Below at the close of this excellent opinion piece by Pat Lang is sensible prescription for shaping a schwerpunkt in so-called Global War on Terror or GWOT. Lang cuts thru the Gordian Knot of inwardly focused contradictions that are overloading and paralyzing America’s grand strategy* in the Syrian Civil War and turning our country into a international laughing stock on steroids.
Pat Lang’s conclusion brought forward:
What to do?- I was asked today to state what I think should be done:
* Accept the truth that we destroyed the Iraqi state and from that act of vandalism all present chaos in that country derives.
* Don’t do it again in Syria.
* Stop saying that no “Assad cronies” can be in the government or head the government. They ARE the government. Assad himself is dispensable, but not the government of Syria.
* Act like Russia, China and Iran matter as something other than rivals and adversaries.
* Ignore Erdogan’s Turkey. It is a manifestation of the jihadi enemy. They will deny us use of Incirlik and the other bases? Fine, that would clarify the situation. Move onto Syrian bases or the big, unused NATO built base north of Tripoli in Lebanon.
* Ignore Saudi Arabia’s wishes with regard to Syria. They are jihadi supporters.
* Ignore Israel’s wishes with regard to Syria. Natanyahu’s government is pursuing a mistaken and short sighted policy of eliminating coherent government in Syria for the purpose of crippling their Lebanese Hizbullah adversaries whom they think exist because of Syrian and Iranian help. The Likud’s imagined interest in Syria is not America’s interest.
* Accept Russian and Iranian co-belligerence in the war against the jihadis, ALL JIHADIS.
* Fully coordinate operations, intelligence analysis sharing and logistics with the co-belligerent partners.
* FIGHT THE JIHADIS, NOT THE SYRIAN GOVERNMENT.
Complete original post:
Attached at the close of this excellent opinion piece by Pat Lang is sensible prescription for shaping a schwerpunkt in so-called Global War on Terror or GWOT. Lang cuts thru the Gordian Knot of inwardly focused contradictions that are overloading and paralyzing America’s grand strategy* in the Syrian Civil War and turning our country into a international laughing stock on steroids.
* New readers will find the criteria for a sensible grand strategy explained here. An introduction to the inwardly focused factors that I think are creating these contradictions can be found at this posting: Why is US Foreign Policy a Shambles?. As the American strategist Colonel John R. Boyd showed (see this link for an introduction to his theories and a compendium of his his work), an inwardly focused decision cycle, or OODA loop, in the presence of a menace, is a formula for increasing confusion and disorder, and when left unchecked, leads inevitably to decision-making overload and collapse.
29 SEPTEMBER 2015
W. Patrick Lang
W. Patrick Lang (bio), a retired Army colonel and a retired high ranking civil servant, was a highly regarded intelligence officer who led DoD’s intelligence analysis efforts for the Middle East and South Asia.