Wednesday, September 24, 2014

3rd Place Out Of 3

I'm playing around with Adobe SpeedGrade this morning, but while perusing the news and drinking coffee, I came across this interview with Matthew Van Dyke recently back from Syria, talking about the airstrikes on ISIS.
“Syrians on the ground are surely laughing at it,” VanDyke said. ”My contacts in Syria don’t take this seriously. They’re very concerned. They don’t want to be fighting the Assad regime’s battles for them by only going after ISIS.”
So we're backing the weakest members of a 3-way civil war with air strikes while being supported by 5 Arab countries and no one else? I'm glad we're doing something, but I can't quite figure out just what that something is supposed to accomplish.


tim eisele said...

I think this chart here pretty much sums up the problem:

Basically, we're bombing the Islamic State goons (and Al-Qaida) because they're the only ones that absolutely everybody is on the outs with. Everybody else has at least a few powerful friends.

K T Cat said...

Tim, your comment on the previous post about the Saudi air force was enlightening. I admit I didn't know it was so large. I must be a Western chauvinist because I still don't see them as a serious power. Maybe it's because they don't have much of an army to go forth and conquer?

Then again, who is a serious power these days outside of Russia and China? Even they lack the ability to project power far beyond their borders.

K T Cat said...

Chatting with friends the other day, we laughed that the world's conflicts are becoming an international version of Bum Fights. It's not like the Wehrmacht is rolling up countries or the Roman Empire is marching around. Even our interventions seem puny.

tim eisele said...

I think that the reason people don't think of the Saudis as being a major power is that they have to buy all their military hardware, they don't manufacture it themselves. Even though they evidently have a bigger air force than France, the French have the advantage of being able to build their own gear. So, the Saudis can't throw their weight around too freely without risking alienating their primary arms supplier (the US).

That said, Saudi Arabia has about the same number of troops as France, and has the 4th highest military budget in the world (higher than France, Germany, or the UK). They aren't all that far behind Russia, and spend a bit over a third as much as China.

Anyone within aircraft flight range of them in the Middle East had better be taking them extremely seriously.