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Syrian Military Aged Refugees - Good thing or bad thing? (Strategically)

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  • Syrian Military Aged Refugees - Good thing or bad thing? (Strategically)

    I had a thought and I wanted to float this. There's been lots of talk over whether we should take in Syrian refugees and there's no denying that they would be an economic hindrance but I wondered if there might be a positive to this with regards to the big picture.

    Syrian Military Age Males (which I will now call SMAM for ease of typing) are being disparaged for not staying home and fighting for their country. But I got to thinking that when you consider their options, opting out might be the best choice for us and them. It has to do with attrition and national policy.

    The only faction worth supporting would be an anti Assad anti ISIS faction. But as long as America isn't willing to go to the mattresses over this, such a faction will inevitable get squished. Assad has Russia on his side and while we could crush Russia it is clear we aren't going to. That leaves two basic factions to choose from. ISIS or Assad. Both are evil. Both will fight as long as they have the warm bodies to do so.

    Now as long as there are large numbers of SMAM then both ISIS and Assad have a recruiting pool to draw from to keep the conflict going. But, as more and more SMAM flee the country, that well is running dry. Because there is no righteous faction that the US is able/willing to support, the only solution is to pursue the overall destruction of both sides. And in circumstances such as this, a deserter is just as good as a kill. If SMAM stay in country they will inevitably be pressed into service by either ISIS or Assad. Either way we have to spend resources killing them. Their desertion saves us the cost of hunting them down. If 1,000 SMAM flee the country then that is 1,000 fewer ISIS or Assad operatives. And if we are to "deconflict" the area, then draining the reserves of manpower is one way to do it. Unless Assad, Putin, or ISIS develop a talent for necromancy (I wouldn't put it past Putin ) then when Syria runs out of warm bodies, the conflict runs out of antagonists.

    If Syria becomes completely deprived of SMAM via a combination of attrition and desertion then that leaves the antagonists with one of two options. Quit, or import more troops from abroad. For Assad this means adding more Russians to the fight which will either divert Russian troops from other warzones and limit their capacity for aggression or strain Russian patience to the point that they give up and go home. Either outcome is a good one. For ISIS this means pulling in members who aren't SMAM which will deplete their ability to operate abroad.

    If we're very lucky we could get a protracted proxy war between Russia and ISIS. A large quagmire would really bleed both sides, much to our advantage.

    Housing refugees would be taxing. But does this look like a potential upside?
    A new life awaits you in the off world colonies; the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!

  • #2
    I was hoping to get feedback on this, even if that feedback is "you're wrong".

    I am genuinely curious as to whether or not the draining of manpower could have a noticeable effect on the conflict. I think it will, but what do you all think?
    A new life awaits you in the off world colonies; the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!

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    • #3
      I think it's more than merely draining manpower; it's indicative of the lack of national pride and willingness to fight for what they want.

      If they aren't willing to fight for their own country, it's not worth saving, but by the same token, we don;t need their problems being spread to other nations, so I would say let them stay there in their own country and face the new regime that they allowed to take over.

      There are some serious problems in the Middle East with lack of national loyalty and unwillingness to work towards goals such as freedom. The prevalent attitude is to complain about it and allow someone else to fight for them, and I can see no reason for anyone to do that.
      Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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      • #4
        Personally I don't see anything wrong with anyone wanting out of a desperate seemingly suicidal scenario. Maybe in the end there's no right or wrong.
        "We have no white flag."

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