"...With nearly 15,000 dead and no end in sight, the civil war now raging throughout Syria, US and European officials, despite some harsh rhetoric, are unwilling to become more directly engaged in the conflict. At the Pentagon, it is almost an article of faith that the US must not be drawn into the conflict, as it was in Libya. And the Europeans too, are not only reticent but understanding that after their unexpected dependence on the US to insure success in Libya, they are in no position to press the Administration to act.Even the Saudis and Qataris, who have been seen as becoming more active in arming and supplying the Free Syrian Army “(FSA”) are, according to informed sources, providing only a limited amount of weaponry and not the type necessary for rebel success against the firepower the Assad regime can bring to bear. While many US officials have pointedly blamed Iran and Hezbollah for providing key assistance to the Syrian government, others say that as the war engulfs the country and FSA strength grows it is conventional weapons that assume the greatest importance. So it is Moscow’s supply of arms that is now key to the continued operations of the Syrian armed forces.Veteran analysts see only one country and one factor that could conceivably change the current hands-off approach that characterizes western engagement in the conflict. If Turkey was to press the US on the basis of unsustainable refugee flow from Syria, the Administration, backed by NATO could be forced into action.... “Turkey is a big, powerful and stable country,” says one US official. “Jordan, at the best of times can be problematic.”.......
If lassitude characterizes the bottom line position of the west toward the Syrian civil war some see the same lack of credible determination in its dealings with Iran. [The one exception is concern over Syrian regime’s chemical weapons supply. According to informed sources, there is serious planning, including military intervention, should the need arise to secure its arsenal of weapons of mass destruction, especially in the case of the downfall of the Assad regime] However, in the case of Iran, there is an actor – Israel – that is determined to bring about real change..... “Perhaps by now, we should be immunized against Israeli rhetoric, but there is no doubt that we are all more concerned given the comments we have heard over the past week,” said one well-placed official.
While it is not exactly clear whether Israeli impatience indicates a willingness to “go it alone” against Iran or a ploy to spur stronger action, particularly by the US, there is no question that the rhetoric coming out of Jerusalem is having an effect. ....... Some well-placed Israelis do not believe such a strike is imminent, meaning not before the US elections in November. They are convinced that Prime Minister Netanyahu is aware of the damage Israel will suffer at home and abroad from a unilateral military move [Many also believe, based on his political past, Netanyahu is, as one analyst puts it, “risk averse.”].
Still, diplomacy is now moribund. Even European diplomats say, that absent a meaningful change in Iran’s approach to talks with the P-5 +1 [US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany] there will be no going back to negotiations. Instead, the hope by some is that as the economic sanctions begin to really take effect (particularly during the winter months) that there will be a change of heart in Teheran. Unless that happens, there is a growing awareness, as one veteran analyst puts it, “What we are witnessing is like a natural disaster just waiting to happen.”...."
Thursday, August 16, 2012
"If Turkey was to press the US on the basis of 'unsustainable refugee flow' from Syria, Obama, backed by NATO could be forced into action"
Posted by G, M, Z, or B at 12:41 PM