From Mike Whitney:
Call it stealth warfare, call it poking the bear, call it whatever you’d like. The fact is, the Syrian war has entered a new and more dangerous phase increasing the chances of a catastrophic confrontation between the US and Russia.
This new chapter of the conflict is the brainchild of Pentagon warlord, Ash Carter, whose attack on a Syrian outpost at Deir Ezzor killed 62 Syrian regulars putting a swift end to the fragile ceasefire agreement. Carter and his generals opposed the Kerry-Lavrov ceasefire deal because it would have required “military and intelligence cooperation with the Russians”. In other words, the US would have had to get the greenlight from Moscow for its bombing targets which would have undermined its ability to assist its jihadist fighters on the ground. That was a real deal-breaker for the Pentagon. But bombing Deir Ezzor fixed all that. It got the Pentagon out of the jam it was in, it torpedoed the ceasefire, and it allowed Carter to launch his own private shooting match without presidential authorization. Mission accomplished…
And what about the two Syrian bridges US warplanes took out over the Euphrates last week? (making it more difficult to attack ISIS strongholds in the eastern quadrant of the country) Don’t they count?
Of course, they do.
And let’s not forget the fact that Carter’s jihadist buddies on the ground launched a mortar attack on the Russian embassy in Damascus on Tuesday. That’s another part of this low-intensity war that’s already underway. So all this rubbish about Obama mulling over these “new options” for “military strikes” is complete hogwash. Plan Carter is already in full swing, the train already left the station. The only thing missing is presidential authorization which probably isn’t necessary since Il Duce Carter decided that it was his turn to run the country…
The new “Plan C” strategy is designed to create a quagmire for Putin by gradually ratcheting up the violence forcing him to prolong his stay and deepen his commitment. It’s a clever trap and it could work, too. The only hitch is that Putin and his allies appear to be making steady headway on the battlefield. That’s going to make a lot harder for Syria’s enemies to continue the provocations and incitements without triggering massive retaliation.