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  # 1759740 9-Apr-2017 12:53
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I don't believe (Syrian claims) that many of those tomahawks failed to hit the targets, the satellite images showed 40 or more very accurate direct hits, some would have been multiple missiles on each target.  They've improved guidance systems these days, to the point that not only can they reliably hit a building, but choose which window to fly in.  It's 2017 - not 1991 or 2003.

 

Anyway, on the surface of things, the Syrian forces probably used chemical weapons, so they got a hint of what's coming to them if they use them again. If you're going to target anything, then the airbase and munitions bunkers from where the planes alleged to have dropped the chemical weapons departed from seems sensible.  

 

Deeper though, IMO there's a problem.  Russia doesn't like chemical weapons and neither does Syria's main local ally - Iran. How much influence they have over Assad - who knows? Russia has geopolitical motives in the ME / Europe.  Trump was/is in deep trouble domestically.  At the cost a a few dozen cruise missiles and buildings, perhaps a few old cold-war era Syrian planes - if they didn't move them out of the way in time after being told missiles were on the way - this might have been a perfect win-win situation. 
It could have been a glorious sideshow, from Bannon being sidelined (but he's still Trump's chief strategist), a precision targeted cruise missile attack on an air-base which destroyed a lot of buildings - but left the base otherwise unscathed - so that it was in use the following day.

 

 

 

 


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  # 1759767 9-Apr-2017 13:13
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Breaking news on CNN (US) about 45 minutes ago

 

"US Carrier Strike Group heading towards North Korean Peninsula" . This is apparently in response to recent North Korean provocation.

 

This is not being picked up by CNN UK or Sky News UK yet and hopefully is just an unconfirmed piece of "fake news".


 
 
 
 


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  # 1759883 9-Apr-2017 19:11
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DaveB:

 

Breaking news on CNN (US) about 45 minutes ago

 

"US Carrier Strike Group heading towards North Korean Peninsula" . This is apparently in response to recent North Korean provocation.

 

This is not being picked up by CNN UK or Sky News UK yet and hopefully is just an unconfirmed piece of "fake news".

 

 

Kim Jong-un will say it's "provocation" - which it actually is of course - but he knows that nothing will happen, and Trump (hopefully) knows that there's nothing he can do (militarily) anyway.

 

 




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  # 1759884 9-Apr-2017 19:14
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Heard on the news tonight that that airfield is already operational again. $118 million worth of missiles was an expensive way of sending a message methinks.


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  # 1759888 9-Apr-2017 20:09
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KJU better send some bro love to big brother Putin. And fast.




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  # 1759946 9-Apr-2017 23:16
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Fred99:

 

DaveB:

 

Breaking news on CNN (US) about 45 minutes ago

 

"US Carrier Strike Group heading towards North Korean Peninsula" . This is apparently in response to recent North Korean provocation.

 

This is not being picked up by CNN UK or Sky News UK yet and hopefully is just an unconfirmed piece of "fake news".

 

 

Kim Jong-un will say it's "provocation" - which it actually is of course - but he knows that nothing will happen, and Trump (hopefully) knows that there's nothing he can do (militarily) anyway.

 

 

 

 

Its provocation, also a warning, posturing. US naval ships are there often anyway though. May have been a 2 inch article had the Syrian strikes not happen. 


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  # 1759949 9-Apr-2017 23:18
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DarthKermit:

 

Heard on the news tonight that that airfield is already operational again. $118 million worth of missiles was an expensive way of sending a message methinks.

 

 

Yep. Russia would have warned Assad, and the US knew that. That makes the strikes no more than a $118 million message, and it would never be more than that. 


 
 
 
 


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  # 1760100 10-Apr-2017 11:30
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As a result of some hook up between the President of the USA and the President of China, it appears the US has some military interest towards North Korea now ... I wonder how Putin feels about this ...





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  # 1760148 10-Apr-2017 12:14
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joker97:

 

As a result of some hook up between the President of the USA and the President of China, it appears the US has some military interest towards North Korea now ... I wonder how Putin feels about this ...

 

 

I assume you mean this. A very over the top media report, as if the US will follow on from Syria and launch attacked on N Korea

 

http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/americas/91385743/us-president-donald-trump-poised-to-strike-north-korea

 

The response is s response to their arms tests. Maybe they may take it a step further and destroy every missile the N L=Korea launches that get out of N Korea airspace or international waters. 

 

For China, it partially absolves them of taking direct economic action, although they will be seen as passively supporting it, if my theory is correct. N Korea may halt tests as they will lose face if one gets destroyed and they cannot act. All up in the air, excuse the pun. 


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  # 1760153 10-Apr-2017 12:31
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The US has had military interest in DPRK for over half a century.

 

Russia probably has the same / similar attitude as China, they won't like DPRK and Kim Song-un, particularly with his nuclear ambitions, but they're not likely to endorse the USA as world policeman on human rights issues when they've got their own dark closets they'd rather not have the US (or UN) take too much interest in.

 

The US is setting up missile defense systems in South Korea. That seems reasonable, but upsets China as anti-missile systems against potential DPRK attack also means the defense system can be used against Chinese ballistic missiles.  That upsets the notion of "balance" so the Chinese may feel compelled to upgrade their "defense" systems to maintain "deterrence". (Note that China's nuclear arsenal is very small compared to either Russia or the US). I doubt that the US or South Korea know with any certainty how effective anti-ballistic missile systems could be, it's one thing to knock out home-made short-range missiles sent over in limited numbers by Hezbollah, probably quite something else to deal with hundreds or even thousands of short/medium range missiles launched near simultaneously by Kim Song-un.

 

The Chinese also wouldn't be happy with suggestions that the US arm S Korea with nuclear weapons as a deterrent. It seems crazy to me too, as if assured (self) destruction is the probable outcome of any DPRK nuclear attack on S Korea, The US would obliterate North Korea with ease using arms not on S Korean soil. The cost would be millions of lives.

 

They don't seem to know how many missiles DPRK have, nor their capability, range, target accuracy, payloads.  There's speculation that they have miniaturised nuclear warheads at least for short-range missiles, but perhaps not.  DPRK also is supposed to have massive stockpiles of chemical weapons.  They might not be able to launch a precision strategic defense, but instead lob many poorly guided missiles with conventional, possibly nuclear,  probably chemical weapons toward S Korea population centres. Given Kim Song-un's apparent insanity and lack of respect for human life even in his own country and family, if/when military strikes were to happen starting a conflict he'd have no chance of winning, I expect he'd want to scorch the earth.

 

Apart from the short and medium range missiles with unknown numbers, payloads, and capability, there's also the problem of a million or so active DPRK soldiers with tanks, artillery etc. that Kim Song-un would commit to glorious sacrifice. Conflict would be extremely horrific.

 

Timing of things isn't great.  There's a presidential election in South Korea in a month. Kim Song-un doesn't respond well to threats, establishing better dialogue and getting back to negotiation might not produce immediate results, but it seems better than the alternative.  I don't think Trump bluster or "brilliant general's" military strategy or "show of strength" is going to work to solve the problem.


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  # 1760155 10-Apr-2017 12:32
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This from Seth Abramson on twitter. Looks like I’m not the only one that thinks the missile strike was an elaborate PR con job to deflect the heat off the Russian investigation.

 

(1) If he was worried about the Syrian people, he had numerous better options: allow refugees to come to U.S.; humanitarian aid; safe zones.

 

(2) If he was interested in degrading Syria's air force, he wouldn't have given Putin advance notice. Putin then gave Assad advance notice.

 

(3) The result of giving both Russia and Syria advance notice of the air strike was that they moved their troops and bunkered their planes.

 

(4) One indication Putin knew the strike would be no threat to him or Syria is Russian air defenses didn't try to take down any tomahawks.

 

(5) If Trump was interested in degrading Syria's flight capability in Homs, he wouldn't have left an air strip untouched. But he did that.

 

(6) GOP Congressmen and retired generals were saying this air strike would be ineffective. Which is why Trump consulted Putin, but not them.

 

(7) In 2013, Trump saw the same pictures of chemical-weapon devastation and opposed air strikes. So his "conversion narrative" is a farce.

 

(8) The strikes successfully pushed Russiagate coverage off the front page. We were talking about Nunes and Kushner scandals, now we're not.

 

(9) Incredibly—bizarrely—Trump somehow struck Syria with _59 Tomahawk missiles without articulating even a single coherent strategic aim.

 

(10) For all the talk of Trump's Syrian about-face, he's no more committed to ousting Assad than a week ago, when he expressed no interest.

 

BONUS) Trump and Putin can now look like they're at odds—helpful for Russiagate—when in fact Trump's ineffective strike didn't harm Putin.


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  # 1760161 10-Apr-2017 12:47
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dafman:

 

This from Seth Abramson on twitter. Looks like I’m not the only one that thinks the missile strike was an elaborate PR con job to deflect the heat off the Russian investigation.

 

(1) If he was worried about the Syrian people, he had numerous better options: allow refugees to come to U.S.; humanitarian aid; safe zones.

 

(2) If he was interested in degrading Syria's air force, he wouldn't have given Putin advance notice. Putin then gave Assad advance notice.

 

(3) The result of giving both Russia and Syria advance notice of the air strike was that they moved their troops and bunkered their planes.

 

(4) One indication Putin knew the strike would be no threat to him or Syria is Russian air defenses didn't try to take down any tomahawks.

 

(5) If Trump was interested in degrading Syria's flight capability in Homs, he wouldn't have left an air strip untouched. But he did that.

 

(6) GOP Congressmen and retired generals were saying this air strike would be ineffective. Which is why Trump consulted Putin, but not them.

 

(7) In 2013, Trump saw the same pictures of chemical-weapon devastation and opposed air strikes. So his "conversion narrative" is a farce.

 

(8) The strikes successfully pushed Russiagate coverage off the front page. We were talking about Nunes and Kushner scandals, now we're not.

 

(9) Incredibly—bizarrely—Trump somehow struck Syria with _59 Tomahawk missiles without articulating even a single coherent strategic aim.

 

(10) For all the talk of Trump's Syrian about-face, he's no more committed to ousting Assad than a week ago, when he expressed no interest.

 

BONUS) Trump and Putin can now look like they're at odds—helpful for Russiagate—when in fact Trump's ineffective strike didn't harm Putin.

 

 

 

 

Actually, with Russian descent rising and elections coming up, this may well have just cemented Putin more firmly in place.

 

The strikes did exactly what they were designed to do, help Trump/Putin stay in charge.

 

 

 

And lets be honest here, why are children killed by Chemical Weapons any more horrid than having them blown up ? Dead is dead.

 

From Americas stand point, blowing up children must be allowed because that is what they are doing with their drones, civilian casualties etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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  # 1760168 10-Apr-2017 12:59
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I disagree with the analysis for many reasons, but mainly because I feel it credits Trump with too much subtlety. He is not the kind of person who thinks things through and if he forgot to take out the airstrip, it was because he just didn’t think of it. Similarly, he is perfectly capable of not reacting to something he saw in 2013 and overreacting to the same thing today. He is a person who lets himself be governed by emotion and what he sees on TV and there is no reason he could not be genuinely upset about recent images of choking children, despite past lack of interest. He reacts to things as they catch his awareness. Also, the reason for giving prior notice to the Russians was purely to avoid World War III. This is SOP wherever the two countries have military forces operating in the same area. I do not see any particular strategy in all this. Trump saw something on TV that bothered him, and he reacted to it in typical Trump fashion. End of story.

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


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  # 1760175 10-Apr-2017 13:09
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sir1963:

 

And lets be honest here, why are children killed by Chemical Weapons any more horrid than having them blown up ? Dead is dead.

 

From Americas stand point, blowing up children must be allowed because that is what they are doing with their drones, civilian casualties etc.

 

 

All warfare is despicable but most nations put chemical warfare in a special category because of the horrific indiscriminate suffering it causes. Dead is dead, but the way you die still makes a difference. To kill a child with a bullet, you have to aim at the child. A bomb is less selective, but is at least usually intended to target an enemy. Chemicals just kill everyone in their path. There is a reason for the revulsion.

 

 

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


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  # 1760200 10-Apr-2017 13:37
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Rikkitic:

 

I disagree with the analysis for many reasons, but mainly because I feel it credits Trump with too much subtlety. He is not the kind of person who thinks things through and if he forgot to take out the airstrip, it was because he just didn’t think of it. Similarly, he is perfectly capable of not reacting to something he saw in 2013 and overreacting to the same thing today. He is a person who lets himself be governed by emotion and what he sees on TV and there is no reason he could not be genuinely upset about recent images of choking children, despite past lack of interest. He reacts to things as they catch his awareness. Also, the reason for giving prior notice to the Russians was purely to avoid World War III. This is SOP wherever the two countries have military forces operating in the same area. I do not see any particular strategy in all this. Trump saw something on TV that bothered him, and he reacted to it in typical Trump fashion. End of story.

 

 

 

 

But Trump doesn't make every decision in a vacuum. I'm sure he has many advisers much smarter than him who could have suggested this as a way to boost his popularity and distract from other issues.


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