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"The U.S. Expands Its Footprint In Syria" Topic

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Tango0115 Jun 2017 3:11 p.m. PST

"U.S. troops based in Syria's southeastern desert have expanded their footprint, rebels there say, increasing the risk of direct ground confrontation between the Americans and Iran-backed pro-government forces.

U.S. special forces have been based since last year at Tanf, a strategic Syrian highway border crossing with Iraq, where the Americans have assisted rebels trying to recapture territory from fleeing Islamic State fighters.

The U.S.-backed Syrian rebels in the area are in competition with pro-government forces who are also trying to recapture territory from Islamic State.

On several occasions in recent weeks, warplanes of the U.S.-led coalition have struck pro-government forces to prevent them advancing, in what Washington has described as self defense…"
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VVV reply15 Jun 2017 3:53 p.m. PST

I think it is best to describe Assad forces as just that. His forces now just consitute another one of the factions fighting in Syria. What will become the government of Syria is difficult to say. Certainly if the USA allowed the rebels to have medium range SAMs, Assad would lose. The TOWs have been a great success.

USAFpilot Supporting Member of TMP15 Jun 2017 8:23 p.m. PST

There is only one legitimate government in Syria and there are no moderate rebels. After we eradicate ISIS we should pull our troops out.

VVV reply15 Jun 2017 11:28 p.m. PST

Strange. As I would not call a dictatorship a legitimate government. Neither of course do the Syrians. Assad has killed/tortured far more people than ISIS ever will and is far more dangerous to the region.

USAFpilot Supporting Member of TMP16 Jun 2017 7:38 a.m. PST

Disagree. Assad regime has ruled Syria for many years and was recognized by the international community as the official government. The mass refugee exodus from Syria into Europe started with the rise of ISIS which routinely held mass executions; including public decapitations and burning people alive. Assad may be a dictator but he is a western educated doctor and Christians were allowed to live in peace and free to practice their religion in his country. Syria was a far better place under Assad before the USA delegitimized his authority and allowed ISIS to grow in the region with our disastrous policies in Iraq. The only people who can't see that are the ones brainwashed by the liberal media.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP16 Jun 2017 8:28 a.m. PST


You are spot on! On all counts.

People just have such short memories and attention spans these days.


VVV reply16 Jun 2017 8:32 a.m. PST

Assad regime has ruled Syria for many years

Certainly has, 40 years since Assads father took over in a military coup. Used to be recognised by the world. That stopped in 2012.
Of course no one was allows to live in peace under the Assads, that is what a dictatorship is about, rule through fear.
As I have said before, it is well worth knowing what you are talking about. Whatever your feelings on brainwashing, I only deal in facts. Which of course anyone is welcome to check for themselves.

28mm Fanatik16 Jun 2017 8:48 a.m. PST

Syria was already well into its brutal civil war, which began when the western-backed Arab Spring "democracy movement" swept into Syria back in 2011, when ISIS took advantage and rampaged through large swathes of Syria and Iraq. With Syria and Iraq weakened by civil war and insurgency/instability, ISIS won "stunning" initial successes and gained territory (their "caliphate") which took nearly 4 years to finally roll back.

Instead of stepping down as the people "demanded," Assad tried to placate the populace with promises of reforms but the giddy momentum of Arab Spring cannot be stopped and the demonstrators (aided and abetted by the western globalist establishment) cannot be swayed. Having seen how the west pulled off yet another regime change in Libya with a no-fly zone sealing Gaddafi's fate, and how then-SecState reacted to it: Russia and Iran decided to step in to prop up Assad against the western-backed globalist movement.

Is Assad a dictator? Without question. But like Saddam he was a benevolent dictator to a large segment of the population. Most Syrians and Iraqis, including minorities, prospered under their rule. Invariably, regime change in the name of democracy made lives worse in those countries.

It is the height of western hypocrisy that we claim to support democracy and topple dictators when we support and tolerate dictators ourselves, like in Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Egypt illustrates the perfect example of sheer hypocrisy. Arab Spring there replaced a dictator (Hosni Mubarak) with a popularly elected president. Good, right? Arab Spring is a success! Not so fast, it just so happens that the Egyptian people chose Mohammed Morsi to be their new president, who's Muslim Brotherhood and an Islamist, so we welcomed his ouster in a decidedly undemocratic military coup which put a dictator (el Sissi) in his stead.

Arab Spring is a sham. Don't delude yourselves with our humanitarian good intentions. Give me a break.

Back to the OP, the only reason the POTUS is increasing our presence in Syria is to put "Iranian expansionism" in check. In other words, it's practical not idealistic.

GarrisonMiniatures Inactive Member16 Jun 2017 11:01 a.m. PST

Pretty much agree with 28mm Fanatik. There are a lot of dictators in the world – that isn't a criteria we use for support. We quite happily support 'our' dictators, likewise we quite happily overthrow 'their' democracies – though of course we do have to pretend they're not 'real' dictatorships or democracies.

VVV reply16 Jun 2017 3:19 p.m. PST

Is Assad a dictator? Without question. But like Saddam he was a benevolent dictator to a large segment of the population. Most Syrians and Iraqis, including minorities, prospered under their rule. Invariably, regime change in the name of democracy made lives worse in those countries.

What a strange point of view given the deaths of 100,000's of Iraqis in Saddams wars. You certainly would not have wanted your daughter to be abducted by Uday.
Syrians killed by Assads, certainly the 10,000's. Now Assad has ovens to dispose of the bodies of detainees, business must be brisk.
Nope no one is safe living under a dictator.
I find it interesting that Jordan (next door to Syria) had the same riots, the King of Jordan made changes in his government and the people were satisfied. Jordan now houses 2m Palestinians and 1.4m Syrians out of a total population of 9.5m. Just goes to show an Arab country can be run without repression.
Now of course Iraq is firmly under Iranian control with Syria heading the same way. A few American troops are not going to make a difference to that.
Still a couple of non-Arab dictatorships out there but the world is improving, there are a lot less than there were and the great powers may wake up to the idea that 'tame' dictators don't work.

Great War Ace16 Jun 2017 8:19 p.m. PST

"Big Stick" policy is what the US should pursue, not interventionism. And we have a boatload (literally) of "big sticks". Nobody can safely carry out aggressions if the US refuses to let them. It doesn't require "boots on the ground", if we are not engaging in interventionism.

VVV reply17 Jun 2017 12:06 a.m. PST

But before you even go there the question has to be asked, why bother to mix in at all. Does it serve the interests of your country? (whatever that country is). We Brits of course have occupied and run most of these countries at some time or another.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP17 Jun 2017 7:57 a.m. PST

Why? GWA already explained why … for when others think they "can safely carry out aggressions".


VVV reply17 Jun 2017 8:49 a.m. PST

I promise you, that lots of people are safely carrying out aggression's and have been doing so for years. Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria are some examples.
I would say that Israel is far better at taking preemptive actions in Syria, preventing weapons transfers to Hezbollah (by blowing them up) or retaliation in the event of attacks. But they have the intelligence and the organisation to do it.
I cannot think that any of the factions in the ME are limited in their choice of actions by what the USA thinks. Except of course the Saudis limit what weapons they supply to the rebels.

Great War Ace17 Jun 2017 9:53 a.m. PST

You made several exceptions to your quibble about "what the US thinks". Saudis don't just defy what the US thinks. Israel is arguably a front line for US policy in the Middle East. Detractors might liken Israel as a "brute squad" for the US.

Anyone "safely carrying out aggressions" are allowed to. I was suggesting that the "big stick" policy only applies to US and our friends, and general world security is part of that. If aggressions are penny ante why bother to notice them at all? But the ME is not penny ante and never has been. What Russia does there instantly involves the US without any other considerations.

28mm Fanatik17 Jun 2017 11:48 a.m. PST

Our track record of regime change over the past 15 years is clear:

In Iraq Saddam was deposed but the country is still unstable. Also, Iraq is no longer a counterbalance against Iran but a de facto client. Getting rid of Saddam benefitted Tehran more than anyone else.

In Libya Gaddafi was ousted via a no fly zone without boots on the ground, but Libya is a failed state that descended into chaos with various factions and warlords controlling different parts of the country.

The prevailing anti-interventionist sentiments in the US and Europe are largely due to the mess these "well meaning" efforts have wrought.

VVV reply18 Jun 2017 2:47 a.m. PST

Yes you could say that removing dictatorships produces instability. After all it is a feature of dictatorships that they; a) allow no opposition b) repress the population.
I think the Terror at the end of the French revolution lasted for 5 years. And the 'instability' of the Napoleonic wars for years after that.
To run a country you have to have someone up to the job and who inspires the support of the population.
Rebuilding Libya as a country would be a great exercise (in the real world) in learning how to put a country back together again.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP18 Jun 2017 6:15 a.m. PST

The problem with the violent removal of dictatorships in post-colonial countries with borders that do not follow ethnic lines is that the moment you do your removal, people revert back to tribalism. And if that tribal consolidation process continues long enough, try as you might you will never again have a whole country.

You have removed the only system that was able to maintain the semblance of a common national identity and now you have to accept the new reality. You will have to deal with numerous competing tribal "states" who will never work together again unless a new dictator rises again from the remnants of the military or, more likely, put there by an outside power* that all of the factions respect and fear (obviously not the UN). And then the cycle of dictatorial bloodshed followed by even more civil war bloodshed starts all over again.

So, the moral of the story is … if you break it, you better have some seriously crazy "glue" to put it together again, or you better learn to enjoy the look of the pieces.

* And if you have opposing foreign powers looking for control, you better give up on the idea of having the country whole again. Get used to having new maps.

VVV reply19 Jun 2017 8:19 a.m. PST

Yep we had that in England. King ruling a country controlled by nobles. Took a few centuries for the King to unify the country. It can be done.

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