Tag Archives: Syria

Opinion: Supersize the Syrian Option

Opinion: Supersize the Syrian Option

SS Barry (DDG 52) launches a Tomahawk cruise missile to support Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn. Odyssey Dawn near Libya in 2011. US Navy

SS Barry (DDG-52) launches a Tomahawk cruise missile to support Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn. Odyssey Dawn near Libya in 2011. US Navy

When looking for insights and answers to the complex problem the United States confronts in Syria, there is no shortage of examples of punitive military operations against bad actors from which to draw lessons. In the past 30 years the United States and its allies have launched punitive airstrikes against, to name a few: Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Bosnia, Kosovo, Sudan and Afghanistan. Clearly the “measured military response” is a favored approach for American leaders when dealing with rogue actors. What is interesting this time around is the unprecedented public debate about whether or not such tactical measures actually work. Read More

Destroyer USS Mahan Leaves Eastern Mediterranean

Destroyer USS Mahan Leaves Eastern Mediterranean

SS Mahan (DDG-72) prepares to pass under the Pell Clairborne Bridge in 2011.

USS Mahan (DDG-72) prepares to pass under the Pell Clairborne Bridge in 2011.

The guided missile destroyer USS Mahan (DDG-72) has left the Eastern Mediterranean en route to its homeport at Naval Station Norfolk, Va., according to several press reports.

Mahan’s departure leaves four destroyers left to undertake an anticipated limited strike on Syria.

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Carrier Nimitz Moved to the Red Sea

Carrier Nimitz Moved to the Red Sea

The aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN-68) transits the Arabian Sea on Aug 29, 2013. US Navy Photo

The aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN-68) transits the Arabian Sea on Aug 29, 2013. US Navy Photo

The aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN-68), its escort of three Arleigh Burke guided missile destroyers and one Ticonderoga guided missile cruiser have been tasked to the Red Sea ahead of an expected U.S. strike on Syria, several news services reported on Monday. Read More

Russians on Syria: Not Even the Liberals Want To Intervene

Russians on Syria: Not Even the Liberals Want To Intervene

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Even after shocking details emerged about Bashar al-Assad’s likely use of chemical weapons against his opponents in Syria, public opinion in the United States is decidedly unenthusiastic about a potential intervention. In opinion polls, large majorities say they want nothing to do with the worsening situation in Syria and express no desire to help the anti-Assad opposition. There is, however, a significant popular-elite split: While the populace as a whole is firmly against an intervention, foreign-policy elites are overwhelmingly in favor. Read More

Fifth U.S. Destroyer Moves Closer to Syria

Fifth U.S. Destroyer Moves Closer to Syria

The guided-missile destroyer USS Stout (DDG 55) departs Naval Station Norfolk for deployment to the U.S. 6th Fleet on Aug. 18, 2013. US Navy Photo

The guided-missile destroyer USS Stout (DDG 55) departs Naval Station Norfolk for deployment to the U.S. 6th Fleet on Aug. 18, 2013. US Navy Photo

The U.S. Navy is moving a fifth Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer closer to Syria, according to information from the U.S. Navy to USNI News. Read More

Opinion: Syrian Intervention is a Tough Sell

Opinion: Syrian Intervention is a Tough Sell

To match Insight SYRIA/ASSADThe news headlines indicate that a military strike against Syria is imminent. Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said on MSNBC on Monday that he anticipates, “a surgical, proportional strike against the Assad regime for what they have done.” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) worried about diminishing American credibility, “if the United States stands by and doesn’t take very serious action.” Read More

U.S. and U.K. Move Ships Closer to Syria

U.S. and U.K. Move Ships Closer to Syria

USS Mahan (DDG-72) conducts a replenishment-at-sea in April 2013.

USS Mahan (DDG-72) conducts a replenishment-at-sea in April 2013.

The Navy is extending a deployment of an Aegis-equipped guided missile destroyer in the Eastern Mediterranean amidst a United Nation’s inspection into allegations that the regime of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons in the conflict, according to several press reports. Read More

Document: Syria's Chemical Weapons

Document: Syria’s Chemical Weapons

From the Aug. 20, 2013 Congressional Research Service report, Syria’s Chemical Weapons: Issues for Congress. This is an update of a July 1, 2013 report.

The use or loss of control of chemical weapons stocks in Syria could have unpredictable consequences for the Syrian population and neighboring countries as well as U.S. allies and forces in the region. Congress may wish to assess the Administration’s plans to respond to possible scenarios involving the use, change of hands, or loss of control of Syrian chemical weapons. Read More

Dempsey's Options For Syria

Dempsey’s Options For Syria

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin E. Dempsey. Defense Department Photo

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin E. Dempsey. Defense Department Photo

Last week Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, outlined American military options in Syria, in response to a threatened hold on his reconfirmation by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and a letter signed by McCain and Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.). Both senators are proponents of American intervention in Syria, and both are frustrated by what they believe is the administration’s slow and limited decision to intervene in Syria’s conflict. The traditions of American civil-military relations make uniformed discussions of military options in politically charged issues—especially in a public forum—a delicate issue. Nevertheless, in order to secure a second term as JCS chairman, and in response to a formal request, Dempsey presented an unclassified assessment of five options for American military involvement in Syria. Read More

Testy Dempsey Reconfirmation Hearing Dominated by Syria

Testy Dempsey Reconfirmation Hearing Dominated by Syria

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin E. Dempsey waits to be seated during the Senate Armed Services Committee reconfirmation hearing on July 18, 2013. Department of Defense Photo

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin E. Dempsey waits to be seated during the Senate Armed Services Committee reconfirmation hearing on July 18, 2013. Department of Defense Photo

How far the United States should go in supporting the Syrian opposition, and just what the role of the Chairman (and Vice Chairman) of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in formulating that strategy should be, dominated the sometimes testy re-confirmation hearing of Gen. Martin Dempsey and Adm. James Winnefeld on 18 July.

Dempsey’s re-confirmation is not assured. A key member of the panel—Arizona Republican John McCain—was so upset by Dempsey’s answers on Syria that he threatened to put a hold on the nomination. The chairman of the committee offered a possible compromise to get the nomination for a second Dempsey term back on track. Winnefeld did not come under that kind of scrutiny. Read More