Thursday, 3 December 2015

Bombing Syria, who cares?

Would it surprise you to learn that this blog does not really care whether we bomb Syria or not?

The whole situation is a tangled mess and dropping bombs on the situation will neither make it better nor worse. Many of the 'players' have special interests which are not officially reported and the UK contribution to the cause is only planned to be tiny anyway. We have 4x Tornado GR4, each carrying 3x Paveway bombs per sortie and maybe the occasional, much touted, Brimstone missile.

The Americans have three aircraft carriers involved; two in the Med and one in the Gulf. They also operate out of a megabase in Qatar. They have Marines, airforce bombers and elements from the 82nd Airborne and the 1st and 505th Infantry divisions in the theatre of war. The total commitment amounts to thousands of men and hundreds of aircraft. They have flown about 3000 missions so far.

The French have sent their aircraft carrier the Charles de Gaulle with 26 Rafale and Super Etendard fighter/bombers on board. The CDG is the only nuclear powered aircraft carrier in the world not owned by the Americans. They are also flying missions off the US carrier Carl Vinson.

The Canadians have sent 9 aircraft and about 100 special forces. The Australians have contributed 10 aircraft. Both are active bombing ISIS assets, mainly in Iraq in the Mosul area. They fly out of airbases in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Then you have the Russians. They have 32 planes in action, mainly su-24s and su-30s flying out of al-Assad international airport in the Syrian port city of Latakia. As friends of Assad they have the best possible vantage point.

Also helping out are the Turks. They have 335 combat aircraft, mainly old F-16s. Saudi Arabia (313 combat aircraft), Jordan (38 combat aircraft), the UAE (157 combat aircraft), Bahrain (39 combat aircraft) and Qatar (15 combat aircraft) have also carried out bombing missions. These countries are close enough that they all fly from bases at home.

And we have four planes based in Cyprus.

We currently own zero functional aircraft carriers. We have two under construction but the first will not be in service until 2017 and the other in 2020 and they will not be nuclear powered, which means they cannot use steam catapults to launch planes, which means they must fly VTOL or near-VTOL aircraft with a much shorter range than regular fighter/bombers.

So it is difficult to get worked up about our negligible contribution. Compared to the others we are trivial. The only good reason for us being there is to show willing, to show the French we care about what happened in Paris and to show the Americans we appreciate their efforts. Our military significance is nil.

Which does raise the question of why is everyone else there? Does it matter to us or them which despotic regime controls Syria or Iraq?

Not really.

The Americans are only there because their puppet regime in Baghdad will not survive without their help. The Russians are trying to destroy the infrastructure ISIS are using to smuggle oil from Mosul to Turkey (with the full connivance of  Turkey's President Ergodan who is getting very rich on the back of this war) because Russian oil exports are affected by cheap looted oil flooding out of the region.

The French have a tenuous colonial connection to Syria and feel some residual responsibility; the Canadians have had their arm twisted by America and the Australians are trying to look relevant. The Gulf states themselves are mainly just responding to American pressure. Saudi, UEA, Jordan, Qatar would all be quite happy if ISIS took over in Iraq and Syria. ISIS is Sunni, just like them. The current governments of Syria and Iraq are Shia or Shia-aligned and pay homage to Iran which is the local superpower they all like to hate.

So in bombing Syria (and let us not forget we have been bombing Iraq for quite a while now) we are dipping a toe in piranha invested waters and in the end more innocents will have died and no one will thank us.

1 comment:

Mark Farrar said...

The involvement of Britain in these Middle Eastern wars does affect British people. The bombing destroys innocent lives building hatred for the West in these countries, and create failed states leading to refugee tsunamis heading for Europe!
ISIS was created by the western Zionist powers through Saudi Arabia and gulf states snd Israel. Turkey facilitates their crimes. The war in Syria is for the benefit of Greater Israel and serves Jewish Zionist interests! ISIS serves those interests

Britain as France and U.S.A., are Zionist occupied countries and are involved in Syria to try and remove Assad. ISIS was created by