Friday, September 30, 2016

The war in Syria may be the start of World War III

The war in Syria may be the start of World War III or it may mark the end of the USA's brief reign as sole planetary superpower:
Syrian Social Nationalist Party representative Tarek Ahmad says that the war in Syria has reached a dead end, with the intervention of foreign powers turning the situation into a chaotic mess. Moreover, the politician says that Syria is just one front in a Third World War being waged by Washington and its allies.

The Social Nationalist Party is one of Syria's oldest and largest parties. Up to 8,000 members of its armed branch, known as 'the Eagles of the Whirlwind', have successfully fought alongside the Syrian Army against Islamist militants, including Daesh. At the same time, the party has remained a key member of the Popular Front for Change and Liberation, a bloc of opposition parties in the country's parliament.

Speaking to Sputnik, party representative Tarek Ahmad said that the military situation in the country has come to an impasse, with the political crisis only fueled and intensified due to the intervention of multiple uninvited regional and global powers.

Commenting on the intensification of the conflict between Damascus, its allies, and the United States, following the US-led coalition's attack on Syrian forces in Deir ez-Zor last week, Ahmad warned that it's important to understand that the US position in Syria is tactical – not strategic.

"The US's goal is not limited to Syria," the politician emphasized. "The Syrian front is not the goal in and of itself. We need to look at this issue objectively, and to admit that a Third World War is taking place in Syria, one which is led by the US and its allies – even if these allies are simultaneously victims as well."

"America's main objective," according to Ahmad, "is to bring any world power that threatens them under control. Consequently, [Washington] is waging a war with these powers; and these powers include China and Russia."
Americans should hope and pray and vote for the end of global US hegemony, because it is bad for the USA and worse for Americans. The war in Syria is directly connected to the war in Ukraine, as both wars are being waged for the same reason. And while Russia and her allies are defeating the imperial USA and her allies in the Syria, and have fought them to an advantageous standstill in Ukraine, China is quietly expanding her strategic position in Africa and the Pacific.

This is why the neocons are so desperate to elect Hillary Clinton. They want to double-down on the wars their proxies are losing, and send substantial American forces into both Syria and Ukraine in order to defeat the Russian proxies there. Their two problems are that while US troops can defeat Russian troops, the Russian proxies are better than the US proxies in both Syria and Ukraine, and Russia can directly operate in both Syria and Ukraine while the USA cannot.

Donald Trump is smart enough to avoid fighting Russia and he understands that the USA has no legitimate national interests in either Syria or Ukraine. That is the real reason the neocon establishment is so hysterical about his increasing prospects for election, and why they are publicly throwing the full weight of their support to Hillary Clinton. They are entirely willing to risk a Syracuse-level disaster under a Clinton administration, which is something that should terrify any sober, historically-aware American.

Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan are already lost to the USA and have accepted the reality of Chinese regional dominance. Korea and the Philippines will likely be the next to do so; Korean unification will probably take place before 2030 in an attempt to mitigate Chinese dominance, while Taiwan will presumably reunite with China around that time. The Chinese are playing their cards with their customary patience, allowing Russia to keep the USA occupied while they improve their ability to force the US out of their own near-abroad.

One major potential flashpoint for China is Malaysia, where Islamic civilization confronts Sinic civilization. But that offers little potential to relieve the growing strategic pressure on the tottering US military hegemony.

On a related note, The Saker looks at the most likely options available to the USA:
Once the US comes to realize that its policy sending MANPADs to Syria did not work, it will have only one last card to play: attempt to impose a no-fly zone over Syria.

The good news is that judging by this exchange, US generals understand that any such US move would mean war with Russia. The bad news is that the Neocons seem to be dead-set on exactly that. Since such an event has now become possible, we need to look at what exactly this would entail.

The way the US doctrine mandates to impose a no-fly zone is pretty straightforward: it begins with an intensive series of USAF and USN cruise missile strikes and bombing raids whose aim is to disable the enemy air defenses and command and control capabilities. At this stage heavy jamming and anti-radiation missile strikes play a key role. This is also when the Americans, if they have any hope of achieving a tactical surprise, will also typically strikes at enemy airbases, with a special emphasis on destroying landed aircraft, runways and fuel storage facilities. This first phase can last anything between 48 hours to 10 days, depending on the complexity/survivability of the enemy air defense network. The second phase typically includes the deployment of air-to-air fighters into combat air patrols which are typically controlled by airborne AWACS aircraft. Finally, once the air defense network has been destroyed and air supremacy has been established, strike fighters and bombers are sent in to bomb whatever can be bombed until the enemy surrenders or is crushed.

In Syria, this ideal scenario would run into several problems.

First, while there are only a few S-400/S-300 systems in Syria, the US has never had to operate against them, especially not against the Russian version of these formidable systems. Worse, Russia also has very long range radars which will make it impossible for the USA to achieve a tactical surprise. Last but not least, Russia also has deployed powerful electronic warfare systems which are likely to create total chaos in key US command, control, communications and intelligence systems.

Second, these S-400/S-300 systems are mostly located on what is legally “Russian territory”: the Khmeimim airbase and the Slava-class or Kuznetsov-class cruisers off the Syrian coast. The same goes for the key nodes of the Russian communications network. If the Americans were crazy enough to try to hit a Russian Navy ship that would open up the entire USN to Russian attacks.

Third, while Russia has deployed relatively few aircraft in Syria, and while even fewer of them are air-to-air interceptors, those which Russia has deployed (SU-30SM and SU-35) are substantially superior to any aircraft in the US inventory with the possible exception of the F-22A. While the US will be able to overwhelm the Russians with numbers, it will be at a steep cost.

Fourth, the use of USAF AWACS could be complicated by the possibility that the Russians would decide to deploy their anti-AWACS very-long range missiles (both ground launched and air launched). It is also likely that Russia would deploy her own AWACS in Iranian airspace and protect them with MiG-31BMs making them a very difficult target.

Fifth, even if the USA was somehow able to establish something like an general air superiority over Syria, the Russians would still have three formidable options to continue to strike Daesh deep inside Syria:

1) cruise missiles (launched from naval platforms of Tu-95MS bombers)
2) SU-34/SU-35 strike groups launched from Russia or Iranian
3) supersonic long range bombers (Tu-22M3 and Tu-160)

It would be exceedingly difficult for the US to try to stop such Russian attacks as the USAF and USN have not trained for such missions since the late 1980s.

Sixth, even a successful imposition of a no-fly zone would do little to stop the Russians from using their artillery and attack helicopters (a difficult target for fixed-wing aircraft to begin with). Hunting them down at lower altitudes would further expose the USAF/USN to even more Russia air defenses.
TL;DR: A Syracuse in miniature. An attempted failure to impose a no-fly zone over Syria won't break the US military, but it will destroy any remaining perceptions of the USA's global superpower status.