Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Puzzle Strategy

I decided not to write about individual incidents not because they could be insignificant or not related, but because these incidents do not provide the reader with the big picture. Imagine a puzzle, every piece is significant only because it is part of the complete picture but is useless on its own. This relates directly to what is happening in the world today little bits and pieces here and there but they all add up.

I will give another example, Trump's strike on the Syrian Airforce base with 59 missiles. Please notice I used “Trump's strike” and not the “US Naval strike” because only 23 missiles struck and nobody knows what happened to the rest. This is not typical as it pertains to this sort of missiles. The precession in which the Navy has struck Baghdad for example, with pin point accuracy from the Red Sea. Not only that, but the base is still functioning and the Syrian Airforce is still raiding the rebel's positions. This piece of the puzzle is so insignificant in the view of any military strategist whom will tell you instantly that the objectives were not accomplished.


Let us see the pieces that fit, before and after the strike. The piece before, was the visit of the Saudi crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman, whom urged Trump to start a new phase of the 6 years' war. Escalating the position of the USA in the conflict in return evidenced by this Whitehouse statement:" President Trump provided his support for developing a new United States-Saudi program, undertaken by joint U.S.-Saudi working groups, and its unique initiatives in energy, industry, infrastructure, and technology worth potentially more than $200 billion in direct and indirect investments within the next four years.

The “after” piece is the visit of Tillerson to Russia which had only one news headline "Assad should go." One could argue that only a month ago this was not the US view and the Americans know very well the Russian point of view regarding President Assad. They not only like him, but it is rather that they are on the ground in Syria. Their objectives requires a man like Assad that is always complicit in what Russia does.

Another important piece to the puzzle is the cheap Turkish statement to Europe "our citizens should enter Europe without Visas or we will unleash the refugees onto Europe." The puzzle piece before that came when Holland and Germany refused to allow Erdogan's party to perform rallies and conferences for the Turkish immigrants in those countries. This of course was to back up Erdogan's referendum changing Turkey from a Parliamentarian to a republican political system.
The “after” piece will most likely be when Europeans players approach Trump saying “your ally has crossed the line it this time.” Trump then will have to deal with the Kurdish problem in Northern Syria and the boarder safe zone, which the Turks will not like. In doing so Europe will be indebted to Trump also.

The big picture is hidden within these little pieces of the puzzle. In order to solve it, you will need to remind yourself every once in a while that the US is managing that war in Syria. They are not ending it and not fueling it at the same time. Nothing makes this more evident than the delay of the battle of AR Raqqa city, an ISIS strong hold in the North of Syria. The US troops have been there for some time now with the Kurdish troops, but what really is holding them is the Syrian army that is refusing to give up Palmyra  in the South. Palmyra just happens to be the location where the Americans wants ISIS to go to. This map might explain better …



Ar Raqqah is the ISIS strong hold so when the Americans and Kurds enter the city from the North ISIS will retreat to the South. Since the Syrian army is in Palmyra ISIS will take its chances to stay and fight which could cause a lot of casualties, so Ar Raqqah has to wait.

It seems pretty clear that all of this, was not on Trump's agenda while campaigning. In fact he kept saying that AL ASSAD and the Russians are fighting the terrorist so let them continue. Unfortunately there is another group in Washington that thinks otherwise, and in order that Trump gets his domestic plans furthered he will probably need to accept this group's terms.