5 Reasons America Should Not Fight Iran, Russia, And Assad In Syria

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Aaron David Miler and Richard Sokolsky via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

Pursuing an ambitious mission against all three adversaries in Syria is dangerous, imprudent and unnecessary

The idea du jour circulating inside the Trump administration and among terrorism experts and Syria watchers alike is that ISIS cannot be destroyed in Syria unless Bashar al-Assad is removed from power and Iran’s presence and influence are drastically curtailed. And in a perfect world, this indeed would be the best possible outcome to prevent ISIS and other jihadi groups, including Al Qaeda, from ensconcing themselves there. But needless to say, the Middle East isn’t a perfect world. U.S. retaliation against another chemical-weapons attacks, as the White House threatened late Monday, would be both necessary and justified. (Assad and his military would “pay a heavy price,” the statementread.) But pursuing an ambitious mission against Iran, Assad and the Russians in Syria is dangerous, imprudent and unnecessary to protect vital American security interests.

Here are five compelling reasons why.

The United States Can’t Eradicate ISIS in Syria

In his inaugural address, President Trump spoke about eradicating radical Islamic terrorism from the face of the earth. It cannot be done. Syria alone will remain an incubator for jihadists and Salafists of all stripes due to a toxic brew of poor governance, bleak economic opportunities, sectarian hatreds and beleaguered Sunni communities. And its ideology and propaganda will still be able to feed on the resentments and sense of victimhood and grievance among the Sunni population. Those who argue for a more assertive policy in Syria are right that, unless these problems are addressed, ISIS and other jihadi groups will continue to thrive even without the caliphal proto-state. But even the most risk inclined in the Trump administration cannot envision that kind of U.S. commitment in Syria, which would entail the United States and its allies committing thousands of troops and billions of dollars to militarily defeat all of their adversaries in Syria and to occupy, stabilize and reconstruct the country. Indeed, the president himself has strongly argued against nation building. Containing jihadists is realistic; ridding them from Syria is a pipe dream.

There’s No Foreseeable Stable End State for Syria

The idea that confronting Iran or trying to weaken the Assad regime in an effort to remove him from power or force him into a negotiated political transition is chimerical. That’s been evident for several years. Even if the United States made a commitment to take Assad out, it would lead to more chaos, no organized force aligned with the West to replace him and a mad scramble among all kinds of groups—Sunni jihadists like ISIS and Al Qaeda, pro-Iranian Shia militias, Alawites and Kurds—to consolidate control over real estate, making the situation worse. Assad was unprepared for a negotiated political transition before Russia’s intervention in 2015 helped turn the tide in his favor. He certainly would never agree to such an outcome now that he controls most of the critical cities and regions in Syria. Moreover, the Russians, who may ultimately want a political solution as an exit strategy, don’t seem to be in a hurry for one—and Moscow won’t be pressured and intimidated into accepting one, given what it has invested in Syria. Thus, even if getting rid of ISIS, in theory, means ridding Syria of Assad and Alawite domination, reducing Sunni grievances and stemming Iran’s influence, it simply isn’t feasible at a cost the American Congress and public are willing to pay. And if there is no attainable stable end state, the Trump administration’s moves to deepen military and civilian involvement in Syria need to be carefully weighed and evaluated against the precise objectives that an escalating commitment is designed to achieve. Those who are pushing for a more aggressive role in Syria have never identified the relationship between more U.S. engagement and any conceivable end state.

We Don’t Want a War with Iran

Iran is run by a repressive regime. It abuses human rights, has expansionist aims and sponsors terrorist acts throughout the Middle East. But trying to roll back Iran’s influence in Syria looks a lot easier in theory than in practice. Those pushing to eject Iran from southeastern Syria and stymie its efforts to control border crossings between Iraq and Syria—with the intention of creating a land bridge to the Mediterranean—have yet to demonstrate how any of this would contribute to the defeat of ISIS. Nor have they been forthright about the forces it would take to achieve these goals and sustain control over the region. One White House official recently referred to the creation of a Rat Patrol modelled after the 1960s TV show depicting a bunch of tough U.S. soldiers riding around in jeeps and harassing German soldiers in the North African desert. The administration is also planning to send a seven-member team to provide humanitarian assistance to areas in southeastern Syria that have been liberated from Islamic State control. All of this amounts to tactical gimmicks bound to fail, not a strategy. The administration’s Syria policies are untethered to any broader set of goals for combating ISIS and other jihadi groups—a goal that Iran shares more urgently, given the recent terror attack in Tehran. Moreover, ramping up a more aggressive and escalatory policy against Iran might jeopardize the nuclear accord. That agreement is far from perfect, but it will significantly slow down Iran’s march toward a nuclear-weapons capability for the next ten to fifteen years. Indeed, with the North Korean nuclear file very much open, the last thing the United States needs is another outlier state pushing to join the nuclear club.

The United States Can’t Sideline Russia

Fears that the United States and Russia will slide into a full-scale war over Syria are overblown because both fully appreciate the potentially catastrophic consequences. But continued escalation of military incidents involving U.S. and Russian forces in Syria will make it all but impossible for the two countries to work out any kind of modus vivendi for stabilizing the country after Raqqa falls to U.S. and coalition forces. Russia confronts Washington with several inconvenient truths: first, it’s in a much stronger military and diplomatic position than the United States. Second, because Putin has the upper hand it is hard to imagine that he (or the Assad regime) will be amenable to imposing any meaningful restrictions on Assad’s freedom of action. Nor is Putin likely to accept any kind of international presence in Syria for peacekeeping, stabilization and reconstruction that undermines their control. Third, Moscow will be critical to establishing the political and economic arrangements that will be required for stabilization and reconstruction. In short, any kind of post-conflict cooperation with Moscow in Syria will not be possible if the United States tries to put the squeeze on Russia. Those who argue that pressure on Moscow is the only way to change Putin’s calculations ignore the president’s seeming unwillingness to tangle with him, the unwillingness of the United States to apply serious pressure and Putin’s willingness to push back if necessary.

U.S. Interests in Syria Aren’t as Vital as Those of Its Adversaries

No matter how important Syria is to the United States (and an argument can be made that it’s not all that important), Washington needs to decide how much it’s prepared to sacrifice and whether it’s ready to stay the course when Iran and Russia push back. There’s an elemental divide between the way the United States sees this issue and those who live in or close to the region: whether it’s Iran, Turkey, Israel, Jordan and the Gulf Arabs, they seem prepared to sacrifice far more than the United States. They know their neighborhood better, geography and demography give them key advantages, and for many the stakes are existential in a way they’ll never be for America. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Syria: Assad is fighting for his survival; Syria may not be as vital to Iran as Iraq is, but Tehran has already sacrificed huge resources, men and material to the fight; and Putin didn’t project Russia’s military power into Syria only to fold in the face of U.S. pressure. The reality is that the Syria-Iran-Russia coalition is much more a coalition of the willing than the alliance the United States has managed to assemble, which seems more like a coalition of the semi-willing and self-interested. The argument that the only way to change Russian or Iranian calculations is to escalate the pressure is a dangerous game, given the disparity in will, interests and allies that exists between the two sides. Who’d blink first, given the absence of congressional and public support for another military adventure with no end state (see Afghanistan and Iraq)?

Like Afghanistan where the United States is now also stuck, Washington will likely need to settle for a good-enough outcome, certainly not a victory. What this means now is impossible to say. After all, the United States has been in Afghanistan for a decade and a half, and still doesn’t know if anything resembling sustainable success is in the cards.

Still, the primary goal in Syria must continue to be weakening and containing jihadi groups, keeping them on their heels to prevent attacks on the United States, Europe and regional allies. This is not an optimal outcome, but it’s far more preferable than pursuing unrealistic and unrealizable goals that could drag the United States into endless and distracting wars it cannot win against far more committed and determined adversaries. Managing rather than eliminating the jihadist threat in Syria is neither a pretty nor heroic strategy, and it certainly won’t fix Syria or deal Iran a strategic blow. But for America, it’s the right approach, particularly when considering the risks and downsides of taking on Syria and Iran in these contested areas. And there are hopeful signs that the Pentagon at least is well aware of these dangers.

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NuYawkFrankie's picture

re 5 Reasons America Should not fight Iran, Russia in Syria

ONE reason should suffice:

Because 'ISISrael FIRST!' USSA would be a smoldering ash-heap shortly afterwards.

monk27's picture

One more: because we'll get our ass kicked... again.

Manthong's picture


6. It’s stupid.

7. It’s evil.

8. We are murdering people. Don’t hide behind “national interest” and “collateral damage”... that’s BS.

9. Trump promised not to do this kind of thing.

10.The deep state and bankers only want more war and are using bogus “intel” to justify it.

11. The world would be a better place and the US would be more secure if we just avoided these murderous foreign entanglements.


giovanni_f's picture

"9. Trump promised not to do this kind of thing" ...

...but Ivanka saw it differently.

HowdyDoody's picture

Ivanka is personally responsible for the US-caused death of innocent civilians including children.

GUS100CORRINA's picture

5 Reasons America Should Not Fight Iran, Russia, And Assad In Syria

My response: We have reasons??? It was a noble act to list the reasons of MAN, but in the end they DO NOT MATTER!! What does matter is America under the rule of GOD or under the rule of SATAN. Right now the JURY is still out. Based on the attacks against the President since the inauguration and construction of the BAAL temple arch monument in NYC, it is NOT looking good. BAAL is a pagan god. Why in the world NYC would build a monument worshipping the pagan god BAAL on American soil is beyond me. NOT GOOD!!! BAAL worship is in Washington DC as well.

People may want to spend some time understanding Psa83 and Eze38-39 prophecies because Iran, Russia, Syria and others are listed in those verses. Below is the list.


Charting the Nations in Ezek 38–39

With these identifications in mind, all the nations that will participate in the battle of

Gog and Magog can be seen in the following chart.

Ancient Name  ==================== Modern Nation

Rosh (Rashu, Rasapu, Ros, and Rus)  =====>> Russia

Magog (Scythians) Central Asia  =========> Afghanistan

Meshech (Muschki and Musku) ==========> Turkey

Tubal (Tubalu) ====================> Turkey

Persia =========================>  Iran

Ethiopia (Cush) ===================>  Sudan

Libya (Put or Phut) =================>  Libya

Gomer (Cimmerians) ================> Turkey

Beth-togarmah (Til-garimmu or Tegarma) ===> Turkey

Based on these identifications, Ezek 38–39 predicts an invasion of the land of Israel. in the last days by a vast confederation of nations from north of the Black and Caspian Seas, extending down to modern Iran in the east, as far as modern Libya to the west, and down to Sudan in the south. Therefore, Russia will have at least five key allies: Turkey, Iran, Libya, Sudan, and the nations of Central Asia. Amazingly, all of these nations are Muslim nations and Iran, Libya, and Sudan are three of Israel’s most ardent opponents. Iran is one of the “axis of evil” nations that is trying desperately to attain nuclear weapons. Many of these nations are hotbeds of militant Islam and are either forming or strengthening their ties as these words are being written.

playit's picture

I'm making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do... www.jobproplan.com

Gavrikon's picture

I call bullshit on your interpretation of Ezekial.  Further more, the Jews are no longer the chosen people.  They disobeyed and rejected God and killed the prophets.  They also murdered the Son of God.  Jews are the spawn of Satan, and only the idiotic Christian Zionists think otherwise.

If all these companies WERE to get together to attack Israel, I'd be rooting them on.

And if you think that the good Lord will be back with his armies to defeat them, you are either full of shit or a fucking retard.  I;d be more than happy to bet on Russia as opposed to the Israhellis.  Morons like you read their Bible with their morning newspaper.

Ink Pusher's picture

 Russian Supremacy Propaganda Publishing on ZH eh? 

You are as bad, if not worse than the delusional bible thumpers.

louie1's picture

USA is run by a repressive regime. It abuses human rights, has expansionist aims and sponsors terrorist acts throughout the Middle East.

Crash Overide's picture

The MIC always needs a boogyman to keep the Spice flowing.

louie1's picture

USA is run by a repressive regime. It abuses human rights, has expansionist aims and sponsors terrorist acts throughout the Middle East.

Freddie's picture

Yars RS-24 is being deployed.  Russia's newest mobile and global reaching ICBM system that can defeat any anti missile system.

I sleep better knowing the Christian named Putin has this instead of demonic McCain-Soros.


June 26, 2017 - ISIS is nearly surrounded by Syria and Russia.




Nexus789's picture

You commented twice and it needed to stated twice. These self righteous pricks are deliberately blind to the atrocities of the US. 

Relentless's picture

... abuses human rights, has expansionist aims and sponsors terrorist acts throughout the Middle East

You know who else is on that list? KSA, UAE, Qatar, Turkey, Israel, Iraq....

There are no good sides in the ME, its been a quagmire since the first human stopped for a dump there on the way out of Africa.

Itinerant's picture

The article is delusional.

Provide humanitarian assistance? == Actively striking the SAA in the SE and helping terrorists. Humanitarian assistance would be lifting the sanctions. Then Syria can buy food, medicine, and other things, and if they want, western "humanitarian precision bombs" instead of rat-assed ineffective barrel bombs.

Iran as sponsor of terror == No country has done more than Iran to fight ISIS in Iraq and Syria; no country has done more than to arm, train, and encourage ISIS etc than the USA and its allies. Expansionist? Persia last attacked another country 300 years ago. The USA attacks countries routinely, committing the war crime of aggression (the worst of all war crimes because it is their root cause) without a second thought.

Another chemical attack == Only chemical attacks by "rebels" have been confirmed. The UN found that the 2013 attack was probably comitted by rebel factions, not the Syrian government. The chemicals are all false flag pretexts. Now they are being spoon fed to the dopes reading the MSM before it even happens.

sectarian hatreds == These peoples have lived here for millenia throughout empires and wars and survived. It is only with US interference that whole ethnic and religious groups have left completely because faced with genocide. This includes the last Christian communities where they still speak Aramaic, the language of Jesus, which were the cradle of Western Christianity. 

beleaguered aggrieved Sunni == Does he mean the people who voted in the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt? The people who demanded in March 2011 that there should be sex separated schools and that the ban on the hijab be withdrawn in public schools? How could anybody possibly think that democracy will suddenly flourish if you bomb the Syrian state to smithereens (all the coalition bombin was aimed at the infrastructure of the state; Americans never even though to bomb the oil installations or convoys) and let a bunch of theocratic country bumpkins run the state? Instant democracy...

Containing jihadists is realistic; ridding them from Syria is a pipe dream == How many terrorist attacks were carried out by Syrians or Iraqi's prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq? Zero. What does al-Qaeda mean? It means dataBase, the CIA database with jihadi type assets that it has spawned and used ever since encouraging them in Afghanistan along with Osama. How many times has the USA inserted itself in Syrian politics and coups since WW2? The evil, cynical, duplicitous, and hypocritical role of the USA in all this mayhem, carnage and genocide cries to the heavens.


peopledontwanttruth's picture

I stopped reading the article right at this point below, while not saying they're angels, look at this statement and who is it accurately describing

"Iran is run by a repressive regime. It abuses human rights, has expansionist aims and sponsors terrorist acts throughout the Middle East".

Anybody's picture

"I stopped reading the article ..."

At that point I went back up to the top to see what organization is writing this drivel.

I guess Saudi Arabia and Israel only sponsor freedom fighters, not terrorists.

el buitre's picture

Written by a Mossad limited hangout.  Just enough truthiness to get you to read the first paragraph.  Who takes this drivel seriously?  CFR memebers taking to each other in a closed room?  No wonder the dickheads are panicking.  Let's just hope they do not take their "Sampson option."

gespiri's picture

Of course the US can destroy ISIS in Syria by pulling out the special forces and equipment from that country that support them.  Let the Saudis and Jews fight their own wars.  I don't understand why we keep sacrificing our money and troops on behalf of these two.

Sure, we can accuse Iran of being an oppressive country, but what about Israel towards the Palestinians and Saudi against Yemen and its own Shiite population?

Nexus789's picture

They would fold faster  it the economic support ceased from the degenerates in Saudi Arabia, etc. 

great_scot's picture

Alawite dominance, sunni repression, expansionist, terrorist-sponsoring  Iran...

Since when did ZH post WaPo articles?

WTFUD's picture

Penning an article on a subject while sitting in some office in downtown Manhattan speaks volumes.

peopledontwanttruth's picture

Thank you.

It's getting to the point this is just fighting ads, yes I have all the ad blockers on my computer but on my phone it's ridiculous. They're posting anything anymore, it's about money for ads. I have to close 2-4 ads every time I post a comment.

desertboy's picture

This looks like creating a phony, dishonest "controversy" about a patently stupid idea, for sake of slipping in the usual state department propaganda.   They did the same thing in lead-up to the Iraq invasion.

AmericanFUPAcabra's picture

Another (not so) subtle anti-syrian anti-iranian article. Top notch tonight Tylers.

"Syria alone will remain an incubator for jihadists and Salafists of all stripes due to a toxic brew of poor governance, bleak economic opportunities, sectarian hatreds and beleaguered Sunni communities. And its ideology and propaganda will still be able to feed on the resentments and sense of victimhood and grievance among the Sunni population"

Gee, If only those militants hadn't deconstructed or destroyed the 30,000+ factories that made Syria the #1 manufacturing country in the Middle East. They might have had more jobs to offer if said factories weren't sold to Turkey by US backed jihadis.

Are these communities beleaguered because Assad and Iran have been laying seige to them for 6 years? Who takes this shit article seriously? Do you think we don't know the score? Really? Count how many times these authors started sentences with 'and' or 'but'. Even a lowly drop-out like myself knows better. Shame on you Tylers.

peopledontwanttruth's picture

What was one of the best information sites years ago has become another Rense.com

Feeling like many old timers here, why waste my time on regurgitated articles and fight ads. This place has been compromi$ed

ThirdWorldDude's picture

Get on with the program, nowadays corporate profits is all that matters...

However oxymoronic it might sound, ZH is owned by ABC Media, LTD.

peopledontwanttruth's picture

Dude, I know it's about profits but as I said what was one of the best has become nothing but money.

Yen Cross's picture

 I'm digging up the SNB charts from 1-3 years ago.

  Yen always pays attention. ALWAYS

07564111's picture

post when you finished digging, I am interested.

Yen Cross's picture

  I'm NOT your Mother.

 Get off youR fucking couch, and do you're own research. Bitch

Likstane's picture

Why do you need to announce you are looking up the chart if you are not going to share the results?
Very bitch-like move

ThirdWorldDude's picture

Virtue signalling is a librul disease...

radbug's picture

Khan Shiekhoun. UN team says sarin, US Intelligence says no sarin, or so it would appear. Whom to believe?

HowdyDoody's picture

There has been no independent on-site site investigation. The terrorists have backfilled the supposed impact crater to prevent such an investigation. The UN statement is purely political.

maxwellsdemon's picture

Israel, the US, and the Sauds are the principal supporters of ISIS.  Since Israel runs the US via the Rothschild owned private entity known as the 'Federal Reserve', only Israel is behind ISIS since the Saudi regime are merely US installed puppets.   Therefore 911 was a Mossad operation (along with useful deep state personel) and FBI agent Robyn Gritz was the one two agents who took the report of Andras Szekely.  Gritz was attacked by the deep state (Andrew Mcabe) and defended by Michael Flynn


In October 2000, approximately 11 months prior to September 11, 2001, Andras Szekely was collecting English Ivy cuttings at the Gomel Chesed Cemetery located at Mccellan and 245 Mount Olive Avenue, which is near the city lines of Elizabeth and Newark, New Jersey. While in the cemetery, Szekely overheard three men, speaking in Hebrew, say:

“The Americans will learn what it is to live with terrorists after the planes hit the twins in September.”

Szekely, well in advance of 9/11, contacted the FBI asking for protection in exchange for his information. Having lived around the world in many different countries, Szekely had a healthy fear of being targeted by those he overheard in the cemetery. Unlike too many Americans, he understands that people suddenly disappear and family members are at risk when you cross the wrong people. So just to be clear – asking for protection in exchange for the information he had was prompted by his lifetime of cultural / governmental experiences. It was a prudent request in my opinion.

The FBI refused to guarantee protection for this individual. Even though Szekely told the FBI this much – that he had information involving a planned attack in NYC involving airplanes – the FBI refused to guarantee his protection. The former IDF member persisted, and according to his account, two FBI agents finally paid him a visit on June 26, 2001. They left their business cards with him. (one of whom was agent Robyn Gritz)

The Muckraker Report contacted the FBI Newark Division on Wednesday, November 22, 2006 to confirm whether Agent Gritz and Agent Stengel met with Andras Szekely on or about June 26, 2001. I was directed to the FBI Newark Division Legal Unit where I spoke with a woman who identified herself as Amy. She suggested that I put my request in writing and fax it to her, which I did that same day.

On Friday, November 24, 2006 I received a phone call from Amy confirming receipt of my written request. She informed me that she would be out of the office the following week, and that somebody else from the Newark Division Legal Unit would handle my request.

On Tuesday, November 28, 2006 I received a phone call from Kathy at the FBI National Press Office. She informed me that the Legal Unit decided that I needed to file a Freedom of Information Act request.

On Wednesday, November 29, 2006 I contacted Agent Robin (Gritz) Laird. Once I had Agent Gritz on the phone, I introduced myself and immediately explained that I was attempting to confirm a meeting that herself and Agent Stengel allegedly had with Szekely on June 26, 2001. Agent Gritz was already aware of my inquiries. She indicated that she understood that the Press Office was handling my request. I told her that I decided to call her directly and emphasized that I only wish to confirm the meeting. Gritz said, “I’m not allowed to discuss this with you. I would get in trouble.”

caesium's picture

The USA remains the greatest threat to World peace. It's baffling that US "Colonels" have not worked that out yet.

cookies anyone's picture

we are chicken-shit, and are scared to fight hot war with russia, so unlike until now, when we were war-hawking and trying to destroy yet another country, we are now giving you reasons to stop

Yen Cross's picture
 Ohh,   I forgot how  "Todd and his wife" took down the euro trade back in '4 teen

 SNB much?

  Yen is tack sharp !!!   Bitchez

 Let me tell you a story/ It's an empty gas tank idium.

Danedog's picture

Come home now.

Omega_Man's picture

this article written by asholes of merica, who gives a fuck about their interests... they are faker bullshitters anyway with their fake money...


ban US money and boycott the lazy dipshits. 

Benito_Camela's picture

Fuck the "Strategic Culture Foundation" and their neocon-lite falsehood laden reasons. 

The USSA is afflicted with several parasitic diseases, and in the case of Syria, the most prominent is the zombie fungus known as Zionist Israeli interests that has taken over the mind like that fungus which makes ants in the rain forest climb a fucking beanstalk and immolate themselves as the genesis of a new fungal spore factory. https://www.livescience.com/47751-zombie-fungus-picky-about-ant-brains.

Of course there's also the unhealthy abusive relationship with the House of Sawed whereby we sell them a bunch of recently un-obsolete military equipment and weaponry and they continue to transact OPEC trade in the petrodollar. They are the "friendly" headchoppers to the "unruly" ones in ISIS, but we support and arm and train them both. 

We have no fucking business in Syria, period. ISISIS the CIA and would be impotent without American funding and support. We DO NOT WANT ISIS to fall even if Assad does (and that by itself is illegal and immoral on the USSA's part) because they serve such a convenient purpose. 

Fuck this drivel. 

meditate_vigorously's picture

I was going to write something like this. Thanks for saving me the effort.

peopledontwanttruth's picture

The USA can sanction countries and entities. Cut whole countries out of SWIFT but not ISIS.

They could defeat them without a shot fired.

shinobi-7's picture

"And there are hopeful signs that the Pentagon at least is well aware of these dangers." The Pentagon sure, but what about Trump who can undo months of hard work with a Twit?

Jack Oliver's picture

"The United States can't eradicate ISIS in Syria "

errr - Yes they can !!

Jack Oliver's picture

"The United States can't eradicate ISIS in Syria "

errr - Yes they can !!

Stop FUCKING paying them !!!!

Tyler !!!

Surprised you give this complete FUCKING garbage - ANY credibility !!

Let alone FUCKING print it !!