Iraq and Syria

More and more i wonder how successful our endeavors in Iraq will be if we continue to wage a 4 front war. The first front is for political stability in Iraq. Stability, not control. The second front is the destabilizing interference from Iran. While a lot of attentions of late have suggested a military action is imminent against Iran, I believe this is unlikely. The third is the home front, and here I believe the Bush administration has done fairly poorly convincing the American public of the need to take the fight to the enemy and of winning in Iraq. The fourth front is Syria. Like its patron Iran Syria is actively trying to destabilize Iraq. In addition, Syria, also funded by Iran, is also trying to destabilize Lebanon and Israel.

Given that Iraq is surrounded on two fronts with hostile forces, Iran and Syria, success in Iraq cannot be had until either Syria or Iran is confronted. I believe Syria to be a better target than Iran. Firstly, Syria is surrounded by friendly forces: Iraq, Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan. Secondly allied military forces are available to assault Syria in terms of Israel. Syria should thus be tempted to tip its hands militarily either against Lebanon or Israel. Israel should be allowed and encouraged to counter militarily. It is also conceivable that French forces could be sent to secure Lebanon. Thirdly, the size and terrain of Syria is more amenable to military action. Fourthly the military lessons learned from the Iraq invasion and occupation could be better applied to Syria than Iran. Iran also has oil, unlike Syria, and more negative publicity will result in "another" war for oil.

The Assad regime needs to go. Only once Syria is removed as a hostile force can and should Iran be confronted. Only once Iraq is more stable can Iran be confronted, and this won't happen as long as both Syria and Iran are hostile. Syria is an easier and better target. Iran is also a more difficult target in its own right. Iran is a much larger territory and has more difficult terrain. Iran's population is larger. And its military forces more fanatical. In addition, Pakistan is currently too unstable for there to be instability and turmoil in Iran as well.

Once Syria is removed, stability and democracy can encompass the entire Mediterranean part of the Middle East.

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