Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The US attack: 'limited, not seeking regime change nor giving the rebels a decisive edge!'

"... Although JCS Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel opposed military action, once the President made the decision, the objectives of the Pentagon shifted to controlling the targeting decisions and limiting the possibility of an all-out war.  For Obama and his inner circles of advisors (Rice, Jarrett, Axelrod, Power, Michelle Obama), the level of military attack had to be sufficient to avoid Republican attacks for only making a symbolic response to the alleged CW attacks, while avoiding a major escalation or a clear intervention to give the rebels a decisive edge.  It appears that cruise missile attacks are planned, to target command and control sites and storage facilities for missiles, other delivery systems, and possibly some CW.Secretary of State Kerry has spoken with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, and has informed him of the American plans, along with reassurances that the United States is not targeting any Russian strategic interests in Syria or seeking regime change.  The Russians were told that the U.S. is convinced Assad's forces used chemical weapons, and the U.S. actions are in retaliation for the Syrians crossing Obama's "red line."  One source indicated that there is sometacit agreement from the Russians that, so long as the attack is so limited, they will not escalate.  This is, of course, a very risky proposition, given the degeneration of U.S.-Russian relations of late. It is likely that there are also military-to-military back channels communicating this message as well, although I do not have details.There is no clear assessment of how Iran will respond, and what impact this will have on the new Rowhani government in Tehran..."

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