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  #61  
Old 10-09-2015, 03:45 PM
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And?
The only point of using ships in the Caspian is to send a message of the reach of the Russian rockets. It served seemingly a purely psychological purpose, as it was a superfluous strike that could have been more accurately accomplished by bombers flying sorties in Syria, or by warships much closer to the targets in the Mediterranean. But when those strikes fail, falling so far short of their targets, any psychological impact desired from that strike is merely replaced by international amusement at the blunder. Amusement, at least, rather than derision, as it was at least seemingly a harmless blunder, as apparently no Iranian civilians fell prey as unintentional victims of that pointless saber rattling.
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  #62  
Old 10-09-2015, 04:20 PM
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The only point of using ships in the Caspian is to send a message of the reach of the Russian rockets. It served seemingly a purely psychological purpose, as it was a superfluous strike that could have been more accurately accomplished by bombers flying sorties in Syria, or by warships much closer to the targets in the Mediterranean. But when those strikes fail, falling so far short of their targets, any psychological impact desired from that strike is merely replaced by international amusement at the blunder. Amusement, at least, rather than derision, as it was at least seemingly a harmless blunder, as apparently no Iranian civilians fell prey as unintentional victims of that pointless saber rattling.
Not quite true. Apparently several head of cattle were turned into steaks by the rockets. Those dirty terrorist cows!
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  #63  
Old 10-09-2015, 04:48 PM
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The Russians have made this whole mess a hell of a lot more unstable by attacking FSA positions, considering they are the only group in the region we have been giving serious lethal aid. And we have just committed to sending more, including more anti-tank missiles. By all accounts, they are performing well in battle, are not radical, and enjoy (at least popular) support from the majority of Sunnis, including Russian Muslims. We need to either move them north and set up a no-fly zone, or extend our air campaign to attacking Assad now. And Russia is barely doing shit against ISIS. They'll let us and the Kurds fight ISIS while they slaughter moderate Sunni fighters in the south, only making tensions worse.

Also: aren't cruise missiles crazy expensive? Spending tens of millions to destroy a couple dozen low value targets seems odd.
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  #64  
Old 10-09-2015, 04:58 PM
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We need to either move them north and set up a no-fly zone, or extend our air campaign to attacking Assad now. And Russia is barely doing shit against ISIS. They'll let us and the Kurds fight ISIS while they slaughter moderate Sunni fighters in the south, only making tensions worse.
Attacking Assad would be a massive mistake. Much more so now that the Russians are openly fighting alongside him. It would be forcing a direct confrontation, one from which Putin could not back down without disastrous consequences politically at home. He'd have to respond. That's why we haven't done more in Ukraine either. Nor before that in Georgia. It's why Russia didn't do more than just make speeches in the UN and send volunteers to help the Serbs when NATO intervened back in the 90s in Kosovo. Because if they had it would have meant WWIII. Just as if we attacked Assad it might well mean WWIII. This situation can only be solved through proxies, and then at the negotiating table. And again, it does not matter to us if Assad stays in power. He is not what is important to us in this struggle.
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  #65  
Old 10-09-2015, 05:11 PM
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Unreasoner, the BBC just published an article on this very problem.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-34486572

We just haven't had any success with any of the rebels, except the Kurds. And this decision has the feel of an admission of that.
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  #66  
Old 10-09-2015, 05:21 PM
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If the Russians have no troops 'officially' operating in the region, they can hardly object to us attacking troops advancing on moderate rebel positions, if we announce such a policy ahead of time. We already said we will attack Assad to protect the Kurds. The issue of air cover is not insignificant though, and however much we trust the FSA, we won't give them significant antiaircraft weaponry. But there is significant regional support for a US enforced no-fly zone.

Putin will face political consequences whatever happens. War is never popular for long. Russian Muslims are as likely to support ISIS as Assad. And Putin's power structure is reportedly becoming very 'brittle' thanks to the economic disaster he's caused at home.

The rebels are very well funded and have broad regional and international support. Assad is directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, the displacement of millions, and the rise of ISIS. No one will tolerate him remaining in power. But if the Russians remove him and pick a successor for a smaller successor state, a quick diplomatic solution should be possible. The Syrians (on all sides) are sick of fighting.
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  #67  
Old 10-09-2015, 05:25 PM
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Unreasoner, the BBC just published an article on this very problem.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-34486572

We just haven't had any success with any of the rebels, except the Kurds. And this decision has the feel of an admission of that.
That's a separate issue. Those are Syrian expatriates being trained to go back, and it's failed. The FSA has been there all along, and just repelled a significant and sustained assault by Assads ground forces, destroying anywhere from 10-24 tanks, capturing two more, all while enduring an assault from the air by Syrian helicopters with Russian cover. We've been sending them quite a few weapons, but they need more.
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  #68  
Old 10-09-2015, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by The Unreasoner View Post
If the Russians have no troops 'officially' operating in the region, they can hardly object to us attacking troops advancing on moderate rebel positions, if we announce such a policy ahead of time. We already said we will attack Assad to protect the Kurds. The issue of air cover is not insignificant though, and however much we trust the FSA, we won't give them significant antiaircraft weaponry. But there is significant regional support for a US enforced no-fly zone.

Putin will face political consequences whatever happens. War is never popular for long. Russian Muslims are as likely to support ISIS as Assad. And Putin's power structure is reportedly becoming very 'brittle' thanks to the economic disaster he's caused at home.

The rebels are very well funded and have broad regional and international support. Assad is directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, the displacement of millions, and the rise of ISIS. No one will tolerate him remaining in power. But if the Russians remove him and pick a successor for a smaller successor state, a quick diplomatic solution should be possible. The Syrians (on all sides) are sick of fighting.
Proxies. If Turkey, Qatar, and the Saudis want to give these rebels more equipment and actual ground troops fine. But it has to be them - although Turkey is dangerously close to it being us due to their NATO membership. But it can't be us. Especially not with more than equipment and money. This is the same situation as in Ukraine. It's a fine line for both of us. What's important for us in Ukraine is that the Russians and their puppet rebels don't move against Kiev. So long as they stay in the east, who cares. And in Syria? It's just ISIS - and hopefully protecting the Kurds. Assad matters a lot for Russia. Too much so for us to force their hand.
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  #69  
Old 10-09-2015, 05:36 PM
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Proxies. If Turkey, Qatar, and the Saudis want to give these rebels more equipment and actual ground troops fine. But it has to be them - although Turkey is dangerously close to it being us due to their NATO membership. But it can't be us. Especially not with more than equipment and money. This is the same situation as in Ukraine. It's a fine line for both of us. What's important for us in Ukraine is that the Russians and their puppet rebels don't move against Kiev. So long as they stay in the east, who cares. And in Syria? It's just ISIS - and hopefully protecting the Kurds. Assad matters a lot for Russia. Too much so for us to force their hand.
We are already sending them lethal aid. We have been. We should continue (and escalate). It was actually easier politically to back them than it was the Kurds, and we have been aiding them for longer. Fuck Russia. They're not stupid enough to start WW3. Assad has no legitimacy, which gives us as much right to aid the FSA (and the interim government's other allies) as Russia has to aid Assad.

ETA:
And Qatar at least has no qualms giving rebels surface to air capabilities.
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  #70  
Old 10-09-2015, 05:50 PM
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Fuck Russia. They're not stupid enough to start WW3.
Perhaps, but are we?

I personally would prefer to just focus on the Kurds and ISIS. Assad certainly isn't worth supporting openly, but the potential costs of deposing him are just far too high. Let someone else reap those repercussions.
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  #71  
Old 10-09-2015, 06:58 PM
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My post was a reply to the one by Davian93 stating that ISIS won't be much worse than Assad. My point here is that, while Assad probably is a dictator (like almost any other ruler in the arab world), but he is not likely to invade other countries. ISIS (as well as all other Nusra, jaysh al-islam etc), at the same time, being a young revolutionary organization, tends to export their anti-human ideology to any other area they can. In fact, reason of their existence is not only Assad, but rather jihad as an idea of wiping out everyone they consider a disbeliever (e.g. Iran and any other nation except their own "state").
No, I meant that I don't see a Russian protectorate as a worse option than allowing ISIS to topple Assad. I'd still rate Russia over ISIS. I apologize if I worded it poorly.
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  #72  
Old 10-10-2015, 11:14 AM
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For that anti-Israeli guy, well here's what he posted this morning.
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Today Aleppo - Tomorrow Jerusalem
Tell that guy he's absolutely wrong since Jerusalem is meant to be the capital of Palestine. Instead he'd better say something like
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Today Aleppo - Tomorrow Tel Aviv
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The only point of using ships in the Caspian is to send a message of the reach of the Russian rockets. It served seemingly a purely psychological purpose
This is so obvious, actually I think even russian media admit it.
The other reason maybe that our operation is limited by only one airbase in Latakia.
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any psychological impact desired from that strike is merely replaced by international amusement at the blunder.
Even if these reports are correct, only 4 of 26 rockets hadn't reached their targets.
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Assad is directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people... and the rise of ISIS.
Assad is "responsible" only for Syria not becoming a place full of terrorists (like Iraq and Afghanistan) much before. When Assad had full control over Syria, there wasn't any ISIS or other scum there, the whole story began only after arab spring was started in Syria (with the help of sunni countries like Turkey and KSA as well as the west (at least supporting it politically and diplomatically)). It is so stupid to blame Assad for what he was preventing for years.
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  #73  
Old 10-10-2015, 06:04 PM
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Even if these reports are correct, only 4 of 26 rockets hadn't reached their targets.
Um...a 15% failure rate is pretty horrific for a state of the art missile system.
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