Tillerson just announced that the US's new role in Syria is "regime change"

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Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
Apr 6, 2017 7:09 PM
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Ah fuck.
Apr 6, 2017 7:14 PM
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Oh great. America is really good at this, so this is good news. Also, due to the recent history of America's military interventions, they will have a strong body of knowledge going forward to help them implement this successfully.?
Apr 6, 2017 7:18 PM
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The Syrian civilians will be cheering us in the streets shortly before we accidentally bomb them.
Apr 6, 2017 7:28 PM
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I remember talking with Trump supporters who were going to vote for him because Hillary Clinton is a hawk and would drag us into more wars, while Trump was talking about how stupid those wars were. To those people, I always pointed out that Trump talks out of both sides of his mouth on the issue, mixing isolationist sentiment with lots of talk about how he'll 'bomb the shit' out of ISIS and 'take out their families.'

Moreover, he's a changeable and untrustworthy imbecile who won't hesitate to adopt a new position if he finds it more appealing, all while pretending he never held the old position in the first place.

If they voted for him as they said they would, I hope those people feel appropriately stupid now.


Apr 6, 2017 8:44 PM
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A prediction: if we send ground forces into Syria, or above all end up in a war with either Iran or (god help us) North Korea, it will break all records for unpopularity with the public.

Particularly if the last of those results in large chunks of Asia being rendered uninhabitable.
Apr 6, 2017 8:56 PM
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Lord ShangI remember talking with Trump supporters who were going to vote for him because Hillary Clinton is a hawk and would drag us into more wars, while Trump was talking about how stupid those wars were. To those people, I always pointed out that Trump talks out of both sides of his mouth on the issue, mixing isolationist sentiment with lots of talk about how he'll 'bomb the shit' out of ISIS and 'take out their families.'

Moreover, he's a changeable and untrustworthy imbecile who won't hesitate to adopt a new position if he finds it more appealing, all while pretending he never held the old position in the first place.

If they voted for him as they said they would, I hope those people feel appropriately stupid now.

My thoughts went to the same place, only I focused on wondering to what extent Republicans who found Trump's superficial isolationsism appealing now change their mind about Trump and to what extent they change their mind about foreign interventions.

You saw this same story play out with the AHCA debacle. Trump campaigned on not touching Medicaid, which undoubtedly appealed to a segment of his base that helped win him the primary. Then he put the hard sell on trying to massively cut Medicaid. Do those people change their minds at all? I'm skeptical.
Apr 6, 2017 9:20 PM
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Lord ShangA prediction: if we send ground forces into Syria, or above all end up in a war with either Iran or (god help us) North Korea, it will break all records for unpopularity with the public.

Particularly if the last of those results in large chunks of Asia being rendered uninhabitable.

Trump will have to get Iran to stand down in Syria, or we already will be at war with them.

That said, I'm reading some feedback on Twitter that Tillerson will amend his statement to mean "first ISIS, then Assad". If that's the case, then "regime change" is meaningless as ISIS will be there long after the Trump administration with the current amount of military pressure.

My guess is that we'll first see a Syrian No-Fly Zone. Russia and Iran will be forced to agree to this, and maybe we see certain buildings that can produce chemicals bombed and maybe even ammo dumps. I also imagine Trump will essentially green light Israel to have at Hezbollah. Maybe we don't see American "boots on the ground" in the front lines against the regime, but we stick with what we have currently -- special forces, troops that act as a buffer between American allies that aren't friendly to each other (like Turkmen and the Kurds), and marine artillery. At least this is the best we can hope for, it would appear.
Apr 6, 2017 9:23 PM
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Lord ShangA prediction: if we send ground forces into Syria, or above all end up in a war with either Iran or (god help us) North Korea, it will break all records for unpopularity with the public.

Particularly if the last of those results in large chunks of Asia being rendered uninhabitable.

A Korean war would be catastrophic enough to probably create a rally-around-the-flag effect for Trump. He'd be wildly popular unless there was achingly clear information that he stumbled us into the conflict, which isn't likely.

But as wars drag on and/or their consequences are felt by ordinary people, popularity erodes. Once people start to feel the crippling of Samsung, etc. their support would wane. Of course, by then elections may have happened. The eventual popularity of the war will rest on the outcome. Iraq became an albatross because it was a quagmire, not because of being misled about WMD's. If Iraq wrapped up as quickly as people hoped/forecasted, then it probably would've remained popular with the public.
Apr 6, 2017 9:28 PM
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Never mind. Apparently it is Shock and Awe II. According to Charles Lister, Trump is looking to target anything Assad regime military-related. Daily Beast
Apr 6, 2017 10:11 PM
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Well, this is a disaster. Endless war.
Apr 7, 2017 12:01 AM
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A tail-risk Trump scenario is that he gets us into a hot war with Russia trying to prove he's not Putin's puppet and that ends in a nuclear exchange. I suppose this development ups the odds of that a little.
Apr 7, 2017 12:08 AM
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Esoteric Allusion
Lord ShangA prediction: if we send ground forces into Syria, or above all end up in a war with either Iran or (god help us) North Korea, it will break all records for unpopularity with the public.

Particularly if the last of those results in large chunks of Asia being rendered uninhabitable.

A Korean war would be catastrophic enough to probably create a rally-around-the-flag effect for Trump. He'd be wildly popular unless there was achingly clear information that he stumbled us into the conflict, which isn't likely.

But as wars drag on and/or their consequences are felt by ordinary people, popularity erodes. Once people start to feel the crippling of Samsung, etc. their support would wane. Of course, by then elections may have happened. The eventual popularity of the war will rest on the outcome. Iraq became an albatross because it was a quagmire, not because of being misled about WMD's. If Iraq wrapped up as quickly as people hoped/forecasted, then it probably would've remained popular with the public.

Part of me wants to think that given the US military budget and the way the situation in North Korea has been maintained and planned that an invasion would be a relative formality, with a series of button pushes that result in every NK materiel target getting waxed within a day of hostilities opening.

But then I see the US army is using Harriers to prop up their ageing Hornet fleet while waiting for the 1.5 trillion they're spending on the F-35 to yield a flyable plane.
Apr 7, 2017 12:08 AM
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https://theintercept.com/2017/04/06/u-s-weighs-saturation-strike-on-syrian-government-in-response-to-chemical-attack/

"According to both U.S. military officials, the current proposal would likely result in Russian military deaths and mark a drastic escalation of U.S. force in Syria."

I'm sure Putin would take that well.
Apr 7, 2017 12:09 AM
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Wait, are we now thinking that Trump is a wrinkle in Putin's plans instead of proof he secretly runs the world? I can't keep up.
Apr 7, 2017 12:16 AM
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I assume a war with N. Korea would involve us having to conquer the territory bit by bit with huge numbers of troops on the ground. There's too many scattered resources there to just be able to wipe them out. We probably could devastate their infrastructure in a matter of days, but that won't eliminate the rump military's capacity to do damage on S. Korea if that's their goal. I suppose if you get a cooperative surrender it might, but I suspect they're more suicidally committed than that. They're basically the equivalent to the worst elements of WW II Japan.
Apr 7, 2017 12:16 AM
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theVictorianWait, are we now thinking that Trump is a wrinkle in Putin's plans instead of proof he secretly runs the world? I can't keep up.

Turns out that putting a psychopathic conman in charge of US foreign policy, while likely yielding some Russia-friendly outcomes, also has some drawbacks.
Apr 7, 2017 12:18 AM
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Esoteric Allusion
theVictorianWait, are we now thinking that Trump is a wrinkle in Putin's plans instead of proof he secretly runs the world? I can't keep up.

Turns out that putting a psychopathic conman in charge of US foreign policy, while likely yielding some Russia-friendly outcomes, also has some drawbacks.

If so, this may be the fastest case of interventionist blowback in history.
Apr 7, 2017 12:22 AM
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Esoteric AllusionI assume a war with N. Korea would involve us having to conquer the territory bit by bit with huge numbers of troops on the ground. There's too many scattered resources there to just be able to wipe them out. We probably could devastate their infrastructure in a matter of days, but that won't eliminate the rump military's capacity to do damage on S. Korea if that's their goal. I suppose if you get a cooperative surrender it might, but I suspect they're more suicidally committed than that. They're basically the equivalent to the worst elements of WW II Japan.

I have no idea. I get two stories out of NK, that nobody believes in the NK state and they just go along with it for fear of punishment, and that everyone there is some sort of semi-autonomous robotic zealot. I'm sure it's a mix of both

NK literally thinks their rulers are living gods, so a quick victory against them would shatter their worldview in ways that you wouldn't get with say, toppling a leader in a largely Islamic country where the ideology would remain regardless.

I think the outcome there could actually be okay even if there was total war.
Apr 7, 2017 12:29 AM
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Apr 7, 2017 12:39 AM
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