halfwits in syria

Pentagon chiefs say Pindo troops to stay in Syria for years
Bill Van Auken, WSWS, Dec 13 2019

Pindo convoy outside Tel Tamr, northern Syria. Photo: Baderkhan Ahmad/AP

Barely two months after Trump’s demagogic announcement that he was pulling Pindo troops out of north-eastern Syria to fulfill his campaign promise to bring a halt to Faschingstein’s “endless wars,” Pentagon chiefs told a House panel on Wednesday that there is no foreseeable end to the Pindo presence there. Sec Def Esper and JCoS Milley maintained in their testimony to the House Armed Services Committee that the Pindo military was staying in Syria to assure the “enduring defeat” of Daesh, and that the fulfillment of that goal is likely years away. Milley told the committee:

My assessment at this point is that if we do not retain an intelligence capability that allows us to collect and see and then act with a strike capability on Daesh in Syria then the conditions for re-emergence of Daesh will happen. It will take some time, it will probably take maybe six to twelve months, but Daesh will reemerge if Pindostan went to zero.

Esper went even further, insisting that Pindo military forces had to remain in Syria not so much to counter any existing military force, but rather an “ideology.” Esper told the House panel after repeated questions regarding Pindo strategy in Syria:

I think the defeat, if you will, will be hard because it’s an ideology. It’s hard to foresee anytime soon we would stamp it out.

Both Esper and Milley attempted to dodge questions about Trump’s green-lighting of a Turkish invasion of Syria in October aimed at driving the YPG, the Pindo military’s proxy ground force, away from their border. Esper and Milley also deflected questions about Trump’s subsequent justification for a continued Pindo presence in Syria on the grounds that they were being deployed to “take the oil,” which he said could be exploited by a Pindo corporation like Exxon Mobil. Both Esper and Milley claimed to have no knowledge of any plan to steal Syria’s oil, even though Pindo troops backed by Bradleys have been deployed in the Deir ez-Zor oil fields of north-eastern Syria. The Pindo occupation of the oilfields serves to cut Assad off from a vital resource for the reconstruction of a country that has been decimated by the eight-year-old war for regime change orchestrated by the CIA. It also represents a direct provocation to Russia, which has signed deals with Damascus to extract oil, as well as China, which previously had oil investments in Syria and is poised to play a leading role in the country’s reconstruction. Esper seemed to identify Turkey as the principal challenge to Pindo operations in Syria, stating that Turkey’s incursion into the northeast of the country had “complicated the battle space.” He described the Turkish-backed Islamist militias deployed against the YPG as a “wild card” that could provoke a wider conflict in the region, and said that Erdogan’s stated intention of settling more than a million Syrian refugees in the border areas threatened “turmoil.” Esper repeated a refrain that he has sounded in recent days about Turkey “spinning out of NATO’s orbit.” In the wake of the NATO summit in London, Cavusoglu said that Ankara would veto the implementation of plans for an anti-Russian military build-up in the Baltics unless NATO agreed to support the campaign against the YPG. Cavusoglu said:

It would be unfair if some countries supported the plan to defend the eastern flank and at the same time refused to agree on a similar plan for us.

Meanwhile, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has approved legislation imposing sanctions on Turkey for contracting with Russia for the deployment of its S-400 missile defense system. Ankara has threatened to retaliate against any Pindo sanctions with measures of its own, including the possible exclusion of Pindo forces from Incirlik airbase. The Pindo military is remaining in Syria’s north-east with what it claims is a force of 600 troops, along with a detachment of at least 200 more SOF near the southern border crossing of al-Tanf. With the inclusion of military contractors and troops rotated in an out on a temporary basis, the real deployment is probably at least twice these numbers. While Pindo forces are currently occupying Syria’s oilfields, their mission is neither to “take the oil” nor to combat a shattered Daesh. Rather, they are continuing the same strategic objectives that underlay the CIA-orchestrated war for regime change initiated under the Obama administration eight years ago. Faschingstein still seeks the overthrow of Assad and his replacement with a more pliant puppet regime in Damascus. Moreover, it is determined to roll back the influence of Iran and Russia, not only in Syria but throughout the region. Esper gave a somewhat more candid explanation of the Pindo deployments in the region when he told the House committee:

The Pindo strategy in the Middle East seeks to ensure the region is not a safe haven for terrorists, is not dominated by any power hostile to Pindostan, and contributes to a stable global energy market.

He stressed that the positioning of Pindo troops in the region was bound up with Faschingstein’s global strategy of preparing for confrontation with Russia and China. To the extent that Demagogs on the House committee challenged Esper and Milley, it was from the standpoint of concerns over Trump’s twists and turns over Pindo policy in Syria strengthening the influence of Russia in Syria and the broader Middle East. Esper insisted that Faschingstein was engaged in a “responsible” drawdown of forces from the region in order to “reallocate” them to the “great power conflicts.”

One Comment

  1. Posted December 13, 2019 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Bring your identification and body bag

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