War on Syria: Obama’s exit through John Kerry’s putative verbal error?
As it was actually almost to assume, the U.S. begin certain manoeuvres that may allow them to escape from a situation, in which they have been brought by their friends in Riyadh and Tel-Aviv with loving care.
John Kerry says one thing, then another (no wonder in this situation, he became the US Secretary of State in view of a quite different task); anyway, he let it be known that an attack on Syria could be prevented if the Syrians deliver their chemical weapons in the hands of “international inspectors”.
Even when Reuters spoke in the meantime about a “rhetorical turn”, it was nevertheless also the talk about the concrete time frame for that.
Lavrov (Russian Foreign Minister) immediately took the initiative, and Walid Muallem (Syrian Foreign Minister) said in Moscow that the Syrian government welcomes this initiative:
“I have heard his [Lavrov] initiative with interest. In this context, I declare, that the Syrian Arab Republic welcomes the Russian initiative in the point of concern by the Syrian leadership about the lives of citizens and security in the country. We are also convinced that the Russian leadership, which wants to prevent U.S. aggression against our people, acts accordingly…” (Source)
So, the ball is back at the United States. Now it will get very difficult to still relativize the statements by John Kerry as a “pure rhetoric”. Thus, the events pick up pace. The Americans are pretty good when it comes to making plans and to act accordingly to these plans, but they are essential weaker in the improvisation. The upcoming days will probably be filled with explanations and their denials.
Anyway, the important thing is that it opens the possibility to reduce the military scenario of intimidation. This will not be all too easy, because here it is critically important to take a hard line with two sufficiently well-known, not again to be specified, Middle Eastern countries. Or even better, to temporarily hold the barrel of a gun at the temples of them.
That the United States are in a desperate situation is already visible to the unaided eye. Even the hint of an agreement with the views expressed by the claims of John Kerry would allow it for Barack Obama to let the matter behind him in a halfway heal state.
That he will in this case be pelted with rubbish from all sides is then already secondarily – at the price of his own reputation, he would be able to get the United States and himself out of this predicament. He is not really able to haggle – he is virtually with his back to the wall.
A theoretical way out of the situation that could satisfy everyone would be the handover of the Syrian chemical weapons to an international withal a military organization, which has also a UN mandate in addition to that.
There is such an organization – Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). Thereby, it is clear that, analogy to it, as Lenin once put it, we say “CSTO” but mean Russia. In such a solution, the Russians would make up the core of the military component among the “inspectors”.
It is unlikely that a contingent, which only consists of CSTO (Collective Security Treaty Organization) member states, will receive such a mandate – the Americans will try to dilute it through something like the Arab League (AL); however, to stress it again, the negotiating positions of the United States are fairly weak, too weak for a diktat. Although the military threat weighs much, but in a situation in which all know that Barack Obama actually wants to prevent it, bluffing will do little good.
Admittedly, it’s a long way from proposal to implementation, and virtually there is no more time. Barack Obama will not be able to cope more red lines with his tarnished authority, therefore, September 22 is a sort of deadline for the formulation and at least also for the beginning of an implementation.
Should all that, against the obvious, now only be a slip of the tongue by John Kerry or an inappropriate quote, so we’re back in the same position as yesterday and the day before.
While some write about 2 days and others about 60 days or more ahead the bombing of Syria, but essentially discuss the “extension of the possible targets”, which was brought into the play by the Americans, there are now already some few hints that not only cruise missiles, but also the Air Force of the aggressors could be used against Syria:
“As a result, Pentagon planners are weighing whether to use Air Force bombers, in addition to five warships now on patrol in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, to launch cruise missiles and air-to-surface missiles from hundreds of miles offshore, well out of range of Syrian air defences.” (Source)
72 hours and bombers with air-to-surface missiles – quite possible that both are just misinformation, but in light of what the aggressors have built around Syria, it does not look like a too massive campaign:
The variant of the use of bombers beyond the reach of the Syrian air defence means that rather only border-near targets should be hit. There are virtually only 2 useful directions for such a variant: from Turkey and Jordan. And this would draw both of these countries into the conflict. Another variant would be the use of the B-2 (Stealth Bomber), which can operate even with an active Syrian air defence.
Syria has used the time since the announcement of aggression until now, in military aspects, to bring a significant part of the Syrian Air Force to Iran. Only the military machines, plus all deployable fighter planes, which are necessary for the current operations, remain in the country. The approach time of a “Tomahawk” (missile) is too long, as that the in Syria remaining Air Force could be completely rendered hors de combat (out of action) by a surprise attack.
Syrian Army units, which are seen as primary targets for an attack, were scattered and are in constant motion. Camouflage measures – where they seem appropriate – are massive in use.
Attacks on chemical weapons arsenals will yield nothing – there were and are contingency plans for such cases, for example, to move the arsenals and to conceal them; and the contingency plans were also activated.
In other words, the “Blitzkrieg” (lightning war) that Obama has used for his previous show, would rather be psychologically effective; there will be little damage to military structures by such a short “reprisal action”.
If, then only with “hard-core” measures, and it is by far not clear whether the aggressors are at all positioned for such intense measures.
Currently, there is the following conclusion. The entire American parade is still predominantly psychological pressure on Syria, Iran, Russia and China; quite possible to get to a negotiation of a concession in a completely different area through this maximum increase of the tension.
It was already speculated what that might be, too.
However, all these considerations are now hopefully redundant.