There are looming signs of a ground force military intervention in Syria by the United States of America and its allies, after the view of American policy in the region having been one of showing the necessary preparations and mobilizing for such an intervention, with (John Allen) the operations coordinator for the international alliance saying that (a vast imminent land attack against the ISIS in Iraq will begin soon with support from coalition forces).
It is therefore worth mentioning that the behaviour of intervention in many regions of the world begins with a specific justification and develops thereafter to something completely different to the original justification, and this intervention has various determinants, the most important of which are:
- Serving and protecting American interests. American interests are divided into three main categories: vital, critical and remote. America is prepared to protect its vital interests with direct military force, and where critical and remote interests are concerned; its intervention is limited to providing military support to the parties protecting those interests in addition to militarizing support and directing it in accordance to that which serves American interests.
- Establishing regimes that are more efficient and in harmony with American global strategy based on its security related motives.
- Producing new elite to work in accordance to this strategy (as occurred in Iraq).
America invaded Iraq and strove to destroy its infrastructure and distancing it from its Arab surroundings and handing it over the Iran. It succeeded in fragmentizing and drawing up a new Sykes-Picot in its territory and then left it susceptible to internal and sectarian clashes and is until today uninterested in all the goals it pronounced publicly and intervened for.
It also intervened in Somalia under the excuse of providing support and food aid to the starving Somalia people. But just a few days after its intervention had begun, it got itself into an operation which was completely different; the redrawing of the political map inside Somalia in a manner that is compatible with its strategic goals in the Horn of Africa. Its campaign ended with a complete failure. The hunger continued along with chaos and internal conflict, and it abandoned Somalia in a manner that allowed the whole world to mock the global military superpower.
Also, if we take a slow and deliberate look at it’s the American military intervention in Afghanistan, we would see that it ended in failure, as the country has become a large theatre for Al-Qaeda.
Its intervention in Nicaragua fared no better, and the latter remains knee deep in a war of attrition that has not yet come to an end.
In light of the aforementioned, the following question poses itself:
What does the American administration really want in Syria?
America’s vital interest in Syria is clear only in that it is to prevent ISIS from waging a terrorist attack on America nad its allies (after it had allowed ISIS to become a magnet that attracts Jihadis from all over the world), and fragmentizing Al-Qaeda by allowing the appearance and spreading of ISIS. But even this goal lacks the political and national interest willingness required to commit to ending the bloody war. American confusion has reached a level that requires the abandoning of what was labelled as strategic patience by Obama and which he wagers on in order to achieve progress for the coalition nations in the long run and which means more blood and destruction. There is no gleam of hope to be wished for from a strategy that asks the world to wait many years in order to destroy ((terrorism)) and which does not provide any guarantee for the collapse of the Asad regime.
Conducting research into American ground force intervention in Syria requires one to consider the position of local parties in Syria, represented by the criminal Asad regime which is the cause of the problem, and the position of the armed Syrian opposition with all of its various spectrums, as well as regional and international positions. Since the moment the United States announced its intention to intervene militarily and precluded the idea of coordination with the criminal regime in order that it not be perceived that it is its partner in the war on terror, the foreign minister gave a blatant statement on Syrian sovereignty which the very Syrian regime allowed to be penetrated by all who wished to do so in order for it to remain in power in Syria. As for the armed Syrian opposition, they can be distinguished by the various differing positions to such an intervention. This position is represented by the fundamental Islamists such as Al-Nusra Front and its sister organizations. The position which is not yet clear is held by moderate Islamists and some sectors of the Free Syrian Army. There is also the position in favour of such an intervention and which is supported by Kurdish Democratic Union whose leader was received in her military uniform along with the Kurdish Peoples protection units by the French President in the Elysee Palace. This contradicts the usual diplomatic norms practiced in Paris and deserves a review of the French position towards the Kurdish Issue in Syria. This unprecedented French position indicates that France has found its moderate opposition that it deems worthy of carrying its arms after the international legitimization being afforded to it in its fight and coordination with coalition forces and which bore its fruits in the crushing of ISIS in the town of Ayn Al-Arab.
As regards the regional parties that are active in the Syrian dilemma, at the head of which is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Jordan; Saudi Arabia and Qatar have both expressed their willingness to partake in a land intervention in Syria on condition of the removal of the Asad regime. This is what the member of the military committee clarified in the US congress (Lindsey Graham) when he said: (ISIS in Syria cannot be defeated without the ground force intervention, and Saudi Arabia has offered the participation of its army while Qatar has said that it would fund the intervention but that you need to first deal with Asad). In the same context, the Jordanian Media Minister, Muhammad Al-Momani confirmed that his country will support a ground war against ISIS.
As for Turkey, it is following a strategy of buying time in its dealings with international and regional forces which are placing pressure on Ankara to support military operations in Syria and Iraq, especially on Syrian territory which continues to pose a big crisis for the international coalition, due to the conflict of goals and visions between the forces involved in the coalition, and other nations and opposition forces to the integral role of the coalition and its military operations, not to mention the absence of international forces eligible to support the coalition in its ground movements whether against ISIS or the Syrian regime. This leads Turkey to fear that the main goal of the coalition mission in the coming phase is to pressure the Asad regime to reach a political settlement which causes it to lay down conditions for confronting the differing groups. In the face of the international coalition, it proposes the idea of “isolated safe zones”, and which is marketing as sufficient to absolve itself from responsibility of Syrian refugees whose numbers have exceeded one and a half million, and it sees these zones as being a training centre for preparing moderate Syrian opposition forces. It would also represent a point of departure for these forces to target ISIS and the Asad regime in one go while affirming the integrity of Syrian territory. Turkey’s strategy towards the Syrian revolution essentially aims at confirming and working towards deposing the Asad regime from one side, and suppressing the Kurdish aspirations to reproduce the Northern Iraq experience in Syria from the other.
Ground force military intervention has an essential angle to it related to information relating to the location through which ground forces would enter and be mobilized as well as the base and movement locations and their intentions, and studying them with precision in comparison to other sources of information which are conveyed to military leadership in order to support decision making and to avoid the forces facing surprises. The goal of all of this is the protection of the security and safety of these forces from intervention opposition forces or from individuals who carry weight on the Syrian scene and who may be labelled as the icons of the Syrian revolution. At the head of these personalities are the military leaders and the revolutionaries who may refuse American intervention at the current time while they were the same people who requested over the past four years that America provide them with special weapons and to impose a no-fly zone. This in turn may place these figures in direct confrontation with international intervention forces, and thus one of the methods employed by the US in preparation for ground intervention would be to banish iconic figures who oppose intervention and to create prisons in Syria of the likes of Abu Ghreib and Guantanamo and to label those who are placed therein as (enemy combatants) as Bush described Guantanamo inmates after the invasion of Afghanistan. American leaks however which are being prepared by various American media outlets are of the view that the American administration plan to support Syrian rebels as part of an international coalition against ISIS will not work, and (Joshua Landis) the Director of the Oklahoma Institute for Middle Eastern Studies clarified that the moderate rebels who America wants to support are isolated in a simple point to the North of Syria. He continued by saying that according to information obtained by the CIA (there are more than a thousand armed factions in Syria, and president Obama supported the moderate rebels with amounts that have reached half a billion dollars and this amount is insufficient to support the army). The solution in Landis’ view may be achieved through dividing Syria into two parts, the first being in the North under the control of ISIS and those who are able to live alongside it from the moderate Islamic factions, and the second in the South as a state of the Syrian government. This means, in accordance to his view, that ISIS be maintained as Taliban remains in Afghanistan and this explains the International community’s lack of desire to start battles along the coast where the headquarters lay of the criminal Asad regime and his human resources. It also explains the scarcity of support provided to the rebels in Homs which is the central point of the current and future Syrian map.
Ground intervention scenarios and the direction from which they will depart, be it from Jordan, Iraq, or Turkey is related to the policies of these nations. (Jennifer Psaki) the official spokesperson of the American Foreign Office (that any military procedure taken from Iraq will be led by Iraqi security forces). As we have already explained, Turkey will not accept any intervention from its territory unless its conditions are first met. What is however being leaked from the American administration is its desire to push the Jordanian army towards ground intervention from the South so that it can hold on to the territory controlled by the Free Army there, and that the Free Army may advance when provided with weapons that suit the battle. What explains this possibility is the visit by the American General John Allen to Jordan and his discussions with them over the possibility of Jordanian ground intervention in the battle being waged against the organization.
Generally speaking, American ground military intervention in Syria remains subject to the clear efforts by the American administration to deny its desire to change its current strategy despite the leaks that occasionally show new plans and closed meetings being held with the goal of re-evaluating the American administration’s current plans, especially after King Salman taking the reins of power in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the effects of the latest visit by Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad, the leader of Qatar, to the United States of America, and the Turkish military operation in Syrian territory which succeeded in transporting the remains of Sulayman Shah to Turkey.
And Allah shall be victorious in His matters
By, Captain Rashid Hawrani