Allen B. West

If I were SecDef, this would NOT be happening with China…and Syria

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China’s President Xi Jinping will be visiting Washington DC starting today. It appears President Jinping will be treated with full honors — state dinner, twenty-one gun salute, you know, the red carpet. And this comes at a time when we know a Chinese military cyber unit is responsible for the massive hacking attack into the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) which has far reaching implications. The Chinese are encroaching upon Philippine territory known as the Scarborough Shoals. They are encroaching upon and claiming Japan’s Senkaku Islands. They are constructing manmade islands and emplacing military armament and landing strips for aircraft. Needless to say, there’s a lot to talk to China’s president about, but something tells me he ain’t interested in listening. And Jinping knows Obama is in no position to back up anything as there’s no “strategic rebalance” to the Pacific.

But what if the Chinese have something up their sleeves that will further embarrass Barack Obama?

As reported in Al Masdar News,“The recent arrival of the Russian Marines and Air Force to the Syrian port-city of Tartous has generated a significant amount of interest around the world, as the possibility of Russia’s direct military intervention becomes the focal point of the war on ISIS. Should the Russians begin military operations in Syria, what role will the U.S. led “Anti-ISIS Coalition” play in combatting the terrorist group? Will they coordinate with one another? Will they avoid one another? It seems both sides have their own strategy to combat ISIS, but the U.S. has had far more experience fighting the terrorist group, despite their minimal success in obstructing their growth and advance in Syria and Iraq.

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Russia seems poised to take a similar approach to the U.S. led Coalition; however, they are not seeking the assistance of the neighboring Arab countries to combat the terrorist group. Instead, the Russians appear to have a contingency that involves another world power that was absent from the U.S. led Anti-ISIS Coalition: China.

On Tuesday morning, a Chinese naval vessel reportedly traveled through Egypt’s Suez Canal to enter the Mediterranean Sea; its destination was not confirmed. However, according to a senior officer in the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) that is stationed inside the Syrian coastal city of Latakia, Chinese military personnel and aerial assets are scheduled to arrive in the coming weeks (6 weeks) to the port-city of Tartous – he could not provide any more detail. Russia has made it abundantly clear that they are taking an active role in this conflict, but the news of the Chinese military to Syria provides more insight into their contingency.”

Folks, you cannot make this stuff up: Chinese naval vessels in the Mediterranean Sea at a time when we had to gap our Carrier Battle Group (CVBG) coverage in the Persian Gulf because we have so severely decimated our maritime capability, We reported on that here. There is a definitive strategic outmaneuvering going on at the expense of the United States’ reputation. At a time when President Obama states he will not put any American boots on the ground and his venerable 54-man trained Syrian force is down to 4 or 5 — Russia and possibly China are filling the void.

And don’t forget that this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu traveled to Russia to speak with President Putin. The balance of power in the Middle East is shifting and it would appear President Obama has no policy solution, other than to ride this out. Russia has already declared it is building a coalition to defeat ISIS and there are reports that Russian jets are already being used to strike ISIS positions. You can bet they’re not concerning themselves with “collateral damage” nor have they implemented restrictive rules of engagement hamstringing their forces.

Right before our eyes, a 21st century axis is developing in the Middle East: Russia-Iran-Syria-China. And ask yourselves, do any of you believe President Obama will take a stand against this alliance or will he just acquiesce and Putin becomes the savior and the one who defeats ISIS?

My assessment is that Obama will allow Putin to do as he wishes and somehow take credit for ISIS being defeated — you know, after all Obama “softened up” ISIS for Putin. The consequence is that the fella Obama stated incessantly “has to go” will be sticking around for quite sometime — Bashar Assad.

My recommendation is that once Chinese forces establish a footprint in Syria, we should just redeploy our assets from the region. We cannot afford to run the risk of exposing our troops in the area of operations to potential “unintended incidents” as the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov warned. That means Russia will stake claim to the battle space, including airspace, and demand U.S> coordination or else — and we know what that means.

I’ll be sitting back to watch this development. But I would suggest that the Pentagon check into this and maybe brief President Obama before he says something very damaging — ok, what I mean is something very stupid — to President Xi Jinping and the American people.

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