As predicted, things are getting hairy all over again in Syria, a place where too many conflicts are going on. The casus belli this time is the little town of Manbij, in the northern part of the country. Actually is controlled by Kurds, with logistic support from the US. Russians and Americans found themselves together against the will of the Turkish government to seize the town, a move that greatly enraged the leadership of this regional power. Check here the story, from Stars and Stripes.
There are many conflicts that are out of the media beat, including the ongoing confrontation in Ukraine between national government, Russian-sponsored separatist and Russian armed forces. Said conflict is in progress since 2014, with a significant portion of Ukraine – the Crimea region – de facto annexed by Russia in spite of every international treaty.
The war against ISIL is not over. While the mainstream media are busy with Donald Trump and Theresa May, the multilateral conflict against ISIL rages on with uncertain results. The black flag of the insurgents is still up in Syria and Iraq (not to mention an unknown number of their members who escaped from Libya and are still unaccounted for). At the present day, we have five different battles going on between ISIL and various aggregation of allied forces with no end in sight. It looks like that the end of the self-proclaimed caliphate is still far from reality.
Words are important, so choosing the right word for the current situation in Syria is a way to anticipate my position. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a simple definition of deadlock is:
a situation in which an agreement cannot be made : a situation in which ending a disagreement is impossible because neither side will give up something that it wants.
Just a fast one, a thought about the failure of last night’s golpe in Turkey; you already know the story, don’t you? A number of mid-ranking officers of the Turkish Army tried to seize power in the country, with all the classic cliches well displayed.
Road blocks, tanks roaming the streets, parliament house and national television put under control and the old message “we are saving the country from a certain doom, democracy will be repristinated ASAP“. In the shadows, looking around to understand the direction of the political wind, all the big players of the country – waiting for the better time to show up.
Here we are again. Another batch of terrorist attacks in Europe, this time in Belgium, followed by a storm of empty words and emptier actions in the media. Politicians of every color and denomination, so-called leaders and not-so-famous people, a lot of noise and zero solutions. What you hear is the voice of fear.
There has been a lot of noise in the ‘net about the future of the A-10 “Warthog”, probably the best CAS airplane ever, due to obsolescence of the project and for setting the stage for the new F-35. For the non-initiated, the acronym CAS stands for Close Air Support, where “close” means attacking a few meters from the ground in very hostile environments, in order to give a real support for the troops. The whole set of polemics touched moments of absolute estrangement from reality, until the will of the US armed forces has been made clear: the A-10 MUST stay, until something better will come under way. So our american friends will keep their fantastic tank-killer on duty for some more years, leaving the same old question for the European allies: what will you do to give any CAS to your troops?