Assad still has chemical weapons, but is losing ground, and it’s been a messy, protracted situation spilling over Syria’s borders. Patriot missiles are used for defense. Turkey also wants to keep a lid on the Kurds. Let’s hope the chemical weapons situation doesn’t occur.
‘U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta signed the order while en route to Turkey to send two Patriot missile batteries and 400 U.S. troops to operate them. The surface-to-air interceptors will help in “dealing with threats that come out of Syria,” Panetta said after landing at Incirlik Air Base, a U.S. Air Force installation about 80 miles from Syria’s border
Panetta was unconcerned about possible reactions from Damascus to the Patriot deployment. “We can’t spend a lot of time worrying about whether that pisses off Syria,” he said, adamant that helping Turkey was the priority.’
I hope we’re not waiting on Russia to come around, though it seems one strategic goal for this administration is to align and subsume U.S. interests to the ultimate aim of international courts, laws, and institutions, no matter how flawed and ineffective they can be. This is probably not the best way to secure out interests, nor deal with strategic alignments down the road.
As a friend has pointed out: our transformation to become like many quarters in Europe is being pursued with zeal: the aim to centrally plan the U.S. economy and create a large welfare state, vastly expand the size and scope of government, have a few crony corporations that stifle competition, have our political leadership in bed with labor unions, the greens, the secular humanists and run by technocrats etc. Of course, most of the interests that run the country are fairly well entrenched and it’s unclear how much anyone can do, but new coordinates are being entered in daily under the current administration.
From the Bangkok Post:
‘Germany and the Netherlands have also agreed to provide advanced “hit-to-kill” Patriot weapons, which are designed to knock out cruise and ballistic missiles as well as aircraft.
The move coincides with rising fears the Syrian regime may resort to using chemical weapons against rebel forces and after Assad’s army unleashed Scud missiles in recent days’
Here’s hoping for the best, and preparing for the challenges that await.
Michael Totten has some thoughts here.
Related On This Site: Adam Garfinkle At The American Interest: ‘Is Manaf Tlass’s Defection a Sign That Assad’s Regime Is Cracking?” From Foreign Affairs-’Former Syrian General Akil Hashem on the Uprising in Syria’…From Slate: ‘In Aleppo, Syria, Mohamed Atta Thought He Could Build The Ideal Islamic City’…Michael Totten At World Affairs: ‘Syria’s Regime Not Worth Preserving’…From Reuters: ‘Israel Fires Warning Shots At Syria Over Golan Shelling’…Via Youtube-Uncommon Knowledge With Fouad Ajami And Charles Hill
Longer odds, lots of risk: Adam Garfinkle At The American Interest’s Via Media: “The Rise Of Independent Kurdistan?”