Donald Trump Is Right On This One: Hillary Clinton’s Syria Policy Could Lead Us Into World War III

Clinton bombs

When Donald Trump says something stupid, such as when he botched his comments on Obamacare today, or when he claimed that he is the only Republican who can beat Hillary Clinton, that is a “dog bites man” story. We have come to expect this from Donald Trump, who is  running the most inept campaign for president that I have ever seen. The more interesting “man bites dog” story, one of the rare times when Trump gets it right, was with Trump warning of the risk of Hillary Clinton getting us involved in World War III.

Donald Trump had this to say in an interview with Reuter’s:

U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said on Tuesday that Democrat Hillary Clinton’s plan for Syria would “lead to World War Three,” because of the potential for conflict with military forces from nuclear-armed Russia.

In an interview focused largely on foreign policy, Trump said defeating Islamic State is a higher priority than persuading Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down, playing down a long-held goal of U.S. policy…

On Syria’s civil war, Trump said Clinton could drag the United States into a world war with a more aggressive posture toward resolving the conflict.

Clinton has called for the establishment of a no-fly zone and “safe zones” on the ground to protect non-combatants. Some analysts fear that protecting those zones could bring the United States into direct conflict with Russian warplanes.

“What we should do is focus on ISIS. We should not be focusing on Syria,” said Trump as he dined on fried eggs and sausage links at his Trump National Doral golf resort. “You’re going to end up in World War Three over Syria if we listen to Hillary Clinton,” he said.

“You’re not fighting Syria any more, you’re fighting Syria, Russia and Iran, all right? Russia is a nuclear country, but a country where the nukes work as opposed to other countries that talk,” he said…

On Russia, Trump again knocked Clinton’s handling of U.S.-Russian relations while secretary of state and said her harsh criticism of Putin raised questions about “how she is going to go back and negotiate with this man who she has made to be so evil,” if she wins the presidency.

While I have also expressed concerns about Trump’s general incoherence on foreign policy, I have previously noted the same dangers as Trump discussed in Clinton’s history of belligerence towards Russia. As I discussed after Clinton repeated her support for a no-fly zone in Syria during the last debate, this is a very dangerous policy. Last  month Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford testified before Congress that imposing a no-fly zone “would require us to go to war, against Syria and Russia.” Clinton admitted that “you’re going to kill a lot of Syrians” in one of her leaked Goldman-Sachs speeches.

Spencer Ackerman also wrote in The Guardian Why Hillary Clinton’s plans for no-fly zones in Syria could provoke US-Russia conflict.

The proposal of no-fly zones has been fiercely debated in Washington for the past five years, but has never attracted significant enthusiasm from the military because of the risk to pilots from Syrian air defenses and the presence of Russian warplanes.

Many in US national security circles consider the risk of an aerial confrontation with the Russians to be severe.

“I wouldn’t put it past them to shoot down an American aircraft,” said James Clapper, the US director of national intelligence, on Tuesday in response to a question from the Guardian at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Those who have patrolled no-fly zones over the relatively freer skies of Bosnia and Saddam-era Iraq fear that a President Clinton would oblige the US to what one retired US air force three-star general described as an indefinite “air occupation”. Such a move would risk the lives of US pilots – and dare confrontation with a Russian military which is more aggressive than it has been in years.

Critics of the plan also question how using US military power to establish and police a safe space for beleaguered Syrian civilians would contribute to the downfall of President Bashar al-Assad – the explicit goal of US policy in Syria.

“If she is not politically posturing, it’s going to be a disaster. I hope it’s political posturing,” said John Kuehn, a retired navy officer who flew no-fly zone missions over Bosnia and Iraq. Kuehn who called denying an adversary its airspace “the cocktail party military application of power of choice”.

David Deptula, a retired air force lieutenant general who commanded the no-fly zone operations over northern Iraq in 1998 and 1999, said the Russians were a “complicating factor” but considered the problems with a no-fly zone to be more fundamental…

The challenges for a no-fly zone over Syria outstrip those the US has faced over Libya, Bosnia and Iraq. Assad’s surface-to-air missiles, protecting the Mediterranean coast and southern regions the regime still controls, were formidable before the recent Russian addition of what Clapper, a former air force general, called “very advanced” S-300 and S-400 systems that can blanket the majority of Syrian airspace with missiles.

Staging a no-fly zone requires either the assent of regional allies – Turkey is the nearest potential partner to Syria, but it has concentrated in recent months on improving ties with Moscow after Turkish forces shot down a Russian jet in November 2015 – or an expensive, open-ended and risky deployment of aircraft carrier groups to the eastern Mediterranean.

But the most distinguishing feature of a Syria no-fly zone in 2017 would be the aerial presence of another great-power air force with an objective which is diametrically opposed to Washington’s.

Even without the involvement of Russia, a no-fly zone is a major military undertaking, likely to drag us into a larger war in Syria. The added problem of Russia’s involvement very well could lead to World War III. There are many reasons not to vote for Donald Trump, but that does not mean that voting for Hillary Clinton is a wise choice either, as a vote for Hillary Clinton is essentially a vote for war.

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6 Comments

  1. 1
    djchefron says:

    Just stop with your nonsense, Hillary is no more willing to go to war than Johnson did over the Prague spring or Ike did over Hungary. Superpowers don't go to war over territory that the other one thinks is in the sphere of influence. What is more likely is we will provide arms to the rebels which might have blowback against Israel or the US. Now if you want to argue that you would have more credibility but as of now you are letting your hatred of Clinton cloud your judgement.

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    “Hillary is no more willing to go to war…”

    Rather a nonsensical line of argument considering Clinton’s record and positions including Iraq, Libya, Syria, and her belligerence towards Russia. Neocons have been pushing for war in Russia to permanently eliminate them as a threat. Clinton may or may not want this, but she has been pushing us at very least towards a new Cold War with them. Plus, as other sources cited in this post agree, her plans for Syria could get us involved in a war with Russia regardless of whether Clinton wants this.

  3. 3
    Ron Chusid says:

    It is also sad that Clinton apologists are so blind to the facts that the attribute criticism to factors such as “hatred of Clinton,” even in cases like this when the facts overwhelmingly show they are wrong.

  4. 4
    Philo Vaihinger says:

    Hey, yeah, you're right.

    Better to let the Russians do whatever they want, wherever they want, because they are just too scary to mess with.

  5. 5
    Ron Chusid says:

    Nobody is saying to let the Russians do whatever they want. We need a more rational response that what we have seen from Clinton (or Trump).

  6. 6
    Giovanna says:

    Something which is not so well known is that much of what happened while "Dubya" was President was planned, over a year before the fact.  If you're not familiar with the Project for the New American Century, you can read up on it at Wikipedia, at SourceWatch, and at Information Clearing House.  Many PNAC personnel were given appointments in Dubya's cabinet.  What you should really know, however, is that, in September of 2000, the PNAC published a paper called "Rebuilding America's Defenses" in which plans for Afghanistan and Iraq were laid out, almost a year before the events of 11 September 2001, the covert insertion of the CIA's Special Activities Division into Afghanistan on 26 September 2001 as a precursor to a larger invasion, and the passage of the "USA PATRIOT Act" on 26 October 2001.  On 20 March 2003, based on what are now described as "intelligence failures," the US invaded Iraq.  The results of all of these actions include the spread of "al-Qaeda" to other Islamic nations.  You can read or download (and then read) "Rebuilding America's Defences" from this archive.

    It doesn't end there.  On 21 March 2011, with the full support (and urging) of then-Secretary Hillary Clinton, the US under Obama's leadership, and the UK under Cameron's leadership, together with other NATO forces, invaded Libya and killed Muammar Gaddafi.  According to a UK parliamentary foreign-affairs committee report, the UK's involvement in this was based on “erroneous assumptions and an incomplete understanding” of the situation there, as reported in an article published by The Wall Street Journal.  One of the results of this was the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi in 2012.  Among other results of this destabilization of Libya was the establishment of al-Qaeda in Libya and the rise of Daesh (which is more commonly known as "ISIS," "ISIL," "IS," or "the Islamic State," but "Daesh" is a much more accurate name for them, its meaning in Arabic being "a group of bigots who impose their will on others," as discussed by Alice Guthrie in this post).

    In 2012, an article discussing the PNAC was published in Global Research, speculating that the next US invasion would be an invasion of Syria.

    Established in February of 2007, the CNAS, or Center for a New American Security, includes several former members of the PNAC (which ceased function in 2006).  The CNAS is closely associated with Hillary Clinton.  In May of 2016, the CNAS published a paper called "Expanding American Power," which you can read, or download (and then read), here.  Among other things, this paper points fingers at Russia, engages in revisionist history concerning the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, and demands régime change in Syria.  Mrs Clinton has been rattling a saber at Russia for a while now, and has been pushing for a "no fly" zone over Syria, as well as the CNAS goal of régime change in Syria.  The CNAS also strongly supports the TPP and the TPIP.  You may draw your own conclusions from this information.  I'm sure you've guessed that my conclusions, based on her Neoconservative tendencies to support Israel and promote wars for oil, is that she intends to invade Syria if she's elected President.  This conclusion is also upheld by the revelation of a Clinton email (thanks to WikiLeaks), in which it is said that "The best way to help Israel deal with Iran's growing nuclear capability is to help the people of Syria overthrow the regime of Bashar Assad."  You can view the email here.

     

    The above is quoted from a post on my blog, of which post you can read more here.  The long and short of it is that Hillary Clinton is in no way fit for the office of President.  And lest anyone assume that I support the big orange blowhard, I will state that my support is for Doctor Jill Stein.

     

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