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On the latest Foreign Entanglements, I spoke with Dan Trombly about Syria and sundry:
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Any thoughts on this? I get that civilian consultants are already a major part of our foreign policy apparatus, but the fact that the Kagans were willing to work for free 18 hours a day for free scares me more than if DOD had hired them outright.
So that’s what he looks like….
Anyway, yeah, Kagan story really, really weird. Petraeus seems particularly vulnerable to ego-massaging by civilians….
The central reason I have doubts about Assad being overthrown, merely as a matter of time, is that I simply don’t see a real rebel army with a real political apparatus behind it. From the broader picture that I’ve been able to gather, Assad clearly seems to have a set strategy, internally and externally vis á vis allies. Said strategy looks very much to be based in part on playing for time. If Assad was really tottering, I think there would be much more of an effort at a real ground campaign. More than this, if huge elements of this army was not reliable, I think we would have seen more and more serious defections in unit sizes. After all, these guys homes are being bombed, so people say.
I think there is a very good chance that examining reveal preferences would show that Assad still have strong support (as the least evil option) among urban Sunni, let alone the other religious minorities. I also think that the rebels have a major statebuilding project ahead of them during the winter. There is just no Maoist strategy if everyone thinks you’re bad news.
Another important thing to watch is how well the rebels can generate more manpower via recruitment.
I mean, all the US had to do in Fallujah is to bomb it silly until will and manpower for resistance ceased to exist.
That hat hits the sweet spot.
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