Tag Archives: cruise missile

Bully! A Splendid Little War

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 7.33.08 AM

So The Donald has sent in the cruise missiles in response to the Syrian sarin gas assault on its own people.

Sending 59 cruise missiles with conventional warheads and then sitting down to dinner with the Chinese President pretty much establishes Trump as a “tough guy”. But will he be smart enough to leave it at that?

In a very real sense, Trump has redrawn the “red line” which Obama and Kerry allowed to fade to palest pink. Served notice that “there is a new Sheriff in town” to quote an awful lot of pro-Trump blogs. Which, I suspect, most international players had already noticed.

The question is whether Trump is able to enjoy an American casualty free battle and move on to the next thing on his agenda. Obama demonstrated in Libya that regime change may, or may not, be for the better. Generally, it seems to be a bad idea in the Middle East simply because the next regime may be worse than the one you “changed”. During the campaign, Trump seemed to get that. Does he now?

Assad needs to go. Murderous barbarian and all. However, he needs to go when there is some idea of a better thing to replace him. That might be a new regime or it might be the carve up of both Syria and Iraq and the end of the Sykes-Picot travesty which has haunted the Middle East for nearly a hundred years.

Regime change could be accomplished with a lot of money, a few Russian Spetsnaz and a dozen bullets. But what then?

Unwinding Sykes-Picot is a much larger and, strategically, more intelligent enterprise. Defeat ISIS and then carve out the Sunni, Kurd and Shia enclaves being sensitive to the worries of the Turks and the position of the minorities. That is the work of a negotiator and a statesman. And it is something which will involve Putin as well as Trump. No bad thing that.

Right at the moment, Russia is hanging on by a thread. Demographically, economically it is in huge trouble. For Putin to survive he needs to seem indispensable. Trump can give him that. Putin can give Trump essentially nothing. Other than his nukes and his special forces, he is the Tsar of a gradually dying nation and only massive help from America can really save him. Monkeys can climb a very long way up trees, it is the getting down part which is tricky.

Syria offers Putin the opportunity to act as and be seen as a statesman.  With Trump’s help, he can open the book on Sykes-Picot and facilitate the reformation of Syria and Iraq into a loose confederation of ethnically and religiously homogenous statelets. Between the Americans and the Russians, all of the factions can be brought to the table and, with luck, disarmed and sent on their way. None of the resulting states will be heard of again for generations.

Trump has played the first card of a strategy which will likely take a few years to play out. By being willing to punish actions which are against all agreed-upon international norms Trump makes it clear that hard power is a real thing for America again.

Trump knew the world was watching and he gave them a show. Now we’ll see what he does with the attention.

 

Tagged , , ,

At least Obama

retains the might of France…or, so far I have not seen any indication they are joining the rush to stand down.

Cameron will likely lose the Headboy position, what happens to the Big Zero now that he proposes to attack with no UN Resolution, no Arab League official support, no Anglosphere endorsement?

Well, nothing. His watery pinkish line in the Syrian sand is now not worth the death of a single American cruise missile because, without at least a tiny international fig leaf, the poor idiot will, in the eyes of progressives at least, be a war criminal.

He’s blown this from the day he decided to demand that Assad step down without being willing to get the job done himself.

The anti-American “rest of the world” has to be delighted that a President could be so completely out of his depth; those of us who are resolutely pro-American can only shake our heads at the stupidity of electing this doorknob.

(I suspect the Israelis are more than a little relieved. Fun as it would have been to whack Hezbollah under cover of the fog of war, the ineptness of American and international policy has allowed the accumulation of thousands of missiles in Lebanon and Syria. Those will not be fun but they are not likely to be fired this week.)

Tagged , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: