The woman expected to run the Pentagon under Hillary Clinton said she would direct U.S. troops to push President Bashar al-Assad’s forces out of southern Syria and would send more American boots to fight the Islamic State in the region.
Michele Flournoy, formerly the third-ranking civilian in the Pentagon under President Barack Obama, called for “limited military coercion” to help remove Assad from power in Syria, including a “no bombing” zone over parts of Syria held by U.S.-backed rebels.
If Syria’s bombing continues, the United States should consider instituting what the paper dubs a “no bomb zone.” If the Assad regime bombs areas that are held by the Southern Front, an opposition alliance that the United States supports, then the United States would retaliate, using standoff weapons like cruise missiles to hit targets associated with the Assad regime, but not airbases housing Russian forces. The retaliatory strikes might include Syrian forward operating bases or “security apparatus facilities in Damascus that are fixed regime targets and would require less invasive reconnaissance.”
The targets need not be ones that are directly tied to Assad strikes on U.S. partners, so long as the message is clear to Assad.
“It’s not a traditional no-fly zone so you’re not having air craft drill holes in the sky. You’re not having to take out the entire civilian air defense system,” Flournoy told Defense One. She called the bomb zone idea a declaratory policy backed up by the threat of force. “If you bomb the folks we support, we will retaliate using standoff means to destroy [Russian] proxy forces, or, in this case, Syrian assets.” The no bomb zone could “arguably slow the refugee flows. It would stop the bombing of certain civilian populations” she said.
I love that new euphemism, “limited military coercion.” Daniel Larison rebuts the case for unnecessary war in Syria, ironically being promoted by “diplomats” such as Flournoy.
Read the actual memo by State Department diplomats in favor of war in Syria here. Hillary’s foreign policy agenda is taking shape.
Though, Hillary’s email reveals that she also has other reasons for wanting to depose Assad – namely, Israel’s security. As revealed by Wikileaks (original PDF here):