The U.S. and Turkey Have A *Something* Plan
By Moon Of Alabama
July 28, 2015 "Information
reports the U.S. and Turkey have agreed to do something
in north Syria. But there seems to be no agreement on anything
else. There is disunity about the aim of something as well
as on the target of any something operation. The means of
achieving something are in dispute. Even the geographic
space in which something is supposed to happen is
undefined. The only agreed upon issue besides doing something
is to throw the Kurds, the most successful force against the Islamic
State so far, under the bus.
Consider all the caveats and general vagueness in
report about the "agreement":
BAGHDAD — Turkey and the United States have
general terms on a plan that envisions
American warplanes, Syrian insurgents and Turkish forces working
together to sweep Islamic State militants from a 60-mile-long
strip of northern Syria along the Turkish border, American and
Turkish officials say.
The plan would create what officials from both
countries are calling an Islamic State-free zone controlled by
relatively moderate Syrian insurgents, which
the Turks say could also be [...]
[...] many details have yet to be
determined, including how deep the strip would extend
into Syria, [...]
“Details remain to be worked out, [...]
[...] the plan faces the same challenges that have long
plagued American policy in Syria.
Whatever the goal,[...] raising the question of
what they will do [..]
[...] questions also remain about which
Syrian insurgents and how many will be involved
in the new operation. [...] relatively moderate have been
trained in a covert C.I.A. program, but on the battlefield they
are often enmeshed or working in concert with
more hard-line Islamist insurgents.
In another complication,
gains for such insurgents would come at the expense of Syrian
Turkish officials and Syrian opposition leaders
are describing the agreement as something [...]
But American officials say [...] it was
not included in the surprise agreement reached last
[...] United States officials said Turks and Americans
were working toward an agreement on the details of an
That is an ambitious military goal [...]
American officials emphasized that the depth of the buffer zone
to be established was one of the important operational
details that had yet to be decided.
Insurgents, as well as their supporters in the
Syrian opposition and the Turkish government, are
already envisioning the plan as a step toward [...]
American officials in recent months have argued
to Turkish counterparts [...]
But until now [...]
By contrast, the new plan [...]
“Any weakening of ISIS will be a privilege for us on the
battlefield,” Ahmad Qara Ali, a spokesman for Ahrar al-Sham, an
insurgent group that often allies with the Nusra Front, Al
Qaeda’s Syria affiliate. [...]
Such Syrian Arab insurgents would gain at the expense of the
People’s Protection Units, a Kurdish militia known by the
initials Y.P.G. that is seeking to take the same territory from
the east. While the United States views the group as one of its
best partners on the ground, Turkey sees it as a threat; [...]
[...] challenges to this border strategy still remain,
American officials acknowledged. [...] American officials [...]
(Did we notice the new "relative moderate"
category the NYT introduced here for anti-Syrian insurgents? This
especially for Ahrar al Shams like ilk who are nearly
indistinguishable from AlQaeda.)
The vagueness of this "agreement" lets me assume
that the Turks railroaded the U.S. negotiators with their surprise
announcement about the use of Incirlik airbase last week. That
announcement came after a phonecall between Obama and Erdogan. Did
they really agree on anything but throwing the Kurds under the bus,
with Turkey now
shelling their positions in Syria?
Or is this vagueness about the strategy an
administration ploy to make it look as if it is dragged into its
policy by an ally. If things go wrong it could then always blame
Turkey for overreaching.
Or the administration intentionally committing to
nothing and just giving Erdogan enough rope to hang himself?
Would the Obama administration even have the legal
authority to support the "moderate" AlQaeda "rebels" with
airstrikes? So far it
could not name any.
This something plan has little chance of
achieving anything but more war and chaos in Syria, Turkey and Iraq.
Something will fail.
Moon Of Alabama