The Largest US Foreign Policy Blunder Since Vietnam Is Complete: Iran Readies Massive Syrian Ground Invasion

Tyler Durden's picture

On Thursday, in “Mid-East Coup: As Russia Pounds Militant Targets, Iran Readies Ground Invasions While Saudis Panic”, we attempted to cut through all of the Western and Russian media propaganda on the way to describing what Moscow’s involvement in Syria actually portends for the global balance of power. Here are a few excerpts that summarize what’s taking shape in the Middle East:

Putin looks to have viewed this as the ultimate geopolitical win-win. That is, Russia gets to i) expand its influence in the Middle East in defiance of Washington and its allies, a move that also helps to protect Russian energy interests and preserves the Mediterranean port at Tartus, and ii) support its allies in Tehran and Damascus thus preserving the counterbalance to the US-Saudi-Qatar alliance. 

 

Meanwhile, Iran gets to enjoy the support of the Russian military juggernaut on the way to protecting the delicate regional nexus that is the source of Tehran’s Mid-East influence. It is absolutely critical for Iran to keep Assad in power, as the loss of Syria to the West would effectively cut the supply line between Iran and Hezbollah.

 

It would be difficult to overstate the significance of what appears to be going on here. This is nothing short of a Middle Eastern coup, as Iran looks to displace Saudi Arabia as the regional power broker and as Russia looks to supplant the US as the superpower puppet master. 

In short, the Pentagon’s contention that Russia and Iran have formed a Mid-East “nexus” isn’t akin to the Bush administration’s hollow, largely bogus attempt to demonize America’s foreign policy critics in the eyes of the public by identifying an “axis of evil.” Rather, the Pentagon’s assessment was an attempt to come to grips with a very real effort on the part of Moscow and Tehran to tip the scales in the Mid-East away from Riyadh and Washington.

Solidifying the Assad regime in Syria serves to shore up Hezbollah and presents Tehran with an opportunity to assert itself in the name of combatting terror. The latter point there is critical. The West has long contended that Iran is the world’s foremost state sponsor of terror, and the Pentagon has variously accused the Quds Force of orchestrating attacks on US soldiers in Iraq after cooperation between Washington and Tehran broke down in the wake of Bush’s “axis of evil” comment.

Indeed, Iran was accused of masterminding a plot to kill the Saudi ambassador at a Washington DC restaurant in 2011.

Now, the tables have turned. It is the US, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar who stand accused of sponsoring Sunni extremists and it is Iran, and specifically the Revolutionary Guard, that gets to play hero.

Of course this would be largely impossible without Moscow’s stamp of superpower approval. The optics around the P5+1 nuclear deal were making it difficult for Tehran to be too public in its efforts to bolster Assad. That doesn’t mean Tehran’s support for the regime in Syria hasn’t been well documented for years, it simply means that Iran needed to observe some semblance of caution, lest its role in Syria should end up torpedoing the nuclear negotiations. Now that Moscow is officially involved, that caution is no longer obligatory and Iran is now moving to support Russian airstrikes with an outright ground incursion (just as we’ve been saying for weeks). Here’s WSJ:

Iran is expanding its already sizable role in Syria’s multisided war in the wake of Russia’s airstrikes, despite the risk of antagonizing the U.S. and its Persian Gulf allies who want to push aside President Bashar al-Assad.

 

Politicians in the region close to Tehran as well as analysts who have been closely following its role in Syria say a decision has been made, in close coordination with the Russians and the Assad regime, to increase the number of fighters on the ground through Iran’s network of local and foreign proxies.

The support also could involve more Iranian commanders, military advisers and expert fighters usually assigned to these units, these people said.

 

Wiam Wahhab, a former Lebanese minister allied to Iran and Mr. Assad, stressed that Iran wouldn’t be dispatching troops in the conventional sense. Instead, they were likely to be officers and advisers from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC, he said.

 

“I know there is a major battle upon us and everything needed for this battle will be made available,” said Mr. Wahhab, who has some members from his own political party fighting in Syria alongside the regime. “There is a plan to carry out offensive operations in more than one spot.”

 

Experts believe Iran has some 7,000 IRGC members and Iranian paramilitary volunteers operating in Syria already.

 

Separate from the regular army, the IRGC was founded in the aftermath of the 1979 revolution as an ideological “people’s army” reporting directly to the supreme leader, Iran’s top decision maker.

 

The more than 100,000-strong force controls a vast military, economic and security power structure in Iran and is in charge of proxies across the region. Its paramilitary organization, the Basij, was the lead force in the crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators in 2009.

 

Since late 2012 Iran has played a lead role in organizing, training and funding local pro-regime militias in Syria, many of them members of Mr. Assad’s Alawite minority, a branch of Shiite Islam. Experts believe they number between 150,000 and 190,000—possibly more than what remains of Syria’s conventional army.

 

What’s more, some experts estimate 20,000 Shiite foreign fighters are on the ground, backed by both Shiite Iran and its main proxy in the region, the Lebanese Shiite militia Hezbollah.

 

About 5,000 of them are new arrivals from Iraq in July and August alone, said Phillip Smyth, a researcher at the University of Maryland. He said this figure was compiled through his own contacts with some of these fighters, flight data between Baghdad and Damascus as well as social media postings. “It looks like it was timed out to coincide with the Russian move,” Mr. Smyth said.

Yes, it certainly does "look like" that, and it wasn't hard to see this coming. Here's another excerpt from our recent analysis:

Back in June, the commander of Iran’s Quds Force, Qasem Soleimaini, visited a town north of Latakia on the frontlines of Syria’s protracted civil war. Following that visit, he promised that Tehran and Damascus were set to unveil a new strategy that would “surprise the world.” 

 

Just a little over a month later, Soleimani - in violation of a UN travel ban - visited Russia and held meetings with The Kremlin.

Make no mistake, this is shaping up to be the most spectacular US foreign policy debacle since Vietnam - and we don't think that's an exaggeration. 

The US, in conjunction with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, attempted to train and support Sunni extremists to overthrow the Assad regime. Some of those Sunni extremists ended up going crazy and declaring a Medeival caliphate putting the Pentagon and Langley in the hilarious position of being forced to classify al-Qaeda as "moderate." The situation spun out of control leading to hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths and when Washington finally decided to try and find real "moderates" to help contain the Frankenstein monster the CIA had created in ISIS (there were of course numerous other CIA efforts to arm and train anti-Assad fighters, see below for the fate of the most "successful" of those groups), the effort ended up being a complete embarrassment that culminated with the admission that only "four or five" remained and just days after that admission, those "four or five" were car jacked by al-Qaeda in what was perhaps the most under-reported piece of foreign policy comedy in history.

Meanwhile, Iran sensed an epic opportunity to capitalize on Washington's incompetence. Tehran then sent its most powerful general to Russia where a pitch was made to upend the Mid-East balance of power. The Kremlin loved the idea because after all, Moscow is stinging from Western economic sanctions and Vladimir Putin is keen on showing the West that, in the wake of the controversy surrounding the annexation of Crimea and the conflict in eastern Ukraine, Russia isn't set to back down. Thanks to the fact that the US chose extremists as its weapon of choice in Syria, Russia gets to frame its involvement as a "war on terror" and thanks to Russia's involvement, Iran gets to safely broadcast its military support for Assad just weeks after the nuclear deal was struck. Now, Russian airstrikes have debilitated the only group of CIA-backed fighters that had actually proven to be somewhat effective and Iran and Hezbollah are preparing a massive ground invasion under cover of Russian air support. Worse still, the entire on-the-ground effort is being coordinated by the Iranian general who is public enemy number one in Western intelligence circles and he's effectively operating at the behest of Putin, the man that Western media paints as the most dangerous person on the planet. 

As incompetent as the US has proven to be throughout the entire debacle, it's still difficult to imagine that Washington, Riyadh, London, Doha, and Jerusalem are going to take this laying down and on that note, we close with our assessment from Thursday:

If Russia ends up bolstering Iran's position in Syria (by expanding Hezbollah's influence and capabilities) and if the Russian air force effectively takes control of Iraq thus allowing Iran to exert a greater influence over the government in Baghdad, the fragile balance of power that has existed in the region will be turned on its head and in the event this plays out, one should not expect Washington, Riyadh, Jerusalem, and London to simply go gentle into that good night.

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Lorca's Novena's picture

Long Orville Redinbockers....

TeamDepends's picture

Gosh, it's like we are TRYING to shoot ourselves in the foot.
"I will Barry you."
-Kruschev

Motasaurus's picture

Wasn't Syria supposed to be Russia's new Afghanistan?

They don't need to mobilise their ground troops. Iran is only too happy to mobilise theirs instead. 

Publicus's picture

Iran will wipe out the terrorists on the ground.  

 

BTW, the UN's evacuation of terrorists out of Syria is canceled due to “surge of military activity”.

The UN had arranged for the evacuation of Sunni fighters and their families, which is surrounded by government forces.

http://www.rt.com/news/317068-russia-isis-islamic-syria/

Latina Lover's picture

The Middle East does not hate us for our freedom, they hate us for our foreign policy

 

The  Satanic Amerikan Neocon/Neoliberal humanitarian bombers attacked and invaded Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Sudan, killing millions, trying to make the world safe for  USSA banksters and the MIC.  This is the result, the uniting of Russia, China, Iran against the USSA and stooges.

 

For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind

Monetas's picture

Share with us your wisdom .... on fixing Latin America's problems .... let me guess .... moar socialism ?

aint no fortunate son's picture

But we have an ace in the hole - Kerry, thank God!

We are so fucked!

macholatte's picture

 

 

 

Fundamental Transformation    

 

   better get used to it

 

 

 

 

TongueStun's picture

Don't our enemies realize America has a Magic Negro in charge?

Pinto Currency's picture

 

 

And then there's China about to deploy their troops to Syria.

Manthong's picture

Well, it looks like US state foreign policy is just as effective as Obamacare.

Of course you need to understand that the purpose of these policies is to create Cloward and Pivens, Van Jones and Bill Ayers etc. dysfunction and chaos so that the existing structures  collapse and can be rebuilt in some grand collectivist, exploitative, fascist elite managed oligarchy.

To that end, the strategy is working amazingly well.

Stuck on Zero's picture

I see this as a huge coup for American foreign policy.  By having Russia and Iran do all the fighting they pay all the costs and attract all the hatred.  We sit back and look shocked and dismayed.  I'm all for someone else doing the fighting.

Pinto Currency's picture

 

 

China, Russia and Iran will effectively control Syria and Iraq.

Then petrogold.

 

Money Counterfeiter's picture

Destroy that Zionist shit hole to the south.

JLee2027's picture

You should check the Bible on that one (Battle of Armageddon). It's predicted the restored Israel (which happened in 1948) will defeat all enemies and it's army will be invincible.

detached.amusement's picture

The Jews made sure to write a lot about how great and special and chosen they were, in their own holy book.

 

Didnt even see a problem with taking whatever suited them from the old Sumerian lore and just changing major facts about it to make them appear anointed and destined to control the world.

 

That pretty much makes all religions of Abrahamic root one big relatively fake story with 3 branches to it.

Son of Loki's picture

Petro-Ruble or Petro-Yuan in the future.

chinoslims's picture

It's beyond fake.  It's delusional.

ILLILLILLI's picture

A self-referential book cannot be used to validate itself...

 

Person 1: "The Bible is True!"

Person 2: "Prove it!

Person 1: "Look, it says right here!" (points to passage in Bible)

JLee2027's picture

Time has proven the numerous predictions in the Bible have come true, one after another. The most important of these was where the Dead Sea Scrolls proved the Old Testament was written hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus, yet predicted his coming, his forgiveness of sin, his rejection by the Jews, his death on the cross and his resurrection. Over 2,000 prophecies in the Bible have come true out of 2,500 or so predictions.  The last ones yet to come are in the Book of Revelation. 

This is not random chance. 

Motasaurus's picture

The Zionist state of Israel is not the Restored Israel written of in the bible.

The Restored Isreal is talking about being spiritually restored, not physically. It's like you don't even understand the bible. 

cnmcdee's picture

The phase of the moon leads the DJIA about three days with about 93% accuracy.  Get the Free Software and find out for yourself and stop loosing money. Free Source Code Included. 

Will import any standard EODDATA dataset.

https://sourceforge.net/projects/stock-moon-phase-charter/

JLee2027's picture

he Zionist state of Israel is not the Restored Israel written of in the bible.

 

That is just silly.  Of course it is. 

 

The Restored Isreal is talking about being spiritually restored, not physically. It's like you don't even understand the bible. 

 

It's always fascinated me in this modern era with Google why people will lie about something that can be checked in seconds and exposed as a lie. So why do it? Here are 8 "physical" restorations predictons about Israel that have come true.

1. Israel will prevail over its enemies

2. The ruins of Israel would be rebuilt

3. Ezekiel prophesied prosperity for modern-day Israel

4. Trees again would grow in Israel

5. Jerusalem would become the world's most important religious site

6. Zechariah prophesied the Jews return to Jerusalem

7. Israel's deserts will become like the Garden of Eden

8. Isaiah foretold of the worldwide return of Jews to Israel.

http://www.therefinersfire.org/recent_prophecy.htm


WhackoWarner's picture

LIKE Carlin said years ago.  That big man in the sky who forgives all and condemns all to hell that do not hand over the cash and power

 

 

It is a mind game to be so barinwashed that the "Harry Potter" of religion is some "truth" you accept without any critical analysis.  The guy in the Sky,  And these Islamist "guys in the sky" are wrong??? Because their fairy tale is less refined or whatever?

 

Religion is propoganda.

JLee2027's picture

I have a news flash for you. George Carlin believed in GOD. See his interview with Larry King.

 

I'll also add that the Bible has foretold the future approx 2,000 times correctly and never has been shown to be wrong once, that should convince you it's on to something. It that doesn't work - nothing will ever convince you, so get lost and stop wasting my time.

xavi1951's picture

But GW posts are self-referencial and all his ZH fans think he is the best.  If he posts it, it is true, because he says so in his blogs.

Bring on the down votes stooges.

JLee2027's picture

===The Jews made sure to write a lot about how great and special and chosen they were, in their own holy book.===

John the Apostle was a Christian who wrote the Book of Revelation. 

frankly scarlet's picture

and William Shakespeare wrote Hamlet they say, but I can't prove it....did you know Horus was born on Dec. 25 and began his ministry at 11 years, was crcified and arose from the dead after three days....hummm seems at lot of plagiarism takes place with religious writings  and that the sun after reaching its furthest southern point or its death after three days has risen 1 degree in its resurrection...etcetera

JLee2027's picture

Don't confuse the subject now with misc ramblings that have nothing to do with the topic. If you can't stay on topic, don't bother me.

cheech_wizard's picture

The topic is "foreign policy blunder"

Standard Disclaimer: YOU ARE THE ONE WAY OFF TOPIC.

titty sprinkles's picture

...and Principles of Maat vs. the Cliffs Notes/10 Commandments

SixIsNinE's picture

according to Jordan Maxwell, the Hebrew language is really Phoenician language

ImReady's picture

Hmm,  they sound "exceptional". 

Antifaschistische's picture

I think you are confusing the Bible with a book by Hal Lindsay or that nut job in San Antonio John Hagee, or one of those novels.   Revisionist prophecy like this was invented in your lifetime.

FIAT CON's picture

Im all for Petro Gold instead of Petro Fiat

Manthong's picture

“a huge coup for American foreign policy.”

There is a chance it could be, but I suspect that would be in spite of their ineptitude.

Regardless, it won’t work not out well for the ordinary person here, or over there.

sp0rkovite's picture

I wonder what a good US foriegn policy in Syria would look like to all the people downvoting you. My guess is billions spent and thousands of US troops dead in yet another attempt to civilize those that want nothing to do with the West. 

delacroix's picture

they were pretty civilized before we got there

Ace006's picture

Syria, I suppose.  Assad seems good for the country.  Apart from the 0.00000000002% of his actions, of course, which are just awful.  But let's keep focused on that 0.00000000002%.

BarkingCat's picture

When you collapse current structure and introduce chaos, hoping to then get order out of that chaos, you might not get the end result you are looking for.
There might not be any order but more chaos or the order will not be what you expected.

Take the French Revolution for example. First it was the King and Queen who lost their head. Soon enough more and more followed, including those that participated in the revolution.
Read up on Robespierre and see how things turned out for him.

El Vaquero's picture

Robspierre got so crazy that one could say that he lost his head over it. 

 

Then they got Emperor Bonaparte.

Ace006's picture

Quite so.  We need to bring back the joker who followed the Roman emperors around whispering, "You are mortal.  You are mortal."

Don't know if that passes muster with Wikipedia history gurus but the idea is sound.

It's all comedy now, anyway.

BarkingCat's picture

When you collapse current structure and introduce chaos, hoping to then get order out of that chaos, you might not get the end result you are looking for.
There might not be any order but more chaos or the order will not be what you expected.

Take the French Revolution for example. First it was the King and Queen who lost their head. Soon enough more and more followed, including those that participated in the revolution.
Read up on Robespierre and see how things turned out for him.

Lanka's picture

The French Revolution was effective, and ended up eliminating about 40,000, inlcuding some whose only offense was owning land.  In a revolution, it is essential that TPTB are not around to influence the reset.   Nota bene.

Clashfan's picture

A templar-controlled, ugly thing. A sick rose, not the revolt of romantic or democratic idealism. A fomented event.

SixIsNinE's picture

how do you fit Van Jones in on that comment?

Jones was a "rising star" person who would have played a larger role with the BHO admin, but because he "signed" a 9/11 petition/issue questioning it, the usual suspects pounced on that and made him resign and difficult to do more other than sideshow boobytooby TV...

 

uhland62's picture

Where's that from? Chinese have better things to do, build railways, ports, silk road and they also knit good jumpers.

When did Assad fall out with the US I wonder, because I remember seeing a Langley operative on TV by the name of Miles Copeland that 'a new government was installed in Syria'. So who installed the Assads and what exactly happened that they entered the bad books?

Arnold's picture

Pinto, the  Chinese troops will protect Chinese infrastructure in Syria,

If I was working a well head or pre cracker. I would not mind being surrounded by a battalion of chinks (facing the desert).

They wouldn't be taking the prayer rug breaks either.

strannick's picture

America ruins the world to rule it. Its what we do.