If you haven’t read the article written by William Moloney and myself for what is an option for the solution of the Syrian crisis, then here it is.
I got a lot of comments, some negative, some positive over this specific article. I would like to note that what I proposed in this article was the following:
- A method of removing the Al-Assad family and their cronies from the political leadership, as they form the greatest obstacle to a Syria free of the oppression and wanton cruelty we have seen in Homs.
- What I proposed is what I believe to be the least costly approach in terms of human lives and damage to the country’s infrastructure. To achieve this is done most effectively is the use of conventional and not irregular ground forces to defeat Assad’s conventional forces.
- And by the least bloody approach, I also mean that this approach is likely to take the least amount of time. Lets remember that the Libyan war went on for 8 months, can Syria tolerate a similar crisis length?
- I think we are all aware that as far as Natural resources go, Syria is not Libya. It does not have the natural resources that can be sold in order to finance the rebuilding of its country post-war. Therefore its economy is more delicate, leaving it more vulnerable in the post-war phase than Libya.
- That the use of conventional US/NATO ground forces is not even imaginable in the current political climate, and in this specific time. It also could allow Assad to portray the intervention as a foreign invasion, possibly prolonging the conflict and
- The use of regional ground forces is a much more realistic option. There is a precedent for this. Qatar’s use of Special Forces and Armored Vehicles in Libya was an example.
- I agree that the political will is absent. However let us take into consideration that political will can materialize based on the conditions, and that the conditions may further deteriorate. If that is a bit far-fetched, Could you even imagine a military intervention when the Libyan campaign began? The situation in Syria has deteriorated to the point where an aggressive international intervention is needed, there just seems to be a time lapse until a reaction comes about.
There is another point I would like to add, several people have been talking about the establishment of “safe zones” for the Free Syrian army to operate out of, a Northern Turkish zone taking place somewhere around Idlib. I wonder how these free zones will be created or secured, if not through the use of ground forces. And since ground forces are to be used, would it not be logical to avoid the Rube Golderg machine and just use them to accomplish the objectives, this would be much better instead of deploying foreign ground forces, then building up indigenous Syrian forces over a period of several months, then starting a campaign that could take several more months.
And thats easier said than done, the conditions are simply not there for a Libyan-like militia to effectively assemble, train and equip the tens of thousands of men necessary, and in the highly unlikely case that a substantial FSA force is mustered, it cannot perform the necessary operations with a level of competency that avoids the higher casualties and destruction of the Libyan campaign.