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The "unlikely" war with Syria...


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US weighed military strikes in Syria

The United States recently debated launching military strikes inside Syria against camps used by insurgents operating in neighboring Iraq, a US magazine reported.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice successfully opposed the idea at a meeting of senior American officials held on October 1, Newsweek reported, citing unnamed US government sources.

Rice reportedly argued that diplomatic isolation was a more effective approach, with a UN report pending that may blame Syria for the assassination of former Lebanese premier Rafiq Hariri.

The United States has accused Damascus of allowing insurgents to move arms and fighters across the Syrian border into Iraq and of destabilizing the region.

US troops in Iraq have been waging an offensive in recent weeks against insurgents in western towns near the Syrian border.

The US ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, said last month that "our patience is running out" with Syria.

The same article also reported that Syria had ended all security and intelligence cooperation with the United States several months ago after growing frustrated with persistent public criticism from Washington.

Rest of the article at link...

I'm tellin' ya, it is not that far fetched.

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I don't think pounding sites inside Syria is far-fetched at all. It might even be a good idea.

What I raised an eyebrow at is the specific scenario that Steve's laid out. I concede that it's not exactly important that it be 100% probable, but when your premise includes a UN-initiated invasion, given the current situation and recent history, I question how probable this is.

Even this criticism is not quite fair though since the hypothetical has not been laid out entirely. Otherwise outside of how it makes the campaign stuff play out, the exact scenario is a niggle I suppose.

BDH

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Good point about the UN aspect. I would think Syria would have to invade someone to get the full UN treatment.

I also wonder about other Arab/Muslim countries siding with the Americans to invade Syria, given the current mood concerning Iraq.

And yes, I know that there were several Arab and Muslim countries involved in the first war with Iraq, but at least two of them (coincidentatlly Syria and Egypt) were dead set against attacking into Iraq towards Baghdad in '91.

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As I understand the premise, current Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad has been ousted in a coup (I *assume* by Taliban-like forces,although that's not clear) and the UN mission is to restore him to power.

That's quite a different premise from earlier vague rumors of the US invading Assad's Syria because it was helping Iraq.

Plausible? What do I know - although it does seem like something that Turkish forces would be involved in...

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Just remember... how many people would have raised their hands on September 10th, 2001 when asked "do you think the next conflict America engages in will be on the ground in Afghanistan?" Not many, I am sure. I also don't think many would have thought they'd see the day when Germans, Danes, Spanish, Romanians, Bulgarians, Estonians, and all sorts of diverse militaries would be sitting there side by side with each other. Yet it happened. I think it is far fetched to think it won't happen again.

With the well know, well established, well organized, well funded, and well lead terrorists which made Afghanistan a battleground obviously still comitted to causing harm in the name of their cause... why is it so hard to think that the #1 sponsor of terrorist groups might not give the world reason to react again? There are only so many Madrids, Londons, Sharm al-Sheikhs, and Balis that the world will suffer through before action is taken. If a host nation, like Afghanistan, is identified a being a part of something like 9/11... you'd be a fool if you think nothing would happen.

Now, personally I hope that Assad keeps gaining influence and power within Syria. I don't think he is a saint, but I do think that given enough time and help there won't be a need for military intervention there. But everything is so delicate in this world, anything can happen. Often it isn't expected, and frequently it isn't good.

Steve

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Surely the setting in near-future Syria is just an invention to allow a fairly decent Arab army to fight the US. I don't think Battlefront really believe there is any chance of it happening.

Its like the way people used to set up scenarios for a nuclear war in the 80s. You know the sort of thing: "President of Israel is assassinated; Israel suspects Egypt and invades; Russia moves to invade Saudi Arabia" etc etc.

These things are really just a clever mental game to set the scene for some damn interesting wargaming and should be discounted for what they are if you ask me. Just think of it as some the latest outrageous Tom Clancy novel or something.

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Surely the setting in near-future Syria is just an invention to allow a fairly decent Arab army to fight the US. I don't think Battlefront really believe there is any chance of it happening.
Not quite :D We did pick what we thought to be the most likely scenario, and Syria fit that bill with Iran coming in a close second. But we did favor the Syrian scenario for a couple of reasons. Some were game related, some were informed predictions of where the real pressure is building towards. However, all reasonable conflict predictions aside, the Syrian scenario makes for a much better game setting than Iran in our opinion. So even if it was a toss up from a real life prediction standpoing, we'd have gone with Syria.

Personally, I do think that the next major military action in this world will be in the Middle East. Will it be in 2007 in Syria? Maybe not, but I certainly wouldn't rule it out.

You guys might find this funny but deep down I am a "why can't we all just get along" kind of guy. If I could wave a magic wand (er, that works!) and make people work together instead of against each other I would, even though wargaming would become a dead art ;) War rarely offers solutions to our world's problems. Unfortunately, others don't see it that way and aren't likely to.

Steve

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Originally posted by Battlefront.com:

You guys might find this funny but deep down I am a "why can't we all just get along" kind of guy. If I could wave a magic wand (er, that works!) and make people work together instead of against each other I would, even though wargaming would become a dead art ;)

You really think so, Steve? With thousands of years of organized warfare to game? People still spend thousands of hours and dollars putting together and painting the army of Alexander the Great and the Army of the Potomac. That's not llikely to go away and people are still going to want to play those on computer too, if they can find a reasonably good simulation of the period they are interested in. I say "Roll on peace!" and "Can we have a decent operational-level North Africa game now?"

:D

War rarely offers solutions to our world's problems. Unfortunately, others don't see it that way and aren't likely to.
Unfortunately, I agree with you. There are still too many blockheads in the world who just don't get it. Among the many ways that that is a sad fact, if peace broke out, those of us with excess testosterone would have to turn to wargaming to work it off.

;)

Michael

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Originally posted by V:

I also wonder about other Arab/Muslim countries siding with the Americans to invade Syria, given the current mood concerning Iraq.

Me too. Being a visible friend of the US (and to the West in general) is not a very stylish stance in the Mid-East/Moslem world these days. I can see Turkey joining in if NATO gets involved either as a whole or as individual countries thereof. I think Israel would if called on, but will probably be told to stay out, which they would also be happy enough to do ("Let some other buggers fight the Syrians for a change, we've done our share."). But that's about it. Unless the group that stages the anti-Assad coup is virulently atheistic and starts blowing up all the mosques in the country, I don't see the other Arab/Moslem countries joining in, unless it is to send volunteers to resist the US-led forces.

Michael

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Maybe BFC should be given an unlimited budget by the UN to simulate the worlds armies, and all future conflicts can then be played out on high powered computers with BFC simulations.

George - "96%, Total victory Saddam, in your face!"

Saddam - "Your use of airpower is totally gamey, I refuse to give up power!"

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Originally posted by tenardier:

I hope we can drop bombs on civilians and spread freedom on syria.

It is aboot time those ragheads get their ass beat up.

If you're going to be a flaming jerk, do it on the retarded thread you started and keep it away from the respectable folk.
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Not quite We did pick what we thought to be the most likely scenario, and Syria fit that bill with Iran coming in a close second.
That's a bit like saying you are more likely to be hit by lightning than by a meteorite. Given the current situation in Iraq, I can't really believe that the US would want to get involved in another Middle East ground war.

However, I concede that stranger things have happened. If someone had told me in 1980 that in 2 years time the UK would be at war with Argentina I would have asked them what they had been drinking.

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The more I see this, the more I am thinking that BFC is playing on the wrong side for the campaign, Syria strong ties to european countries like the french who have had a long friendship with the syrians dating back pre war2, and the russians after ww2.

Its almost like watching the opening of ww2 where the germans (US) are invading checz,(IRAQ) poland(SYRIA) on the what they felt pretext of justification.

I would like to see NATO shatter, the french and russians back the syrians with their own personnel.

Seriously how many invasions are the UN going to allow the US to have so close together? Regardless of your poltics all countries get edging when one nation becomes a constant interventionalist.

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Repost of something I put on this very page. Would the "Syrian Doubters" please address these points before continuing?

--

Just remember... how many people would have raised their hands on September 10th, 2001 when asked "do you think the next conflict America engages in will be on the ground in Afghanistan?" Not many, I am sure. I also don't think many would have thought they'd see the day when Germans, Danes, Spanish, Romanians, Bulgarians, Estonians, and all sorts of diverse militaries would be sitting there side by side with each other. Yet it happened. I think it is far fetched to think it won't happen again.

With the well know, well established, well organized, well funded, and well lead terrorists which made Afghanistan a battleground obviously still comitted to causing harm in the name of their cause... why is it so hard to think that the #1 sponsor of terrorist groups might not give the world reason to react again? There are only so many Madrids, Londons, Sharm al-Sheikhs, and Balis that the world will suffer through before action is taken. If a host nation, like Afghanistan, is identified a being a part of something like 9/11... you'd be a fool if you think nothing would happen.

Now, personally I hope that Assad keeps gaining influence and power within Syria. I don't think he is a saint, but I do think that given enough time and help there won't be a need for military intervention there. But everything is so delicate in this world, anything can happen. Often it isn't expected, and frequently it isn't good.

Steve

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Think about this...

How many of you thought New Orleans would be flooded and basically destroyed this summer? How many of you thought the response to the disaster would be significantly ...uhm... substandard? How many of you would have guessed that just weeks later another storm would come in and whomp the same area with nearly equal fury? Well, you and I might not have but many, many people went on record about just such an event happening YEARS before. So let's not get carried away with how well we as individuals can predict the future. It ain't that simple, but it ain't hard to have one's eyes open to possibilities.

And as far as the thought of "how much stuff can happen again so quickly?" comments... look again to the hurricane situation. Who would have predicted that the same region would be smacked up side its head with "storms of the century" nearly right on top of one another? Just because the US Gulf Coast has had a bad year didn't stop the earthquake from leveling a big section of south central Asia you know... bad stuff tends not to check if it "now is a good time" before it happens. Large scale geopolitical actions are very often akin to forces of nature. They have a life of their own and one thing can often toss everything held near and dear to be "true" right out the window.

Steve

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Answering your points

I am an aussie, and so I am close to home understanding bali, both this one and the major one a few years ago we have some friends of my wife who lost relatives. So it close to home.

But I view the invasion of a soverign country totally different then the act of extemeists.

Do you think the British should of invaded Ireland to stop the IRA, or do you think, china shoueld of attacked some of the US assest due to its involvement in Tibet when it was going on.

I am not a left win radical, I don't protest and I am come from a very pro-right family. Even now I am starting to question the US justification in it events. So if you were asking my opinion whether I think Australia would back another US led invasion into Syria, I would say probably not, it would be political suicide for leaders in this country this time around. I have never voted Labor (left) in my life, but if we supported, next election would have my labor vote.

So to answer your question I still do not see it a plausable, especially in your time frame and definately not a UN backed expidition.

[ October 09, 2005, 11:35 PM: Message edited by: Ardem ]

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I thought that "What If.." scenarios were what Military simulations are ALL about!

How many times in CMAK and CMBB and CMAK have we hear all the those calls for "What if" scenarios???? (plenty)

The venerable "What if" scenario is the foundation of all military planning and training. And this whole Syria thing seems to be as good a "What if" scenario as any at this point. Korean 2007 might be interesting as well but that one could get REALLY messy fast (as in escalate to the use of WMD's maybe).

So..

It matters not to me if this particular game, or "What if" scenario, is probable or likely or not likely to become reality. But from the looks of it, it looks like it could provide a tactically challenging back drop to get a feel for modern MOUT combat using (mostly) today's current equipment and technology. So that should be interesting for a change of pace from CMx1.

I don't care at all if it is real or possible or probable or likely to actually take place. I personally hope it does not. I just hope this simulation is tactically challenging and actually entertaining to play. smile.gif

-tom w

[ October 09, 2005, 11:43 PM: Message edited by: aka_tom_w ]

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Michael Emrys :

Me too. Being a visible friend of the US (and to the West in general) is not a very stylish stance in the Mid-East/Moslem world these days. I can see Turkey joining in if NATO gets involved either as a whole or as individual countries thereof.
Turkey is ***NOT*** an arab country. She is a secular democracy , meaning if everybody is decided in having a go on Syria, religion wont matter and we will join the fray as a part of our 'responsbility' in NATO.
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Despite what Steve said above, I think the topography and geography of Syria are the main reasons for choosing it. It has a coastal region, so you could simulate Mogadishu or Beurut. It has a desert region, so you could simulate aspects of GWI or the initial invasion of Iraq. It also has a mountainous region, so you could simulate Afghanistan. It even has a narrow strip of fertile plain if you ever get bored of just sand and rocks. And, as has already been said, it is highy urbanised, so you can simulate fighting in any major Middle-East city such as Fallujah.

What I am saying is, the setting is for the wargaming possibilities it yields relating to actual current and recent conflicts. The back-story to my mind is just a smoke-screen so we can all wargame these real-world conflicts with an easy conscience.

Whether or not something kicked off in Syria that dragged the US into an invasion of the country, I doubt they would have UN or even UK support this time around, because of the failure to find WMD in Iraq. In the UK that was a PR disaster for the US, as it made people suspect that WMD was just a pretext for invasion, whether or not that charge is actually justified.

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I am Okay with Syria as a setting, but given the current situation in Iraq and the politcal fall out from OIF, let alone Katrina, I think it would need to be something spectacular to get the US involved in another major military operation.

The one I would have choosen would have been Pakistan.

Scenario.

In a democratic parliamentary election Islamic party's with Talaban sympathies win a majority and look set to take power.

This raises the prospect of people not just sympathetic to Bin Laden, but potentially actually hidding him, taking control of nuclear weapons. The very nightmare scenario that OIF was all about.

The Army steps in to prevent the government taking power and a civil war errupts.

The UN Security council then agrees to a US lead force ( popular or not they are the only nation that can project anything with punch rapidly), to secure the Nukes and put them under international control.

I think it would be more plausable and a better game, but hell Syrias not bad.

Peter.

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the CMSF backstory may be closer to reality than people realise:

Assad on the rocks

U.S. consults Israel over Syria regime change

I should add that whatever you read in middle east media has to be taken with a grain of salt, since information and disinformation are happily mixed in, but if this issue is being discussed in both the Jerusalem Post and the Arab News, it means most countries in the region think it's a serious possibility.

[ October 10, 2005, 03:52 AM: Message edited by: JC_Hare ]

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Originally posted by Peter Cairns:

I am Okay with Syria as a setting, but given the current situation in Iraq and the politcal fall out from OIF, let alone Katrina, I think it would need to be something spectacular to get the US involved in another major military operation.

The one I would have choosen would have been Pakistan.

Scenario.

In a democratic parliamentary election Islamic party's with Talaban sympathies win a majority and look set to take power.

This raises the prospect of people not just sympathetic to Bin Laden, but potentially actually hidding him, taking control of nuclear weapons. The very nightmare scenario that OIF was all about.

The Army steps in to prevent the government taking power and a civil war errupts.

The UN Security council then agrees to a US lead force ( popular or not they are the only nation that can project anything with punch rapidly), to secure the Nukes and put them under international control.

I think it would be more plausable and a better game, but hell Syrias not bad.

Peter.

Now thats INTERESTING!

Great back story.

Is Syria's military larger or more of a challenge than that of Pakistan?

-tom w

[ October 10, 2005, 06:44 AM: Message edited by: aka_tom_w ]

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