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By Robert A. Vella

In comprehending geopolitics, one must decipher the public statements made by officials regarding their government’s international relations.  This is absolutely necessary because all such statements are rhetorical (i.e. purposely designed for effect) regardless of any truths or untruths contained within.  Although you might consider the premise here to be quite obvious and therefore redundant, it remains perfectly valid as evidenced by the gullibility of the general population to accept official statements as candid remarks especially on issues which are not well understood by that populace (e.g. overseas military operations).  To put it more simply, governments wouldn’t engage in foreign policy rhetoric if such rhetoric didn’t work.

From International Business TimesAmid Anti-ISIS Airstrikes, US Troops Deployed To Syria To Fight Islamic State:

UPDATE: 1:30 p.m. EDT — White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest confirmed at a Friday afternoon news conference that fewer than 50 troops will go to Syria to “train, advise and assist” moderate opposition forces. When reporters grilled Earnest on the specifics of President Barack Obama’s previous vows of “no boots on the ground” there, Earnest said that the announcement was in keeping with his strategy of intensifying support for people battling the Islamist fighters.

Earnest contrasted Obama’s stance with former President George W. Bush’s 2003 decision to invade Iraq. “The president has been quite clear that there is no military solution to the problems that are plaguing Iraq and Syria,” Earnest said. “There is a diplomatic one.”

He said the special operations personnel would not be in a combat mission, but “there’s no denying the amount of risk that they are taking on here.”

Let’s parse Josh Earnest’s statements:

Since Syrian President Bashar Hafez al-Assad, Russia, and Iran (Shiite Muslims) are also “battling against the Islamist fighters” (a.k.a. the Islamic State, ISIS, ISIL), and that the U.S. and its allies (i.e. Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and other Sunni Muslim countries) are geopolitically aligned against this Russo-Shiite coalition, the declared target (ISIS) of this U.S. deployment of ground forces must be called into question.

If it’s true that President Obama believes there is “no military solution to the problems that are plaguing Iraq and Syria,” then why is he sending in ground troops?  Is it just coincidence that this escalation of American military involvement comes on the heels of Russia’s deployment of air and ground forces in Syria to help support Assad?  I think not.

And, how could American ground forces in Syria not be in a “combat mission” if “there’s no denying the amount of risk that they are taking on here?”

To anyone with a basic understanding of the current tumult in the Middle East, none of this rhetoric makes any sense.  It seems much more likely that the Obama Administration is playing a cold war game of chess with Russian President Vladimir Putin… and obedient American soldiers and the unfortunate people of that region are their sacrificial pawns.

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11 thoughts on “Deciphering the rationale offered by the U.S. in its decision to send ground troops to Syria

      • Please make that comparison, if you would.

        To me, comparing what did happen in Vietnam with what is happening now, or might happen going forward, in Syria is more superficial than substantive. The Vietnam War resulted exclusively from the Cold War dynamic of western capitalism versus eastern communism. The situation in Syria, in fact throughout the entire Middle East, is first and foremost a sectarian conflict between Sunni and Shiite Muslims. The West vs East divide is playing only a secondary role. Before Sunni rebel groups began confronting the Assad regime in concert with the Arab Spring, U.S. involvement in Syria was virtually nonexistent.

      • I realise the underlying motives are very different, it just seem like a resurrection of old hostilities re: the US and Russia, and, on the face of it, completely unnecessary.

  1. Nasserite Pan-Arabic secular government vs. monarchy. How the oil and gas profits become distributed, to the select few or the people living in the region, along with anti-usury non-dollar banking vs. Rothschild dynasty interest generating, dollar exclusive banking. The first person to coin the term “follow the money” had it right, and it remains completely relevant as the major source of wars today.

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