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Pentagon Begins Low-Intensity, Stealth War in Syria

By       Message Mike Whitney     Permalink
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Reprinted from Counterpunch

US defense chief Ashton Carter warns Russia
US defense chief Ashton Carter warns Russia
(Image by economictimes.indiatimes.com)
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"Last Wednesday, at a Deputies Committee meeting at the White House, officials from the State Department, the CIA and the Joint Chiefs of Staff discussed limited military strikes against the (Assad) regime ... One proposed way to get around the White House's long-standing objection to striking the Assad regime without a U.N. Security Council resolution would be to carry out the strikes covertly and without public acknowledgment." -- Washington Post

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Call it stealth warfare, call it poking the bear, call it whatever you'd like. The fact is, the Syrian war has entered a new and more dangerous phase increasing the chances of a catastrophic confrontation between the US and Russia.

This new chapter of the conflict is the brainchild of Pentagon warlord, Ash Carter, whose attack on a Syrian outpost at Deir Ezzor killed 62 Syrian regulars putting a swift end to the fragile ceasefire agreement. Carter and his generals opposed the Kerry-Lavrov ceasefire deal because it would have required "military and intelligence cooperation with the Russians." In other words, the US would have had to get the greenlight from Moscow for its bombing targets, which would have undermined its ability to assist its jihadist fighters on the ground. That was a real deal-breaker for the Pentagon. But bombing Deir Ezzor fixed all that. It got the Pentagon out of the jam it was in, it torpedoed the ceasefire, and it allowed Carter to launch his own private shooting match without presidential authorization. Mission accomplished.

So what sort of escalation does Carter have in mind, after all, most analysts assume that a direct confrontation between the United States and Russia will lead to a nuclear war. Is he really willing to take that risk?

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Heck no, but not everyone agrees that more violence will lead to a nuclear exchange. Carter, for example, seems to think that he can raise the stakes considerably without any real danger, which is why he intends to conduct a low-intensity, stealth war on mainly Syrian assets that will force Putin to increase Russia's military commitment. The larger Russia's military commitment, the greater probability of a quagmire, which is the primary objective of Plan C, aka--Plan Carter. Take a look at this clip from an article in Tuesday's Washington Post which helps to explain what's going on:

"U.S. military strikes against the Assad regime will be back on the table Wednesday at the White House, when top national security officials in the Obama administration are set to discuss options for the way forward in Syria...

"Inside the national security agencies, meetings have been going on for weeks to consider new options to recommend to the president to address the ongoing crisis in Aleppo...A meeting of the National Security Council, which could include the president, could come as early as this weekend.

"Last Wednesday, at a Deputies Committee meeting at the White House, officials from the State Department, the CIA and the Joint Chiefs of Staff discussed limited military strikes against the regime...

"The options under consideration... include bombing Syrian air force runways using cruise missiles and other long-range weapons fired from coalition planes and ships... One proposed way to get around the White House's long-standing objection to striking the Assad regime without a U.N. Security Council resolution would be to carry out the strikes covertly and without public acknowledgment, the official said." (Obama administration considering strikes on Assad, again, Washington Post)

Don't you think the Washington Post should have mentioned that Carter's sordid-little enterprise is already underway?

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Consider the bombing of Deir Ezzor, for example. Doesn't that meet the Post's standard of "U.S. military strikes against the Assad regime"?

Sure, it does.

And what about the two Syrian bridges US warplanes took out over the Euphrates last week? (making it more difficult to attack ISIS strongholds in the eastern quadrant of the country) Don't they count?

Of course, they do.

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Mike is a freelance writer living in Washington state.


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