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Syria Audio Analysis: Why Obama’s “Special Forces” Are More PR Than Substance

Syria Audio Analysis: Why Obama’s “Special Forces” Are More PR Than Substance
November 02
11:10 2015

I spoke with Australia’s top radio program, RN Breakfast, on Monday about President Obama’s authorization of the deployment of up to 50 US Special Forces personnel inside Syria.

My argument is that the deployment is more PR than substance, prompted by the “need to do something to say you are doing something”, following Russia’s high-profile military intervention in support of the Assad regime.

The US probably has had special forces working with Kurdish forces throughout the past year, but the Administration’s declared goal of an offensive on the Islamic State’s center of Raqqa in northern Syria is unlikely to happen — primarily because the Kurds do not see that as a priority, compared to the consolidation of their territory along the Turkish border.

More in the discussion here….

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About Author

Scott Lucas

Scott Lucas

Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.

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7 Comments

  1. Andre De Angelis
    Andre De Angelis November 02, 22:20

    Some flaws in your analysis Scott.

    1. You claimed that the reason the US trained rebels gave in to ISIS upon setting foot in Syria is because they wanted to fight Assad not ISIS.

    This is certainly not true across the board. Last week, the head of the Joint Chief’s of Staff and Ash Carter testified before the Senate and sent McCain into a rage over their testimony that US backed rebels wanted to fight ISIS and not Assad.

    2. Your argument that Assad is the problem is equally erroneous. There are a number of competing factions who regard the problem as entirely different.

    – Russia. Iran, Iraq and Hezbollah do not regard Assad as the problem

    – Obama boxed himself in in 2011 when he mistakenly predicted Assad would be gone within 12 months.

    – The Saudis want Assad gone for their own hegemonic reasons and to isolate Iran. They could care less about the atrocities committed by Assad.

    – The Turks are obsessed with preventing a Kurdish state emerging.

    Reply to this comment
    • Mikey3d
      Mikey3d November 03, 01:06

      Do you seriously believe that the majority of the Syrian people would shed a tear if Assad and his inner circle were killed? Im including Alawites as well. They in particular would gain the most if Assad was eliminate. Its the only way the vast Sunni majority would feel vindicated and not exact brutal revenge.

      Reply to this comment
      • Andre De Angelis
        Andre De Angelis November 03, 01:33

        Do you seriously believe that the majority of the Syrian people would shed a tear if Assad and his inner circle were killed?

        No, but then again, the majority of Saudis would care if the entire Royal family were killed – same with Qatar

        Reply to this comment
        • Mikey3d
          Mikey3d November 03, 01:49

          Then again there aren’t 300,000 dead saudis killed in a brutal war . Youre comparisons make little sense.

          Reply to this comment
          • Andre De Angelis
            Andre De Angelis November 03, 02:15

            The comparison makes complete sense.

            The Saudis, like all brutal and murderous dictators, live in fear of their own populations. They went so far as to brutally crush the uprisings in Egypt and Bahrain out of fear that the Saudi public might get the same idea.

            Reply to this comment
            • Mikey3d
              Mikey3d November 03, 02:43

              The only thing the Saudis fear is losing their big fat paychecks and entitlements. They could care less who’s in power as long as that money keeps coming in. As for Egypt, the whole world should be grateful that Sisi smashed the brotherhood. If they succeeded with their creeping coup, Egypt would have become another extremist strong hold. Bahrain : I agree with you!

              Reply to this comment

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