Earlier today we described the situation currently facing Syria’s soon-to-be ex-President Bashar al-Assad as follows:
And speaking of time, the US-led alliance realizes very well that as long as Assad has to fight three fronts: i.e., the Nusra Front in the northwestern province of Idlib and ever closer proximity to Syria's main infrastructure hub of Latakia, ISIS in the central part of the nation where they recently took over the historic town of Palmyra, and the official "rebel" force in proximity to Damascus, Assad's army will either eventually be obliterated or, more likely, mutiny and overthrow the president, putting the Ukraine scenario in play.
Meanwhile, the US is waiting just across the border for the right time to sweep in and effect a long overdue (in the eyes of the US and its Middle Eastern allies, if not in the eyes of Iran and Russia) regime change in Damascus.
Complicating the issue is ISIS, a one-time “strategic asset” that has, for all intents and purposes, gone rogue by deviating from the original Assad usurpation plan, and getting sidetracked by the whole internally conceived “establish a caliphate” idea.
Now, it appears the US doesn’t know whether it wants to stick with what was probably the original plan (i.e. wait until ISIS overruns Assad and then storm in with 10,000 marines to ‘liberate’ the country before installing a more ‘agreeable’ leader after some farce of an election) or speed up the process by claiming that Assad is in fact working with ISIS and using the imaginary unholy alliance as an excuse to invade now.
If Washington tends to go with Plan A, it would certainly make sense why Obama told leaders at the G-7 that this US doesn’t “yet have a complete strategy because it requires commitments on the part of the Iraqis.” The strategy probably goes something like this: 1) bide time until Assad’s army is decimated, 2) issue burn notice on black-flag waving former CIA asset, 3) announce Syria’s liberation, 4) install puppet government, 5) send “you’re welcome” note to Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
The only thing “incomplete” here is securing public support for ground troops. Lately, the US has begun to float a few “boots on the ground” trial balloons, with some hawks suggesting that forward “spotters” may be necessary in order to make the aerial assault on ISIS more ‘effective’ and today, we get a few more feelers from The White House, as the President is reportedly considering sending additional troops to Iraq “for training.”
U.S. President Barack Obama is weighing steps to bolster Iraq's battle against Islamic State, including expanding the number of training sites for Iraqi forces, but the overall U.S. strategy is not in question, the top U.S. military officer said on Tuesday.
General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a small group of reporters during a trip to Israel that it was still "to be determined" whether more forces might be needed in such a scenario.
A senior U.S. military official, speaking separately on condition of anonymity, said any decision to expand training of Iraqi forces would likely only require a "modest" increase of trainers and support personnel.
We'll close with the following quote from Senate uber-hawk John McCain whose rhetoric demonstrates precisely why, in the end, fearmongering will likely be more than enough to rally support for a US 'operation' in the region:
"ISIS goes from house to house in Ramadi with lists of names and they execute people and they kill 3-year-old children, and they burn their bodies in the streets and the atrocities in Syria continue as Bashar Assad barrel bombs innocent men, women and children."