Sunday, September 01, 2013

russia and iran mull their syria options...,

rferl | U.S.-led military intervention in Syria would put Washington on a collision course with two unwavering allies of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad -- Iran and Russia.

Just how Tehran and Moscow might react is a key part of the calculus that U.S. President Barack Obama must consider in weighing his course of action in Syria.

Although analysts agree that neither country is likely to respond with direct military support for Assad, they also don't expect Tehran or Moscow to sit back passively. Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has said that an attack against Assad is a "red line" that would trigger a response, although it has not said what that response might be.

Iran's reaction to date has been mild, with Tehran condemning both the use of chemical weapons and threats of foreign military intervention.

According to Will Fulton, an Iran analyst with the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, the IRGC would likely not risk a direct confrontation with the United States but could act through proxies, including Hizballah in Lebanon or Shi'ite militias in Iraq.

Tehran would also seek to capitalize on anti-U.S. reaction at home and across the region. "I think we will absolutely see more condemnations, more warnings from IRGC and hard-line officials, and this will of course play into, especially, the IRGC's narrative that the conflict in Syria is a conspiracy of Israel and the West," Fulton says. "So they will use this attack to fuel that narrative and it will become a recruiting tool and a narrative defense of their own foreign interference in Syria."


Nakajima Kikka said...

Something that doesn't get mentioned much--for obvious reasons--is that maintaining the international post-WW2 security order with it's network of treaties and protocols (such as that on chemical weapons) is very energy-intensive. As low-cost energy reserves continue to decline, holding all of this together is getting harder. Some of the first things to cut loose are "frills", the international protocol banning the use of chemical weapons being an obvious example.

CNu said...

Well, as you know the only true WMD is a nuclear weapon. That said, chemical and biological are definitely terror weapons and with that in mind, are you entirely persuaded to think that a moratorium on the use of such weapons remains a "frill"? That also flies in the face of the false-flag narrative fig-leaf being feebly waved around to justify intervention.

But one would think that Bush's pre-emptive use of nuclear weapons doctrine would be more than sufficient grounds for black Bush to do whatever it is the Brookings cabal has assigned him to do.

Nakajima Kikka said...

C&B are terror weapons, but C also can be tactically very effective on the battlefield, IF those responsible for their deployment know how to use them, as the Iraqis were able to do in the late stages of the Iran-Iraq war.
Leaving aside who specifically deployed them in Syria a couple of weeks ago, or even if it was a consequence of accidental release collateral to a Syrian army ground offensive, the larger context is that the battlefield use of chemical weapons is now in the process of being normalized. This complicates tactical and strategic war planning down the road, including for WWIII. Humanitarian issues aside, this should be reason enough to want to keep everyone agreeing to keep the moratorium in place. But growing energy constraints are placing hard limits on what the post-WW2 international security system can effectively police. Something's got to give, and the moratorium on chemical is a "frill" compared to biological and nuclear. The British Parliament's rejection of war authorization is not simply due to skepticism about the veracity of the intelligence. Parliament is also skeptical that the moratorium on chemical can, or even should, be enforced internationally.
The moratorium on chemical is coming unraveled. I can feel it. Can't you?