Monday, August 26, 2013

Ruling the Skies Syria Edition

Looks like the war machine gets another round at the buffet. Is it the Kosovo strategy? The Libya strategy? Lobbing some cruise missiles? The US is not as confused with Syria as it is with Egypt, but our friends in the KSA and Qatar want action. Clear, public American opposition does not matter here, as the elite control the levers of power. They have planned it for years. We're being told no boots on the ground, but hey, isn't that what al-qaeda remnants are for? This will come down to a no-fly zone, missiles and other air warfare. The important thing is ruling the skies. America has ruled the skies for decades. To do anything in the air requires our permission and must be done by an ally.

Qadafi tried using helicopters and planes on the rebels trying to overthrow him, but we said no. That is not fair. We broke Westphalian concepts with that intervention, but that's not new. Saudi Arabia used tanks and choppers against protesting hordes, but that was deemed acceptable. The Russians have put up enough barriers to US intervention in Syria for two years, so we had to find a way around it. Chemical weapons! This can be a pretext for a no fly zone, missile strikes and the standard menu for our powerful air force and navy. There is another country that has made airstrikes outside its air zone without a peep from US authorities. Israel.

Israel has bombed Syria in 2007, Khartoum in 2012, and multiple strikes recently on Syrian missile depots, including a strike in July of 2013 on a Yakhont missile depot. Israel did not take credit for the first two, but ahem, everyone who matters knows. The nation with a giant satellite network in space would certainly know. No reprimand. No scolding. The US does not lift a finger to argue. By performing these strikes and not being punished, Israel reveals America's allegiance. This will haunt America as long as we play broker in the Middle East. The Yakhont strike might be different though.

Yakhont missiles are antiship missiles. The Russians kept their promise from a few years back to deliver missiles, and did so in spring of 2013. Israel used the excuse that the missiles could be transferred to Hezbollah to use against Israel. Seeing that Hezbollah is being well taken care of by Assad in his attempt to hold onto Syria, why on earth would Hezbollah use those missile systems on Israel now? They would not, but Syria could use the Yakhont's and their 100+ mile range to strike at supply ships, carriers and other surface ships of a NATO force. Israel was pitching in for the anti-Assad coalition with that strike. America could not do it directly, and having many missiles knocked out prior to placing one's assets in the region would be desirable. Uncle Sam can pat Israel on the head and no appreciatively.

That depot and however many missiles from that recent shipment that were destroyed are important. Fred Reed is right about the oddity of the US having a huge military now. He misses the American Mob empire requirements, and he misses the importance of ruling the skies. Knocking out Libya's air capabilities skewed things in the steadily supplied rebels' favor. Remove the sky from the theater and it removes the greatest advantage any incumbent force has on upstart rebels. Declaring who can fight in the skies is one of America's greatest powers. Assad has taken notes.

Assad saw Qadafi's fate. He's been ruthless and far quicker to call on his main patron, Russia. What happens if he's down and close to out? Think Assad fires dozens of Yakhonts at whatever US carrier or destroyer within range? How many can an Aegis system withstand? What happens to American prestige if they lose one destroyer or a carrier? How does the American public react? After lip service to our veterans, the average American sees no tangible negative consequence to our elite's warmongering. Makes a lot more sense now for Israel to have destroyed those Yakhonts. Tilt the playing field for the US. Sometimes the Don does you a favor, and sometimes the Don calls upon you to pay that favor back. He watches and rules the skies. Don't you forget.

No comments: