Monday, June 20, 2011

Worse Than I Thought

When I mentioned that Syria had to shuttle loyal security forces around to hot spots, I also assumed that the less reliable troops could at least be trusted to watch locations not actively demonstrating.

Apparently, according to Strategypage, that is not the case. The less reliable troops are being kept on base and disarmed. Of 400,000 security forces, half are kept disarmed on bases and only 100,000 are trusted to shoot at people. And Iran has provided thugs who don't mind killing Sunni Arabs, of course.

That does leave about 100,000 Syrian troops who are in between the untrusted and trusted, who might be capable of deploying to watch and intimidate people but who aren't willing to shoot at people.

That the Syrians have to worry about troop loyalty is indicated by the government's claim that 500 troops have died (1,500 civilians have died). The only way that many security forces could have died is by fights with other security forces. Remember that at the height of the Iraq War, we never lost more than 1,000 in a full calendar year.