FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Syria Shatters Pentagon Dream

No wonder Full Spectrum Dominance practitioners in the Beltway and beyond are consumed by deep denial.

They look at the Syrian chessboard and as power projection goes, they see Russia comfortably settling down, with a serious land and air base, to conduct all sorts of operations across MENA (Middle East-Northern Africa) in the near future. The Pentagon obviously never saw it coming.

And that’s just the beginning. Further on down the road there’s bound to be increased military interaction between Russia, China and Iran across Southwest Asia. The Pentagon qualifies Russia, China and Iran – the key nodes of Eurasia integration – as threats.

Russia getting deeper into Syria – and in the long run MENA – progresses just as Moscow insists on dealing with assorted NATO members as «partners» in the war against ISIS/ISIL/Daesh. Some stab Moscow in the back, like Turkey. Some may share sensitive military intel, like France. Some may profess the desire to collaborate, like Britain. And some are a geyser of ambiguity, like the US.

Amidst all the ambiguities, «partners» could not be a more delightfully diplomatic way to mask what is a stunning fact in the skies: with its current mix of sophisticated surface-to-air, sea-to-air and air-to-air defenses, from cruise missiles launched out of submarines to the S-400s, the de facto no-fly zone over Syria is now decided by Moscow – not Washington and much less Ankara.

Pick your coalition

Those S-400s, by the way, will soon move up north around the vastly complex Aleppo theatre, as the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) progressively gains ground.

In the first half of 2016 we should be contemplating a situation where the S-400s will be targeting and covering the whole Turkish-Syrian border. This will be the moment when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will completely lose his marbles. Russia’s air cover for the SAA advances – and soon Syrian Kurd YPG advances – is methodically preparing the terrain for the end of all Ankara’s elaborate plans for a no-fly zone disguised as a «safe zone», fully paid by the 3 billion euros disbursed by the EU to Turkey to settle Syrian refugees.

So the logic in the battlefield from now on is clear; the Turkmen – Ankara’s fifth column, heavily infiltrated by Turkish Islamo-fascists – are being pushed back to Turkish territory, all across the spectrum. And the YPG will soon have a chance to unite all three Syrian Kurdish cantons across the border.

When that happens, call it, in a nutshell, the victory of one coalition – the «4+1» (Russia, Syria, Iran, Iraq plus Hezbollah) – against another (the pared-down NATO-GCC combo) in this surrealist war of two different coalitions against ISIS/ISIL/Daesh.

And every Full Spectrum Dominance practitioner not blinded by ideology will clearly see why the «4+1» is winning; it’s a graphic case of a small but highly motivated and perfectly streamlined air force positioned in the right place with the right weapons and counting on good ground intel. The US-led coalition, which I chose to call Coalition of the Dodgy Opportunists (CDO) have none of the above.

Team Mediocrity in action

Washington is in a quagmire of its own making. And virtually everything has to do with the astonishing mediocrity of the Obama administration’s so-called «senior» foreign policy team.

Team Obama always neglected Erdogan’s love affair with Jabhat al-Nusra, a.k.a. al-Qaeda in Syria, as Ankara allowed their Jihad Express through the Turkish-Syrian border. And Team Obama always neglected ISIS/ISIL/Daesh’s Stolen Syrian Oil Express flowing via a huge, easily satellite-detectable fleet of truck tankers.

Team Obama was incapable of decoding NATO ally Turkey’s sleazy, slippery agenda; and in that they were hostages of Full Spectrum Dominance, as for the Pentagon Ankara is the proverbial «anchor of stability» and the key Full Spectrum Dominance pawn in the region.

Thus Team Obama’s inability/incompetence in smashing those oil tanker convoys; Ankara’s feathers could not be possibly ruffled.

Team Obama always neglected how Riyadh and Doha, directly, and then via «private donors» – coordinated by the notorious Bandar Bush in person – financed both al-Nusra and Daesh.

Instead, Team Obama rode the merry weaponizing of al-Nusra and Ahrar ash-Sham, via the CIA’s supplies to the Free Syrian Army (FSA); all those weapons were captured by al-Nusra and Ahrar ash-Sham. Team Obama, never surrendering to their own myopia, duly branded al-Nusra & co. «moderate rebels».

Team Obama always derided Iran as a «hostile» nation, a «threat» to the GCC vassals and Israel. So everyone allied or supported by Tehran was also «hostile» or a «threat»: the government in Damascus, Hezbollah, Iraqi Shi’ite militias trained by Iran, even the Houthis in Yemen.

And to top it off, there’s «Russian aggression», manifested in Ukraine, and then with Moscow «interfering» in Syria, via what was interpreted by Team Obama as a crude power play in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Amidst all the current shadow play, the true test of the Obama administration’s intentions is whether the US coalition will really fight Daesh, al-Nusra and Ahrar ash-Sham (which harbors a lot of jihadists from Chechnya, Dagestan and Uzbekistan), with no reservations.

This would imply Team Obama telling both Ankara and Riyadh, in no uncertain terms, to back off. No more Jihad Express. And no more weaponizing. Without these red lines, the Syrian «peace process» juggling between Vienna and New York does not even qualify as a joke.

No one should be holding their breath. As no one should be reasonably expecting that an astonishing mediocre, lame duck Team Obama would have the balls to confront Wahhabism as the true ideological matrix of all strands of Salafi jihadism, «moderate rebels» included.

Which brings us back to all that angst simmering across the Beltway. With or without Team Obama, the fact remains: no conquered – or at least balkanized – Syria, no Full Spectrum Dominance.

This article first appeared at Strategic Culture Foundation.

More articles by:

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).  His latest book is Empire of ChaosHe may be reached at pepeasia@yahoo.com.

Weekend Edition
December 14, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
A Tale of Two Cities
Peter Linebaugh
The Significance of The Common Wind
Bruce E. Levine
The Ketamine Chorus: NYT Trumpets New Anti-Suicide Drug
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Fathers and Sons, Bushes and Bin Ladens
Kathy Deacon
Coffee, Social Stratification and the Retail Sector in a Small Maritime Village
Nick Pemberton
Praise For America’s Second Leading Intellectual
Robert Hunziker
The Yellow Vest Insurgency – What’s Next?
Patrick Cockburn
The Yemeni Dead: Six Times Higher Than Previously Reported
Nick Alexandrov
George H. W. Bush: Another Eulogy
Brian Cloughley
Principles and Morality Versus Cash and Profit? No Contest
Michael F. Duggan
Climate Change and the Limits of Reason
Victor Grossman
Sighs of Relief in Germany
Ron Jacobs
A Propagandist of Privatization
Robert Fantina
What Does Beto Have Against the Palestinians?
Richard Falk – Daniel Falcone
Sartre, Said, Chomsky and the Meaning of the Public Intellectual
Andrew Glikson
Crimes Against the Earth
Robert Fisk
The Parasitic Relationship Between Power and the American Media
Stephen Cooper
When Will Journalism Grapple With the Ethics of Interviewing Mentally Ill Arrestees?
Jill Richardson
A War on Science, Morals and Law
Ron Jacobs
A Propagandist of Privatization
Evaggelos Vallianatos
It’s Not Easy Being Greek
Nomi Prins 
The Inequality Gap on a Planet Growing More Extreme
John W. Whitehead
Know Your Rights or You Will Lose Them
David Swanson
The Abolition of War Requires New Thoughts, Words, and Actions
J.P. Linstroth
Primates Are Us
Bill Willers
The War Against Cash
Jonah Raskin
Doris Lessing: What’s There to Celebrate?
Ralph Nader
Are the New Congressional Progressives Real? Use These Yardsticks to Find Out
Binoy Kampmark
William Blum: Anti-Imperial Advocate
Medea Benjamin – Alice Slater
Green New Deal Advocates Should Address Militarism
John Feffer
Review: Season 2 of Trump Presidency
Rich Whitney
General Motors’ Factories Should Not Be Closed. They Should Be Turned Over to the Workers
Christopher Brauchli
Deported for Christmas
Kerri Kennedy
This Holiday Season, I’m Standing With Migrants
Mel Gurtov
Weaponizing Humanitarian Aid
Thomas Knapp
Lame Duck Shutdown Theater Time: Pride Goeth Before a Wall?
George Wuerthner
The Thrill Bike Threat to the Elkhorn Mountains
Nyla Ali Khan
A Woman’s Selfhood and Her Ability to Act in the Public Domain: Resilience of Nadia Murad
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
On the Killing of an Ash Tree
Graham Peebles
Britain’s Homeless Crisis
Louis Proyect
America: a Breeding Ground for Maladjustment
Steve Carlson
A Hell of a Time
Dan Corjescu
America and The Last Ship
Jeffrey St. Clair
Booked Up: the 25 Best Books of 2018
David Yearsley
Bikini by Rita, Voice by Anita
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail