One fine day in the Middle East


The United States of America has been adamant about the success it will have by defeating the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and returning the Middle East to a stable footing. Some say they are delusional, and I am one of those. Can Middle East return to a normalcy they have not had in decades? Actually, it depends on who defines ‘normalcy’.

2-5 Cavalry Ur Iraq
U.S. Army soldiers in Iraq (2009) by SPC. Joshua E. Powell, via Wikimedia Commons
The US has placed many of its apples in the basket of the Iraqi Army and those of the so-called “moderate rebels”, whom they will train and supply to use them as the hammer against Islamic extremism. Plus, this approach is being heralded by many American Neocons as the way of the future and the only chance to success without using US troops on the ground doing the fighting.

Yet, there happens to be a wrinkle in this plan…

It’s not going nearly so well as they say, of course. A training operation that was supposed to begin at the start of the year, then was set in stone as early March still hasn’t begun, and promises of getting it going by May seem tentative, at best.

The Pentagon has only identified a small fraction of the 5,000 rebels they intend to produce over the next three years. It’s unclear how many of those are even able to be vetted as sufficiently pro-US to subsidize. (ABC)

There are very few in the world of international relations that think this isn’t a go to plan. They say that even if the United States can find and train these fighters, once they return to Syria they will be almost certainly routed by the self-styled caliphate. Factions within factions are likely to destroy any cohesion to maintain a plan. As for the training, what is its type? Military is good but that alone will do nothing to form a stable government (and, without the above, normalcy is just little more than a slogan). Therefore, Washington is putting all its apples in a basket that simply does not exist, the basket of the “moderate rebels”.

All that their plan is doing is prolonging the fighting, as they cannot make hard fighters ‘cold’ just by spending cash. There must be evidently something more. This situation will go on for many years and all that will be accomplished is the wasting of money and lives.

Bashar al-Assad mural in Latakia
Mural of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Latakia by Emesik (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
The first problem they need to solve is who are the ‘bad guys’ and who are the ‘good guys’. Just because a group wins a battle here or there does not make them part of the latter category. Then comes the cash: will it be used for what it is intended or will it be used to buy favors?

Then is the unspoken fact that in recent years, during which the US have been training a number of fighting forces all over the world, little has been effectively accomplished. Take Libya of the 1980’s: Colonel Khalifa Belqasim Haftar had been abandoned by Muammar Gaddafi in Chad and was recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency to head a force in opposition to Gaddafi. He and his men received money and training and were never used until the recent uprising in the North African country.

Afghanistan is another prime example of money wasted, given that, after over a decade of training and money, the Afghan forces are still not capable of acting on their own with any measure of success.

America’s track record on schooling armed forces in order to combat terrorism is abysmal, the failure rate is well-known by those in the Department of State and yet they refuse to change the program to a winning strategy.

The truth may be that the USA is still trying to employ a tactic used during the Cold War to counter the spread of Soviet influence. However, today that is a technique that can’t work against a group that improvises and does not depend on standard tactics.

Free Syrian Army soldier with machine gun in Aleppo
Free Syrian Army soldier with machine gun in Aleppo by Voice of America, via Wikimedia Commons
Washington and its proxies are creating a catch-22, and that is never a good thing. American interventions have accomplished roughly nothing so far, consequently it would be irrational to do them again. Nevertheless, the White House continues down the same path, nation after nation.

I believe that it was Prof. Albert Einstein that once said: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expect a different outcome”. If that is the case, then the US Government has to be truly insane.


6 Comments Add yours

  1. lobotero says:

    Reblogged this on In Saner Thought and commented:
    Another of my articles I wrote for Legationes…please stop by their site and check it out….they are trying to bring news of the world to the world…..their efforts should be rewarded…….chuq


  2. Interested in others’ opinions on the real source of war ongoing in the Middle East. Regarding Syria (going on 5th year), some have observed the source of conflict being natural gas competition for the European market between Iran and Qatar who share one of the world’s largest natural gas deposits. After Iran, Iraq and Syria agreed in 2010? on a $11 billion pipeline project moving NG from Iran across Iraq and Syria to Europe, then Syria’s refusal to go with a similar pipeline deal coming from/proposed by Qatar, the war in Syria commenced. How great a factor in the Syria conflict was/is that Iran/Qatar NG-to-Europe market share competition: 1. non-factor 2. plays a minor role 3. equal in significance (50/50) to maintenance of monarchy in the Middle East OR 4. the sole source/factor for the into-fifth-year violence in Syria?

    Why do you think, even at the United Nations Security Council – UN representatives, leaders of the separate countires of the ME, and leaders outside the region seem never to mention the elephant-in-the-room Middle East natural resources when talks/debate for solving violence in the region occur? This includes Bashar al-Assad, Bashar al-Jaafari (UN representative) of Syria as well, for it is astonishing, whether the NG-to-Europe factor is the sole factor in the violence that has occurred in Syria or the reality is different, that they do not publicly tell the world the true cause(s)/genesis of attacks against/war in their country.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lobotero says:

      Fascinating! Thanx for that now I have some research to do……chuq


  3. lobotero says:

    Thanx….the post looks great! chuq

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GM says:

      Yours are really interesting considerations. I would stress that, as you wrote, military aid and training of local armed forces are ends in themselves if not integrated in a broader process of (reliable) nation building. I also believe some very important lessons may be found by looking back at the war against Hanoi and North Vietnamese guerrilla.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. lobotero says:

        The problem is the US learned nothing from Vietnam….the lessons from that war were learned by our opposition. Che said let there one two Vietnams…..3 Vietnams…many Vietnams….we will make them weak and stretch to the limits…..and we are now stretched to the limits…….Iraq is a carbon copy of Vietnam…the only difference is language…..chuq

        Liked by 1 person

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