Snapshots of conflict and war, policy options, opinion-makers, analyses from experts and non-experts, from the left and the right, mainstream and alternative, independent perspective of Strategic Demands…
Engelhardt, a NY/DC writer/editor/publisher who’s been blogging away about the security state, war and peace and a bundle of hot button political topics for years is worth following. Bookmark him if you haven’t already. His site features medium-size, challenging thought pieces from a rotating group of writers not to be missed or you’re just missing some of the most incisive cut-to-the-chase writing on the Net.
This from “an old left semanticist” who’s authored 100 books and for a few decades has been semantically dissecting the rhetoric of political life, the chattering class, the media and the Pentagon… Can you guess his name? He doesn’t have much of a following inside the Beltway. He isn’t seen as partisan or followed by many in positions of influence or power. In other words he is, like Ralph Nader, regarded as a dangerous sort whose raw critiques hurt.
A major element in the StratDem assessment and evaluation framework has to do with ‘blowback.’ Touching on the repercussions, the costs of bombing and escalation, the calculus of war and reactions to actions, this piece is on that target. Although some still look beyond the basics of killing and revenge, cycles of violence propagate and carry on generation to generation. This opinion piece concludes with a warning not be taken without reflection. There are no “magic bombs” as this piece holds out, unless one is considering nuclear ‘bad magic’ that would horribly change all calculations. Investigative journalists (Hersh et al.) have reported on tactical nuclear weapons deployed in the region, and other news outlets have written of their useability and public sentiment.
As nuclear negotiations continue between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany (P5+1), an explosion at a military site in Iran raises questions about continued special operations, sabotage, and looming threats to expand the Mideast conflict.
Many commentators from the right of the U.S. political spectrum are calling for “boots on the ground” and immediate escalation to ‘ramp up’ from limited airstrikes to a full-scale war that would target, in addition to the Islamic State (IS/ISIS/ISIL), the Syrian armed forces. In effect, waging a war within a civil war. The betting odds would favor this eventuality, as many developments could push the U.S. into a wider war. Provocation is a classic tactic to draw in an opponent. Another is ‘entangling alliance’. Turkey is reportedly demanding that, for its assistance to NATO and U.S. led, recently assembled coalition pledged to fight ISIS, that a declaration of force against the Syrian Assad regime would be a necessary term of Turkey’s agreement. This in turn would draw in Iran and put a deep wedge into current nuclear talks and the newly formed Iraqi government. The escalation of conflict, some have speculated, is part of a larger game plan being carried out…
From Bloomberg, Op/Ed by Meghan O’Sullivan, August 8, 2014
Now, at the end of the first week of October, what began as a humanitarian mission has turned in eight weeks into a rapidly escalating regional war. After the U.S. President’s order, and without Congressional debate or formal new authorization, the war expands daily and the media and commentators across the political spectrum question why more hasn’t been done militarily across the region, as we read of calls by Turkey that the U.S. attack Assad in Syria.
As Andrew Bacevich points out in today’s Wartime snapshot, the number of countries in the Islamic world that have been invaded, occupied or bombed since 1980 stands at 14. The policies of the past clearly have fault lines. Some on the right argue for more intervention militarily, even as they argue against “linkage” and a peace agreement for Israel, a land settlement that would seem to be reachable now that strategic highlands are within Israeli orbit. The left and right continue to disagree on this issue, the mainstream has little knowledge of the countries involved in the region, most unable to even identify these nations on a map much less discuss the history or forces that have led to regional conflict and war.
The bigger picture from the vantage point of Strategic Demands is in missed opportunities and the costs that come with failed policy, costs that are not accounted for until too late. It would seem that the escalating war, conflict, reverberations, generational enmity will lock in future generations to the theater of warfare called “CentCom” and other critical security concerns will continue to be shunted aside.
Meghan O’Sullivan echoes the positions of neo-conservatives/liberals who are calling for action now and ramping up airstrikes, multi-front intervention and U.S. military mobilization in Iraq, Syria and beyond.