When in George Orwell—social conservative, Little Englander, intellectual cosmopolitan—hopefully envisioned an English socialist revolution, he assured his readers and himself that such a mere political event, like all such past convulsions, would prove no more than a surface disturbance. Rather, by its very nature—by its inherent logic, and by the ideology, aspirations, and world-historical forces from which it springs and to which it gives expression—it perforce obliterates that culture.
Military to Military Seymour M. The so-called moderates had evaporated and the Free Syrian Army was a rump group stationed at an airbase in Turkey. Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, director of the DIA between andconfirmed that his agency had sent a constant stream of classified warnings to the civilian leadership about the dire consequences of toppling Assad.
The jihadists, he said, were in control of the opposition. They wanted Assad to go but the opposition was dominated by extremists. So who was going to replace him? So in the autumn of they decided to take steps against the extremists without going through political channels, by providing US intelligence to the militaries of other nations, on the understanding that it would be passed on to the Syrian army and used against the common enemy, Jabhat al-Nusra and Islamic State.
Each had its reasons for co-operating with Assad: Germany feared what might happen among its own population of six million Muslims if Islamic State expanded; Israel was concerned with border security; Russia had an alliance of very long standing with Syria, and was worried by the threat to its only naval base on the Mediterranean, at Tartus.
It was clear that Assad needed better tactical intelligence and operational advice. The JCS concluded that if those needs were met, the overall fight against Islamist terrorism would be enhanced. We were saying to the Germans and the others: It was a lot cleverer than that. If Assad remains in power, it will not be because we did it.
State Department cables made public by WikiLeaks show that the Bush administration tried to destabilise Syria and that these efforts continued into the Obama years. But there is also a parallel history of shadowy co-operation between Syria and the US during the same period.
The two countries collaborated against al-Qaida, their common enemy. In violation of this agreement, the CIA contacted the informant directly; he rejected the approach, and broke off relations with his Syrian handlers.
It was this history of co-operation that made it seem possible in that Damascus would agree to the new indirect intelligence-sharing arrangement with the US. The Joint Chiefs let it be known that in return the US would require four things: Assad must restrain Hizbullah from attacking Israel; he must renew the stalled negotiations with Israel to reach a settlement on the Golan Heights; he must agree to accept Russian and other outside military advisers; and he must commit to holding open elections after the war with a wide range of factions included.
The Israelis had rejected the offer.
By mid, however, the Syrians believed the worst was behind them, and wanted assurances that the Americans and others were serious about their offers of help.
In the early stages of the talks, the adviser said, the Joint Chiefs tried to establish what Assad needed as a sign of their good intentions. Bandar bin Sultan had served Saudi Arabia for decades in intelligence and national security affairs, and spent more than twenty years as ambassador in Washington.
In Julythe Joint Chiefs found a more direct way of demonstrating to Assad how serious they were about helping him. The next day, shortly before he died, he met a representative from Al-Marfa Shipping and Maritime Services, a Tripoli-based company which, the JCS adviser said, was known by the Joint Staff to be handling the weapons shipments.
It was a message Assad could understand: The Syrian army had suffered heavy losses in the spring of in fighting against Jabhat al-Nusra and other extremist groups as it failed to hold the provincial capital of Raqqa.
The remaining non-fundamentalist rebels found themselves fighting — and losing — pitched battles against the extremists. In JanuaryIS took complete control of Raqqa and the tribal areas around it from al-Nusra and established the city as its base.
Assad still controlled 80 per cent of the Syrian population, but he had lost a vast amount of territory. CIA efforts to train the moderate rebel forces were also failing badly. There was a suspicion that some of those who signed up for training were actually Syrian army regulars minus their uniforms.
This had happened before, at the height of the Iraqi war, when hundreds of Shia militia members showed up at American training camps for new uniforms, weapons and a few days of training, and then disappeared into the desert.
A separate training programme, set up by the Pentagon in Turkey, fared no better. In Januarydespairing at the lack of progress, John Brennan, the director of the CIA, summoned American and Sunni Arab intelligence chiefs from throughout the Middle East to a secret meeting in Washington, with the aim of persuading Saudi Arabia to stop supporting extremist fighters in Syria.
His message was that if everyone in the region stopped supporting al-Nusra and Isis their ammunition and weapons would dry up, and the moderates would win out.
And we say OK, and so it turns out that we end up reinforcing the extremists. We told him we wanted him to shut down the pipeline of foreign jihadists flowing into Turkey. But he is dreaming big — of restoring the Ottoman Empire — and he did not realise the extent to which he could be successful in this.
After the US spent billions of dollars to help Russia secure its nuclear weapons complex, including a highly secret joint operation to remove weapons-grade uranium from unsecured storage depots in Kazakhstan.
Joint programmes to monitor the security of weapons-grade materials continued for the next two decades. During the American war on Afghanistan, Russia provided overflight rights for US cargo carriers and tankers, as well as access for the flow of weapons, ammunition, food and water the US war machine needed daily.When two of the Jewish community’s most celebrated writers, Michael Chabon and his wife Ayelet Waldman, write an open letter stating that: “Any Jew, anywhere, who does not act to oppose.
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The military’s resistance dates back to the summer of , when a highly classified assessment, put together by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, then led by General Martin Dempsey, forecast that the fall of the Assad regime would lead to chaos and, potentially, to Syria’s takeover by jihadi extremists, much as was then happening in Libya.
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