Medium-Term Effects of Trump’s Decision to Bomb Syria: Apr 7, 2017

Yesterday was an interesting and historical day. Did you know that a hundred years ago, to the day, USA entered WW1 on the side of the Triple Entente. All jokes aside, I thought it was ironic that Trump’s first attempt to bomb Syria came on the 100th anniversary of the first concrete attempt by USA to become a global power. While the entry of USA in WW1 marked its beginning as a global power, it is very likely that Trump’s misadventure will be remembered as the beginning of its end as a global power.

You might have noticed that the title of this post tells you that it is about the medium-term (months to a few years) effects of his decision to bomb Syria. So, why did I not write about the short-term (days to a few weeks) effects of this decision? The simple answer is as follows: 1] There is realistically still too much uncertainty about which party will respond in what manner; 2] The short-term effects of such actions often (but not always) have little influence on the course of history.

Having said that, here are the likely medium-term effects of Trump’s ill-advised decision, in no particular order of importance.

1] Trump’s presidential campaign was based on promises to defeat ISIL, Al-Qaeda and similar fundamentalist Sunni Islamic outfits in the middle-east by cooperating with relatively secular or non-Sunni leaders in that part of the world. Well.. after yesterdays’ events it is now basically impossible for him to ever coordinate with Syria, Iran or Russia to defeat fundamentalist Sunni Islamist in this region. While the relationship between Syria and USA has always been complicated, prior to 2010 there was limited cooperation between both sides in attempts to combat such fundamentalists. Now that is unlikely to be ever revived.. and certainly not in the next 4-8 years.

2] One of the supposedly smart policies of the Trump administration involved trying to drive a wedge between Russia and Iran. Once again.. yesterday’s misadventure basically destroyed any credibility the new administration might have had with Russia. Russia now sees Trump45 as no better than Obama44 or a potential HRC45. To say this will have no effects of subsequent Russian policy towards USA and its puppet states like Germany and UK is wishful thinking. Expect more overt Russian intervention in countries bordering it, and unlike in Syria there won’t be much USA can do about that. The situation in Ukraine will also start getting interesting.

3] Trump’s rash actions lowers the threshold for N. Korea deciding to nuke Seoul. Yes, you heard that right. There is now a much higher likelihood that leaders in N. Korea will interpret any tough-talk or inflammatory actions from USA as an intention to attack them. Their almost inevitable response will involve increased threats and increased likelihood of actually using nuclear weapons. Unless S. Korean leaders kick the USA out of their country or greatly diminish its presence in it, things could get very exciting for them. I have a feeling that S. Koreans might soon decide that having USA military presence in their country is a now a far bigger liability than any potential benefits from keeping them around.

4] While Russia has been involved in the Middle-East at some level for years now, if not decades, they have so far avoided supplying massive quantities of weapons to religion and ethnicity based groups. Even in the current Syrian conflict they have largely avoided directly funneling weapons to the Hezbollah, other Shia Militias and Kurds. This restraint was largely a consequence of unofficial “understandings” between Russia on one side and countries like Israel and Turkey on the other. As you know, neither country has kept their end of these deals and now they support Trump’s action + tried to work around Russia. Therefore it is very likely that Russia won’t keep their end of the deal. Expect a large and fairly direct supply of weapons to groups like the Hezbollah and various anti-Turkey Kurdish groups.

5] Trumps’ impulsive actions also greatly increases the chance of serious armed confrontation with Russia, and not just in the Middle-East. I should remind all jingoists in USA that Russia still possesses more nukes, ICBMs than the USA- not to mention tactical nuclear weapons. Restraint during the Cold War was largely a consequence of the specter of Mutually Assured Destruction and the belief that the leadership on the other side were not bonkers. Subsequent events have shown the Russians that people in USA are untrustworthy and now mentally unstable. Expect them to adjust their military and nuclear strategies appropriately.

What do you think? Comments?

This entry was posted in Critical Thinking, Current Affairs, Dystopia, Musings, Reason, Secular Religions, Skepticism. Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Medium-Term Effects of Trump’s Decision to Bomb Syria: Apr 7, 2017

  1. Mr. Odessa says:

    What fucking sense does it make to bomb a country that was already bombed by their own people? Sense when does Trump give a damn about people in impoverish countries or communities? I’m just wondering when this Ritz Cracker of a president will be impeached…

    Better he stay in office for 4 years and help in unintentionally destroying whatever is left of USA as a global power.

  2. Rum says:

    What do I think? I think you hate white/European America and whatever you say is meant to harm us.

    • Jim says:

      Agree. Constantly criticizes the military as unable to win a war yet won’t call out the politicians and the media scumbags who undermine the policies that are complicit. In all truth the US can bomb most nations into submission rather quickly. But the traitors in the USA wouldn’t shut up long enough to allow it. It’s like the cunt on CNN interviewing the Syrian praising Trump for the bombings. And telling her that he doesn’t want to be a refugee but live in his own country when she brings up the travel bans.

      • P Ray says:

        Looking forward to see the US bomb other nuclear powers into submission. It’s becoming apparent that the countries in danger of being “liberated” are those without nukes.

    • P Ray says:

      Or could it possibly be white/european countries only treat people well when they’re female? Gender discrimination (and sexual/job access) against black/minority ethnic men is a problem that the US/other white English speaking countries like to sweep under the rug.

      “My wife is Asian” is the new “I have a black friend, so I can’t be racist”.

  3. P Ray says:

    So … this also means China is going to think the same way like North Korea about the US being on a hair trigger about military action.
    Am glad I have a hardware stash in case times become interesting.

  4. I’m shocked but not surprised…

    Everyone knew this guy had a hair trigger…

  5. this is an interesting article:

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/06/the-us-warned-the-russians-ahead-of-syria-missile-strikes-official.html
    —-

    Also a rather high percentage of the missiles never made it to the target.. guess they flew within range of S-300 and S-400 batteries.

    https://theaviationist.com/2017/04/07/us-military-has-launched-59-cruise-missiles-at-airbase-in-syria-heres-what-we-know-so-far/

    “Only 23 missiles flew to the Syrian air base and just 6 MiG-23s were destroyed there along with a radar station, spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, Major-General Igor Konashenkov, said at a briefing. Where the remaining 36 cruise missiles have landed is “unknown,” he said.”

    • chaoserrant says:

      This is why I think there is a less spectacular meaning of all this. First, who the hell knows where the gas attack came from. However, from Trump perspective, he is in a position where media cries incessantly that he is in bed with Putin. To do nothing means he cares more about Putin than about little children dying. To wipe Assad means war with Russia. I feel this gentle attack is just saving face and I think Putin understood this. He of course has to condemn Trump but, Putin probably understands that there was no other way for Trump to show he is in charge. Remember saving face was paramount during Cold War (see Berlin tank stand-off, Cuba missiles crisis, etc.). And now we simply are in a light version of Cold War.

    • webej says:

      We don’t know anything.
      We don’t know if it’s true about those 23 missiles; if true, we don’t know if the others were suppressed electronically, or shot out of the air, or simply malfunctioned in difficult terrein to (tomahawks have a reputation). We do know there were casualties in several nearby villages, including 9 Christians.
      We don’t know what kind of gas. We don’t have fingerprinting of either the gas or the delivery system. We don’t know what evidence the USA or Russia has.
      We do know the white helmets were there [a big reason to suspect the event was staged or otherwise capitalized on]. We do know nobody can visit the site without risk of death on the part of “friendly” rebels. We do know no evidence has been presented publicly. We do know it would be completely illogical for Assad to use gas, except for the Western notion that gassing his own population is Assad’s chief aim, just to stick his thumb in Western leaders’ noses, on the eve of hearing that the USA’s chief aim is no longer to replace the regime, a peace conference about to start, and a war mainly going Assad’s way.
      We do know that we have to be very wary when pictures of children are presented, or when the emergency services happen to be having a drill when something goes down, or when Western countries surf waves of humanitarian indignation.
      We also know US action in foreign theatres of war is mainly about scoring points within domestic political relations, and this is no excpetion. We also have confirmed that Trump is an ignoramus who hasn’t really thought anything through and is just acting out beer-talk cultural prejudices like putting lead back into bullets and encouraging cars that guzzle more gasoline, allowing chlorpyrifos and reintroducing asbestos.

  6. neoconned says:

    I won’t say you are wrong, but I hear a lot of themes being pumped out by the media in your comments. I want to believe that Putin isn’t as stupid as our media wants him to appear. My point is that if Putin knows his Russian history better than the average American does, so he’s not about to cause a repeat of an invasion into Russia by large numbers of foreign forces. Well over twenty million Russians paid to be rid of the Wehrmacht with their lives the last time that happened.

    I also don’t believe Putin now wants a larger war in Syria. Recall how Putin outmanoeuvred Obama in Syria a few years ago when Barry was beginning to think he was Eisenhower or something, The whole purpose of the exercise was to defuse the tension and reduce the likelihood that the war in Syria was going to expand by working out a deal whereby Assad relinquished his chemical weapons. Assuming that Assad lived up to the bargain, where is he getting weapons to use now?

    But Putin knows that the Russian economy relies upon the pipeline to the EU from the Caspian which runs through Syria. He would do exactly what any American corporatist would do – defend the profit source. He won’t back away from war if it comes.

    As for the Ukraine, things are certain to happen there, What Americans don’t understand is that Putin is responding to foreign intervention in the Ukraine like the US did with Russian missiles in Cuba. Suppose today that there were large numbers of heavily-armed foreign soldiers in the six Mexican states which border the US. Would we Americans just sit still because the leader of those troops told us to? I seriously doubt it. Putin will fight if provoked. So would we.

    I’m no fan of Trump, but he did say one thing recently which resonated with me. “There are a lot of killers. You think our country’s so innocent?” Trump has been itching to demonstrate what a badass he is. Putin has already done so. Neither man now has bloodless hands. But right now, which man would you trust more with the launch codes? The one who let lawyers do all of his fighting, or the one who has experience with war?

    I present. You decide.

    • webej says:

      You have gotten your pipeline geography mixed up. The trans-Caspian pipeline is a Western thing, and crosses from Turkmenistan to Azerbaijan, and from there either through Georgia or through Turkey to the Mediterranian. Russia does not export gas through Syria. The pipelinistan hypothesis on the Syrian war has to do with proposed pipelines bringing gas from the Pars field (largest gas reserves in the world) either from Qatar via Saudi and Syria or from Iran via Iraq and Syria. Russia has a lot of pipelines in place, including one traversing the Caspain, but going to Europe by way of Syria would be very illogical. There are a number of pipeline proposals (TAN TANAP Nabucco etc), but your pipelines don’t make sense and don’t exist.

      • webej says:

        Pipelines through the Caspian Sea are proposals, not existing infrastructure. Current traverses are tanker routes connecting pipeline heads.

  7. Genius says:

    Russian economy is recovering from recession, while US economy will soon enter a recession. The next few years will be interesting

  8. Pingback: Trump’s NeoCon Foreign Policy Will End Badly for USA: Apr 13, 2017 | Playing the Devil's Advocate

  9. webej says:

    Surprised so little mention of Israel in the comments. Israel’s goal is to destroy Syria and the bridge between Iran and Hezbollah (which they were unable to beat in their last incursion into Lebanon. Israel is the one who keeps launching the most rabid attacks about Iranian aggression. Getting rid of Assad is an Israel preoccupation. Spicer has now come out and said the goal is to destabilize Syria and to destabilize the region.
    Trump has said he would be Israel’s greatest friend. He does not have the acument to realize hias various goals are internally inconstent. In the end het sides with Israeli policy, and his Jewish son-in-law has been going from strength to strength within the Administration’s team.

  10. Shiningtime says:

    Kim Jung- un is not crazy. His father hand picked him for a reason. Kim is a man trying to hold power and maintain a completely irrational State. Almost no one is practicing the isolationism of n.k. Regardless, there is no chance he nukes Seoul. That would defeat his purpose and would devastate the Korean peninsula…which again defeats his purpose of holding power.


    He is certainly not crazy and nor is NK an irrational state. Different from what one is accustomed to is not the same as irrational. While he may not not want to nuke Seoul, many wars in history have started because somebody fucked up or miscalculated.

    Also, if he and the people around him think they are going down, don’t be surprised if they take many others with them. Remember that nobody expected WW1 to be WW1 or WW2 to be WW2.

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