Looks like we're going into Syria.

The place for anything at all...
User avatar
Uniform Two Six
Legendary
Legendary
Posts: 1121
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 8:56 pm
Location: Hayward, CA

Looks like we're going into Syria.

Post by Uniform Two Six »

:x
Okay. As someone who may actually get roped into this thing should it happen, I have a few things I need to rant about:

First off, can anyone please explain why we're doing this? Seriously. This makes no rational sense. I get that we don't like watching the Syrian Army attacking civilians. Really. I get that. But here's what throws me for a loop: Why is siding with the rebels supposed to put a stop to that? The guys they're fighting are the Sunni-Wahabbi religious fruitcakes (as in the same general group Osama came out of). These guys are more likely to attack civilians than the Assad guys. The only difference is that the Army has more and bigger weapons, and if (when) the religious rebels go after the civvies, they're going to be targeting the Alawite minority.

While we're on that subject, what the heck are we expecting to happen should the rebels win? If anyone thinks the secular (minority, by the way) segment of the rebel forces are going to take over once everything settles down and everything is going to be all peaceful and fine, then they're smoking crack. The religious zealots are going to make a grab for power (which is the sole reason they're fighting, by the way), and it's essentially going to be the Iraq scenario all over again, except it's going to be Sunni-Wahabbi whack-jobs in charge this time instead of Shiite whack-jobs in Iraq.

Actually, I misspoke. It won't be the Iraq scenario after all -- Syria actually has weapons of mass destruction. So, I guess our strategy at play here is that we want Al-Qaeda's successors to get chemical weapons. :?

Oh, yeah. Chemical weapons. The "real" reason we're supposedly getting involved in this stupidity. Okay, we supposedly have irrefutable proof that chemical weapons were used against civilians. Ignoring the fact that we're heard this particular song and dance before (mainly because I actually believe the Obama Administration), what we don't know is what the circumstances of the attack actually were. For Assad to use such weapons makes little sense. He has enough problems to deal with without crossing that particular red line. Seriously. Why would he actually use the weapons if he knows it makes it more likely that the international community is going to get involved somehow? It really doesn't make a whole lot of sense. For all we know, it was one of the groups of rebels that did it as a false-flag thing. More likely, it was some lower-level Army guy who did it on his own initative because he figured Assad was a pussy, or something. My personal favorite hypothesis was that it was one of those ubiquitous f***-ups that happens in chaotic situations (like combat) and it was just some stupid private or corporal who got the wrong pallet of artillery shells from the magazine because an officer or non-com was screaming at him to get the stuff right-freaking-now. In short, we still don't really know dick, and that's not a good reason to get involved in this sort of internecine nightmare.

"We don't need to put in ground troops." :? Um, okaaaay... Then what are we doing? Politicians are very fond of overestimating the effectiveness of air power against ground troops. Things in the real world are somewhat more complicated. I'm hearing speculation on CNN that we're just going to do a few cruise missile strikes to take out certain specific targets. Unless they're going to attempt a decapitation strike against Assad himself, that's not real smart. Even if they are going to try that, I'm not personally convinced that it's going to have any real effect. Under the present circumstances, it's somewhat doubtful that Assad really controls much of his own forces outside Damascus (and even that might be generous). Personally, I think Assad is the lesser evil here, because he may be an evil f***tard, but he's a secular evil f***tard, and as such, is really the best prospect for stability in that neck of the woods (as in, the secular technocrats are going to look at him, look at the religious zealot fruitcakes, and go with Assad, regardless of how distasteful they find him).

If we're trying to do something a little more broad, like, say, ground the Syrian Air Force, you're not going to do that with Tomahawks. Don't get me wrong, the T-LAM (Tomahawk Land Attack Missile) is a powerful system, and provides a power-projection capability to a whole range of platforms (including submarines) that were restricted to a purely sea-control mission as recently as twenty years ago. Nonetheless, there's a whole range of missions that they are patently unable to perform. If you want to knock out airfields, you are talking about much more sophisticated weapons including runway-interdiction weapons like the Durandal bomb, and area-denial weapons for the parking and maintenance ramps. That's going to require manned aircraft. This gets complicated, especially since we have limited basing options in the region. If Turkey actually allows us to base out of Incirlik, I will swallow my freaking gum. It will never happen. That leaves Israel (which would be politically too nightmarish to ever seriously consider), or an aircraft carrier. The carrier option works (sort of), but it carries certain risks since our air wings really don't have any dedicated attack aircraft anymore (the F/A-18 Hornet is really a fighter, not a ground-pounder). Moreover, the Syrians have faced for the last five decades, possibly one of the world's finest air forces (Israel's), and as such have a fairly formidable integrated air defense network. I have little doubt that we can beat it, but we may well take hits in the process. If we're really committed to this little adventure as a nation, then that's a chance you take. I, however, don't foresee that sort of commitment by the American public (especially after a decade in Iraq and Afghanistan). In that case, American service personnel in Syrian Government hands is not a prospect I much relish. The Air force is going to be rather more limited in what it can bring to the table since we do NOT have any stealth attack platforms since the retirement of the F-117 Nighthawk a decade ago (contrary to common wisdom, the B-2A Spirit is NOT stealthy in the least -- Lockheed f***ed it up as it turns out). F-22 Raptor is not really designed to do attack missions, and F-35 Lightning is a joke (or a black comedy).

I could go on and on, but the most telling thing is that there appears to be no end-game plan. I'm still waiting to hear what the plan for a post-civil-war Syria is going to look like, and how our intervention is supposed to get us there. That's where we got bitten in Iraq and Afghanistan, and I'm just not seeing it again. This whole thing smacks of the same sort of rush to intervene without addressing the vastly more nuanced reality on the ground. I don't like this one little bit.
Last edited by Uniform Two Six on Thu Aug 29, 2013 2:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Volkodlak
Legendary
Legendary
Posts: 944
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:05 am
Gender: Male
Mood: Bored
Location: Slovenia

Re: Looks like we're going into Syria.

Post by Volkodlak »

ok, last time i checked UK has air base on cyprus so air attack could be posibble but i think we will see youst missle attack from that 3 or 4? US ships close by.
This missle strike wont do anything at all you will need boots on ground to achive someting plus attacking now when UN inspectors are in syria is unlikely

2 possible reasons for attack Iran or Oil
Image

User avatar
Uniform Two Six
Legendary
Legendary
Posts: 1121
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 8:56 pm
Location: Hayward, CA

Re: Looks like we're going into Syria.

Post by Uniform Two Six »

lovec1990 wrote:ok, last time i checked UK has air base on cyprus so air attack could be posibble...
I think there's restrictions on its use. I believe there's some sort of treaty with Turkey about the base only being used defensively or for logistical stuff (I seem to remember something about this being part of the peace settlement on Cyprus or something. I'll have to look that up, but good point). If memory serves, the only thing that really bases out of there right now is the RAF's demonstration team.
lovec1990 wrote: ...but i think we will see youst missle attack from that 3 or 4? US ships close by.
Again, that's not going to do much. The T-LAM is really only good against point targets, and moreover it's not something you would want to use in an urban area as the radar returns off urban terrain messes with the terrain comparison scheme. We've had bad experiences with T-LAMs in downtown areas (ie: blowing up residential areas half a mile away from the intended target). I'm pretty sure inadvertently leveling a hospital in downtown Damascus would be something we would ideally desire to avoid.
lovec1990 wrote:2 possible reasons for attack Iran...
Yeah, Syria is Iran's regional ally, but I'm not sure how messing with Assad really gains us anything, geopolitically.
lovec1990 wrote:...or Oil
Except they don't really have any (not all that much at any rate). Besides, if Iraq has shown us anything, it's that we won't see any of that oil.

User avatar
Volkodlak
Legendary
Legendary
Posts: 944
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:05 am
Gender: Male
Mood: Bored
Location: Slovenia

Re: Looks like we're going into Syria.

Post by Volkodlak »

Image

this is what we can use in attack
Image

User avatar
Uniform Two Six
Legendary
Legendary
Posts: 1121
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 8:56 pm
Location: Hayward, CA

Re: Looks like we're going into Syria.

Post by Uniform Two Six »

Whomever put that thing together, they're probably journalists who have no idea what they're talking about.

Now, as I said before, I'm not sure what the status of forces agreement on the British base in Cyprus is, so that may be an option, but everything else is pure garbage. Turkey will NOT allow us to base out of Incirlik. There's no way in hell. Jordan will not allow us to base in their country either. Saudi Arabia might allow us to base there, but we would still need authorization to overfly either Jordan or Iraq, and I just don't see either of those things happening. The carrier in the Persian Gulf can't go anywhere because it's needed right there to keep the Iranians honest. The one down in the Indian Ocean is (I believe) on anti-piracy patrol, so she's tied down too. The Patriot missiles in Jordan are purely defensive (as in they are a weapon system that cannot be used offensively -- unless the Syrians were to overfly Jordan itself for some reason). That leaves the surface ships and submarines in the Mediterranean Sea and the French carrier. The surface ships are restricted to T-LAMs for attack, which as mentioned before are highly problematic, and Charles DeGaulle (R91) is beset by propulsion problems, and moreover her air wing has no organic Iron-Hand capability. The French rely primarily on the U.S. for that. The F-16s out of Italy don't have the legs for this kind of mission without re-fuelling, and that pre-supposes that the Italians even allow us to base there in the first place.

This is more complicated than it appears on first-bounce.

User avatar
Volkodlak
Legendary
Legendary
Posts: 944
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:05 am
Gender: Male
Mood: Bored
Location: Slovenia

Re: Looks like we're going into Syria.

Post by Volkodlak »

now are two aircraft carriers in arabian sea besides this carriers need too be no more than 500miles from target too be able to run strike mission
Image

User avatar
Uniform Two Six
Legendary
Legendary
Posts: 1121
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 8:56 pm
Location: Hayward, CA

Re: Looks like we're going into Syria.

Post by Uniform Two Six »

lovec1990 wrote:now are two aircraft carriers in arabian sea besides this carriers need too be no more than 500miles from target too be able to run strike mission
Well, first, the Arabian Sea is waaaay more than 500 nautical miles from Syria. Second, even that figure is subject to several caveats. Depending upon the circumstances, you can do strikes with F/A-18 Hornets (particularly the E model) at ranges of well over 500 nm. All it requires is reducing the mission payload. 500 nm is more of an approximate rule-of-thumb. However, if you're expecting serious resistance, you're going to want to cut even that figure down some to account for extra fuel use. High-performance turbofan engines are notorious gas-guzzlers, and afterburners are orders of magnitude above that. Then again, you can use tankers to increase the range -- except that the U.S. Navy doesn't have any dedicated tankers left in service since the KA-6D Intruder was retired from service a decade ago.

Basically, if they're going to launch a carrier strike (and it's beginning to sound like the White House isn't thinking about it too hard), they need to do it from the Mediterranean Sea. That's going to be hard to do since the two carriers in the region are already more or less tied down on other assignments for the moment.

User avatar
Volkodlak
Legendary
Legendary
Posts: 944
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:05 am
Gender: Male
Mood: Bored
Location: Slovenia

Re: Looks like we're going into Syria.

Post by Volkodlak »

they can park one group in red sea thats around 300-400nm from syria and planes will go over saudi arabia and israel its possible.


iran is saying that if US attack, they will attack israel.Besides you dont realy belive there will be an actual strike on syria?
Image

User avatar
Uniform Two Six
Legendary
Legendary
Posts: 1121
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 8:56 pm
Location: Hayward, CA

Re: Looks like we're going into Syria.

Post by Uniform Two Six »

lovec1990 wrote:they can park one group in red sea thats around 300-400nm from syria and planes will go over saudi arabia and israel its possible.
The Red Sea is not ideal for carrier operations as it's both very confined and very congested. This creates all kinds of PIM (position of intended movement) problems for the battle group. Now, they've done it before in the 1991 Gulf War, but it's a bit more dicey if you don't have divert fields set up in advance like they had in 1991 -- "I'm conducting aviation operations" is not a recognized justification for right-of-way in congested commercial shipping lanes without a declared exclusion zone. Also, unless Jordan allows us to overfly, the only approach is through Israel and the Golan Heights. That's a very narrow window to fly through, and makes it exceedingly easy to set up SAM traps. Now, we might wind up doing that in the end, but it's not real smart.
lovec1990 wrote:iran is saying that if US attack, they will attack israel.
The Iranians say all sorts of silly things. Mostly it's just noise. I don't see the Iranians doing anything of the sort, because they know the U.S. will come over and whomp on them if they do.
lovec1990 wrote:Besides you dont realy belive there will be an actual strike on syria?
I don't know... The Republicans are real keen on this bullsh**, and Obama is getting a lot of flack from inside his own party because of the humanitarian angle. I hope it's just saber-rattling, but there's a real danger in even that -- If you draw a line in the sand, and they cross it, you are going to have a hard time backing down since you need to show that you're serious for the benefit of a hypothetical future adversary.

I really wish they'd just left well-enough alone.

User avatar
Volkodlak
Legendary
Legendary
Posts: 944
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:05 am
Gender: Male
Mood: Bored
Location: Slovenia

Re: Looks like we're going into Syria.

Post by Volkodlak »

they are youst threatning,The dog that barks doesn’t bite.did you heard 5th destroyer en route
Image

User avatar
Uniform Two Six
Legendary
Legendary
Posts: 1121
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 8:56 pm
Location: Hayward, CA

Re: Looks like we're going into Syria.

Post by Uniform Two Six »

lovec1990 wrote:they are youst threatning,The dog that barks doesn’t bite.
I'm sure that was a comforting notion to Saddam Hussein.
lovec1990 wrote:did you heard 5th destroyer en route
No I hadn't. I still think it doesn't make much difference. They could do Tomahawk strikes from a submarine if they wanted. Parking more tin cans off the coast isn't much of a gesture, I'm afraid.

Also I did some checking. RAF Akrotiri does not appear to have any use-restrictions (at least according to Wikipedia), so maybe that's an option. BBC is now reporting that half of a squadron of air-superiority variant Tornados are being shifted there.

User avatar
Volkodlak
Legendary
Legendary
Posts: 944
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:05 am
Gender: Male
Mood: Bored
Location: Slovenia

Re: Looks like we're going into Syria.

Post by Volkodlak »

IF they will attack it wont happen in 48 hours, because UN inspectors are still in country. But i think they are blufing and wont attack because public dont support an attack.
Image

User avatar
Uniform Two Six
Legendary
Legendary
Posts: 1121
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 8:56 pm
Location: Hayward, CA

Re: Looks like we're going into Syria.

Post by Uniform Two Six »

lovec1990 wrote:IF they will attack it wont happen in 48 hours, because UN inspectors are still in country. But i think they are blufing and wont attack because public dont support an attack.
I hope you're right. :(

User avatar
Volkodlak
Legendary
Legendary
Posts: 944
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:05 am
Gender: Male
Mood: Bored
Location: Slovenia

Re: Looks like we're going into Syria.

Post by Volkodlak »

why sad face?
Image

User avatar
Uniform Two Six
Legendary
Legendary
Posts: 1121
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 8:56 pm
Location: Hayward, CA

Re: Looks like we're going into Syria.

Post by Uniform Two Six »

Because I've seen this particular movie before, and it doesn't have a happy ending. Even if they're bluffing now, they're going to wind up painting themselves into a corner. At some point they'll realize that they've made it politically unpalatable to back down from the Syrians. I hope they're just blowing hot air at Assad, but I fear that we're going in. I did one tour in Afghanistan and that was quite enough.

User avatar
Volkodlak
Legendary
Legendary
Posts: 944
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:05 am
Gender: Male
Mood: Bored
Location: Slovenia

Re: Looks like we're going into Syria.

Post by Volkodlak »

besides even if we attack we are talking about missle strikes and arial bombardment no talk about boots on ground
Image

User avatar
Uniform Two Six
Legendary
Legendary
Posts: 1121
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 8:56 pm
Location: Hayward, CA

Re: Looks like we're going into Syria.

Post by Uniform Two Six »

Yeah, not at first -- but these things always snowball. In Kosovo, that was supposed to be air strikes only, and we wound up manning KFOR for years afterward.

User avatar
Volkodlak
Legendary
Legendary
Posts: 944
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:05 am
Gender: Male
Mood: Bored
Location: Slovenia

Re: Looks like we're going into Syria.

Post by Volkodlak »

UK wont do any military action it was voted,but US is still trying to form international coalition.But youst 6% of americans support military action so there will be no strike unles they attack without aproval of public.
Image

User avatar
Uniform Two Six
Legendary
Legendary
Posts: 1121
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 8:56 pm
Location: Hayward, CA

Re: Looks like we're going into Syria.

Post by Uniform Two Six »

God bless the Brits. The vote in the House of Commons seems to have splashed some cold water on American politicians. The rhetoric has backed off some. They're still making noises about going it alone, but for the first time in days, I'm cautiously optimistic. That vote probably means that the use of Cyprus (aside from a divert field) is probably out. They may fire off a couple of T-LAMs, but that won't amount to much, and it's starting to look like air strikes are coming off the table. If Obama is real smart, he'll delay until the UN inspection team is done and use their (probably inconclusive) findings to back out without even having to do the missile strike.

User avatar
Volkodlak
Legendary
Legendary
Posts: 944
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:05 am
Gender: Male
Mood: Bored
Location: Slovenia

Re: Looks like we're going into Syria.

Post by Volkodlak »

dont worry 50% of US public approve strike if will only be missle strike.
Image

User avatar
Uniform Two Six
Legendary
Legendary
Posts: 1121
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 8:56 pm
Location: Hayward, CA

Re: Looks like we're going into Syria.

Post by Uniform Two Six »

Yeah, but that's only because they don't know that the missile strikes are going to be worthless. If they really want to help the rebels (and again, I'm not sure why we apparently do, since I think they're worse than Assad by a fair stretch), then the object should be taking out Assad's air force. It means interdicting the runways, mining the ramps, and penetrating the hardened aircraft shelters. You can't do that with Tomahawks. So why are we contemplating wasting million-dollar missiles? I just flat-out don't get this whole thing.

User avatar
Kaged Tiger
Dealing with the Change
Dealing with the Change
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Aug 13, 2013 1:06 pm
Custom Title: Poetry in Motion
Gender: Male

Re: Looks like we're going into Syria.

Post by Kaged Tiger »

It pains me to say this, but I hadn't even thought about most of this. I was just kind of like gas=bad. Sadly, though, that's probably how a lot of Americans think. Thanks for the intelligent break-down of the topic. That said, I thought we were past asking what politicians' motives were in doing anything. It's like looking at a piece of abstract toast art and asking what it means. Don't waste your time.
Sometimes you howl because only the moon will listen.

User avatar
Volkodlak
Legendary
Legendary
Posts: 944
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:05 am
Gender: Male
Mood: Bored
Location: Slovenia

Re: Looks like we're going into Syria.

Post by Volkodlak »

Obama is a little afraid hes waiting for 9th september for congress.

US is stockpiling ships and USS Nimitz has started mowing towards Red Sea
Image

User avatar
Uniform Two Six
Legendary
Legendary
Posts: 1121
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 8:56 pm
Location: Hayward, CA

Re: Looks like we're going into Syria.

Post by Uniform Two Six »

Just watched the Senate hearings on C-SPAN. I personally loved the part where both Kerry and McCain are spouting off about how knocking over Assad won't lead to the religious fruitcakes taking over. Supposedly the Syrian populace won't allow this to happen because the country has a long history of secular rule. Because, y'know, that line of reasoning sure worked out well in Iran in 1979.

I'm noticing that we appear to be standing in a corner, and I think I smell fresh paint.
:x

User avatar
Volkodlak
Legendary
Legendary
Posts: 944
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:05 am
Gender: Male
Mood: Bored
Location: Slovenia

Re: Looks like we're going into Syria.

Post by Volkodlak »

how likely is now this strike?
Image

Post Reply