Friday, March 23, 2012

Measuring Effectiveness

Fighting or shooting protesters continues around Syria. When you think about the Syrian armed forces and the prospect of how they could resist a Western intervention, contemplate the casualties the Syrians claim to have suffered:

Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdesi said this week that 3,000 members of the security forces had died in the uprising, which Damascus blames on terrorist gangs.

And recall that the Syrian insurgency (with a terror assist from al Qaeda and other jihadis--blowback's a bitch) is far weaker than the insurgencies and terror campaigns in Iraq were from 2004 through 2007.

Then let's compare security force casualties. In the worst year of the insurgency in Iraq, our casualties never reached a thousand in a year--against well-armed and well-funded thugs supported by Syria, Iran, and the Arab Sunni world that provided recruits for the suicide bombings.

Even if you want to compare the Iraqi security forces casualties to Syria's, Iraq suffered about 6,000 for the entire war.

The Syrian armed forces just aren't that good. They'd be more of a challenge than Libya's, but in a conventional clash the Syrian armed forces would be crushed by a decent Western intervention, whether led by the Turks or us. Not that I think we should. I'd be happy if we just armed the opposition. Oh, and don't forget that these high Syrian casualties are being suffered by the best trained and most loyal troops that Assad has.

Oh, and one more thing, as Detective Columbo would say. If you are still panicky about the killings of American forces by Afghan allies, recall that the armed resistance in Syria is largely made up of Syrian army deserters. Now that's a trust issue.