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View Diary: Why I support authorizing the President to use military force in Syria (186 comments)

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  •  how wonderful that sounds (22+ / 0-)
    The objetive is to attack Assad's military assets and personnel and degrade them to the extent that it is clear beyond a shadow of a doubt that he would have been better off militarily had he never deployed chemical weapons.
    of course, no one is explaining what that entails, what it costs, how many more civilians would be killed, or how it is calibrated to prevent an even deeper and more vicious civil war.  

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 12:04:17 PM PDT

    •  No One Is Explaining It... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lawrence, seanwright, doroma you, you mean.

    •  The idea that we can know all the costs and detail (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MadGeorgiaDem, doroma

      Before acting is an utter fantasy. If all people want is an estimate in advance, then they should ask for that.

      `You needn't go on making remarks like that, ... they're not sensible, and they put me out.'

      by seanwright on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 12:12:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  they have been asking (8+ / 0-)

        they haven't been getting answers.

        this is war. it would be nice to have an idea of the costs and details before going to war.

        The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

        by Laurence Lewis on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 12:14:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  While you're working on that estimate,... (6+ / 0-)

        ...please also explain (since you'll need this info for your estimate) what "degrade" means in your diary.  What would you degrade that cannot be easily replaced or repaired, making it not-actually-degraded?  And how would civilian casualties be avoided in such an attack?  And how would that degradation prevent any future use of chemical weapons, the putative purpose of "doing something?"

      •  Fantasy? (5+ / 0-)

        Odd - when I did this kind of planning in the service, we didn't call it fantasy - we called it preparation.  We did extensive simulation, cost estimates, gaming out options and troop numbers and placement, checked availability and cost and shipping options for various weapons systems, and looked at every option from a dozen perspectives before even putting it on the table for the flag officers to look at.

        We would never go into a situation without knowing what it entailed and what it might cost.  Why is another matter - that was left to the politicians - but how was (almost) always left to us.  the 'experts.'  Some of us spent the majority of our time on this kind of thing, because we had a knack for seeing around corners.

        And with the exception of skimping on helicopters (which we were overruled on), we did pretty well.

        You have, to me, covered none of the important issues in this.  That's fine - you don't have any say in the execution and are just presenting an opinion - but please try to be realistic and polite when people present opposing views or ideas.

        I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

        by trumpeter on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 01:18:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Obviously you have to make estimates (0+ / 0-)

          But estimating the costs and knowing the costs are two very different things. If people are arguing that the President should offer various estimates about the costs in money and human life that the operation would entail, I would fully agree with that. What I don't agree with is that we should put the brakes on acting until we have assurances that we know exactly what all the costs and risks are and can guarantee that nothing will go wrong.

          `You needn't go on making remarks like that, ... they're not sensible, and they put me out.'

          by seanwright on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 01:32:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That seems to be (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Linda Wood

            one of the psychological divides here.  You speak of "putting the brakes on acting", while others (myself included) say we should not even start the car without very good reason.  And no, I do not feel we have good reason.

            We have only some idea about who might have been responsible for the chemical weapons attack, we have so far been notably inactive even through 100,000+ deaths and millions displaced, and we don't have (as far as has been said so far) good targets that would accomplish anything worthy.

            it is the inevitability of this that bothers many of us.  Jumping in half-cocked has been our military raison d'etre for far too long, and there has to be a better way.

            I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

            by trumpeter on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 02:05:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  There are known unknowns. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        costello7, Linda Wood, Johnny Q
            There are known knowns; there are things we know that we know.
        There are known unknowns; that is to say, there are things that we now know we don't know.
        But there are also unknown unknowns – there are things we do not know we don't know.
        I feel much better.
      •  Huh. I thought serious military folks actually DO (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Johnny Q

        PLAN things out, assets needed, contingencies, logistics, etc.

        You're saying they don't do that?

        Or just not in this case? And why would that be?

        As of 9pm 8/30/13: RETIRED Pie Warrior. Substance over Sh*t Flinging (as best as I am able) ~ JV

        by JVolvo on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 02:22:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Gen. Dempsey in July (15+ / 0-)

      In a letter to Sen. Carl Levin in July, Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, outlined what would be involved in Syria options.

      Regarding limited strikes:

      This option uses lethal force to strike targets that enable the regime to conduct military operations, proliferate advanced weapons, and defend itself. Potential targets include high-value regime air defense, air, ground, missile, and naval forces as well as the supporting military facilities and command nodes. Stand-off air and missile systems could be used to strike hundreds of targets at a tempo of our choosing. Force requirements would include hundreds of aircraft, ships, submarines, and other enablers. Depending on duration, the costs would be in the billions. Over time, the impact would be the significant degradation of regime capabilities and an increase in regime desertions. There is a risk that the regime could withstand limited strikes by dispersing its assets. Retaliatory attacks are also possible, and there is a probability for collateral damage impacting civilians and foreigners inside the country.
      Regarding the control of chemical weapons:
      This option uses lethal force to prevent the use or proliferation of chemical weapons. We do this by destroying portions of Syria’s massive stockpile, interdicting its movement and delivery, or by seizing and securing program components. At a minimum, this option would call for a no-fly zone as well as air and missile strikes involving hundreds of aircraft, ships, submarines, and other enablers. Thousands of special operations forces and other ground forces would be needed to assault and secure critical sites. Costs could also average well over one billion dollars per month. The impact would be the control of some, but not all chemical weapons. It would also help prevent their further proliferation into the hands of extremist groups. Our inability to fully control Syria’s storage and delivery systems could allow extremists to gain better access. Risks are similar to the no-fly zone with the added risk of U.S. boots on the ground.
      He warned:
      We must anticipate and be prepared for the unintended consequences of our action. Should the regime's institutions collapse in the absence of a viable opposition, we could inadvertently empower extremists or unleash the very chemical weapons we seek to control.
      Once we take action, we should be prepared for what comes next. Deeper involvement is hard to avoid. We should also act in accordance with the law, and to the extent possible, in concert with our allies and partners to share the burden and solidify the outcome.

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