Hawaii Intelligence Digest, 09 April 2017, 06:10 hrs, UTC, Post #165.
Accessed on 09 April 2017, 06:10 hrs, UTC.
Reporter: Emma Graham-Harrison (“The Guardian”).
Please click link to read the full report.
Now that U.S. cruise missiles have struck a Syrian air base suspected of launching a chemical and gas attack against civilians, what happens next? The Trump administration has pointed out that the missile attack was “a contained response to a specific atrocity.” But, given the unpredictability of Donald Trump, anything is possible–this despite Russia’s announced upgrade of Syrian air defenses and a veiled threat to “cancel the military coordination hot line.”
Of course, Russia not happy that its Syrian ally has been attacked. Russia has a considerable investment in the survival of Syrian President Assad and in the protection of Russian naval and air forces in Syria. Russia has long desired a presence in the Middle East and won’t give up any ground conquered or leased in Syria.
We’ll probably know more about Russian intentions in Syria after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visits Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.
According to correspondent Emma Graham-Harrison, Mr. Trump’s unexpected move against Syria carries a huge risk:
“If the US decides to carry out further strikes, or take other military action against Assad, one of the main worries it that it could hit a Russian plane or soldiers.
Moscow was notified of Friday’s strikes before the missiles were launched, giving it time to evacuate troops. But Russia is threatening to suspend the hotline used to deliver that warning and there may be Russians near many potential targets in Syria.
If the US hits a Russian target, even by accident, there is a risk of the situation escalating into a direct confrontation between two nuclear-armed powers.
Bombing raids often put Syrian civilians in danger in conflict zones, as recent tragedies in Mosul and near Raqqa have shown. And any US military commitment that goes beyond guided missiles could also put the lives of US soldiers at risk.”
The only real “winners” in this mess are the Russian Federation, Iran, and Syrian President Assad. How long the United States will remain active in the area before an “accident” occurs with Russian aircraft is unknown. If the U.S. withdraws now, the Syrian Civil War will roll on for months and even years. And even if Assad is removed, there is no guarantee that another strongman won’t seize power and continue Assad’s policies. The U.S. is caught in a difficult situation–we lose whether we stay or leave. All Mr. Putin has to do is keep his forces protected while Syrian rebels and Assad’s forces decimate each other. I see a dangerous, “slippery slope” ahead for the U.S. This entire fiasco reminds me of the Vietnam war.
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Hawaii Intelligence Digest