Thursday, March 26, 2015

A major international war has just broken out

Syria, Iraq (with Iranian support), ISIL, Kurds and assorted internal factions and now Yemen with it's own complicated civil war with likely involvement from Iran, both meet a Saudi-dominated pan-Arab military coalition.  Libya has internal problems. Al-Shabaab, Horn of Africa. Boko Haram, Nigeria and other places, links with ISIL. Al-Qaeda is still in there somewheres. There is now effectively a war-zone that extends from northern Africa to Iran. The main fracture lines are Sunni-Shia Islam, Kurd-Arab-Persian, and state-to-state. Add to this that Israel just re-elected a leader who promises no peace with the Palestinians and another dimension could soon be added to this conflict.

Bets are off.

The West does not and cannot control how events unfold from here.

Canada's contribution will have no effect.

Incidently, consideration of international law now has no influence in how the Harper government employs the Canadian Forces. That part is actually a very serious problem for us and for the Canadian Forces. I'm no expert (Dave?) but I don't think this puts a Canadian commander (or their charges) ordering combat missions into Syria on firm legal ground. "Everybody else is doing it" has never been a legal defence.


RossK said...

And now, especially for those who think about things like 'root causes' and all that, just might be the time to revisit that PNACkian codswallop about 'Arab Streets' and 'Empire' and all that.


ThinkingManNeil said...

Question is how the Israelis respond? they're chomping at the bit to have the Americans fight the war for them, but with the frost setting between the White House and Tel Aviv will they dare go it alone? The Saudi enmity towards Tehran will likely have them turning a blind eye (they've apparently already given clearance for the IDF to transit Saudi airspace), but would an attack have Lebanon ir Egypt blow up in their faces?


Boris said...

Neil, the Israelis risk getting just as swept up in unfolding events as anyone else. They cannot prosecute a war against Iran on their own. Geography, capability, etc, prevent it althought they probably have some ability to strike the country. But Iran is a major military power and with a lot of influence through the region. A decision to attack Iran would have consequences. The situation is incredibly fluid as to defy attempts at prediction. What is true today might be untrue in six months or a year. It's not about 'us'; it's about complex regional war predicated on existing tensions exacerbated by US-led actions mostly since the 1980s. Staying out of it is the best anyone can do.

Boris said...

Ross - heh. yep.

Alison said...

RossK : I'll see your PNAC and raise you A Clean Break.

Boris : re your link to CBC report at "Harper government". Aurel Braun? CBC looks around for someone to explain Article 51, sovereignty, and international law and they pick Aurel Braun? FFS.

Purple library guy said...

Meanwhile, apparently the US Congress just voted in favour of shipping US arms to Ukraine all official-like (I'm sure they already are on the quiet, but for as long as they're not admitting it Russia can pretend not to notice).
I don't think it's up to them--commander in chief and all that, I think it's an executive-side deal--but it's not a good sign.

RossK said...


Ahhhhh, yes.

And maybe someone should ask the Prince of Darkness' ghost writer about that.

Before he is named the new president of the CBC...

Or some such thing.

The Mound of Sound said...

The International Crisis Group just opined that the Saudi air campaign on the Yemeni Houthi will likely spark a "regional war" which seems to be code for the final Sunni-Shiite showdown. What conceivable good will we achieve with our six-pack of CF-18s?

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