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Morkonan





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PostPosted: Mon, 16. Apr 18, 17:24    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Hank001 wrote:
...They are playing a smart long game here.


All they have to do is sit. Well, and ensure that Assad is protected. This is Russia's limit of extended force. AFAIK, this is the furthest they have projected real military force since Cuba.

There's also "the pipleline" and, IIRC, some plans for more petroleum/NG related works in the Black Sea. Syria's a nice stopover if Turkey isn't feeling cooperative, though IIRC, the pipeline from central Russia is supposed to run all the way through to Turkey and beyond, widening Russia's market considerably, serving the Med and Europe as well as, perhaps, some ME countries that don't have rich reserves or refinery capability.

Want to make Russia edgy? Get Turkey to start voicing its opinion... OH, WAIT, Turkey hates the Kurds... Well, there goes that plan, huh? Technically... Russia is supporting forces in opposition to the Kurds.

The Kurds have been a serious issue since Desert Storm. And, we dropped the ball there, too, by incentivizing them and practically abandoning them until the SECOND friggin Iraq war. And, after? Sure, they were gun ho and we supported them. And, when ISIS threatened? There's the Kurds, showing us their will to fight, so we supported them and put them up as poster-kids for local resistance against ISIS. Turkey didn't like us giving them all that stuff too much... Fighting between the Kurds and Turkey, who sees them as a terrorist group if anything, has been ongoing since the first Iraq war. (Way before that, but that's when it started getting noticed by the West.)

Tell ya what - We fix it so Turkey and the Kurds are not at each other's throats anymore, at least for awhile, and maybe that'll be the leverage we need to get Russia to agree to regime change in Syria, provided they keep their base/port agreements with any new government. (Which can't really be denied, since that kind of thing is something that really should survive peaceful change in government.)

We make happy-play-nice between Turkey and Kurds, Turkey grumbles about Russia, which puts some strain on pipeline plans, and Russia comes to the table on talks for a new unified Syrian government, no redrawing of any borders necessary, and a new govt without Assad, who gets to "retire" without having to go to The Hague. (A huge ongoing threat, as well as a radical concern of the current Syrian govt, since nobody wants to see a new country start up right now, right next door to "everyone." (Well, except for the Kurds, who'd probably make a big push to be included?))

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Hank001





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PostPosted: Mon, 16. Apr 18, 17:50    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Wasn't that easy in Desert Storm. That was a direct use of Chem wepons at a time when the US had... And this is gospel... Only one response to that on the books. Tactical nukes. Which DID NOT fly with the UN at all. We new our options there as far as doctrine went were 20 years out of date even in 1991, but the military had tried many times to have that doctrine updated and it got nowhere. The fear being any change in that "mini MAD" doctrine would lead to Russia using chem weapons. Their "use by proxy" or use by players was something the civilian leadership just didn't want to address. Then or for the most part now either. The military was told one thing. The use of tactical nukes was off the table. The other options lead up to the present doctrinel; conventional response and objections though international channels. What other flexibility the military has I don't know directly as it's classified. However from everything done or NOT done so far I'd say it's not been addressed past the "Immediately kick it upstairs and do what they tell us" doctrine. They sad part about being in Command and Control is knowing just how screwed up things are, basically why, and knowing our military gets put in these situations with no exit srategy at all. Because to get such a strategy it would have to go through congress and if that had happended they wouldn't have been deployed there in the first place. Sad, but true.


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Bishop149





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PostPosted: Mon, 16. Apr 18, 17:52    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

pjknibbs wrote:
Putin says 70-odd were shot down, Trump says none. Depends who you choose to believe, really...


For once . . . . Trump.
Shooting down missiles is VERY hard, as I've mentioned before I used to work in the defence industry part of our site was devoted to the technology of shooting missiles down. That department had their own version of the high five . . . . . . you can probably guess what it looked like. Rolling Eyes
It's far easier to shoot at the things that launch the missiles, which was what Putin threatened to do and thankfully didn't.

As for the strikes themselves, I'm sure they will have very little impact. They knew they were coming, anything that could have been moved will have been.
The function of these strikes was to sooth the egos / conscience of the world leaders involved can pat themselves on the back for having done something about a deployment of chemical weapons that may have killed 100s, so they can continue to ignore and do sweet FA about conflict that's killed ~400,000 and displaced millions.

The message is pretty clear:
Chemical weapons = We might bomb something.
Indiscriminate mass slaughter with conventional weapons = Don't care, oh and we won't taking any refugees either.


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PostPosted: Mon, 16. Apr 18, 18:04    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Missile v Missile kills. Not exactly impossible, just not exactly impossible. Remember Desert Storm and Patriot? Despite what was said (For a while it was classified above Top Secret) there wasn't close to a confirmed kill. The Scuds (or sometimes their FROG missiles though they called them Scuds in the media) without exception broke up on reentry stage and appeared to be hit by something, but the warheads usually survived the breakup with a four mile circular error probablity. That means the warhead could blow up anywhere within a four mile radius of the breakup point.

Which happened quite a bit. That assumed the Scud would break up at it's maximum stress point. If it broke up higher the radius increased. With present missile intercept weapons? Possible but accuracy depends on how far away the missile is. More time equals higher accuracy and better chance for intercept.


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Morkonan





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PostPosted: Tue, 17. Apr 18, 22:07    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Hank001 wrote:
... Sad, but true.


True is true.

But, what is sad is that these "military actions," these uses of Presidential power, don't seem to... work. In responding to something with the President's power of "Commander in Chief" and despite the "War Powers Resolution" or Congress's AUMF against terrorists, we have yet to see true resolutions accomplished with the use of this sort of military force. I can think of two that were successful in that they accomplished a clearly stated objective. One was the whole "Grenada" thing, which "rescued" the students and blew up stuff and the other was the capture of Noriega, which captured a wanted criminal refusing to answer phone-calls from the CIA and for not paying his bills with the arms deale... I mean he was found guilty, in absentia, for "drugs an' stuff" so we went and got him an' stuff.

But, in the larger military actions we've undertaken that have been spurned on without a clear declaration or prior approval from Congress, what have we ended up with?

It seems that if we don't have someone first telling us and, in particular, Presidents, "don't step in that" then we end up with @$%$ on our boots.

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PostPosted: Tue, 17. Apr 18, 22:58    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

I worked both Grenada and Panama. Manuel met his demise 16 miles down the way at Marion Federal Pen. Those two ops were really planned out in advace with two very clear objectives. Both were Mission Accomplished. Those two were USSouthCom ops. USCentCom ops in Desert Shield/Storm were stickier. "Stormin' Norman", His boss Colin Powell and GHR Bush would have happily rolled armor right into Baghdad, but the UN said no. UN Gen Assy resolution had Russia saying "Screw That". I think as with most that "W" and his Vice D. Chaney (Sec Def during Desert Sh&St) were "cleaning up the mess like we should have the first time" as Chaney put it. Again planned beforehand with the JCS. It's the ops where the President points and says "Go There and Do SOMETHING" that thing s go south. Believe me Syria has gone so far south that the US Forces might not have to redeploy to start counting penguins! Sad


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PostPosted: Tue, 17. Apr 18, 23:30    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Anybody interested in Iraq should read Fiasco. It's brilliant, even if what it tells us isn't very complementary.


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PostPosted: Wed, 18. Apr 18, 00:36    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Oops, not on ebooks or I'd snag it. Probably a far cry from "Every Man A Tiger" by Tom Clancey and my old boss Gen. Charles Horner about Desert Storm. There certainly wasn't much good to write about "Gulf War Two". Rolling Eyes


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Morkonan





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PostPosted: Wed, 18. Apr 18, 06:14    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Hank001 wrote:
...Those two ops were really planned out in advace with two very clear objectives.


^--- This.

Quote:
...Again planned beforehand with the JCS. It's the ops where the President points and says "Go There and Do SOMETHING" that thing s go south. Believe me Syria has gone so far south that the US Forces might not have to redeploy to start counting penguins! Sad


Now, as far as "Military" operations go, Desert Shield accomplished the objective. But, that did not include the consequences of accomplishing the objective. It seems that the dreaded word "nationbuilding" is supposed to somehow be incorporated into military officer academies.

"How to put the enemy back together again MS101"

So, now we "know", which we don't, that the military has a broom closet full of tools that are there in order to clean up the mess of war. "Fire and forget" is now not only supposed to defeat the enemy, but replace their ambassadors in the UN, rebuild their industry and utilities and, somehow, reintroduce a new country to the world. Outstanding!

It's almost as if someone is trying to take all fun out of war, expecting everyone to clean up after they're done.

And, Trump wants to cut the budget of the State Department by twenty-five percent. You know, the guys who are trying, among other things, to prevent wars and find peaceful solutions using something called "Diplomacy" an stuff? Oh, and the guys that do practically nothing us but study "nationbuilding." It's not an elective.

What are we supposed to be doing in Syria? Wiki - American-led intervention in the Syrian Civil War.

We are in a war-by-proxy, except we're standing in the enemy's front-yard, occasionally throwing rocks at them while we're busy dealing with a bunch of juvenile delinquents who think they're invincible.

So... What happens if we win?

Who's thought about that? It's the intended consequence of entering into conflict, isn't it? What happens if we win? And, what victorious strategy will we choose in order to affect the most desirable win scenario?

My fear about Syria is that Trump doesn't understand that "winning" is not everything. How one wins matters. The win scenario matters because the consequences of winning a conflict matter. We can "win" by just destroying everything in sight. We can do that, easily. We could "win" by deciding to enter into open war with Syria instead of whatever-the-f we have now. But, what victory does that leave us with? In today's world of everyone expecting the US Military to rebuild Japan after every battle, even though it's not Japan after WWII, we are expected to replant the garden after we've driven a tank through it.

And, the State Department's budget is going to be cut...

I'm tired of seeing our military being used as a political tool that, all too often, accomplishes absolutely nothing good when it is used like that. At least, nothing good accomplished without a great deal more effort in lives and treasure that could have been better spent in other ways.

Where's the CIA sniper plinking away at mini-dictators in the 60's? That guy was efficient, cheap, and left infrastructure behind, with no holes in schools, no dead kids on the streets, at least from our bombs, and a government largely intact, ready to pledge allegiance to their new flag for a small fee...

But, that's not ethical, right? Better to ship some tanks over, supply standing lines of guerilla "Freedom Fighters" that'd be happier raping civilians than fighting for a cause, give concessions to hazy "allies" so we can drop bombs, spend a decade shuffling an exhausted military back and forth, simply because we think everyone deserves a vacation now and then.

One rifle. One bullet. A few bucks in the right hands and, walla, it's done. And, the new guy? Well, don't think they'll forget how they got there, either. They will certainly pay a lot of attention to open windows if they decide to start following in the footsteps of their recently deceased predecessor.

/stream of consciousness rant over

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Bishop149





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PostPosted: Wed, 18. Apr 18, 11:03    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Morkonan wrote:

So, now we "know", which we don't, that the military has a broom closet full of tools that are there in order to clean up the mess of war. "Fire and forget" is now not only supposed to defeat the enemy, but replace their ambassadors in the UN, rebuild their industry and utilities and, somehow, reintroduce a new country to the world. Outstanding!

It's almost as if someone is trying to take all fun out of war, expecting everyone to clean up after they're done.


The other problem here is that if you DO then (with some justification) it gets called what it was called when it was done ~200 years ago. . . . Imperialism. . . Empire building.

We can opine all we want about how this its "different" these days beacuse we don't plant flags or go around tell people that they are now citizens of a country they'd barely heard of before it started shooting at them, but some of the fundamentals are the same.
- Use militarily force to establish dominance.
- Rebuild / improve things . . . . but in such a way that makes the country pretty dependant upon you.
- Attempt to alter the indigenous culture to harmonise better with your own.


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PostPosted: Wed, 18. Apr 18, 13:03    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Morkonan writ:

Quote:
"How to put the enemy back together again MS101"


A subject that seems to have a hundred fingers pointing in a hundred different directions and therefore gets dropped. Oh I am so with you that BEFORE WE TRUCK IN KNOW HOW WE'RE GETTING OUT! Okay we pot Assad. Then what? If it follows the precident then we "Declare Victory", pull out a leave a worse mess than we started and have to go in again with more band-aids. The problem stems from exactly where your "stream of consciousness rant" was leading it. Military action as a tool of statescraft. Not enough of our political leadership understand that war (whatever the scale) is a failure of statescraft. It's in fact to the point where it's became "the simple solution" when it's only that if you INTEND not to give thought to the HARD part. How to extricate ourselves after whatever momentarty goals are met.

Syria became the quagmire it is as soon as Russia stepped in and the sad fact is now all we really can do nothing but wring our hand and tick our tongues. The UN is no longer really in the equation. It's a shame we're losing John McCain. He seemed to be the only voice asking "What the hell are we doing there in the first place?" It's a proxy war with the two major players right there on the lines. Summed up in two words: NOT GOOD.


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PostPosted: Wed, 18. Apr 18, 17:50    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Bishop149 wrote:
The other problem here is that if you DO then (with some justification) it gets called what it was called when it was done ~200 years ago. . . . Imperialism. . . Empire building.


Well, I understand that if we're getting something out of it, no matter why we "say" we're there. BUT... we're not. These military actions are more a matter of politics, stability and a public outcry for action than anything else. The expenses will never be covered except with the possibility that we won't have to engage in even bigger actions in the future if successful.

Hank001 wrote:
... It's in fact to the point where it's became "the simple solution" when it's only that if you INTEND not to give thought to the HARD part. How to extricate ourselves after whatever momentarty goals are met.


It's "action." That's the nutty thing. IOW, the public gets worked up about something, perhaps even rightly so, and demands action. So, in order to appear as if they're taking action, they pull out the very visible big guns. "Hey, it's on the list of possible solutions, right?"

Granted, with ISIS, there is no political solution. Those guys want "Armageddon." They think they can start WWIII and the Mahdi <sp> will appear and everyone goes to paradise after slaughtering all the infidels. OK, those guys need either re-education or bullets and one is easier than the other.

But, this business of "let's support the rebels" has failed everywhere... It's never a good solution. And, given the situation in the M.E., it's not a case of Republic vs Communism, it's "blood vs blood." It's not a battle of political ideologies. Heck, even that hasn't ever worked well as any group who isn't stable enough to have come up with a decent political answer isn't suddenly going to "see the light" and turn stable overnight with some magic friggin pixie dust of a successful revolution spread all over the place...

Russia did complicate things, but our own hesitation and lack of action left that door wide open. I was completely flabberthefgasted when it was announced we would be "supporting the rebels" years ago. As if... just wtf?

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PostPosted: Wed, 18. Apr 18, 18:18    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Morkonan wrote:
Well, I understand that if we're getting something out of it, no matter why we "say" we're there. BUT... we're not. These military actions are more a matter of politics, stability and a public outcry for action than anything else. The expenses will never be covered except with the possibility that we won't have to engage in even bigger actions in the future if successful.


That is also why Syria and Yemen are not Iraq and Libya.
Military action in the latter presented an opportunity to gain substantial economic advantage. The gains in the cases former are only what you describe, political . . . . hence far more limited (or no) action.


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PostPosted: Thu, 19. Apr 18, 01:25    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Morkonan done writ' Very Happy

Quote:
It's "action." That's the nutty thing. IOW, the public gets worked up about something, perhaps even rightly so, and demands action. So, in order to appear as if they're taking action, they pull out the very visible big guns. "Hey, it's on the list of possible solutions, right?"


Yep. They call it KNEE JERK politics. And the reflex goes that that the kick is a bigger reaction that tap with the mallet that started it.
Kind of like the little effort it takes to pull the trigger and the big sock in the shoulder from the recoil. Same with Syria, nobody can figure out how to put that bullet back in the gun. Rolling Eyes


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PostPosted: Thu, 19. Apr 18, 22:11    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Hank001 wrote:
... Same with Syria, nobody can figure out how to put that bullet back in the gun. Rolling Eyes


It was ..

I spent some time trying to find ways to write "moronic decision" with a certain bit of panache. You know, "entertainment value" adds substance... or something.

Anyway, it was a fookin' stoopid idea. It's a giant cluster@$%. It's "@^@^ the bed" bad. It's a "Hey Bubba, watch this" moment in US Foreign policy. THANKS OBAMA!

And... why? WTF? Now we've got the Saudis AND Israel looking at Iran. (Some stuff starting to bubble up out of the bowl on that.) Russia and US forces are in the same theatre, shooting at each other in some cases, there's a bunch of radicals screaming religious slogans and trying their best to suicide their way into paradise, bajillions of innocent civilians are going from Barber shop to Refugee camp, overnight, a smarmy would-be-ethnic-cleansing dictator is happy to engage in whatever behavior he wishes and... SOMEBODY decided it'd ba a good place for us to be sitting in right about now.

This reminds me of the Bay of Pigs.

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