What is America’s Real Game in Syria?
By Jim Dean
“War is the Continuation of Diplomacy by Other Means.”
General Dempsey was in the news this week with his very sensible comments about the spiraling down Syrian debacle, whose vortex may catch those who don’t expect it, but might be most deserving.
Seasoned observers are quite used to seeing mixed messages in diplomacy, especially when they are used as a tactic of war.
If you take a variety of positions, even if a disaster does happen you can whip out an archive statement where you said this or that, but no one would listen to you.
As the Prussian military theorist Karl von Claueswitz said, “War is the continuation of diplomacy by other means.” America seems to have chosen this war diplomacy policy for Syria while pretending not to be responsible.
This murky policy gets further complicated when you actually have competing factions within an administration, where verbal sniping and even verbal car bombs can be used to remind the opposing side that your views have to be taken into consideration.
Because General Dempsey is so highly respected across many divides in America his every word is absorbed and analyzed for both obvious and hinted meanings. If an administration wanted to send a message of a sincere potential policy shift, Dempsey would be the gold plated messenger.
But herein we must go into the historical closet where an event happened which is referred to in casual Intel talk circles as “’pulling a Colin Powell” on them, regarding how he was used to justify the Iraq attack for bogus WMD.
The current military brass are well aware of this bear trap, and I would bet that Dempsey would not be played for a chump. He’s way too smart for that. Powell was not Bush’s top military adviser, like Dempsey is to Obama.
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