September 06, 2013

What the U.S. military knows of Syria

Source: Foster's Daily Democrat

Journalist: Michael Faiella

The Washington Post, among other news sources, reports that many current and former military officers have serious reservations about proposed US military action in Syria:

■ According to Marine Lt. Col. Gordon Miller, fellow at the Center for a New American Security, there could be “potentially devastating consequences, including a fresh round of chemical weapons attacks and a military response by Israel” resulting in our having to “escalate the assault on Syria to achieve the original objectives.”

■ One young officer, unidentified because he is in active service, is quoted as saying, “I can’t believe the president is even considering it. We have been fighting the last 10 years a counterinsurgency war. Syria has modern weaponry. We would have to retrain for a conventional war.”

■ In July General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, discussing possible US military intervention in Syria, said, “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.” 

■ Former head of the U.S. Central Command, Gen. James Mattis, said last month, “If Americans take ownership of this, this is going to be a full-throated, very, very serious war.”

■ According to a “former senior officer,” members of the military who are “expressing alarm” are “not being heard other than in a pro-forma manner.”

■ General Jack Keane, former vice-chief of staff of the U.S. Army, told the BBC that the proposed strikes could be “more substantial than thought.”

■ Air Force Chief of Staff General Mark Welsh says because of sequestration, “we are not going to be as ready as we would like.”

■ Congressman Justin Amash reports: “I’ve been hearing a lot from members of our Armed Forces. The message I consistently hear: Please vote no on military action against Syria.”

An unhappy White House has described the flood of off-the record military comments as “deeply unhelpful.” Is there something people in the military know about this impending war that we don’t … but should?

Michael Faiella



  • Gordon Miller