web analytics
a

Facebook

Twitter

Copyright 2015 Libero Themes.
All Rights Reserved.

8:30 - 6:00

Our Office Hours Mon. - Fri.

703-406-7616

Call For Free 15/M Consultation

Facebook

Twitter

Search
Menu

Missile Defense Now – Beats Missile Defense in a Decade…Maybe

Westlake Legal Group ap-korean-missile-620x378 Missile Defense Now – Beats Missile Defense in a Decade…Maybe War Terrorism Technology Science Russia republicans Politics Policy Nuclear Weapons north korea nuclear deal North Korea News missiles missile defense military Islamist terrorism islamist ISIS iran nuclear deal Government Front Page Stories Front Page Foreign Policy donald trump democrats Congress China Barack Obama

Let’s Play Some Defense, Shall We?

 

The planet has a bit of a nuclear weapon proliferation problem.

Many of the Good Guys have them.

The US Nuclear Arsenal

The Story of How Britain Got Nuclear Weapons

France Has Lots of Nuclear Weapons

India’s Nuclear Weapons Arsenal Keeps Getting Bigger and Bigger

Included herein is a Good Guy – who may or may not have them.

Does Israel Really Have Nuclear Weapons?

And more and more of the Bad Guys have them.

The Big China Nuclear Threat No One Is Talking About

Russia’s Putin Unveils ‘Invincible’ Nuclear Weapons

Pakistan Has Lots of Nuclear Weapons

How Did North Korea Get Nuclear Weapons?

Excellent question.  Often, because the alleged Good Guys – are very, VERY stupid.

You Can Thank Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton for North Korea’s Nukes

If a Bad Guy wants to get there – they can often count on an alleged Good Guy being very, VERY stupid.

Fact-Check: Yes, the (Barack Obama) Nuclear Deal Hands ‘$150 Billion’ Over to Iran

The planet has a bit of a nuclear weapon proliferation problem….

Since They All Have Nukes And Missiles – We Absolutely Should Have Missile Defense

Right now, the only missile defense system we have doing any missile defensing – is the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD):

“The Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) element of the Ballistic Missile Defense System provides Combatant Commanders the capability to engage and destroy limited intermediate- and long-range ballistic missile threats in space to protect the United States….

“Ground-Based Interceptors are emplaced at Fort Greely, Alaska and Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. A total of 44 interceptors are currently emplaced.”

A key component of the GMD – is the Redesigned Kill Vehicle (RKV):

“The RKV is meant as an upgrade and supplement to the current Exo-Atmospheric Kill Vehicle, or EKV.

“Both systems are ground-based interceptors for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency designed to defend the U.S. mainland against long-range ballistic missile attacks.

“The RKV offers improved maneuverability and targeting performance compared to the EKV, which has a poor test record.”

Except – the Defense Department (DoD) just killed the RKV.

Pentagon Terminates Program for Redesigned Kill Vehicle, Preps for New Competition

Have there been tech issues?  There have:

“The EKV, designed to destroy targets in high-speed collisions after separating from a booster rocket, has struggled in testing….”

There were problems.  As there always are at some point with almost all things – especially things this high-tech and uber-sophisticated.

But we can take solace:

In the history of each and every thing that has worked – there was a time when each and every one of them didn’t work.

And the problems we were having – were being fixed:

“(It) has performed reliably in major test events in recent years including a complex salvo test earlier this year.”

Instead of the current, intact, in-place, improving system – what does the DoD have planned?:

“Now that the RKV is dead in the water, the Pentagon plans to move forward with a new, next-generation interceptor competition, the statement said.”

Except – are we anywhere near a “new, next-generation interceptor?”  We’re not even close:

“The defense official said the Pentagon is still working through the details of a new, next-generation interceptor competition, including when it will be initiated and the pace at which the technology will be developed and fielded.”

The Defense Department hasn’t even yet decided what “new, next-generation interceptor” means.  Because the DoD doesn’t even yet know what a “new, next-generation interceptor” is.

This is like killing the automobile – and then beginning the process of identifying the next mode of transportation.  Which hasn’t even yet been conceived.

Well, in the meantime – we need to get around.  So don’t preemptively kill the car.

And in the meantime – we need a missile defense system.  So don’t preemptively kill the RKV.

Since the current missile defense system is the only missile defense system even conceived – let’s keep it around.

At the very least – until you can actually define what “new, next-generation interceptor” means.

Our national security is far too important – to go fishing all over again…without any safety net whatsoever.

The post Missile Defense Now – Beats Missile Defense in a Decade…Maybe appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group ap-korean-missile-300x183 Missile Defense Now – Beats Missile Defense in a Decade…Maybe War Terrorism Technology Science Russia republicans Politics Policy Nuclear Weapons north korea nuclear deal North Korea News missiles missile defense military Islamist terrorism islamist ISIS iran nuclear deal Government Front Page Stories Front Page Foreign Policy donald trump democrats Congress China Barack Obama   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Defense secretary: U.S. troops in Syria aren’t coming home, they’re going to Iraq

Westlake Legal Group u Defense secretary: U.S. troops in Syria aren’t coming home, they’re going to Iraq wars Turkey Trump The Blog Syria Kurds ISIS Iraq esper endless counterterrorism

Short of sending these guys to Afghanistan, there’s nothing Trump and the Pentagon could have done to better undermine his message about “ending endless wars” than to send them to Iraq.

And why Iraq? Partly it’s because those troops, who had been tasked with fighting ISIS in Syria, might be needed to … fight ISIS in Syria.

That is, the event that triggered U.S. withdrawal from the country — Turkey’s onslaught against the Kurds — may destabilize northern Syria to the point where U.S. troops are forced to re-enter sooner rather than later. The difference being that ISIS will have had time amid the chaos of Turkey’s incursion to gather strength before American soldiers have to deal with them again.

Esper said the troops going into Iraq will have two missions.

“One is to help defend Iraq and two is to perform a counter-ISIS mission as we sort through the next steps,” he said. “Things could change between now and whenever we complete the withdrawal, but that’s the game plan right now.”…

Esper said he will talk with other allies at a NATO meeting in the coming week to discuss the way ahead for the counter-IS mission.

Asked if U.S. special operations forces will conduct unilateral military operations into Syria to go after IS, Esper said that is an option that will be discussed with allies over time.

The “endless war” isn’t ending. We’re just going to fight it from a less advantageous position, with our key ally either evacuated or decimated in the zone of likely future combat.

Trump tweeted about this earlier and appears to have quoted Esper on something he never said:

That tweet was deleted due to his misspelling of Esper’s name, which was almost certainly an autocorrect snafu on his phone. The revised tweet is almost as strange, though:

From what I can tell, Esper never said most of that. He did tell reporters that the ceasefire “generally seems to be holding,” according to the AP, but the rest is a Trumpian hash. He’s not “ending endless wars,” as I just noted. If anything, he’s extended the one in Syria and our potential involvement in it by giving ISIS a chance to break out. No one seems to know what he’s talking about when he mentions securing “the oil” either. He made that point a few days ago as well (“We’ve taken control of the oil in the Middle East”) and the media’s been scratching its head over it ever since. Presumably he means that troops haven’t withdrawn from Syrian oil fields that were already occupied by American and Kurdish forces.

As for the Kurds being “resettled,” that’s the politest possible way to describe Erdogan’s plan to have them ethnically cleansed from the area so that he can start dumping Syrian refugees currently living in Turkey back across the border.

Republican voters are still with the president on this matter, by and large, although not by the usual 85-90 percent margins one tends to see from GOP voters on Trump initiatives. Support on the right for withdrawal from Syria in polling over the past week has ranged from low-majority numbers (mid-50s) to mere pluralities in favor, and one poll found 44 percent of Republicans agreeing with the statement that retreating from northern Syria while the Kurds are under fire from Turkey is damaging America’s reputation as a trusted ally.

Trump’s best asset in repelling political attacks is the universally shared perception that the U.S. has never had good options in Syria and thus criticism of any particular decision to deploy or to retreat can seem opportunistic. For instance, here’s staunch libertarian Justin Amash insisting that U.S. troops never should have been in Syria (because there was never an AUMF passed by Congress) and certainly should have been withdrawn before now — and yet he criticizes Trump for not trying to reach a deal with Erdogan before the Turks invaded, the catalyst for Trump’s withdrawal from the area. That’s not strictly contradictory, I suppose, but “Withdraw! Wait, no, not yet!” is a hard argument to make, and comes off as a longtime antagonist dinging Trump just to ding him. Then again, the libertarian alternative to Amash is Rand Paul, who went so far as to call in 2015 for giving the Kurds their own independent state if they agreed to lead the fight against ISIS and, now that they have, has spent the last 10 days cheerleading America’s betrayal of them seemingly without a care. At least Amash is worried about what comes next with ISIS.

The post Defense secretary: U.S. troops in Syria aren’t coming home, they’re going to Iraq appeared first on Hot Air.

Westlake Legal Group u-300x153 Defense secretary: U.S. troops in Syria aren’t coming home, they’re going to Iraq wars Turkey Trump The Blog Syria Kurds ISIS Iraq esper endless counterterrorism   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Harold Finch Comments on a Tale of Two Pictures (Me, too)

Intrepid independent researcher @NameRedacted was suspended multiple times on Twitter for what amounted to hurting the feelings of leftists and challenging their blatant lies. In his final incarnation, he was “Harold Finch,” and after being suspended for the final time has subsequently moved to Telegram where he runs a repository consisting of important factoids, linked articles, and personal commentary available to the masses. He can be found here.

Sometimes his poignant commentary deserves a much wider audience, and San Fran Nan’s staged walkout of the meeting with President Trump the other day provided the impetus for this blast. I will add my own two cents at the end.

Before getting to our commentary, here is the what transpired at the meeting:

President Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., heated up their ongoing war of words after a White House meeting on Syria devolved into name-calling and led to Democrats storming out, with both sides accusing the other of a “meltdown.” Pelosi, along with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., walked out of the meeting Wednesday afternoon, which had been intended to discuss the administration’s decision to pull troops out of northern Syria. That decision has sparked bipartisan criticism that the decision betrays the Kurds, while giving a boost to ISIS.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham dismissed the [Democrat] reports about the meeting [Cvrk comment: they ran to the press microphones in a staged event after walking out of the meeting to spin it like they always do]:

“The President was measured, factual and decisive, while Speaker Pelosi’s decision to walk out was baffling, but not surprising,” Grisham said. “She had no intention of listening or contributing to an important meeting on national security issues. While democratic leadership chose to storm out and get in front of the cameras to whine, everyone else in the meeting chose to stay in the room and work on behalf of this country.”

Read the rest here. That pretty much says it all, but there are a couple pictures from the event that provide a lot more than simple context, as Harold Finch notes! Without further ado, here is his analysis….

This White House meeting that included hysterics by Nancy Pelosi can really be defined as a tale of two pictures. The first is unhinged Pelosi lecturing the man who writes the letters to the families of the fallen soldiers (the meetings centered on “Turkey and the Kurds”). Check out the first picture here:

Westlake Legal Group First-pic-201x300 Harold Finch Comments on a Tale of Two Pictures (Me, too) Uncategorized Turkey Politics Policy National Security Nancy Pelosi Middle East Liberal Elitism ISIS Front Page Stories Foreign Policy Featured Story donald trump democrats Democrat Lies Abuse of Power

Note carefully that her body language screams out of control, rude, and disrespectful. And Chuck Schumer smirking like a childish teenager watching the mouthy kid run her mouth at the Teacher. This is supposed to be a national security meeting on events in Syria. The Democrats are acting like they are the Commander in Chief berating an officer who is giving them advice they don’t want to hear. They’re drunk on Power. They’re demanding the President start a war with a NATO member and sacrifice our soldiers, all while they refuse to vote to authorize use of force much less vote to declare war on Turkey. That means this cry for war isn’t even a serious one. They don’t believe in it enough to hold a vote. They want President Trump to get into an ugly quagmire that bleeds us white to help them in 2020 election. They don’t care about Kurds. They CERTAINLY don’t care about American Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines.

Then there is the second picture which is QUITE a contrast!

Westlake Legal Group Second-pic-203x300 Harold Finch Comments on a Tale of Two Pictures (Me, too) Uncategorized Turkey Politics Policy National Security Nancy Pelosi Middle East Liberal Elitism ISIS Front Page Stories Foreign Policy Featured Story donald trump democrats Democrat Lies Abuse of Power

In this picture, we have the President, the Secretary of Defense, the National Security Advisor, the Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the House Minority Leader, and others. In this picture, the President’s body language says he rejects her attack and is insulted. You can see it in his face he is insulted. This man writes every letter to families of those Mil families who loved one’s life is lost. He sees their pain up close & face to face. Their lives matter to him. He’s sitting down. He’s not aggressive in posture, but he’s offended.

The Chairman of JCS is looking down ignoring Pelosi. See his shoulder? US Army Special Forces & Ranger Tabs. Chest full of medals. He doesn’t take her seriously. His hands clasped likely praying. This is serious business. Everyone on this side of the table is sober & here for serious business. No laughing. No mocking. No insults. The SECDEF is clearly tense, with hands clasped, lips parsed, and a stern brow. He’s seething mad but determined to hide it.

Here’s the whole picture for comparison purposes:

Westlake Legal Group Third-pic-620x413 Harold Finch Comments on a Tale of Two Pictures (Me, too) Uncategorized Turkey Politics Policy National Security Nancy Pelosi Middle East Liberal Elitism ISIS Front Page Stories Foreign Policy Featured Story donald trump democrats Democrat Lies Abuse of Power

Everyone else on the President’s side of the table, including the House minority leader Kevin McCarthy, is embarrassed by and disgusted with Pelosi, Hoyer and Schumer. It’s clear the three of them never intended for this to be a good faith meeting. This was Pelosi threatening the President and he, his advisers, the Republicans, and the national security staff having none of their childishness. No one accepted the Democrats’ putting politics before America’s national security and the lives of our troops. The only skin in the game that the Democrats have is crass partisan politics; the lives of our troops are merely chess pieces in their quest for political power.

Here is a final picture, showing the President making a measured statement to the lesser-ranking Democrats who remained in the meeting.

Westlake Legal Group Fourth-pic-620x405 Harold Finch Comments on a Tale of Two Pictures (Me, too) Uncategorized Turkey Politics Policy National Security Nancy Pelosi Middle East Liberal Elitism ISIS Front Page Stories Foreign Policy Featured Story donald trump democrats Democrat Lies Abuse of Power

This is the aftermath: when Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and Steny Hoyer couldn’t force the Commander in Chief into a bloody quagmire in Syria a year before a presidential election, they threw a temper tantrum and stormed out.

Let me be blunt: the Democrats don’t give a flying f**k about America, our troops, the Kurds, or about YOU whom they are supposedly serving. The *ONLY* thing the Democrats care about is obtaining AND KEEPING political power AT ANY COST.

The moral of this sordid story is, Ddn’t ever let these dangerous people have power. It is CRITICAL to the safety of our nation that we take the House away from Pelosi &and further marginalize Chuck Schumer. You have a choice in 2020, America: a president and Congress who want the wars ended and the troops to come home, or a resident and congress who want endless wars and endless sacrifice of American lives to keep them in power. Choose wisely.

End of Finch’ commentary

A couple of points to add to Finch’s excellent synopsis:

  • San Fran Nan is concerned that pulling out 26 (!) special forces soldiers off the Syria-Turkey border is going to let ISIS back in the game? That’s laughable, particularly after her total silence during the years in which Obama allowed ISIS grow from nothing into a threat!
  • This isn’t the first time that they’ve pulled this stunt (running to a media microphone to spin a contentious meeting with @POTUS). This is what career politicians do; non-politicians and problem-solvers like @POTUS work through differences and deliver the goods!

Finally, here is the most accurate pictorial characterization of that White House meeting. Unbelievably spot on!

Westlake Legal Group Fifth-pic-620x262 Harold Finch Comments on a Tale of Two Pictures (Me, too) Uncategorized Turkey Politics Policy National Security Nancy Pelosi Middle East Liberal Elitism ISIS Front Page Stories Foreign Policy Featured Story donald trump democrats Democrat Lies Abuse of Power

The end.

The post Harold Finch Comments on a Tale of Two Pictures (Me, too) appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group Screen-Shot-2019-10-18-at-3.17.37-PM-300x185 Harold Finch Comments on a Tale of Two Pictures (Me, too) Uncategorized Turkey Politics Policy National Security Nancy Pelosi Middle East Liberal Elitism ISIS Front Page Stories Foreign Policy Featured Story donald trump democrats Democrat Lies Abuse of Power   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Trump: You know, the PKK is actually worse than ISIS is

Westlake Legal Group t-16 Trump: You know, the PKK is actually worse than ISIS is turkish Turkey Trump The Blog Syria pkk Kurds ISIS

I predicted a week ago that he would eventually start mouthing Turkish propaganda rather than admit that he’d made a mistake in bowing to Erdogan’s threat to invade northern Syria. He can’t acknowledge error even in small matters; he surely wasn’t about to cop to a major blunder which even cronies like Lindsey Graham were claiming would lead to the rebirth of ISIS. He’d lunge at any spin available to him that might conceivably justify his decision, even if it came from Turkish fascists.

But I thought he’d limit himself to Turkish claims about how the invasion was going — few Kurdish casualties, no civilians hurt, no ISIS prisoners escaped, and so on. Never did I expect him to adopt Erdogan’s own view of who the real threat in Syria is.

Somehow this is going to end with Trump bombing the Kurds at Turkey’s behest, isn’t it?

TRT is a Turkish media outlet, which is no coincidence. Only a Turk would make the claim that the PKK is more of a terrorist menace than ISIS is. For an American to make it, particularly a president whose view of foreign policy is “America First,” is the purest insanity, to the point where I’d be surprised if a single person in the United States’s vast intelligence bureaucracy agrees. In no sphere of reality is the PKK a bigger threat *to America* than ISIS is; to an America First-er, that should settle the question of which outfit is “worse.” I’d bet cash money that Trump got this ridiculous talking point directly from Erdogan himself in conversation and chose to stupidly repeat it because, as I say, he’ll grasp at anything to justify his stand-down order in northern Syria retroactively. “The PKK is worse than ISIS. So, by letting Turkey massacre the Kurds, we’re actually fighting terrorism.”

As I’m writing this, news is breaking that the House has voted to condemn Trump’s Syria withdrawal — on a strongly bipartisan vote, 354-60.

The resolution states Congress’ opposition to the troop pullback and says Turkey should cease its military action in Syria. And the measure says the White House should present a plan for an “enduring defeat” of the Islamic State group…

The House debate was extraordinary for the intensity of lawmakers’ opinions.

Republicans called the troop withdrawal “disastrous” and a “catastrophe.” Democrats criticized Trump directly, with Rep. Seth Moulton saying Trump “has taken the side of dictators and butchers.”

Mitch McConnell also went out of his way to express his “gratitude” to the same Kurds who are, allegedly, worse than ISIS. Meanwhile, America’s diplomatic apparatus is busytrying to pressure Erdogan to back off in Syria, raising the question again of who, exactly, they think they work for:

Trump couldn’t have been clearer in the Oval Office this afternoon that he doesn’t care who ends up fighting in Syria — Turkey, the Kurds, Assad, Russia, the more the merrier. Per his point about the PKK and ISIS, one can only conclude at this point that he’s *rooting* for Erdogan to wipe out the Kurds. What is he sending Pence and Pompeo to Turkey tonight to negotiate, then? Whether the Turks want U.S. air support as they push further into Kurdish territory?

We’re not quite at that point yet. Instead the WSJ is reporting that the U.S. has started bombing its own anti-ISIS facilities in Syria as a consequence of Trump’s accession to Erdogan:

On Wednesday, the U.S, military carried out airstrikes to destroy the Syrian headquarters of the American campaign to destroy Islamic State after rapidly pulling Americans from the base, current and former U.S. officials said.

The decision to destroy the base, which included warehouses used to train-and-equip the Kurdish-led fighters, came after Turkish-backed forces moved on the facility on Tuesday.

As the Turkish-backed forced closed in, the U.S. used Apache helicopters and F-15 jet fighters to intimidate the fighters and deter them from getting closer to the base where Americans were still stationed, U.S. officials said.

Here’s Lindsey Graham this afternoon sounding unhappy, which doesn’t matter to anyone, least of all Trump. Graham will compartmentalize this just like all of his other Trump foreign-policy disappointments, certainly until he’s reelected next fall.

The post Trump: You know, the PKK is actually worse than ISIS is appeared first on Hot Air.

Westlake Legal Group t-16-300x159 Trump: You know, the PKK is actually worse than ISIS is turkish Turkey Trump The Blog Syria pkk Kurds ISIS   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Alicia Kearns: Ten actions we can and should take to help the Kurds

Alicia Kearns is an expert in counter-terrorism, and formerly worked for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. She was the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Mitcham and Morden in 2017.

Amidst the anger about the Erdogan-Assad offensive in North East Syria, there has been very little discussion about what the UK can and should do to support the Kurds.

Sixty thousand Kurdish people took up arms to fight Daesh, and at least 11,000 of them paid for our safety with their lives. We would not have secured victory without them. They liberated tens of thousands of square miles from Manbij to Raqqa and Baghouz, freeing millions of people from Daesh occupation. They fought street by street to save Christians, Yazidis and Arabs and give them refuge.

The offensive is not a response to a threat faced by Turkey. It is an attempt to eradicate the Kurdish people, who are trapped by the ambitions of two countries that are ruthless in their desire to gain territory, and will crush anyone who opposes them. This action will benefit Daesh and undermine efforts to stabilise Iraq and Syria.

Decision-making is in the hands of those on the ground, and the UK’s role is limited, as we will not and cannot put our own people into this theatre, but we must do what we can. Here are a few steps we could take.

  • Call for an immediate ceasefire

While it is unlikely that Turkey and Syria will respect such a call, we must exert all possible pressure. A no-fly zone is unlikely to work, as it would need to be policed by Coalition forces, of which Turkey is a member. The next question is whether Russian airplanes would be deployed. A ceasefire is the most practical option, although one is unlikely to be agreed in the immediate future.

  • Minimise civilian casualties

The UK and our partners urgently need to secure agreements from Turkey to protect civilian life. Displacement has begun, with communities fleeing their villages and reports of civilian deaths caused by indiscriminate bombing. This area is home to two to three million people who have already suffered enough. Turkey has simultaneously launched this offensive and tightened its borders to prevent refugees from fleeing to what has been their only safe destination. Civilians are trapped with no escape, which is why, if we cannot secure a ceasefire, the parameters of Turkey’s offensive must be agreed quickly, and humanitarian access provided

  • Limit the offensive’s parameters

Turkey must commit to strike only internationally agreed and intelligence-based ‘military’ targets. Erdogan uses the terms ‘militants’, ‘terror corridor’ and ‘militia’ – vague words which give him maximum freedom to operate. Whilst the Partiya Karkeren Kurdistani (PKK) is proscribed by the UK and the US, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) must also be declared a non-targets. Beyond this, we should push Turkey to declare a time-bound offensive.

  • Join International Punitive Actions against Turkey

If Turkey will not agree to recognise the SDF as friendly forces, and targets them, we should support sanctions and other activities against it that could help save our allies, the SDF, and civilians across north east Syria.

  • Flex our diplomatic muscle

The UK should provide a voice for the Kurdish people at NATO, the UN, and in diplomatic discussions. I welcome the news that the UK and France have called for a Security Council meeting but, over the last few years, the UN has shown itself to be ineffective in addressing conflict, particularly in the Middle East. We should deploy our diplomatic network to advocate for the Kurds. I hope, since that this incursion was long-anticipated, that the Foreign Office has already developed plans to support the Kurdish people.

  • Review our posture on Turkey

There was no imminent threat to Turkey from Kurds in north eastern Syria. We want it to be a productive partner, to improve relations with it and to keep it turned westwards. But this cannot be done at any cost, and certainly not by overlooking offensives like this. Turkey has a right to protect itself, but this action was not precipitated by any threat. Erdogan has long had ambitions to extend his territory into Syria. Turkey must respect international rules. This is not what we are seeing in Syria, nor in other actions by Turkey, such as threatening Greece. We must now consider how we can help create an exit strategy for Turkey before it has even more tragic consequences.

We must also recognise that Russia is an important player, and that its continued support for the Assad regime and overtures to Turkey have emboldened Erdogan. Russia’s stated strategic objectives include creating division amongst NATO partners: we must not assist them with this aim.

  • Take a position on the Kurdish people

For too long, we have avoided having a meaningful foreign policy about the Kurdish people. We should commit to a supportive position and be open about it. We have long been friends to them. If you go to Kurdistan in Iraq you will hear many Kurds speaking perfect English with South London accents, from their time living in the UK as refugees from the longstanding persecution they have faced and the Anfal genocide.

  • Prevent the forcible return of refugees to north east Syria

Turkey has been generous in hosting refugees. Now we must prevent Turkey from forcibly returning three million Syrian refugees to North East Syria during or after this offensive. It is not safe for refugees to return to Syria, as they will face persecution from the Assad regime. Nor is it right to forcibly move refugees to an area from which they do not emanate or to forcibly change the ethnic make-up of an area.

  • Focus on the threat

Daesh has been defeated, but it still exists as an ideology that can and will recruit followers. It still operates as an insurgent force on the borders between Iraq and Syria. The SDF are holding around 2,000 foreign terrorist fighters, 9,000 Syrian and Iraqi Daesh fighters, and tens of thousands of Daesh family members in camps and prisons. The prisons are under great pressure. There have been violent attacks within them, and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (Daesh’s Caliph) has called for supporters to organise prison breaks.

Turkey took advantage of US withdrawal, and now Daesh will exploit the compromised position of the Kurds. How do we expect the Kurds to maintain the security of prisons while under air attack from Turkey? The UK should use its significant influence in the Coalition to lead discussions amongst its 80 plus members on how to stop this offensive, which is undermining its work to defeat violent extremists in the region over the last few years.

  • Criticise Withdrawal

A friendship is strong when one can disagree respectfully with an ally’s decision. This offensive began just days after Donald Trump announced the withdrawal of troops. This decision gave the green light to Erdogan and Assad to begin their action.

Whilst we all understand the reasons for moving troops out, a lesson from history in the Middle East is that withdrawal at the wrong time can be catastrophic. This decision throws into jeopardy the likelihood of any future forces trusting the US and, potentially, others. Turkey grasped its opportunity, and our allies, whom we committed to protect, will pay the price.

– – –

The vulnerability of the Syrian Democratic Forces and the Kurdish people is not new. We must stand by our allies and friends: words are not enough. As Conservatives we believe in self-determination, fairness, loyalty, and decency. If we desert the Kurds now, we cease to be that of which we are so proud.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Andrew McCarthy Pens a Must Read Reality Check On the Turkish-Kurdish Conflict

Westlake Legal Group 16362767515_d182b8dded_k-620x413 Andrew McCarthy Pens a Must Read Reality Check On the Turkish-Kurdish Conflict YPG Turkey Syria republicans Prank Call Politics pkk National Review Lindsey Graham Kurds ISIS Iraq Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story donald trump democrats Andrew McCarthy Allow Media Exception

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during the opening of the new terminal of Aden Abdulle International Airport in Mogadishu, Somalia on January 25. 2015 AMISOM Photo / Ilyas Ahmed

Yesterday, I shared the revelation that Sen. Lindsey Graham had been prank called by the same Russians that got Rep. Adam Schiff by promising naked pictures of Donald Trump. In this most recent call, Graham is heard agreeing to many details about the Turkish-Kurdish conflict that he hasn’t been saying publicly. Namely, that it’s a volatile, complicated situation, with the United States stuck in the middle of two factional allies, neither of which is the clear good and both of which present strategic issues.

Among many things, a misunderstanding and over simplifying (and conservative media in general have been some of the worst) of who the YPG are, why Turkey wants them off the border, and how we have no good options has driven a level of hysteria that’s helping no one.

Here’s some of what I wrote.

In Graham’s prank phone call, we actually see him admit the issues at hand. The YPG are a real problem and Turkey does have legitimate reasons to push back on them. The group’s goal is to form a Marxist state made up of Turkish and Syrian land. As you can imagine, that raises the temperature in the area among all involved. Further, it must be said that the Kurds in Iraq are not the same as those in Northern Syria. The former are our traditional allies, the latter are not. Iraqi Kurds see the YPG as extremists (and, objectively, they are).

The United States, due to the failures of the past administration, has been put in an impossible situation. Graham appears to know this but hasn’t had the guts to say it publicly. He simply got caught with this prank call.

With Turkey saying they were coming across the border, there were no good options here. The fact that we are dealing with the YPG makes the matter extremely difficult navigate. We were placed in the middle of two historically warring groups. One is a NATO ally and is vitally strategic for our national security. The other did help us defeat ISIS in Northern Syria. This all paints a dangerous shade of gray and the President made the decision to not continue to play chicken with Turkey. Even if you think it’s the wrong move, the certainty with which some have been shouting crosses into the ridiculous.

Of course, there’s nothing I can write that Andrew McCarthy can’t come along and do better and he penned an excellent explainer at National Review yesterday. This actually came as a dissent to the stated opinion of the editorial board at the conservative magazine. I won’t give everything away here, because you should go read every word of it yourself, but I’ll hit some highlights.

I thus respectfully dissent from our National Review editorial.

President Trump, it says, is “making a serious mistake” by moving our forces away from what is described as “Kurdish territory”; the resulting invasion by superior Turkish forces will “kill American allies” while “carving out a zone of dominance” that will serve further to “inflame and complicate” the region.

Where to begin? Perhaps with the basic fact that there is no Kurdish territory. There is Syrian territory on Turkey’s border that the Kurds are occupying — a situation that itself serves to “inflame and complicate” the region for reasons I shall come to. Ethnic Kurds do not have a state. They live in contiguous parts of Syria, Turkey, Iraq, and Iran. Most are integrated into these countries, but many are separatists.

The Kurds have been our allies against ISIS, but it is not for us that they have fought. They fight ISIS for themselves, with our help. They are seeking an autonomous zone and, ultimately, statehood. The editorial fails to note that the Kurds we have backed, led by the YPG (People’s Protection Units), are the Syrian branch of the PKK (the Kurdistan Worker’s Party) in Turkey. The PKK is a militant separatist organization with Marxist-Leninist roots. Although such informed observers as Michael Rubin contend that the PKK has “evolved,” it remains a formally designated foreign terrorist organization under U.S. law. While our government materially supports the PKK’s confederates, ordinary Americans have been prosecuted for materially supporting the PKK.

This is a major issue, not because the Kurds simply exist, but because the YPG in Northern Syria operate as a terrorist organization in the pursuit of a Marxist state (yes, that may sound out of place, but they are indeed Marxists). While they did help fight ISIS in their own backyard, the United States can not provide them autonomy in a foreign country. That has left us in a gray zone with no clear end game. Leaving 50 U.S. advisors stranded in Northern Syria as human shields in the hopes they scare off Turkey’s incursion is not a plan. It’s an emotional plea.

Those of us opposed to intervention in Syria wanted Congress to think through these quite predictable outcomes before authorizing any further U.S. military involvement in this wretched region. Congress, however, much prefers to lay low in the tall grass, wait for presidents to act, and then complain when things go awry.

And so they have: The easily foreseeable conflict between Turkey and the Kurds is at hand. We are supposed to see the problem as Trump’s abandoning of U.S. commitments. But why did we make commitments to the Kurds that undermined preexisting commitments to Turkey? The debate is strictly framed as “How can we leave the Kurds to the tender mercies of the Turks?” No one is supposed to ask “What did we expect would happen when we backed a militant organization that is tightly linked to U.S.-designated terrorists and that is the bitter enemy of a NATO ally we knew would not abide its presence on the ally’s border?” No one is supposed to ask “What is the end game here? Are we endorsing the partition of Syria? Did we see a Kurdish autonomous zone as the next Kosovo?” (We might remember that recognition of Kosovo’s split from Serbia, over Russian objections, was exploited by the Kremlin as a rationale for promoting separatism and annexations in Georgia and Ukraine.)

And those questions are what much of the conservative media refuse to answer. Instead, they pretend it’s as simple as “protecting the Kurds” and “not abandoning our allies.” Which ally? Which Kurds? What do we do about a decades long battle between Turkey and PKK allied separatist groups? Do we send even more troops to set up a real safe zone? By what Congressional authority can that even be done? No one wants to talk about this stuff because it’s easier to virtue signal on Twitter.

I’ll let you go read McCarthy’s article to get the rest, as what I’ve posted here is just a small sampling. He meticulously goes through all angles related to what we are dealing with. The only certainty of this situation is that there are no easy answers. We simply can’t remain in Northern Syria into perpetuity protecting a designated terrorist group at odds with a NATO ally. If Congress feels either of those designations is wrong, they are welcome to get off their soap boxes and start doing some actual work.

Here’s my suggestion. If Congress truly feels strongly about this, nothing is stopping them from passing an AUMF that actually makes future actions legal. That would at least send a strong signal that they are serious. Yelling on Twitter is not accomplishing anything.

————————————————

Enjoying the read? Please visit my archive and check out some of my latest articles.

I’ve got a new twitter! Please help by following @bonchieredstate.

The post Andrew McCarthy Pens a Must Read Reality Check On the Turkish-Kurdish Conflict appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group mrap-syria-300x209 Andrew McCarthy Pens a Must Read Reality Check On the Turkish-Kurdish Conflict YPG Turkey Syria republicans Prank Call Politics pkk National Review Lindsey Graham Kurds ISIS Iraq Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story donald trump democrats Andrew McCarthy Allow Media Exception   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Report: U.S. shared intelligence with Turkey that may have been used to target the Kurds

Westlake Legal Group re Report: U.S. shared intelligence with Turkey that may have been used to target the Kurds withhold u.s. Turkey The Blog Syria northern Kurds kurdish ISIS Intelligence

If you’re going to betray an ally who fought valiantly against ISIS, you might as well go big.

The defense to intelligence-sharing in this case will be that Turkey too is an ally of the United States, even a member of NATO. Surely they’re entitled to certain information about external threats that’s in our possession as part of that partnership. Note the bit in the excerpt, though, about how their access to our intel on Kurdish positions has now been discontinued.

If we’re entitled to withhold that information now, why didn’t we withhold it before the attack began?

The United States military, which had been working with the Syrian Democratic Forces to fight remnants of the Islamic State in Syria, has cut off all support to the militia, two American military officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss confidential military assessments.

The officials said the United States was not providing support to Turkey either, but for the last few weeks, as Turkish military officials planned the assault, they received American surveillance video and information from reconnaissance aircraft. The information may have helped them track Kurdish positions.

Because of an American counterterrorism partnership with Turkey, Turkish aircraft were given access to a suite of American battlefield intelligence in northeast Syria. Turkey was removed from the intelligence-sharing program only on Monday, a Defense Department official said.

Did we give any intelligence on Turkish positions to the Kurds? They’ve spent the past few days begging Trump to create a no-fly zone against Turkey on the border. Not only is the United States not going to do that, it turns out we’ve essentially scouted Kurdish targets for the Turkish air force.

Trump could take the position in all this that the United States must necessarily remain neutral in a war between two allies. That’s not the argument he’s been hammering, preferring instead to frame his redeployment of U.S. troops in northern Syria as part of his program to end endless wars — even though this redeployment is facilitating a new war which might require a major new American redeployment to deal with an invigorated ISIS in the aftermath. But he could take that view. If he does, though, how will he explain sharing intelligence with only one side? Clearly we weren’t neutral. We aided Turkey.

Some American soldiers are heartsick about the betrayal:

“I am ashamed for the first time in my career,” said the distraught soldier, who has been involved in the training of indigenous forces on multiple continents. The hardened service member is among the 1,000 or so U.S. troops who remain in Syria.

“Turkey is not doing what it agreed to. It’s horrible,” the military source on the ground said. “We met every single security agreement. The Kurds met every single agreement [with the Turks]. There was no threat to the Turks — none — from this side of the border.”…

The American troops are doing “nothing,” the source lamented. “Just sitting by and watching it unfold.”

The commander of the SDF claims that there have already been two prison riots by ISIS fighters at camps guarded by the Kurds since Turkish operations began. Guards remain in position for now but that will change as military necessity dictates. For his part, Erdogan expressed his own deep commitment to his partnership with NATO allies today by threatening to send millions of Syrian refugees to Europe if Europeans give him any flack about pummeling the Kurds.

A fun sidenote to a grim story is news today that Lindsey Graham apparently got pranked by a pair of Russians in early August when one of them called him up pretending to be Turkey’s defense minister. Graham, ever obsequious, assured the “minister” that he recognized that Turkey has a “Kurdish problem” and that the Kurds are a “threat,” language that strongly contradicts the ardently pro-Kurdish message he’s been pushing the last few days. The interesting part is that this two-month-old call is leaking only now. There’s speculation that the Russian pranksters are actually connected to the Kremlin, which might have been seeking to punish Graham for his Kurdish support by leaking this and embarrassing. Some call it a prank, others might call it “kompromat.”

In any case, Graham has made his Kurdish sympathies abundantly clear in the last 24 hours, tweeting out a draft proposal of U.S. sanctions on Turkey stemming from its anti-Kurdish initiative. I’m eager to see how that does on a floor vote and, if it somehow ends up passing with veto-proof majorities, how Graham himself will react if Trump decides not to implement the sanctions for fear of destroying the U.S.-Turkish alliance. That would pit Graham’s two core political identities against each other — ardent hawk vs. Trump sycophant. Which way will he go?

The post Report: U.S. shared intelligence with Turkey that may have been used to target the Kurds appeared first on Hot Air.

Westlake Legal Group re-300x153 Report: U.S. shared intelligence with Turkey that may have been used to target the Kurds withhold u.s. Turkey The Blog Syria northern Kurds kurdish ISIS Intelligence   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Garvan Walshe: Erdogan’s Kurdish invasion will be a disaster

Garvan Walshe is a former National and International Security Policy Adviser to the Conservative Party. He runs TRD Policy.

When a civil war in a neighbouring country allows terrorists and guerrillas to flee next door, establish territorial control, use it as a base from which to train, supply and provide medical assistance to their forces, and even use it as a base from which to launch attacks, the temptation to use your regular army to crush them is hard to resist. Territory gained is territory from which attacks cannot be launched. More strategically it is a foothold form which to press your national interests in any negotiations that might bring the war to an end.

We don’t have to go back to Gustavus Adolphus’s invasion of Brandenburg in 1630 to understand how intractable such interventions, even when geographically contiguous, can get. When Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982, early military and even political success (the then president Amine Gemayel even signed an agreement to normalise relations with Israel in 1983), led to 20 years of guerrilla war, international opprobrium and the rise of Hezbollah.

Hezbollah, of course, would later be as instrumental in preventing Bashar Assad losing power in Syria as Assad’s father was in derailing Israeli plans in Lebanon. And it’s Syria where a neighbouring power is as much in danger of committing a terrible mistake as Israel was in the 1980s.

The neighbouring power is Turkey, and the operation is a buffer zone Ankara has been seeking to carve out on its southern border. From Turkey’s perspective, the case for intervention is strong. The Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces, which control the area in question, are inextricably linked with the Kurdish terrorist organisation, the PKK, which has waged a bloody terrorist campaign for independence for decades (though secular, and traditionally Marxist, they practice suicide bombing).

The SDF however are also inextricably linked with the United States and the international coalition against Daesh (ISIL). The US and France have troops on the ground advising them, and planes in the air protecting them. Turkey has for some time sought to push Donald Trump to withdraw American troops, and almost managed to do so last December, leading to the resignation not only of Brett McGurk, the American official in charge of anti-ISIS operations, but even James Mattis, the US Defence Secretary.

Forty-eight hours ago, Erdogan tried again. Trump tweeted his announcement of a withdrawal (catching the SDF, France, and even Mattis’s replacement at the Pentagon by surprise), and Turkey announced it would start military operations.

This has further heightened America’s political crisis, with numerous Republicans, most of whom had been merely silent following Trump’s attempt to pressure Ukraine into inventing corruption allegations against one of his 2020 opponents, to condemn him. Lindsay Graham, the Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, threatened sanctions and even Mitch McConnell, a study in circumspection when it comes to asserting legislative authority against the executive, thought to rebuke the President. Trump responded to the pressure with another bizarre threat to obliterate the Turkish economy (something he claims he’d already done before).

Meanwhile, Sergei Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister, preened his feline whiskers, called for calm and offered to mediate. The Security Council, which meets today, at Paris’s request can be expected to deadlock. The situation on the ground however, is becoming increasingly urgent.

Though there cannot be said to be anything as coherent as Western policy in Syria, the SDF are strategically aligned with Western interests there. Their impeccable propaganda: female soldiers driving Daesh from Raqqa’s Margaret Atwood-inspired dystopia; Western volunteers training side by side with local troops, and the adoption of a post-Marxist secular environmentalist creed to replace their traditional Leninist ideology, should not disguise their military effectiveness. They provided the ground troops that defeated ISIS, and currently guard some 15,000–20,000 prisoners, mainly from Western countries.

Now they insist that under pressure from the Turkish threat they have no manpower to spare for the task and are threatening the US with allowing a jailbreak. Trump, whose only understanding of negotiations is to screw his partner, hasn’t realised they can screw him back. The American Army is furious at being told to abandon their allies without whom the so-called Islamic State would still be in existence. They know, too, that “we’ve been told to abandon you, and can you please help us extricate our men from here” isn’t a winning offer.

The greatest strategic difficulty however is Turkish. Ankara officially has two aims for the campaign: first, to use Israeli terminology again, to eradicate the “terrorist infrastructure” that the SDF provide to the PKK. Second, to find somewhere to settle a portion of the millions of Syrian refugees currently in Turkey. They aim to do this by establishing a buffer zone, some 30 kilometres into Syria.

Entirely coincidentally, this zone contains every major Kurdish population centre. Behind them is only desert. Settling the refugees in these towns (which isn’t, incidentally, where they are from) will, it thinks, prompt a building boom, as it has in areas inside Turkey where a Kurdish insurgency was crushed in the past 18 months. Let’s just say this: the organised settling of a new population in an area occupied by hostile locals can on occasion be successful, but it is not something that has ever produced peace.

In tactical terms, Turkey asserts, as everyone does these days, that it only aims at the terrorists, and not the civilian population. It also asserts that its superior air force and artillery will make short work of any opposition. This is nonsense. In reality they are hoping that the SDF will flee, as they fled from Afrin, to the west, in an earlier round of confrontation. When they fled from Afrin, they could at least go to Kurdish-held North West Syria, but now Turkey proposes to take precisely that territory away from them.

That is the first mistake. If they’ve nowhere to go, they’ll have no alternative but to fight. There are two ways to defeat an enemy entrenched in urban centres: hard street-by-street fighting in which thousands of your own men will be killed; or what might be called the Russian school of counterinsurgency, as practiced on Aleppo, in which tens of thousands of their civilians are murdered.

Neither is an appetising choice. The fact that this decision has been taken and the arguments advanced for it suggest more that decision-making within the Turkish state has broken down; that since the coup, the military have been unable to block Erdogan’s ill-thought through impulses, and Turkey is about to commit a historic mistake whose consequences for Syria, the region and Turkey itself will be calamitous.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Graham on Syria withdrawal: Trump’s “pre-9/11 mentality” will own the return of ISIS and slaughter of the Kurds

Westlake Legal Group kilmeade-graham Graham on Syria withdrawal: Trump’s “pre-9/11 mentality” will own the return of ISIS and slaughter of the Kurds Turkey The Blog Syrian Kurds Syria Lindsey Graham ISIS impeachment franklin graham evangelicals donald trump Brian Kilmeade

Lindsey Graham won’t let the Syria withdrawal proceed without a fight — and on Donald Trump’s favorite morning-show turf. Trump’s key ally in the upcoming impeachment fight appeared earlier on Fox & Friends, telling an equally unhappy Brian Kilmeade that Trump had a “pre-9/11 mentality” similar to Barack Obama’s, and just like Obama, Trump would end up owning a resurgence of ISIS in the region following this bug-out. Graham wants Trump to reverse himself again and get back to the safe-zone operation that kept the Kurds separated from the border with Turkey:

“That’s a pre-9/11 mentality that the Middle East is no concern to us,” Graham told Fox News. “I hope President Trump’s right. I hope we can turn the fight against ISIS over to Turkey. I hope that Turkey, when they go into Syria, they won’t slaughter the Kurds… If [Trump] follows through with this, it’d be the biggest mistake of his presidency.”

He claimed that if Trump doesn’t continue with safe zone border patrols, ISIS will fill the void and the fault will lie squarely with the Trump administration.

“I would argue for him to go back to the status quo,” Graham said. “The safe zones were working. Patrolling with Turkey and international forces to protect the Kurds and Turkey is the way to go. If we pull out, the Kurds are in a world of hurt and ISIS comes back, and President Trump will own it.”

Kilmeade’s comments were even more scathing. “General Rand Paul was pleased,” Kilmeade snarked, although Graham insisted that Paul wasn’t the issue. Shortly after, Kilmeade declared more seriously, “Don’t say you’re a friend of Israel and allow them to be surrounded by Iran, because that’s exactly what’s going to happen.” While Graham tried to interject, Kilmeade added, “You might as well take out of your speech that you defeated the caliphate — because it’s coming right back.”

Tough stuff on what has been the friendliest venue for Trump short of Hannity in prime time. Graham’s hardly alone on this, either. The Hill collected more responses from Trump’s allies on Capitol Hill, and it’s far from complimentary:

Trump’s decision, seen as enabling Turkey to go after Kurds in Syria, was lambasted by Trump loyalists such as Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.), the third-ranking House GOP leader, and Republicans who have differed with the president on policies, such as Sen. Mitt Romney (Utah).

Cheney called the decision a “catastrophic mistake” and Romney characterized it as a “betrayal” of Kurdish allies that would show “America is an unreliable ally.”

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), one of Trump’s most ardent defenders in the Senate, said he agrees with the president that the United States should not be the world’s policeman but warned that “abandoning the Kurds” would send a “terrible signal to America’s allies and adversaries” and would be “unconscionable.

The broad-based backlash left some in the GOP hoping Trump would reverse himself, something Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) on Tuesday raised as a possibility.

“I understand he’s reconsidering. I do not think we should abandon the Kurds,” he told a reporter for Politico.

Er … nope:

Senate Republicans have “found their voices” against Trump on this policy, the New York Times reported last night, even if it hasn’t yet crossed over to the impeachment fight:

He and other Republicans joined Democrats in saying that the move could potentially clear the way for a Turkish offensive against Kurdish fighters who have helped the United States root out the Islamic State. Mr. Graham also delivered what could be considered the ultimate insult to Mr. Trump: comparing his Syria policy to that of his predecessor, Barack Obama.

When it comes to foreign policy, many senators have spent considerable time developing their expertise, making repeated trips to the Middle East and other hot spots and becoming deeply invested in their positions. They feel confident expressing their opinion, even when it is quite contrary to Mr. Trump’s.

“Many of us have been dealing with this for a decade or two decades, and I think there are a lot of visits to the area and a lot of discussions that stand behind our views on these issues,” said Senator Roy Blunt, Republican of Missouri, who had previously counseled the White House on the necessity of maintaining forces in Syria. “This is an area where it has been a consistent concern that leaving those places would create bigger problems than staying.”

And the damage might go even farther, into Trump’s core constituency:

Needless to say, this was a strange time for Trump to pick a foreign policy fight with his own party, especially in the chamber that will have to handle articles of impeachment, if the House approves them. This decision alone might not be enough for Republicans to commit electoral hara kiri by going along on removal, but the arbitrary manner in which Trump made this decision and his lack of consultation with his allies on Capitol Hill might leave them less than enthusiastic about his defense, as I note in my column at The Week:

If anything, Trump chose the wrong theater of war from which to retreat. While America’s strategic interests in Afghanistan are now limited at best, this isn’t the case in Syria, where the U.S. has critical strategic interests, especially in containing Iran. The Kurds in Syria are not just the front line against ISIS, but also our partners in monitoring and frustrating Iranian-backed Shi’ite militias in the region. Iran’s partnership with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad presents a considerable threat to Sunni Arab nations including Saudi Arabia, which just suffered a missile attack that originated in Iran.

Add to that the existential threat that Iranian hegemony represents to our ally Israel, and it’s easy to see why Trump’s near-whimsical decision rattled Republicans, especially in the Senate. …

This decision alone won’t convince 20 Republicans to cross the aisle on a removal vote, of course. In part, that is because Trump tried this once before, and his impatience in Syria was well known. However, the seemingly capricious manner in which this decision was made and the damage it does to American credibility with needed partners in the fight against radical Islamist terrorism cannot help but raise doubts about Trump’s leadership with the very people Trump needs to help him preserve it.

This is a moment in which Trump should be shoring up his political alliances, not severing them in pursuit of a highly questionable policy that puts our regional allies under threat and our counterterrorism partners at risk of annihilation.

The post Graham on Syria withdrawal: Trump’s “pre-9/11 mentality” will own the return of ISIS and slaughter of the Kurds appeared first on Hot Air.

Westlake Legal Group kilmeade-graham-300x158 Graham on Syria withdrawal: Trump’s “pre-9/11 mentality” will own the return of ISIS and slaughter of the Kurds Turkey The Blog Syrian Kurds Syria Lindsey Graham ISIS impeachment franklin graham evangelicals donald trump Brian Kilmeade   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Syria Withdrawal Part II: Protecting (Our) Kurds

Westlake Legal Group kurds-territory-620x760 Syria Withdrawal Part II: Protecting (Our) Kurds Uncategorized Turkey Syria Samantha Powers responsibility to protect republicans Politics Obama NATO ISIS ISIL Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story elections donald trump democrats Allow Media Exception
Yesterday, President Trump announced that he was immediately withdrawing U.S. Forces from Syria. As expected, the usual suspects both Democrat, never-Trump and even sometime political allies of the President such as Senators Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham, immediately and stridently decried the decision. I did a little write up yesterday explaining some of the history of our Syrian experience and the why’s and wherefore’s of The President’s decision.

Today we will delve into what many folks consider a huge issue; As the United States executes this decision, how do we protect the Kurds from our NATO ally, Turkey? Turkey as we know, within hours of U.S. troops moving, attacked Kurdish positions in Western Iraq. This is a non-starter.

First of all, let’s talk about Turkey. Turkey is a NATO “ally.” The reason for the quotes as you might imagine, is that we’ve been having some issues with Turkey for the past few years. These have become more of a problem since the President Erdogan’s election and subsequent consolidation of power over his political rivals. Erdogan, like his predecessors, has been dealing with an active insurgency in his country fostered by the PKK, a Kurdish separatist movement. The PKK has been declared by not only Turkey, but also the United States, as a Terrorist group. This will become more clear shortly.

“The Kurds,” on the other hand, aren’t. They are not one homogenous entity in their relations with each other, or with Turkey. They are actually three separate groups, each with differing loyalties. The below graphic explains this and also shows how much of the angst over President Trump’s alleged “abandonment of an ally” might be misplaced.

Westlake Legal Group B7C87A33-7361-4C8B-8FD4-0E5182F3C3AF-620x874 Syria Withdrawal Part II: Protecting (Our) Kurds Uncategorized Turkey Syria Samantha Powers responsibility to protect republicans Politics Obama NATO ISIS ISIL Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story elections donald trump democrats Allow Media Exception

At the top of the graphic, we have the Turkish government, with arrows showing its relationship to each of the main Kurdish groups. It is important to note as I have above, that Turkey has been fighting an active separatist movement for several decade. Of course this colors its view of the Kurds. At the bottom of all four entities involved, including the Turkish government, we can see that all four have engaged the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL).

On the far left is the PKK, a Kurdish separatist group in Turkey who have for several decades, been considered a terrorist organization by both Turkey and the United States. Note that the arrow from Turkey to this group is titled “Fighting.” The Turks are trying to keep their native Kurds from establishing a separate state inside Turkey.

On the far right, are the Iraqi Kurds. These folks have their own semi autonomous region inside Iraq and have been reliable U.S. allies. The arrow from the “Turkish Government” block indicates “good relations” between both governments. Absent some signal change, there is likely to be absolutely no bloodshed between the Iraqi Kurds and the Turks in the foreseeable future, despite what the never-Trump crowd is saying.

Now for the difficult part, the Syrian Kurds. As the graphic shows, while the Syrian Kurds were fighting ISIS/ISIL (incidentally also trying to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Al Assad) they are considered a hostile force by the Turkish government because of their alignment with the PKK. This is likely one of the reasons that the first thing the Turkish forces attacked after the withdrawal of U.S. forces, was a base supporting the Syrian Kurds.

As a January 2019 Washington Times article explains

The Kurds are a Middle Eastern minority spread out from Syria in the West, through Turkey and Iraq, to Iran in the east, and further divided into various political groupings.

But this is not what the foreign policy establishment is referring to in the Syria debate. Rather, they are talking about a specific Kurdish political institution in northern Syria, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), and its military wing, the People’s Protection Units (YPG). This is the Syrian franchise of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been at war with Turkey for 35 years, and is a U.S.-designated terrorist group inspired by Marxist doctrine.

There are obviously some competing issues here that we need to resolve, but as the Washington Times excerpt above indicates, they might not be quite as cut and dried as The President’s critics seem to believe. First of all, Turkey is a NATO ally. Although lately they have been “somewhat unfriendly,” we need to treat them as as an ally to avoid exacerbating the situation to a point that it’s irrecoverable. That ally has a righteous concern regarding the PKK, it’s allies and Turkish internal security.

Second, we have to resolve the Syrian Kurds’ support for us with Turkey’s desire to eliminate them as a threat. The most critical thing we need to understand, is what I mentioned in the first article in this series; We were illegally involved in Syria in the first place. Moreover, while the U.S. had its agendas, the elimination of ISIS/ISIL and the advancement of the Obama/Powers Responsibility To Protect doctrine, the Syrian Kurds also had theirs, the overthrow of President Assad.

When we combine these three agendas, what we have, is an alliance of convenience. The Syrian Kurds assisted us in eliminating ISIS/ISIL, but we also assisted them in defending themselves against Assad’s government forces. Should we simply abandon them to whatever their fate may be at the hands of Assad or Erdogan? Of course not. But we do need to recognize, that absent the aberrant policies of the Obama administration, we would have never invaded Syria and certainly never been involved with this particular group in the first place.

So, what do we owe the Syrian Kurds? Not as much as we owe the Turks, as unpalatable as it many seem at this particular instant. However, we do owe them something, as they were of some assistance in helping us. The solution could be as simple as brokering a peace deal and a change of alignment of the Syrian Kurds. If we can convince them to forswear their alignment with the PKK and accept a U.S.-Turkey negotiated autonomous region on the Syrian side of the Syria-Turkey border, we could preclude further bloodshed while at the same time adding to President Assad’s (and his Russian sponsor’s) concern about a hostile force on his frontier. Moreover, this just might send such a message to President Erdogan as to begin a modest rapprochement with this most important NATO ally.

Tomorrow: Syria Withdrawal Part III: The Way Ahead

Mike Ford, a retired Infantry Officer, writes on Military, Foreign Affairs and occasionally dabbles in Political and Economic matters.

Follow him on Twitter: @MikeFor10394583

You can find his other Red State work here.

The post Syria Withdrawal Part II: Protecting (Our) Kurds appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group kurds-territory-245x300 Syria Withdrawal Part II: Protecting (Our) Kurds Uncategorized Turkey Syria Samantha Powers responsibility to protect republicans Politics Obama NATO ISIS ISIL Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story elections donald trump democrats Allow Media Exception   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com