Act I: Russia in Syria: What to do About the Fighting Issue

If a cold war is truly beginning to develop between the United States and Russia, then it seems to me that it would prudent to expect the worst case scenario, as far as Russian intentions are concerned. We as a nation cannot allow ourselves to fall prey to Russian coercion in any part of Europe. The situation in Donetsk and Crimea is unacceptable. We must counter Russian aggression with robust plans for the long haul in Eastern Europe. With Russia’s incursion into Syria and the subsequent blowback throughout the world to their actions we must seize this opportunity to affect change in the European countenance toward Russia. At no time since the end of the cold war has there been such unity in Europe against Russia. This does not mean that Russian aggression toward the rest of Europe will abate on its own. Quite the contrary, if we are to see meaningful change in Russia’s disposition which can carry us through many generations of good will and comity between the U.S. and Russia, then we must prepare to defend Eastern Europe from the grave and growing threat of Russian intransigence. It is imperative on America’s part to gain the upper hand, and initiative where we can, and when we can with regards to Russia.

The idea of the phase adaptive approach, or PAA is not new with regards to the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI). However the idea of if or where we should deploy it has been under debate for some time. The threat of nuclear war coming from North Korea, or a belligerent China is real and we must do all we can to protect ourselves from such an attack. In terms of a ballistic missile threat on our pacific coast from said states I believe that it is secure. As we’ve unfurled PAA an order to counter threats in the world from nuclear capable states we have also run into strong opposition not just from our enemies but from our allies as well. For our allies there idea of PAA has changed dramatically with Russia’s increasingly bellicose maneuvers. In recent months and years however the threat of so called hybrid warfare has increased exponentially from Russia. This is why I’m proposing that we consult with our allies and friends in the Baltic’s an order to negate the threat that Russia poses to Europe, both conventionally, and strategically. By speeding up the process through which the PAA is adopted by nations we can better get a handle on the unique threat which Russia now poses to the region.

It must not end with simply installing radar and deploying SDI to the requisite regions an order to counter Russian ballistic missile threat in Europe. But we must also work to deploy tactical and strategic conventional military assets an order to balance Russia’s significant influence, through coercion in Europe. And while the idea of defending Europe with weaponry is important it’s also important to realize that weaponry alone will not allow America a free hand in its defense affairs. It was not long ago that Ukraine and the rest of Europe were caught flat footed when Russia decided to no longer deliver vital liquefied natural gas (LNG) deposits to Europe in the winter by shutting off its pipelines. This is a situation which must not be allowed to subsist. This is why I’m recommending today that we build a pipeline to Europe across the North Atlantic Sea. By opening U.S. oil and LNG to Europe we can thereby affect a strategic advantage over Russia. By doing this we allow for a more even playing field by creating parity between Europe and Russia when it comes to economic and diplomatic issues.

As for the situation in Syria with regard to our allies and vetted militias we must not stand idly by while Russia continues to bomb them. On October 10, 2015 it was reported that Turkey shot down a Mig-29 that encroached upon that sovereign nation’s (and NATO allies) airspace when anti aircraft guns were able to lock on. The idea that the United States can go into combat with Russian jets in Syria is an implausible concept. The United States has recently been fielding vetted Free Syrian Army militias (FSA) in the fight against Assad, and the Islamic State. These fighters are very good at what they do as they’ve seized the initiative against the Assad Regime and IS. However the idea that these fighters can make further gains while being bombed in conflict while the United States stands by is folly. Would we allow U.S. men and women to operate in Iraq with no forward air support while Russia bombed them with laser guided weaponry? The idea of this disgust me and whomever came up with it, should be ashamed of themselves.

So then the next logical question then is what should be done. The Free Syrian Army no matter how able and well equipped they are simply cannot win the war in Syria on their own. They are simply outgunned and the United States is too deep in the hole to come at in any other way than this. The FSA needs to be relocated to an offshore country (preferably America) where they can be further vetted and trained up for the inevitable aftermath of the Assad regime, as well as the Islamic State. The United States has been fighting in the Middle East at least since 2003 while Russia has just started. It therefore makes since that Russia does not have the wealth of knowledge, wisdom, or experience that the United States has had since being in the region following the attacks of 9/11. But what about the Islamic State you may say? How are we supposed to fight them without our trained militias in the area? The best hope that we have is that the Iraqis will pick up their arms and fight for the future of their own country, with the blessing of the American government. And when I say Iraqis I don’t talk of the Kurdish rebel groups, there being bombed by turkey and Russia currently. Instead I mean the official Iraqi army that the U.S. government spent so much blood and treasure propping up and training during the war with Osama Bin Laden, and Al-Qaeda. Yes, that Iraqi army. It is the only way that we can have troops in Syria, who will only fight Islamic State, and not worry about being bombed by Assad, Russia, or the Turks for that matter.

Also while we’re on the subject of Russian intransigence, and the future of our relations in Europe, with respect to Russia, never before has there been so much agreement between the U.S. and the European Union, and Europe more broadly that Russia in Europe is no longer acceptable. The first thing that needs to be done to solve the Russian question is energy independence. That means that Russia can longer have the ability to at any day and time to turn off the spigot of oil, and liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe for any reason whatsoever. And if they can it should make such an insignificant dent in the daily Europeans life that we would hear not so much as a whimper from them. How do we get to such parity? One might ask. Well the obvious answer would be to funnel oil into Europe from a secondary source nearby. However with relations recently souring with Azerbaijan, and Central Asia as a whole it becomes much more difficult lately to secure any sort of oil and gas deal with them that Russia couldn’t easily block or manipulate for their own gain. And getting oil and gas deposits from the Middle East to Europe will prove logistically challenging with the many wars that are currently being waged in the region, with no end in sight. Africa is distant and likewise as unstable as the Middle East in many terms. The recent shale boom in the U.S. and Canada as assured a glut of oil for the U.S., and it is currently being debated as to what should come of it. This is why I’m proposing that a pipeline be built that would send oil from the U.S. and Canada to Europe. This pipeline would be on land from the shale fields of North Dakota, and Saskatchewan to the eastern coast of Nova Scotia. The oil would then move northward to cross the Davis Strait into Greenland where it would again hit land. Then at the southern tip of Greenland it would again cross the Atlantic into Iceland. Then next down to the United Kingdom and eventually to Europe via additional pipeline to France, and Germany. This Infrastructure will solidify a new era of peace and cooperation between the U.S. and Europe, particularly in the economic sphere.

The countering Russia’s aggression in Donetsk, Crimea, and Syria is a noble calling that must be heeded by the United States, and its partners in Europe. We can begin by nurturing our relationship with the FSA by bringing them to America, and coddling them until the time comes for an appropriate Syrian Putsch. However the fight must not end. By utilizing American airpower, and allowing for the Iraqi army to take the lead, we provide safe cover for the United States through a country that we’re all too familiar with. The Iraqis will provide the ability to fight the Islamic state, without fighting Assad, and all while not being bombed from any side concerned. Not the Russians, not the Syrian army, and not Turkey. By taking a step back and regaining our composure we can see that there are many things within Europe which we can do, that will affect the outcome of relations in Syria. These things include, but are not limited to, allowing for the construction of pipeline from the American and Canadian Midwest, to Europe via Greenland, and Iceland. We can also bring into the fold a hastening of the PAA and SDI into Eastern European countries. This will allow for a further rebalancing of the U.S. relationship with Russia. It should also be noted that we should seek to strengthen our ties with Eastern Europe by moving soldiers, and military materiel into the Baltic’s which will provide for the defense of these countries against an already strategically committed Russia. This is not the end of the road, but by taking these first steps and more I believe that we just might get there.

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