, then led by General Martin Dempsey, forecast that the fall of the Assad regime would lead to chaos and, potentially, to Syria’s takeover by jihadi extremists, much as was then happening in Libya.
>>The document showed, the adviser said, ‘that what was started as a covert US programme to arm and support the moderate rebels fighting Assad had been co-opted by Turkey, and had morphed into an across-the-board technical, arms and logistical programme for all of the opposition, including Jabhat al-Nusra and Islamic State. The so-called moderates had evaporated and the Free Syrian Army was a rump group stationed at an airbase in Turkey.’
>>‘If the American public saw the intelligence we were producing daily, at the most sensitive level, they would go ballistic,’ Flynn told
>>The DIA’s reporting, he said, ‘got enormous pushback’ from the Obama administration. ‘I felt that they did not want to hear the truth.’
>>The Joint Chiefs felt that a direct challenge to Obama’s policy would have ‘had a zero chance of success’. So in the autumn of 2013 they decided to take steps against the extremists without going through political channels, by providing US intelligence to the militaries of other nations, on the understanding that it would be passed on to the Syrian army and used against the common enemy, Jabhat al-Nusra and Islamic State.
thanks OP, very interesting read
the question remains, why the fuck is oboma set on removing assad and supporting turkey
is removing assad worth almost directly supporting ISIS through turkey? or is supporting ISIS the goal? wtf?
I'm not sure. On the one hand it seems Obama is more interested in sowing instability in that region. On the other it could just be a distinct lack of interest in the region.
For instance all of the Arab Spring and its regional changes have been during the Obama administration.
My first thought, back in 2011, was that this was a way to push instability into the region to help balance the economic and political losses the US suffered during the credit crisis. But now I'm not so sure Obama has or wants a policy for that region. I get the distinct feeling he hates that part of the world (Israel included), and would rather not get involved. But he has to so he does it halfheartedly.
As for turkey, it could be as simple as not wanting to go back on what he's already said. Instead letting the next administration change tactics once he's left.
He wants to keep Syria and Iraq destabilized so there wouldn't be an oil pipeline that went from Iran to the Mediterranean through them, competing with the one that goes through Israel, he also wants an excuse to use the grossly over bloated military and drop the bombs that cost so much to buy.
Most retarded thing I've read all day. Oil is cheap, the pertro dollar is dead, and Obama hates the jews.
Obama just doesn't want anything to do with that whole region. His predecessor's entire presidency was based on the middle east and how marred we became in it. Obama ran on a platform of "Get the fuck out and stay out" of the middle east. He doesn't want to go back, which is why he downplays IS and the instability in the region.
Things are always better in retrospect than in the present. 35 years from now we could, well, there's not going to be anybody around by that time but hypothetically speaking Obama will probably be perceived as a pretty kewl guy or something.
>Obama just doesn't want anything to do with that whole region.
>He doesn't want to go back, which is why he downplays IS and the instability in the region.
Quite the opposite. He downplays it because ISIS and the instability are both products of his foreign policy, specifically his CIA gun running boner for "moderate rebels" going all the way back to the Arab Spring- an operation that's believed to have been the cause of Benghazi.
It's because despite some past rhetoric, the Cold War was never really over and he's aware of that. Syria's one of a few competent allies that allows Russia a better reach into the region because it gave them a warm water port. If a different government ends up in control of Syria instead of Assad, they'll probably be more aligned towards the US instead of Russia (at least, assuming we're able to take advantage in a change of government) and then we'll have a country no longer leasing a base to Russia, but instead, potentially down the line, allowing use of its facilities for US troops.
There's probably more than one reason but there are several explanations. Which is the major reason is the big question.
1. Obama legitimately believes Assad is a tyrant and wants him removed on ethical grounds (unlikely since Obama supports the Sauds and other far worse regimes).
2. Obama is following in Bush's footsteps and seeking to democratise the Middle East (very likely, although I think it's a naive belief that doesn't make sense and didn't work for Bush or Obama so far).
3. Assad is an enemy of Israel because he sponsors Hamas and so needs to go (this might seem to be the most plausible explanation at first but Obama's relationship with Israel is cold relative to other Presidents, no doubt its a nice bonus but likely not the overriding reason)
4. Assad is an ally of Putin who is involved in arms trade with them and also who hosts Russia's mediterranean base and therefore removing him will weaken Russia and strengthen NATO (likely to be another nice bonus, but not the major reason, also angering Russia is dumb idea but this is Obama we're talking about)
Number two to me seems most likely, i.e. America is once again carrying out its imperialistic project in the middle east and pretending to be shocked when the muslim world hates it.
Note that Obama could also be flat out lying about supporting 'moderates' and actually be planning to install another dictator (albeit a pro-American one), also a dumb idea.
#4 doesn't seem reasonable to me as Ukraine would be the reason Obama might be going cold on Russia, but that didn't happen until 2014 and syria has been going on since 2011. Additionally, Obama started his "Asian Pivot"(China Pivot) in 2013.
I think it's pretty clear from the link that the accepted view is that syrian 'moderates' just don't exist, so I don't see how he's going to go with #2 and egypt/libya should have given him the clear experience of what happens when you try that (Fundamentalist Islamists get voted in and coup'd out again).
I think you're missing a #5 option which is just that Obama has no grand strategy/plan for the region and would rather it all just sink into the sand.
>most retarded thing I've read all day. Oil is cheap,
It wasn't when the Syrian civil war started. If you were even old enough, you'd remember that oil prices spiked during the arab spring to ~140USD per barrel thanks to the loss of security. Specifically in the Libyan and Algerian oilfields.
And now it's cheap, and considering the shale revolution, will remain cheap for the foreseeable future. So why would it make sense to keep Syria destabilized just to avoid a pipeline being built? There's no more money in oil.
Because Israel and many others don't want it built, as it threatens their position and income, but like I said that's not the whole reason, but also geopolitical reasons as well as an excuse to feed the military industrial complex beast.
Obviously he is. Even if he isn't a Muslim himself, he has some Muslim upbringing and his Father's side of the family is Muslim.
Doesn't matter what he calls himself, nobody can deny he isn't a Muslim sympathizer, hence why we get barely any Christian and Yazidi refugees when they're the actual religious minority being persecuted.
This has to be a factor, being an ally of both Russia and Iran, there was little room for the US to have influence over the Syrian government. The US got in quickly to arm rebels and I wouldn't be surprised if they fomented armed uprising before it took off. If US-backed rebels had managed to take over the country that could mean Russia losing one of their Mediterranean military bases which would be significant.
As it happened the situation became a quagmire and for whatever reason Obama doesn't want to change tack. However there does seem to be a shift of focus towards rebels aligned with the YPG and the "New Syrian Army" which apparently is based in the east, but I haven't seen much about them.
Well, the YPG support may be an improvised strategy and I have some ideas on that. Support for a Kurdish state seems to be rising in the US among people who follow the region, especially with Iraqi Kurdistan being rather pro-Western and competent (at least in what we all read about them, Assyrian Christians perhaps disagreeing). Plus, helping Kurdish independence fighters and successfully establishing a state somewhere (which seems likely) would give another likely long-time ally in the middle east.
Additionally, though I can't say how true this is, I've seen some claims that Kurds are relatively friendly when it comes to Israel, partly out of disdain for Arabs. If that is the case, then the US could have yet another ally that also doesn't have a problem with its support of Israel.
His #1 disagreement doesn't seem as catastrophic as he's claiming for a number of reasons.
1)If the story he linked is the source to his claims then all it shows is that a policy to arm rebels was brought forward by the Joint Chiefs, but the actual policy isn't discussed or detailed. For all we know it could largely align with the alleged DIA report from the Joint Chiefs Hershe talks about.
2)The NY Times article itself states that the plan "would have enlisted the help of a neighboring state" which would have supported Hersche's claim that the DIA report showed there being no moderate support within the country to arm.
3)The NY Times article states the plan to arm rebels was "developed by Gen. Petraeus", whom as we all know was outed as an adulterer and leak. I would think the Pentagon and its staff would be the best placed to leak that kind of information, not the white house. Although no such internal disagreement is brought up by Hershe, admittedly.
4) Max Fisher's third disagreement is that the Joint Chiefs would not conspire against the White House, when just recently we are shown very clearly that the Pentagon is more than willing to undermine Obama and his policies: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-gitmo-release-special-report-idUSKBN0UB1B020151228
I think he's right though to ask for proof. At least the DIA report itself should be made available to show clear motive.