One of the U.S. military contractors employed as a social media influencer, OSINTdefender, posted the following today:
This coincided with a Foreign Policy piece by Charles Lister, who is frantically waving the the continuing threat of ISIS (they are like zombies, can’t eradicate them) in a desperate plea to stay in place in Syria. He notes that the Hamas Oct 7 attack in Israel has changed the Middle East calculus:
it should not come as a surprise that the Biden administration is reconsidering its military priorities in the region.
It should be cause for significant concern, however, that this could involve a full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria. While no definitive decision has been made to leave, four sources within the Defense and State departments said the White House is no longer invested in sustaining a mission that it perceives as unnecessary. Active internal discussions are now underway to determine how and when a withdrawal may take place.
Notwithstanding the catastrophic effect that a withdrawal would have on U.S. and allied influence over the unresolved and acutely volatile crisis in Syria, it would also be a gift to the Islamic State. While significantly weakened, the group is in fact primed for a resurgence in Syria, if given the space to do so.
This is total bullshit. ISIS is not primed to do anything. ISIS is an excuse for keeping U.S. forces in a place.
Waving the Islamic State boogeyman in front of the American audience is predicated on the ignorance of the American public. Islamic State folks want to overthrow Bashir Assad. So do we. Islamic State fanatics hate Iran and Iran would like to destroy them. So I guess that makes us allies of the Islamic State extremists when it comes to hating Iran. Who the hell are we pretending to fight? That is the problem behind allowing the U.S. military presence in Syria to continue. We are illegally occupying Syrian territory.
U.S. and Israeli attacks on Hezbollah and IRGC targets over the past month have sparked a relentless barrage of drones, rockets and ballistic missiles on the U.S. outposts in Syria and northern Iraq. The Commander of CENTCOM and the Joint Chiefs of Staff now realize this is not a sustainable mission. At a minimum the 900 U.S. soldiers manning these Middel East versions of Fort Apache, are targets waiting for a missile strike. If the United States decides to launch a direct attack on Iran, which means inside Iran, then the survivability of these bases/outposts are in question.
I do not discount the possibility that the decision to close down these bases could be in anticipation of an eventual U.S. military strike on Iran. But I think it is a genuine effort to reduce the profile when these soldiers are not carrying out a critical, essential mission. And there is something else driving the decision.
Staff officers in U.S. Central Command and U.S. Indopacom Command are watching a massive political battle unfold pitting CENTCOM’s Air Force component, CENTAF, against INDOPACOM’s Air Force counterpart, PACAF.
The phrase of the day is “Great Power Competition.” It is the new hotness, the top issue, and it’s all China, China, China. The four star generals in the respective theater commands are duking it out over realigning forces. INDOPACOM wants as many air assets as possible on the table to be prepared to fight China. CENTCOM is insisting it absolutely needs the aircraft and re-fuelers in order to stop the Houthis from shuttering Israel’s ports. Word is that INDOPACOM has the upper hand.
It is the more Cow Bell strategy. If you think that wars in Ukraine, Gaza and Yemen, with a potential blow up on the Iran front, are sufficient to keep the Defense establishment happy, you are dead ass wrong. We need more Cow Bell.
I also think it is time for Country Joe and the Fish to update the lyrics from Vietnam to China. It has been 55 years. More Cow Bell.
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