Thursday, May 09, 2013

The Curse of the Entitled Ally

Though we have arrived here is a messy and not very ennobling way - I am in rough alignment with President Obama's approach to Syria ... which is not to approach.

Here is what is right.
1. Help good neighbors help themselves from spillover.

2. Do not get involved.

What did we do wrong?
1. The red-line comment was a rookie mistake. Superpowers don't bluff.

2. Not see the Arab Spring for what it was; springtime for the Muslim Brotherhood, Salafists, and other radicals.

This nation is in no mood for another adventure in to a Muslim nation that will only soak up our blood, treasure, and good intentions. We've had our quota.

There is simply no compelling national interest in our getting involved more than we actually are in Syria. It is a civil war that will have to burn itself out. On top of it - if it were such a crisis point, there is someone close by who should be the first to move.

The second largest army in NATO is in Turkey. Turkey has a very long border with Syria. Syria used to be part of the Turkish Ottoman Empire. In so many ways, this is not our fight.

Help Israel mitigate weapons moving to where they shouldn't be? Sure.

Help shore up the Jordanian effort to secure their border? Sure.

Help Turkey secure its border? Sure.

Start bombing or worse yet putting boots on the ground before Turkey has even made an effort? No.

Turkey is used to expecting someone else to clean up their back yard, I guess.
"It is clear the regime has used chemical weapons and missiles," Turkish premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.

Erdogan gave no specifics about when and where the weapons were allegedly used, but he said he believes President Obama's "red line" for the U.S. in deciding whether to take action has been crossed.

"It has been passed long time ago," said Erdogan, who is meeting with Obama on May 16.

"We want the United States to assume more responsibilities and take further steps. And what sort of steps they will take, we are going to talk about this."

Erdogan cited as evidence the "remainders of missiles" — at least 200 by his count — that he believes were used in chemical attacks, along with the injuries of Syrians brought over the Turkish border for medical treatment.
No, Turkey needs to assume more responsibilities and take further steps. This is your backyard. If Syria isn't worth the bones of an Anatolian farmers son - it sure isn't worth the bones of a guy from Idaho.

Remember all the help you gave European-NATO in Libya? Oh ... right.

Remember all the caveat free maneuver forces we were able to use to combat the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan? Oh ... right.

Remember all the support you gave the 4ID to open up the northern front in the invasion of Iraq in 2003? Oh ... right.

Turkey, I'm sorry - this is your time. I'm not saying that Turkey should invade Syria - as a matter of fact I would discourage getting involved inside Syria in any way outside of containment. So, how about you don't ask some North American force to do your dirty work for you?

Syria would make Iraq and Afghanistan look easy. Let them fight it out. Not our fight, not yet - maybe in a supporting role for others once the fighting is mostly spent - maybe. That part of the world can be a bit wobbly to work in a reasoned manner; the Turks know that more than most methinks.


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