PLANNED U.S. ATTACK ON SYRIA ESCALATES AS SUPPORT WANES

9 Sept.(EIRNS)–Obama’s planned attack on Syria has morphed from
a goal of “deterrence” of further alleged chemical weapons
attacks, to “degrading” Assad’s military capabilities, and is
still undergoing significant escalation. Such an escalation
threatens nuclear war itself, or other wars, and ironically,
occurs even as support for any attack is collapsing, both in the
United States and internationally.
On Sept. 2, Sen. John McCain agreed to support Obama’s
so-called limited strike to “deter” Assad if Obama provided more
arms to the Syrian rebels and the attack was punishing enough to
degrade the Syrian military.
In a July 22 letter responding to Senate Armed Services
Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) and Sen. John McCain, Joint Chiefs of
Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey wrote, “I know that the decision to
use force is not one that any of us takes lightly. {It is no less
than an act of war.} [emphasis added] We have learned from the
past 10 years, however, that it is not enough to simply alter the
balance of military power without careful consideration of what
is necessary in order to preserve a functioning state.”
Establishing a no-fly zone in Syria would cost $500 million
initially, while “averaging as much as a billion dollars per
month over the course of a year,” Dempsey said of an operation
that would degrade the aerial bombing capabilities of Syrian
President Bashar al-Assad.
Dempsey also warned that establishing a no-fly zone could
result in the loss of U.S. aircraft, which would require
personnel recovery forces in Syria. “It may also fail to reduce
the violence or shift the momentum because the regime relies
overwhelmingly on surface fires — mortars, artillery, and
missiles.”
The LA Times’ David Cloud reports from military sources
today that Obama has asked for an expanded target list beyond the
original list of 50 targets. As a result, Pentagon planners are
weighing whether to use Air Force bombers (not out of range of
Syrian air defenses), in addition to five warships now on patrol
in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, to launch cruise missiles and
air-to-surface missiles from hundreds of miles offshore. Cloud
also points out that Syria is within the range of an aircraft
carrier strike group in the Red Sea, which includes one destroyer
and 3 cruise ships, all capable of firing cruise missiles.
Meanwhile, support for Obama’s attack is losing support in
Congress with each passing day, as Obama’s Chief of Staff Denis
McDonough admitted on {Face the Nation}

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