​Syria - How Would Putin Respond to a Show of Force?

Spare us the warnings of foreign policy experts regarding Syria please. Yes, Syria is a mess. Yes, Assad is protected by Russia, to an extent we have not yet tested. Yes, worst of all, the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is now firmly established in Syrian territory. Not to mention Hezbollah.

Any action in Syria is dangerous. Including drawing down the number of American troops on Syrian soil. Including surgical strikes against Assad and Iranian military installations. Especially including the impossible-to-monitor safe zones and the tricky to manage no-fly zones. There is no right plan for Syria. Only imperfect options that, no matter how carefully laid out by experts in Washington, inevitably will have unintended consequences. People - including women and children - will die. Often horrifying deaths. It's called a civil war.

So now that John Bolton has arrived as National Security Advisor to President Trump, we have a stream of righteous commentary that starts with the admission that Obama left Trump a mess in Syria and then goes on to suggest that unless Trump follows their advice (what was their advice back in 2011 or 2012?), disaster will follow.

Here's David French (very much a Trump critic from the get go which is fine) in National Review:

If Trump takes a truly serious swing at Syria, then he not only imperils Russia's vital national interests, he risks killiing uniformed Russian personnel in a direct and open American attack. The consequences of such an attack are unpredictable and potentially serious.

Yes they are, but worrying about Russia's vital national interests because they have troops, mercenaries and regular personnel in Syria sounds like it means America should give up the Middle East because we don't want to anger Putin. Of course David French also worries that Trump will give away
our diplomatic leverage in any talks for a permanent settlement to the Syrian Civil War.
And this he would do according to French by reducing troop levels and instead relying on surgical air strikes. He doesn't quite come out and say national building, but it's implied in his solutions to Syria. With troops on the ground trying to keep an impossible peace for years and years. Similarly, Jonathan Schanzer, vice president at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies is clearly a nation builder. His options for Syria?
Creating safe zones. Creating no-fly zones. Irregular warfare (does he mean hacking the formidable Syrian cyber-warfare operations?) and greater economic and diplomatic pressure. But please don't send in cruise missiles because Putin will get mad and invade Europe.
Yes this a game of bluff with two men apparently willing to use force. But to eliminate options beforehand because of fear of angering Russia is no way to consider America's options in Syria and the Middle East. One imagines that the foreign policy experts are delighted that they have the Obama administration's disastrous decisions from a few years ago as an excuse not to reflect on their own possibly mistaken views on the region. But reflect they should and consider that the options they are offering may not help nor be the right investment in blood and treasure that they are once again asking of America and her fighting men and women.

Putin has not been behaving like a Soviet Leader might have in a situation like Syria. While he may have been a KGB colonel, his current attitude is far more insecure, far more unpredictable, and far more petty, violent and vindictive than his predecessors in the Kremlin. Especially the Soviet ones. He's behaving like a third-world thug who happens to have nuclear weapons. While this is a new and potentially deadly terrain, we really don't know how Putin would respond to a real show of force.

And that is the likely question that John Bolton is asking right now. The administration's response to the latest atrocity in Syria will provide clues to what they feel the answer to that question is.

Posted by Keeley at April 12, 2018 7:06 PM
Comment #426212

Oh GMAFB, Dumpty was ready to surrender to putain earlier in the week. Then it looked like Bolton started twitting for him and he reversed himself again, and then again I think. Who can remember what the position is supposed to be now when the guy supposed to be in charge is a senile old fool, and they all know it, especially putain.

Meanwhile, Iran’s allies in Yemen launched missile attacks against Riyadh. No matter how bad you think it is in the middle east, it always gets worse.

Posted by: ohrealy at April 12, 2018 10:51 PM
Comment #426231

President Trump appears to have forgotten that he colluded with putain to win the election and now works for putain.
Clear case of senility.

Impeach 45!!!

Posted by: kctim at April 13, 2018 11:34 AM
Comment #426248

Trump is just playing with his new toys! He’s insane, ya know.

Posted by: Weary Willie at April 14, 2018 10:27 AM
Comment #426249


We need to ban Syria from using Wikipedia, otherwise we’re just going to have to bomb them again down the line.

We’ll have to confiscate all their pencils, too! ..And sea water! We need to start an embargo of Syria to keep them from importing salt water, and destroy all the electricity generating plants, or we’re just going to be playing whack-a-mole with these gas generating plants.

I’m sure we can make more missiles than Assad can make chlorine gas generating plants, right?

Posted by: Weary Willie at April 14, 2018 10:45 AM
Comment #426251


The US destroyed three unoccupied buildings involved with chemical weapons. Trump warned the Syrians, so no one was there. We forced them to go through the inconvenience of sending change of address notices to the employees. Might take a few weeks to re-order any equipment they had not already removed.

“Mission Acccomplished!”

Posted by: phx8 at April 14, 2018 1:30 PM
Comment #426252

Now some of the Syrians will face the danger of straining their backs when they set up heavy equipment in the new facilities. Others will have longer commutes. That’ll show them.

Posted by: phx8 at April 14, 2018 1:43 PM
Comment #426253

Many thanks to phx8 for reporting what Pravda has to say about our strike in Syria. Why would we expect anything else from this guy whose political fever has reached the boiling point. Putin has spoken…phx8 has swallowed.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 14, 2018 4:13 PM
Comment #426254

That is what our own government reports. Three buildings were destroyed, a research site and two storage facilities. No one was in them. That means the people who developed the weapons and the others that stored them are still out there, and they had plenty of time to cart away equipment, computers, pictures on their desks, candy bars from the vending machines, whatever they wanted.

“Mission Accomplished!” Gawd, what a dumb president. Do I need to explain to you why tweeting that is so impressively dumb?

By the way, an important piece of the Steele Dossier has played out and the Mueller team is on it. See page 18 of the Dossier:


But wait! There’s more!

The meeting between Cohen and the Russians included some hackers. Russian hacker Yevgeniy Nikulin was in Prague at this time. That is the guy who was arrested and brought to the US three days ago.

Have fun supporting those crooks and traitors. It is going to get worse and worse.

Posted by: phx8 at April 14, 2018 4:34 PM
Comment #426255

If buildings were destroyed and burned in the explosions by all logic the things that were contained in those buildings were also destroyed, phx8. In the green column you predicted that Rosenstein was going to be fired yesterday afternoon, that proved to be false because from all the media I checked there is no report he has been fired, YET. So if that was false reporting phx8 how do you expect anyone to believe the BULLS**T you have been pushing.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at April 14, 2018 4:53 PM
Comment #426256

The Syrians had six days to move material.

Rosenstein was not fired. You are correct. All the news services, including FOX, reported it could happen. Even Rosenstein expected it. And it is still possible.

We will see, now that we finished with Operation Desert Stormy.

Posted by: phx8 at April 14, 2018 5:03 PM
Comment #426258

Page 18, and the entire document, from a dossier paid for by Clinton is meaningless to me and of little use to the Russian investigation of Trump wrong doing.

Honestly phx8, you really need to find a source for news beyond “Pravda”.

As Rich has observed, what was all your chatter about Rosenstein being fired? Gad, what buffoonery.

I will believe the reports coming from the Pentagon regarding the success of the mission performed by the US, Great Britain, and France.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 14, 2018 5:07 PM
Comment #426259

Phx8 the news sources said could happen, that is far from you saying that he would be fired yesterday afternoon. Also like Royal wrote using that Steele dossier is like using gasoline to put out a fire.

Posted by: Richard Kapitan at April 14, 2018 5:29 PM
Comment #426260

How do you know the Syrians moved anything phx8? Trump never said or tweeted anything about where he would or the day he would strike. More unsubstantiated BS from the comic media you subscribe to?

Posted by: Richard Kapitan at April 14, 2018 5:33 PM
Comment #426261

Kap, how does one understand the Left anymore? They rely upon every fake, or un-sourced story as being true simply because they so desperately want it to be true.

For the Left, a “highly placed unnamed source” could easily be an uncle’s babysitter’s cousin’s wife.

Phx8 is proven wrong so many times here on WB that it is truly amazing that he posts anything. How embarrassing must it be?

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 14, 2018 5:35 PM
Comment #426262

I agree Royal. The left only focuses on OPINION NOT FACT.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at April 14, 2018 5:41 PM
Comment #426265

phx8’s fantasies are wishful thinking. He wishes Trump would fire Rosenstein, because it would be an excuse to badger Trump. He wishes tariffs would cause the economy to tank, because it would be an excuse to badger Trump. He wishes the stock market would crash, because it would be an excuse to badger Trump. He wishes Tesla would create a good car, because it would be an excuse to badger Trump. He wishes the Oregon ObamaCare webpage would work, because it would be an excuse to badger Trump.

There’s plenty of reasons why phx8 manufactures fake news on WatchBlog. They are to create an excuse to badger Trump.

Posted by: Weary Willie at April 14, 2018 6:09 PM
Comment #426266

“Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and “smart!”
11 Apr 2018

It would make more sense to reserve the right to strike again, let the Syrians drop their guard and bring their air force and artillery out into the open re-establish their research facility, and strike while the planes and helicopters are on the ground, the weapons exposed, and the researchers and material are in the facility.

Well, you all seemed to be reduced to trolling and personal attacks, so I’m out for now. Have fun.

Posted by: phx8 at April 14, 2018 6:15 PM
Comment #426267

That tweet just proves he threatened to strike but it dosen’t say when or where, phx8, but nice try.

Posted by: Richard Kapitan at April 14, 2018 6:20 PM
Comment #426268

I’m sure if the Assad does something stupid again there will be another strike, phx8.

Posted by: Richard Kapitan at April 14, 2018 6:23 PM
Comment #426269

This strike was primarily retaliatory against Syria for using chemical weapons. We did not want to harm the civilian population, or any Russian or Iranian personnel. Our goal was not to start WWIII. We maintained the favorable opinion of the civilized world and accomplished what we set out to do.

Unlike our Liberal Pal phx8, I am proud of our military, along with our allies, for the excellent job done.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 14, 2018 7:00 PM
Comment #426283
Well, you all seemed to be reduced to trolling and personal attacks, so I’m out for now. Have fun. Posted by: phx8 at April 14, 2018 6:15 PM

Good to know that nothing has changed here. I blame DRRRemer for allowing any of that crap back when he was here.

The Israelis already bombed one of the targets before we did. We’re in Orwell territory now, bombing to justify building the military. If they’re not going to locate Assad and destroy him where he stands, then it’s all just for show.

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Comment #426297

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