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Is there a military solution to Syria?

  • 04-09-2015 2:48am
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 7,333 ✭✭✭


    That's the question, very simply put.

    Can a coalition force disarm the country and depose Assad.
    Remove IS forces.
    Disarm the rebels
    Then allow some sort of elections.

    Essentially the country needs resetting.

    I think it can be but the cost would be high.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 22,181 ✭✭✭✭endacl


    Perhaps.

    Perhaps the whole Middle East should be left to sort it's own shyte out once and for all. No arms and equipment in. No oil out. As a region, it's a spoilt toddler, in a tantrum since the 1940s.

    Time to grow up.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,742 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    Zambia wrote: »
    That's the question, very simply put.

    Can a coalition force disarm the country and depose Assad.
    Remove IS forces.
    Disarm the rebels
    Then allow some sort of elections.
    Isn't that, more or less, what was attempted in Iraq?

    With results which, on the most upbeat view, were mixed.

    On a more pessimistic view, what was done in Iraq is a large part of the reason why we are where we are in Syria right now. Which would suggest that doing it again in Syria would not have a good outcome.

    I'm deeply sceptical of the idea of a military solution to Syria. I get that to a man with a hammer, every problem looks like a nail, and the United States in particular has a very, very big hammer. But that doesn't mean that every problem actually is a nail.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,333 ✭✭✭Zambia


    endacl wrote: »
    Perhaps.

    Perhaps the whole Middle East should be left to sort it's own shyte out once and for all. No arms and equipment in. No oil out. As a region, it's a spoilt toddler, in a tantrum since the 1940s.

    Time to grow up.

    That's not the question in fairness?

    Essentially your saying let them keep killing each other. While I'm saying someone else needs to wade in and basically kill people until they stop their ****e.

    It's a lose lose scenario. There is no good answer we are looking for the least harmful one.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,625 ✭✭✭AngryHippie


    endacl wrote: »
    Perhaps.

    Perhaps the whole Middle East should be left to sort it's own shyte out once and for all.

    They will end up eating each other. It can't end well and there are civilian populations stuck in the middle that the UN is mandated to protect.
    No arms and equipment in. No oil out.

    I agree 100% with that. Demilitarize the whole place.
    As a region, it's a spoilt toddler, in a tantrum since the 1940s. .

    I think you will find its been that way since the Romans, and possibly before. Which probably makes it a twisted old pervy uncle rather than a toddler.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,916 ✭✭✭Grab All Association


    Colonisation


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  • Registered Users Posts: 22,181 ✭✭✭✭endacl


    Zambia wrote: »
    That's not the question in fairness?

    Essentially your saying let them keep killing each other. While I'm saying someone else needs to wade in and basically kill people until they stop their ****e.

    It's a lose lose scenario. There is no good answer we are looking for the least harmful one.

    That us the question. Proxy wars and outside selfish interference is what has the place in the state that it's in. The Middle East has never been allowed define itself.

    Wading in is the problem.


  • Registered Users Posts: 78,194 ✭✭✭✭Victor


    It's not about oil, money, politics or religion. It's about power. The authoritarian regimes (of whatever persuasion) have power and the people have little. That pushes the people towards alternative power structures.

    The military solution is to have a socio-political one. Any purely military solution just kicks the ball down the road. That said, removing heavy weapons from the likes of ISIS would be welcome.
    Demilitarize the whole place.
    Complete demilitarization just gives the one guy with the one gun all the power.

    However, the open arms market needs to be shut down and military equipment restricted to competent, state-controlled, popular militaries. That means shutting down the pro- (Saudi Arabian National Guard) and anti-regime (Taliban) militias, political militias (Hamas, Hizbollah, Mahdi Army) and demilitarising police. A hard look should also be taken at tribal militias.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,742 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    Victor wrote: »
    However, the open arms market needs to be shut down and military equipment restricted to competent, state-controlled, popular militaries.
    Are there any in the region that tick all those boxes? Serious question.

    Because, if there aren't, does the proposal really come down to "stop the fighting by massive force, and then try to foster stable popular political institutions which can effectively provide and control competent militaries that enjoy popular acceptance".

    Which has been tried before, without much success.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,333 ✭✭✭Zambia


    While I agree the best solution is to left them fight it out till they are sick of punching each other can we let that happen in this day and age.

    Can we just sit by and watch as they rip each other to pieces. I mean how many people have to die till that happens.

    Syria is a huge country and I don't think it can be just taken over.

    However if identifying the largest population centers with the most means to sustain life are selected and taken over creating safe havens. Maybe that is a start from these areas a base can be formed to retake the rest of the country. For Example Damascus and surrounds.

    A political solution also has to be formed to follow the military one.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,401 ✭✭✭Royal Irish


    Give them their holy war before they get the bomb.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,625 ✭✭✭AngryHippie


    Give them their holy war before they get the bomb.
    Too late, Pakistan, funny enough the same country where OBL managed to remain undetected for how long.

    Demilitarize. let them learn to live together, die together or carve up their respective countries to suit their particular sects of man in the sky.

    People sicken me. There are too many people.


  • Registered Users Posts: 78,194 ✭✭✭✭Victor


    Victor wrote: »
    However, the open arms market needs to be shut down and military equipment restricted to competent, state-controlled, popular militaries.
    Peregrinus wrote: »
    Are there any in the region that tick all those boxes? Serious question.
    Israel*, Turkey*, Iran (excluding Republican Guard and other militias), Egypt, Pakistan* would be closest, in that order, but with most there is unhappy militiary-political balance and certainly in Egypt and Pakistan the militaries are elitist cartels. Many of the rest haven't a hope due to political interference and tribal / sectarian influences.

    * Generally popular, but perhaps with only 80% of the population.
    Because, if there aren't, does the proposal really come down to "stop the fighting by massive force, and then try to foster stable popular political institutions which can effectively provide and control competent militaries that enjoy popular acceptance".
    In the case of ISIS, it means that individual Saudi Arabian citizens and other individuals need to stop funding and supplying them. Their heavy weapons need to be destroyed (by whatever means). And people need to be shown that there is another way.

    In the rest of Syria, alternative power structures to the militias need to be fostered on a civic and then national level.

    In the rest of the region, the dictatorships, monarchies and made-up countries need to under-go the political reforms that Europe underwent in the 1800-2000 period. Preferably doing in in a faster, but less bloody fashion.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,742 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    So you hope to compress two hundred years of political development into a small number of years, and do it without any wars?

    Good luck with that!


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,401 ✭✭✭Royal Irish


    Too late, Pakistan, funny enough the same country where OBL managed to remain undetected for how long.

    Demilitarize. let them learn to live together, die together or carve up their respective countries to suit their particular sects of man in the sky.

    People sicken me. There are too many people.

    Sorry I must have posted in the wrong thread. I thought this thread was about Syria.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,742 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    Sorry I must have posted in the wrong thread. I thought this thread was about Syria.
    The OP raised the question of Syria, but in post #2 the discussion was expanded to "the whole Middle East".

    And I think that's fair enough. One thing we can all probably agree on is that any approach to this problem which treats it as being confined to Syria is certain to fail; it would be an approach that flies in the face of reality.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 9,623 Mod ✭✭✭✭Manach


    Yes, judging from historical lessons a brutal intervention followed by long term (generational) garrisoning works: as per Hittites Romans French etc. Due to the modern natural of Western politics this will not be achieved from there, so some other regional power would need to step in.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,248 ✭✭✭✭BoJack Horseman


    There is a military solution.

    But it is one that can only be executed by the UN & on an unprecedented scale, with massive buy in from all corners of the globe.

    And because the UN is ineptitude incarnate it will never happen.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,333 ✭✭✭Zambia


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    The OP raised the question of Syria, but in post #2 the discussion was expanded to "the whole Middle East".

    And I think that's fair enough. One thing we can all probably agree on is that any approach to this problem which treats it as being confined to Syria is certain to fail; it would be an approach that flies in the face of reality.

    Syria itself is too large a land mass to control, so sadly any solution would have to be concentrated on the issue at hand and it would need the inclusion of Arab forces.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 26,567 ✭✭✭✭Fratton Fred


    How do you demilitarize and how do you enforce it?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,333 ✭✭✭Zambia


    How do you demilitarize and how do you enforce it?

    Anyone found with a firearm has it taken off them by a another set of people with firearms.

    Given the lawless nature of the place some small arms might be allowed but tanks , technicals, apv' s and similar would become A10 fodder.

    Like I said there will be no perfect soloution.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 26,567 ✭✭✭✭Fratton Fred


    Zambia wrote: »
    Anyone found with a firearm has it taken off them by a another set of people with firearms.

    Given the lawless nature of the place some small arms might be allowed but tanks , technicals, apv' s and similar would become A10 fodder.

    Like I said there will be no perfect soloution.

    So effectively, what NATO was doing in Afghanistan?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,667 ✭✭✭donaghs


    Zambia wrote: »
    That's the question, very simply put.

    Can a coalition force disarm the country and depose Assad.
    Remove IS forces.
    Disarm the rebels
    Then allow some sort of elections.

    Essentially the country needs resetting.

    I think it can be but the cost would be high.

    Do a deal with Assad? Give him the means to end the war? He's already proven his ability to run the country pre-Arab Spring. And has a good track record for protecting the rights of minorities in Syria (provided they don't oppose him...). Especially compared with ISIL (and the other fanatics who have Gulf and Turkish support).

    What do you want Syria to be with Assad gone? Maybe that could be part of such a deal with Assad. Possibly could be used to get the Russians to rebuild ties with "the West".


  • Registered Users Posts: 32,596 ✭✭✭✭NIMAN


    These countries need a few more revolutions.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 26,567 ✭✭✭✭Fratton Fred


    donaghs wrote: »
    Do a deal with Assad? Give him the means to end the war? He's already proven his ability to run the country pre-Arab Spring. And has a good track record for protecting the rights of minorities in Syria (provided they don't oppose him...). Especially compared with ISIL (and the other fanatics who have Gulf and Turkish support).

    What do you want Syria to be with Assad gone? Maybe that could be part of such a deal with Assad. Possibly could be used to get the Russians to rebuild ties with "the West".

    The thing is, it appears a large number of Syrians want Assad gone and are not going to enter talks with him there.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,752 ✭✭✭pablomakaveli


    There is a military solution.

    But it is one that can only be executed by the UN & on an unprecedented scale, with massive buy in from all corners of the globe.

    And because the UN is ineptitude incarnate it will never happen.

    Given Assad is backed by the Russians who have a veto in the SC council it wouldnt even get off the ground anyway.


  • Registered Users Posts: 384 ✭✭YellowSheep


    I used to work in the Middle East for a over 6 years and I always found.
    One Arab is cool.
    Two Arabs is an argument.
    Three Arabs is war.
    And this did not matter how ultra or no ultra religious they were or were they came from. This will be an unsolvable problem.


  • Registered Users Posts: 78,194 ✭✭✭✭Victor


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    So you hope to compress two hundred years of political development into a small number of years, and do it without any wars?

    Good luck with that!
    Quite a few Central / Eastern European countries have had no history of democracy until the 1990s. They went from monarchies to a hodge-podge of dictatorships or unstable democracies, to Soviet control. They seem to be getting on mostly OK. Admittedly, some haven't.

    But, yes, power in the form of personalities and tribalism gets in the way.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,062 ✭✭✭✭ted1


    In one word No, other than total anilation of IS troops.
    These guys are total nut jobs, they believe death is a reward and don't fear it.
    There's a reason no country will send in ground troops against them and any that meet them turn and run.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,248 ✭✭✭✭BoJack Horseman


    ted1 wrote: »
    In one word No, other than total anilation of IS troops.
    These guys are total nut jobs, they believe death is a reward and don't fear it.
    There's a reason no country will send in ground troops against them and any that meet them turn and run.

    Correction..... Iraqi troops turn & run.

    ISIS are well equipped, but no match for a professional well led, & equipped force.

    None exist in the area that will do that role though & the ones that exist in the world (US, Russia, China) dont want to either way.

    So technically a military solution isn't that difficult, but you are right, no one wants to do it


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  • Registered Users Posts: 17 Mac222


    Are the yanks responsible for this ?


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