Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Why U.S. Ground Troops In Syria Is A Very Bad Idea

US Special Troops Battalion (Reuters / Peter Andrews)

Stephen D. Bryen and Shoshana Bryen, American Interest: US Ground Troops for Syria: A Really Bad Idea

The president is being asked by the Pentagon to provide U.S. ground troops to fight ISIS in Syria. If the president is wise, he will run as fast as he can the other way.

There are four potential traps here:

* The cost in American lives;
* The nature of the Syrian civil war that encompasses the fight against ISIS, which means we may find ourselves on the battlefield with Russia, Iran, and the genocidal government of Syria;
* Finding ourselves with the Turks against the Kurds; and
* Finding ourselves with the Kurds against the Turks.

Syria is a quagmire – ask the Russians. The late 2016 battle for Aleppo required heavy bombing; massive artillery; and even, allegedly, chemical weapons. In Aleppo overall, there were 31,000 casualties – 22,633 men, 2, 849 women, and 4,548 children. Overall, 76% of the casualties were civilian. Most were caused by Russian bombing and Syrian government and allied troops – Hezb'allah and Iran – on the ground.

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WNU editor: For the U.S. to intervene in Syria beyond their current level of  intervention .... there has to be some clear political objectives alongside their military ones. I understand that the destruction of ISIS is the military objective .... but what comes after that .... the political process .... is still unknown and it has certainly not been defined by the Trump administration. Until that is done ... any military intervention will probably end up as a quagmire, and one that will involve facing foes (i.e. Syria, Iran, Hezbollah, Syria, Islamic militants and the remnants of ISIS, etc.) that the U.S. is not politically or with its military ready to face.

5 comments:

James said...

No one, no one has articulated any type of clear post conflict objective with an accompanying framework to guide it's accomplishment. To be fair though, no one has actually won the conflict.

James said...

To be really fair, it has to be said that no one has actually been able to or willing to define the conflict.

C-Low said...

I would guess a US force between a brigade/division to help the kurds roll up ISIS in Raquaa and E-Syria. I don't think they will stay nor operate as a pacification force. It will be ole school punitive enough to break the ISIS massed resistance, leaving the pockets to the locals.

We are good at killing breaking stuff its all the stuff that comes afterwards that we cannot do. Leave all the later part to the locals they are not restricted by imaginary PC limits to doing what is required and let the GCC pay for the repair/development.

James said...

C-Low,
That's a pretty good cure for the immediate ailment. I said a long time ago that a divisional size force with it's support should smack ISIS right in the mouth hard. I think ISIS would have folded right there. But ROE, PR concerns, and ill discipline of so called "allies" slowed everything down to the point of a joke and I worry if the time has passed for what I urged.
It has got to the point that someone has to win something or as WNU writes this will drag on for years. Of course the Swiss will make tons of money renting out all their municipalities for the interminable "peace conferences", but they would be the only ones making an honest living out of this mess.

Nick Coppola said...

Let them all kill themselves... secure the US border so no towel head jihadist can get in and call it a day