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Is Mad Dog Planning to Invade East Syria?
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The Pentagon’s plan for seizing and occupying territory in east Syria is beginning to take shape. According to a Fox News exclusive:

“The Islamic State has essentially moved its so-called capital in Syria… ISIS is now centered in Deir ez-Zur, roughly 90 miles southeast of Raqqa, the officials said.”
(“ISIS moves its capital in Syria”, FOX News )

The move by ISIS corresponds to the secretive massing of US troops and military equipment on the Syria-Jordan border. It creates the perfect pretext for a ground invasion followed by a long-term military occupation in an area that Washington has sought to control for the last 18 months. Here’s more on the topic from South Front:

“The US military is reportedly concentrating troops and military equipment at the Syrian-Jordanian border. Local sources said that about 20 US Army armoured vehicles (including battle tanks and artillery pieces) carried on trucks were spotted in Al-Mafraq. US troops were allegedly accompanied with the Jordanian Army’s 3rd Division.

The US Special Operation Forces, the UK Special Operation Forces and units from some other countries -have been conducting operations across the Syrian-Jordanian border for a long time. They even had a secret military facility inside Syria where members the so-called New Syrian Army militant group were deployed. However, it was the first time when a notable number of US armoured vehicles was reported there. The US Ro-Ro ship Liberty Passion, loaded with vehicles, had arrived to the Jordanian port of Al-Aqapa few days ago. These moves followed a meeting between the Jordanian King and the US president.

Thus, the US-led coalition could prepare a large-scale military operation in southern Syria. The goal of the operation will likely be to get control over the Syrian-Iraqi border and to reach Deir Ezzor. It will involve militants trained in camps in Jordan and the US-led coalition’s forces.” (“US Military Deployment at Syrian-Jordanian Border, Military Escalation”, Global Research)

Deir Ezzor is a strategically-located city along the Euphrates that the Pentagon needs in order to tighten its grip on the eastern quadrant of the country. Once Deir Ezzor is taken, the US can launch its CIA-backed jihadist militias back into Syria at will putting more pressure on Damascus and eventually forcing regime change. That is the plan at least, whether it works or not is anyone’s guess. The deployment of troops on the Jordanian border suggests that Washington’s proxy-army, the mainly-Kurdish militia or SDF, is either unwilling to conduct operations as far south as Deir Ezzor or doesn’t have the military strength to beat ISIS on its own. In any event, the Pentagon needs fresh troops and equipment to succeed. Here’s more from South Front:

“US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis presented a preliminary version of the new plan to defeat ISIS in Syria and Iraq, a Pentagon spokesman, Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, said on February 28th. ….The plan submitted by Mattis also includes a proposal to increase the size of the US military contingent to ISIS in Syria… (Note–There are already 400 Special Forces operating alongside the SDF) Without significant US presence on the ground, the SDF will hardly be able to retake Raqqah from ISIS without incurring unacceptable losses….

As to Deir Ezzor, the US can try to use militants trained in Jordan to launch an attack on Deir Ezzor from the southern direction. However, the total failure of this US-backed group in 2016 leaves little chance that it’s able to combat ISIS successfully in 2017. So, the US and its allies will be pushed to deploy special forces units or even ground troops to support the advance there.

The Polish Special Forces have already deployed to Jordan where they will operate alongside their French and British counterparts. According to reports, the US-led block created a joint command center to coordinate efforts of all sides, which will support the advance against ISIS in the area.” (“New US Strategy Against ISIS And War In Syria. What To Expect?”, South Front)

Here’s more from Fox News:

“U.S. military drones have watched hundreds of ISIS “bureaucrats,” or administrators, leaving Raqqa in the past two months for the city of al-Mayadin located further down the Euphrates River from Deir el-Zour.”

Let me get this straight: US military drones located hundreds of ISIS terrorists traveling across the open dessert, but did nothing to stop them. Why?

Is it because the Pentagon needs ISIS in Deir Ezzor to justify a ground invasion? That’s certainly the most plausible explanation.

More from Fox: “Questions remain about the hold force necessary to keep the peace after ISIS is uprooted from Raqqa.”

In other words, readers are supposed to believe that the Pentagon doesn’t already have a plan in place for occupying the cities when the siege ends. That’s baloney. Check out this excerpt from an article by Whitney Webb:

“The Syrian city of Raqqa – the “stronghold” of terror group ISIS – will be governed by a “civilian council” with the support of U.S. troops following its “liberation” from terrorists….

On Tuesday, the U.S.-allied militias …announced that they had formed a “civilian council” to govern Raqqa after its capture from Daesh militants. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)… claim to have spent six months setting up the council, with a preparatory committee having met “with the people and important tribal figures of Raqqa city to find out their opinions on how to govern it,” Middle East Eye reported.

SDF spokesman Talal Selo stated that some towns near Raqqa had already been turned over to the council following a successful operation to drive out Daesh forces.

The U.S. military had previously hinted that power would be given to rebel groups following Raqqa’s “liberation”…(“After ‘Liberation,’ U.S. To Give Control Of Raqqa To Rebels, Not Syrian Government”, Information Clearinghouse)

Washington has already chosen a group of puppets who will follow their directives when the fighting finally ends. The leaders will be selected from rebel groups and tribal elders that pledge their allegiance to Washington. The new arrangement will prevent the Syrian government from reclaiming a sizable portion of its sovereign territory or reestablishing control over its borders. A splintered Syria will strengthen US-Israeli regional hegemony and provide the land needed for future US military bases.

But why would Washington opt to occupy another country when previous occupations (like Iraq) have gone so badly?

There’s a two word answer to that question: Nadia Schadlow. President Trump’s National Security Advisor H R McMaster recently hired Schadlow to join his staff as a deputy assistant to the president for national security strategy. Schadlow recently published a book that “examined 15 cases in which the United States Army intervened abroad, and the service’s role in political and economic reconstruction.” According to the Wall Street Journal:

(Schadlow’s) “War and the Art of Governance” consists of a collection of case studies, beginning with the Mexican-American War and ending in Iraq. Each examines how the U.S. attempted…to translate battlefield victory into a lasting and beneficial political outcome.
Ms. Schadlow’s case studies tell an often doleful story of America allowing victories to fall apart, leaving behind a suffering populace that should have been rewarded with a better peace. She asserts convincingly that postconflict governance can only be done well by soldiers….

The Army’s Civil Affairs units are the only government entities capable of administering conquered territories, yet Civil Affairs units remain the Army’s neglected stepchildren. … the nation must never go to war again until it can definitively answer Gen. Petraeus’s question about “how this ends.” It ends only when the U.S. Army assumes the mantle of leadership and commits itself to remaining on the field until the lives of the population can be protected, the damage repaired and a political future guaranteed.” (“What Happens After Victory”, Wall Street Journal)

Get it? The woman is an expert on military occupation!

Now answer this one question for me: Why would McMaster hire an expert on military occupation unless he was planning to militarily occupy another country?

The facts speak for themselves.







MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at [email protected].

(Republished from Counterpunch by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Military, Syria 
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  1. LondonBob says:

    McMaster is stuffing the NSC with the usual idiots. Mattis is showing why Obama had to sack him.

    The good news is the US is close to bankruptcy so this really can’t go on for much longer, although not much consolation to the grunts who will be target practice in due course.

  2. If I am “reading” McMaster correctly (I am still deciding if wasting my hard-earned 13 bucks on his book is justifiable), the guy dedicated a large part of his military career (his Ph.D thesis) to the topic of “We won Vietnam but got stubbed in the back” and it shows how it affected him, then we may be in trouble since, corollary to all that, US losing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan could also be blamed on the “back-stubbing” and he and Mattis will need another go to prove that US military “is the greatest one in the history”. Syria is, generally, a last chance to gain a some kind of military success, especially against the background of a bloodbath of Mosul (still is being “liberated” as I type this). Plus this subconscious desire to fight those nasty Russkies. Keeping oneself in Syria and using ISIS as a ram seems, in D.C. view, a worthy goal. The descend into complete madness continues.

    • Replies: @Quartermaster
  3. The US is so bad at this Empire thing that perhaps we should consider another line of work. Even the Brits, our mentors, think us a bad show; slow learners and in over our heads. Think how much joy it will bring to let China grasp the laurel and step forward to lead. With five thousand years of history and the friendship rather than the enmity of a hundred nations for support, the task should be easy. We’ll make the history books but just barely.

  4. The good news is the US is close to bankruptcy so this really can’t go on for much longer…..

    Agreed. The final exhaustion and collapse of Imperial Washington is at hand. Time is on the side of the resistance. Unless the psyco killers in possession of the American war machine opt for nuclear winter.

    • Replies: @Anonymous White Male
  5. KenH says:

    “Mad Dog” is just one of the many Dr. Strangelove characters Trump has filled his cabinet with. I now understand why Obama forced him into retirement.

    Mad Dog was in Israel recently getting his latest orders from Bibi Nutanyahoo, so no doubt we’ll be taking further military actions designed to weaken the Assad regime since Israel’s too cowardsly to do it themselves. Besides that’s what their goy American slaves are for.

    Since we’re the worst nation builders in world history and think the average ME Muslim is just like the average Iowan or Kansan, it won’t be long before Syria is a complete friggin mess and Trump breaks yet another campaign promise to accommodate hundreds of thousands of Muslim refugees. And Christians if they don’t all get martyred.

    • Replies: @Anonymous White Male
  6. bob sykes says:

    The huge disconnect between Trump’s campaign, in which he promised to wind down our wars and improve relations with Russia and China, and the gross war mongering now underway suggests that the US has suffered a quiet coup d’etat, and that we are being governed by a secret junta. I suppose we can guess some of the names.

    Besides the Middle East, there is also the real danger of a major war on the Korean peninsula. Both Russia and China are urging restraint. One remembers that in the first Korean War both Russia and China participated on the side of the Norks. The MIG 15’s were provided by Russia and flown by Russian pilots. The Chinese provided the infantry. They won; we lost.

  7. @WorkingClass

    And the problem with this is that “pundits” have been predicting this for over 40 years. If the entrenched financial system of debt/usury can continue to find things to waste money on (like war) and as long as Western consumers can still purchase goods and services, the de facto rulers can stretch this out a little while longer. What is a little while? The implication of claiming something is close to happening or “exhaustion and collapse of Imperial Washington is at hand” is that it will happen very shortly. If it doesn’t happen within a year or two, you will appear to be a tin foil hat wearer. When someone actually claims that the collapse will occur within a certain year and it does, I will consider that this person knows what they are talking about.

  8. @bob sykes

    Haven’t we been ruled by a “secret junta” for over 160 years? The possibility of war on the Korean peninsula depends on only if the secret junta wants it, not what some North Korean leader wants or does.

  9. @KenH

    I honestly don’t understand how anyone can believe that Obama did anything or that there is any difference in who runs this nation now, under Trump, than there was when the gay mullato was in office.

  10. I would suppose the end to be achieved, is every country in the world garrisoned by U.S. troops, and every governance structure beholden to Wall Street.

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  11. @bob sykes

    The huge disconnect between Trump’s campaign, in which he promised to wind down our wars and improve relations with Russia and China, and the gross war mongering now underway suggests that the US has suffered a quiet coup d’etat, and that we are being governed by a secret junta. I suppose we can guess some of the names.

    There is a deeper and larger meaning in all that–US economic system is in a very deep trouble; Trump’s re-industrialization may not happen in any meaningful way now and what is the real thing which saved US first time after Great Depression? Correct–war. US political establishment in its desperate attempt to keep US afloat (apart from other cultural factors) may try what they think will get US out of economic death spiral–another war. Obviously, being militarily incompetent and illiterate they do not recognize that today US proper may suffer conventionally, without resorting to escalation to nuclear threshold. Pax Americana is also based on the myth of US military might. This might’s record, however, is not that impressive and everyone can see it, so US is in dire need for some serious military victory. US military shtick of bombing backward nations with fourth rate militaries into the stone age simply doesn’t impress anyone anymore.

    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus
  12. @Fran Macadam

    I would suppose the end to be achieved, is every country in the world garrisoned by U.S. troops, and every governance structure beholden to Wall Street.

    US doesn’t have even 1/10 of the resources required for this. But then again, I wrote it for many years–US elites are simply situationally not aware of application of military force for real.

    • Replies: @RobinG
  13. Pierre says:

    This is all done in the name of Israel.

  14. @Andrei Martyanov

    the kicker is the Russians won that war that the USA built 35+ – years of prosperity upon.

    Putin is not Joe Stalin.

    • Replies: @Anonymous White Male
  15. @SolontoCroesus

    But, the United States shipped supplies and weaponry to the USSR during the war. The US, England, and Canada shipped $130 billion in aid to the USSR with the US providing most of it. This from a Russian historian.

    The USSR might have been able to push the Germans out of Russia without Lend-Lease but the opinion seems to be that it wouldn’t have happened till after 1945.

    • Replies: @bluedog
    , @Andrei Martyanov
  16. anon • Disclaimer says:

    For the US, WW 2 was about 3 years. We weren’t mobilized until mid 42 and it was over by mid 45.

    The problem with Vietnam and the rest of our post WW 2 non victories is that these are wars are attrition and if they aren’t won quickly, they are lost. By lost, I mean they are losers, bowsers, dogs, problems. They cost much more than they were worth.

    If a war isn’t worth killing every single civilian, it isn’t worth killing any civilian. If Mosul is strategically important to Americans, why didn’t we just fire bomb it?

    Congress will never vote to send US ground troops to Syria. And this is such a mess — we have our allies, Quada, which used to be our enemy and still is in Iraq. Same with the Sunnis. Which are enemies in Iraq. Not to mention Turkey. Which is at war with the Kurds.

    This can’t be done on the cheap with bombs and a few special forces.

    Trump can’t stand to lose and will have a chance to either double down or to simply blame it on his general. The latter is more Trump’s style.

    However, there is simply no upside for the US. The sooner we cut our losses, the better.

  17. bluedog says:
    @Anonymous White Male

    Damn cheap at any price for Russia took out one and a half to two million German soldiers some of the best Germany had, and if they had been in France its doubtful we would have ever won without a bloodbath of out troops.

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  18. RobinG says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    So they try to do it on the cheap, by proxy. Notice label on munitions crate :


    Photo-essay from Aleppo –

    “Following the liberation of Aleppo in December 2016 the Syrian Arab Army also discovered weapons caches comprising sophisticated anti-tank and surface to air missiles, all kindly supplied by the USA”

    ” The buildings in eastern Aleppo and the Al Khaldeeye district in northern Homs were destroyed by ‘hell cannon’ missiles, improvised from gas canisters filled with rusty nails and ballbearings”

    Firing Hell Cannon

  19. @bluedog

    out one and a half to two million German soldiers some of the best Germany had

    Your numbers are way off. See what leading American military historians give.

    Numbers matter, hugely.

    • Replies: @bluedog
  20. @Anonymous White Male

    The USSR might have been able to push the Germans out of Russia without Lend-Lease but the opinion seems to be that it wouldn’t have happened till after 1945.

    We have been through this so many times on these discussion boards. While Lend-Lease was an important help… but let’s US Military Academy at West Point speak, plus others.

    There is a huge reason why Western, especially US, military historiography continued till 1990s to play with numbers and causalities of WW II. American superpowerdom was born in the crucible of the European theater of operations because Soviet Union took the brunt (varies from 75 to 80%) of cream of the cream of Wehrmacht (and Axis allies) on itself and by 1943 ground them to a complete halt and bled them white. By early 1944 Wehrmacht was pretty much done as the force which conquered Europe in a matter of weeks, not to speak about the force which was a backbone of Barbarossa in 1941.

  21. @Andrei Martyanov

    The troops won Vietnam in the field. Kennedy, McGovern and Mansfield lost it in the Senate. It’s not inaccurate to say that the troops were stabbed in the back.

    • Replies: @Sparkon
    , @bluedog
    , @FeralCat
  22. bluedog says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    Indeed yes thank you for the correction..

  23. Sparkon says:

    The troops were stabbed in the front to be sent there in the first place, since the war was entirely illegitimate from the beginning. By the end, morale of U.S. forces was very low, discipline had eroded severely, and fraggings, mutiny, and desertions were noted.

    By every conceivable indicator, our army that now remains in Vietnam is in a state approaching collapse, with individual units avoiding or having _refused_ combat, murdering their officers and non commissioned officers, drug-ridden, and dispirited where not near mutinous.

    –Marine Colonel Robert D. Heinl Jr.

    Ike probably deserves the lion’s share of blame for what ensued in ‘Nam for failing to ensure the promised nationwide elections were held in 1956, after the French had been thrown out, but already Truman had been funding the French in their fight against the Viet Minh for several years.

    July 26, 1950 – United States military involvement in Vietnam begins as President Harry Truman authorizes $15 million in military aid to the French.

    American military advisors will accompany the flow of U.S. tanks, planes, artillery and other supplies to Vietnam. Over the next four years, the U.S. will spend $3 Billion on the French war and by 1954 will provide 80 percent of all war supplies used by the French.

    As Twain is supposed to have quipped:

    It is easier to stay out than get out.

    • Agree: bluedog
  24. bluedog says:

    You mean LBJ and crew lost it for if JFK had lived every American would have been out of Nam with in a year,yes we may have won the battles but we lost the most important part and that was the war, and LBJ full well knew it was unwinable for he had sent one of his most trusted advisors to access the war and that was his report,after a two day brain storming cession they gave into Westmorland who only wanted another two hundred thousand troops for his war machine and as they say the rest is history

  25. FeralCat says:

    Apparently what Mattis and McMaster leaned from Iraq and Afcrapistan is exactly … … nothing.

  26. FeralCat says:

    “Indochina is devoid of decisive military objectives and the allocation of more than token US armed forces in Indochina would be a serious diversion of limited US capabilities”
    – Joint Chiefs of Staff, 26 May 1954.

    “Even had the United States attained a conclusive military decision, its cost would have exceeded any possible benefit. Vietnam was then, and remains today, a strategic backwater.. Bernard Brodie observed in the early 1970s that “it is now clear what we mean by calling the United States intervention in Vietnam a failure. We mean that at least as early as the beginning of 1968 even the most favorable outcome could not remotely be worth the price we would have paid for it.”
    – The U.S. Army War College Quarterly – Winter 1996-1997.

  27. FeralCat says:

    “The leaders of the United States in the crucial years of the early and mid-1960s failed to come up with a strategy that would produce victory. Instead, they simply poured in more and more US troops and materiel into South Vietnam. They misled the public by insisting we were winning the war and thereby prepared the war for defeatism and demagoguery later on. The American people could not be expected to continue indefinitely to support a war in which they were told victory was around the corner, but which required greater and greater effort without any obvious signs of improvement“.
    – The U.S. Army War College Quarterly – Winter 1996-1997

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