The art of winning a war seems lost these days. USA is coming to the table with too little too late. Words that Assad has “crossed a red line” do nothing to affect the situation.
“the government is now viewed as having gained ground against the rebels by using a new strategy of focusing firepower to key battles in Aleppo and Qusayr, which the regime recaptured this month.”
see In Damascus: Locals defiant toward more U.S. help of rebels
It will take more than rifles and ammunition to affect the outcome if Assad uses his mobility to overwhelm isolated strongpoints of the rebels. Air-power and artillery are what are needed to give the people of Syria half a chance at freedom. Assad clearly has no reluctance to destroy Syria to stay in power. The world has to send concrete assistance or this major bloodbath will become a sea of blood.
Time is of the essence. Targets for immediate attention should include
- all of Assad’s air-bases
- any of Assad’s artillery or armour found in the open
- any of Assad’s planes that do get airborne
Assistance, besides the humanitarian stuff, should include delivery by air-drop, landing freighters along the coast and trucking over the border from Turkey and Iraq (if they can be persuaded to cooperate)
- all the small arms (assault rifles, sniper rifles, mortars, rockets, anti-tank weapons, grenades, explosives, ammunition, laser designators, recoilless rifles) the rebels can use including training and manuals
- proper secure communication sets for voice and data
- intelligence in real time from satellite, air, radar, etc.
- trucks and fuel
- computer systems for quick resource/campaign planning
It’s not enough for the rebels to receive these things. There needs to be training and a few boots on the ground to facilitate proper effective use of all aid. All the good wishes and motivation cannot defeat a well coordinated attack by an army alone. The rebels need all the tools of modern warfare.
Without the possibility of the rebels winning there is no chance that Assad or his cronies will negotiate a peaceful transition. Indeed, if Hezbollah and Iran provide the assistance Assad needs to remain in power without an overwhelming response from the rest of us, the battle for freedom will soon be lost. Assistance has to be provided by the soonest time and technique. It should have been provided years ago but tens of thousands were allowed to be killed and cities destroyed instead. That delay makes the need for action more pressing and it’s our fault for not acting earlier. Assad now has the ability to win and he is not hesitating. He can destroy every city held by rebels in two weeks if he is allowed to use his mobility and current resources.
Russia and Iran need to be put on notice that propping up Assad is a waste of their capital and risky business.