FOD Saying of the Day
I would like to apologize to anyone whom I haven’t offended yet. Please be patient, I will get to you shortly.
Air Strike on Syria – Comment
First let me say I applaud President Trump’s decision to launch what appeared to be a successful surgical strike on Syrian chemical weapons infrastructure and capabilities. In aligning our efforts with those of Britain and France we establish a unified position against the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad and his Russian and Iranian supporters. The Pentagon boasted Saturday that its coordinated show of military force obliterated key chemical weapons facilities in Syria and set back the country’s chemical weapons capabilities “for years.” I have severe doubts in that regard. Russia has already publically stated it will replace weapons lost during this US led strike with more viable weapons. See my thoughts on Operation El Dorado below. But military and Middle East experts say the predawn onslaught — touted by the Defense Department as “precise, overwhelming and effective” — appears to have been little more than an empty gesture and likely did not do much to alter Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s military calculus. Gen. Douglas Lute, the former U.S. ambassador to NATO, said that Assad’s threshold for pain is very high because “he’s in a fight for his life” to maintain control of his country, which has been mired in a seven-year civil war. He doesn’t fear a mid-term election. The airstrikes, which targeted three facilities involved in research or storage of chemical weapons in western Syria, won’t disable him from taking further action — whether chemical or conventional, Lute said. “I think he’s feeling reasonably good right now,” Lute said of Assad. “Some of his facilities were struck, but it doesn’t really challenge his hold on the country.” President Donald Trump on Friday ordered the military to strike targets in Syria in conjunction with France and the United Kingdom after a suspected chemical weapons attack reportedly killed dozens of Syrians. According to the Pentagon, those targets included a scientific research center in the capital of Damascus, a chemical weapons storage facility near the city of Homs, and a chemical weapons equipment and military outpost also near Homs. Syria and all the issues surrounding the conflict in the area is a complicated issue. We have allowed it to become much more complicated because US administrations, past and present have been unwilling or unable to take a leading role. Into that vacuum have stepped Russia and Iran. If we want regime change, then we need to be strong in our efforts to effect that change. That means stronger sanctions, a possible no-fly zone, a possible shipping blockade and border embargos. It would be most inappropriate to call it “mission accomplished.” Oh, it’s too late for that!