Another covert op revealed....
The Gray Lady has a front-pager today letting Americans--and the world--know that the CIA, based in Turkey, is covertly directing supplies for Syrian rebels, presumably keeping the arms from going to Islamist factions. Leaks from American and Arab officials were the sources for the story.
Could this be an effort by Team Obama to show that the president is not, after all, hopelessly disengaged as Assad unleashes Russian weaponry against the uprising? Should the Syrian regime know that the US military has contingency plans for seizing Syria's chemical & bio-weapon arsenal in event of total chaos?
Conrad Black cogently calls for a US move to dump Assad. Black believes it can be done quickly, and should be done, if only to inflict a defeat upon Iran:
It would be much easier to dispose of Assad and exact from whatever regime or even contest of factions that succeeded him — as a pre-condition of assistance — that Syria cease to be a conduit of aid to Hamas and Hezbollah, than it would be to strike directly at Iran, a much larger state not now discommoded by a civil war as Syria is. On the equally authentic Napoleonic maxim of achieving a strategic goal at minimum cost and by applying adequate pressure on the most vulnerable point, getting rid of Assad could be done in a day at minimal risk to the lives of intervening forces; military assistance to the rebels and some air support would do it. Even eliminating the Iranian nuclear military threat, which I believe should be done, would be a serious aerial undertaking and might have to be repeated at intervals, and it would not necessarily affect Iranian support of terrorist activity.
If Libya is any precedent, one cannot expect Obama to decisively move. Ceding leaderhip to Islamist Turkey and the Arab powers could lead to a militant Sunni Islamist successor, if Assad falls.
Bottom Line. An administration that "leads from behind" once again leaks covert action that should remain secret, in order to burnish its national security credentials for November.
Letter from the Captiol, LFTC, National Security, Foreign Policy, Conservative Politics