Are U.S. Ground Troops in the Middle East Inevitable?

bloomberg september 23On September 23 2014, Professor Raymond Tanter was on Bloomberg  TV. Discussing the U.S. battle against the Islamic State military group in Syria with Trish Regan on “Street Smart.”

US Boots On Ground unnecessary for Obama  to Succeed if Arab States Keep Iran from Iraq & Help Kurds.

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Where does Turkey fit in the coalition against IS?

cctv september 23For more now on the coalition against the Islamic State, CCTV America was joined by Raymond Tanter. He’s a professor of political science and a former member of the National Security Council in the Reagan-Bush White House.

Tanter Iran worsened Iraq Shiite-Sunni split, allowing ISIS 2 Gain Sunni support + Proxy Threats 2 CampLiberty PMOI.

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U.S. attacks on IS in Syria not in Iran’s interest

USA_Iran_250609Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 11

By Umid Niayesh – Trend:

U.S. President Barack Obama said in a televised address to the nation that the United States would strike at the Islamic State in in Iraq and in Syria, too, if needed. This is not at all in Iran’s interest. The Islamic Republic has failed to incorporate the Syrian regime into the anti-IS coalition, an Iranian expert says.

Syrian president, Bashar Assad has no place in the United States new anti-IS strategy, despite all efforts made by Iran, Hassan Hashemian, Iranian expert on Arab region issues told Trend on Sept. 11.

Hashemian also said that Iran itself will be excluded from international anti-IS efforts in Syria, but may be permitted to continue its current position in Iraq.

Iran first tried to dissuade the U.S. from attacking the IS in Syria, the expert explained. When it failed, as second step the Islamic Republic tried to be a part of the coalition that would have made Assad a strategic ally of anti-terrorism coalition.

However, the U.S. refused to accept Iran’s participation and over 40 countries including some regional countries which are against Iran’s policies in Syria will be part of the coalition, Hashemian underlined.

What will be Iran’s reaction towards the forecasted air strikes?

Raymond Tanter, the president of Iran Policy Committee Publishing, believes that Iran is likely to condemn any violation of Syrian airspace and double down on its support for Assad in view of prospective U.S. air attacks and support for Free Syrian Army.

Tanter who served at the White House as a Senior Member on the National Security Council staff told Trend that Tehran can support Assad even more by ordering additional Hezbollah forces into the fight against the Free Syria Army before it becomes more of an effective fighting force with training in Saudi Arabia.

Iran also might transfer more units of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Qods Force units to Syria, from where they are operating now in Iraq, Tanter said. He went on to add that Tehran could provide Assad with surface to air missiles to attack American aircraft operating in eastern Syria, but it is unlikely.

Iranian officials have started making statements against the possible air strikes as well as formation of the anti-IS coalition.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham expressed suspicion about the international anti-IS coalition, saying there are fundamental questions in the seriousness of the coalition to fight terrorism honestly. She noted that “some countries that join the coalition are supporters of the terrorists in Iraq and Syria.”

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Russian Television–> Arabic US: Help resettle CampLiberty PMOI from Iraq acting for Iran

RT in RT september 9

On September 9 2014, Professor Raymond Tanter was on Russian TV.

The program was for 30 minutes; Raymond Tanter was in Washington and debated the host, Salam Mosafir, who was in Moscow. Mosafir made several allegations of U.S. policy in the Middle East: Washington created the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to justify using force again in Iraq and extending military action into Syria; the emerging American strategy is to use ISIS as justification to build a coalition that would divide the Arab world; and Washington needed the threat of war to have a reason for increasing defense spending for an ailing American economy in need of a stimulus.

First, Tanter replied that ISIS was not an American creation: It came out of al Qaeda of Iraq and disgruntled remnants of Saddam Hussein’s armed forces, as well as Sunni tribes that had been sidelined by the government of Nouri Al Maliki of Iraq.

Second, the emerging American strategy is to use ISIS as justification to build a regional coalition not to divide the Arab world but to bring it together around a common agenda. Likewise, Washington wanted the new government in Baghdad to be more inclusive so Kurds, Iraqi Sunni and Iraqi Shia might work for a common cause.

Third, in 2013, the United States spent 4.4 percent of its GDP on defense. And although war spending has probably stimulated the U.S. economy to a small degree, the extra income has been partially offset by negative consequences of increased deficits and debt used to finance the wars. In this respect, “The net effect on GDP of war spending has probably been positive but is small and declining. An important impact of war spending has been to raise the nation’s indebtedness.”

Mosafir asked about an Iranian role. Tanter said that for Washington to coordinate with Tehran would be like firemen asking arsonists why they set fires, when, and where to expect the next fire! Rather, Washington should help resettle from Iraq the main Iranian opposition that rejects clerical rule, the National Council of Resistance of Iran; some NCRI members are in Camp Liberty, Iraq held in prison-like conditions. Reaching out to the Iranian opposition might signal to the Arab Gulf States that Washington was taking the Iranian Shiite threat to the Sunni Arab world seriously.

In addition to addressing the critique of host, Salam Mosafir, Tanter drew on some of the following Talking Points in discussing President Obama’s search for a U.S. strategy.


Define Threat

Set goals & Means

Adopt Tactics

TRIO of THREAT to Region, Europe, USA by ISIS

Counterinsurgency and Counterterrorism Goals and Means

Degrade conventional army w/airstrikes, a counterinsurgency approach

Pushback insurgents w/ airstrikes + local ground forces, a counterinsurgency approach

Destroy insurgents & terrorists w/ airstrikes, locals, regional, & NATO partners, a combined counterinsurgency, counterterrorism, and coalition strategy

Boots on the Ground in Iraq—Potential Inclusive Government Allows

Kurdish Peshmerga

Sunni Arab Tribes

Shia Arab Militias

Boots on the Ground in Syria

Arms to Moderate Syrian Free Army against ISIS and Al Nushra Front

Include Regional Friends like Jordan & Saudi Arabia but no coordination with Iran


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Islamic State Battle: Are U.S. Ground Troops Needed?

bloomberg september 10On 8 September 2014, Raymond Tanter was on Bloomberg TV channel.

Islamic State Battle: R U.S. Ground Troops Needed? Tanter: Nope! Partners’ boots w/ U.S. airstrikes

In today’s “Global Outlook,” University of Michigan’s Raymond Tanter and Bloomberg’s Phil Mattingly discuss the U.S. battle against the Islamic State militant group with Trish Regan on “Street Smart.”

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Russia TV Arabic Hit on Ukraine with Implications for the Middle East

RT on RT september 2On September 2 2014, Raymond Tanter was on Russian TV.

The lead for the program was Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s statement that the West in general and the United States in particular encouraged what he called the “War Team” in Kiev. He contended that Washington was thwarting the efforts of the “Peace Team,” led by Moscow. Tanter first refuted the Lavrov accusation and then segued to the Middle East.

Tanter said that a goal of President Obama’s visit to Estonia on 3 September 2014 and participation in the 4-5 September NATO summit in Wales was to provide a signal to former republics of the Soviet Union, such as Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania: NATO will come to their defense according to Article Five of the NATO Treaty, which holds that an attack on one is an attack on all, although each member can decide what actions to take. While these states (and Poland) would like to see permanent stationing of NATO troops, a compromise was a Rapid Response Force, which would rotate among such states.

And contrary to Minister Lavrov’s claims, NATO was not encouraging Ukraine from a negotiated settlement. In fact, the United States hardly mentions the relevance for Ukraine’s security of the Budapest Memorandums on Security Assurances, 1994: Kiev gave up its nuclear weapons in return for pledges from Moscow and Washington, among others, “to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine…”

With the use of proxies and subsequent incursion of Russian combat troops into Ukraine, Moscow is in violation of the Budapest Memorandums, which were reaffirmed by Moscow and Washington in 2009, in conjunction with nuclear arms control. Because Russia’s actions during 2014 in Ukraine were inconsistent with the NATO-Russia Founding Act 1997, NATO suspended cooperation with Russia.

The program is pitched to an Arab audience; consequently, Tanter tied what was taking place in Europe and developments the Middle East. Washington’s moves to counter Moscow over Ukraine and U.S. airstrikes to counter ISIS in Iraq fit nicely with additional sanctions against Iran for failure to comply with prior prohibitions.

The Saudis and other Gulf States would like to see a tougher posture by Washington against Iran; one way to show this toughness is to recognize the PMOI as a legitimate dissident group and its members under siege in Iraq as international refugees.

For additional information, please click here to access the 2 September 2014 Russia TV discussion.

Has the West done enough to pressure Russia?

CNBC 20 agust
On July 29 2014, Raymond Tanter was on CNBC , Professor Emeritus at the University of Michigan, says the U.S. has done a “great job” in bringing its European allies along on tougher Russia sanctions.
CNBC Video: US builds anti-Russian NATO coalition; sanctions able 2 get 28 Member votes insufficient to deter Moscow.
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Opposition: Iran consolidates nuclear bomb effort

WASHINGTON (AP)Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, gestures, as he delivers a speech Wednesday. — An Iranian opposition group said Friday that Tehran’s leaders have consolidated several scattered nuclear research efforts in a single new defense agency geared to streamline weapons development.

The Mujahedin-e Khalk, or MEK, told The Associated Press that Iran’s defense ministry established the new agency in March to merge various nuclear-related programs.

The State Department had no immediate comment on the report. Some of MEK’s past claims about Iran’s nuclear program have been confirmed, while others have not. But a former international nuclear inspector said Friday he has heard a similar report.

An MEK spokesman said the new agency, the Organization for New Defense Research is led by Moshen Fakhrizadeh, a physicist long suspected of running Iran’s secret nuclear projects.

The U.N. Security Council placed Fakhrizadeh under an asset freeze and travel ban after Iran refused to make him available to International Atomic Energy Agency investigators.

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Obama’s Moment to Seize the Day in Iraq

descargaReports President Obama authorized surveillance flights over Syria suggest he is beginning to seize the moment given to him by the horrific execution of American journalist, James Foley. If he authorizes airstrikes into Syria against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), even over the horizon from Iraq, it could reinforce the “moderate” Free Syrian Army against both ISIS and Assad. Even if such strikes also helped Assad against ISIS, they would be worth the effort.


If the surveillance over Syria indicates the President if abandoning his strategy of defensive containment and going on the offensive with a mini-surge—sending additional military advisors to Iraq in a rollback strategy to defeat ISIS, the surveillance is in the American interests. Rolling back ISIS from Iraq makes more sense if the President authorizes or our partners conduct raids into Syria, because ISIS forces will flee to eastern Syria when attacked in northwest Iraq.

U.S. Special Forces can act as spotters to identify targets in Syria, as they do in Iraq; otherwise, widening the battlefield space would not be as effective against ISIS. The President shattered his own campaign pledge of “not placing boots on the ground,” when he authorized deployment of U.S. military advisors in Iraq: They are at risk, walk on the ground, and wear boots. The deteriorating strategic landscape in Iraq gives the President political space to act in the national interest and jettison his prior vow not to be drawn into another land war.

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