Mentre il BND tedesco, secondo fonti di stampa, avrebbe modificato la propria analisi sul conflitto siriano la notizia del sempre maggiore coinvolgimento degli Hezbollah negli scontri mi dà la possibilità di segnalare questo spunto di riflessione di John Alterman, del CSIS di Washington. Egli evidenzia come in Medio-Oriente sia ritornata l’epoca delle “guerre per procura” e non solo con riferimento al caso siriano.
[...] It is more accurate, however, to see the region entering an age of proxy wars, on a scale that is likely to dwarf the Arab Cold War that pitted Saudi Arabia against Egypt in the 1950s and 1960s.
While Iran and Saudi Arabia are major antagonists in the unfolding battles, they are not the only ones. The emerging wars are genuinely multipolar, and U.S. policy and practice will need to adapt to this emerging reality.
The most active proxy war is in Syria, where a range of regional and global powers seeks to shape the future of the country. What is surprising is not so much the scale of that assistance as its diversity. Support flows from governments, institutions, and individuals to a dizzying array of actors. Some are principally armed and others are principally political; some are disciplined and others seem determined to sow terror.
More than two years into the conflict, there is remarkably little strategic coordination among the parties supporting Syrian opposition forces, contributing to sustained disarray and infighting among the forces themselves.
Support does not follow clear sectarian or religious lines. Saudi Arabia and Qatar, two Wahhabi states, appear to support different clients in Syria. The Saudi government fears trained and networked jihadi fighters flowing back into the kingdom as they did after the Afghan war in the 1980s, and it fears inspiring a politicized Islamist opposition. It acts with some caution in Syria, and this avowedly religious government appears to favor secular nationalists.
Qatar appears confident that a jihadi wave will not threaten the emirate and is casting bets widely to hasten Bashar al-Assad’s fall. The United Arab Emirates, deeply distrustful of political Islam of any stripe, is among the most cautious of the Gulf states, seeking to check Iran without supporting Islamist fighters. Iran, of course, is betting heavily on the Assad government, while rumors spread that Russia is looking for a solution that preserves Syria’s integrity even if it does not preserve Assad. Western countries have their own preferences and red lines, and each has its own clients.
The proxy war extends far beyond Syria, however. Egypt’s major political parties reportedly receive extensive outside funding, with Qatar heavily bankrolling the Muslim Brotherhood and Saudi Arabia reportedly supporting salafi parties.
Among a range of Arab forces, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates invested especially heavily in the effort to depose Muammar el-Qaddafi in Libya, supporting different troops on the ground under the protection of NATO airstrikes. They backed different parties in 2011 and continue to do so.
There are many antagonists in tiny Bahrain—with only 600,000 citizens—but Saudi Arabia and Iran are the most active, supporting the Sunni and Shiʽite communities respectively. [...]
Una situazione molto complessa, insomma, che necessita di un’attenta analisi e di una puntuale pianificazione.
22 maggio 2013 - 2:53 pm | by Silendo | 1 Comment »
Tags: arabia saudita, egitto, hezbollah, iran, medio-oriente, russia, siria, stati uniti.
Dall’ultimo numero dell’Economist:
For all the agonising in Western capitals about whether to channel weapons to “moderate” rebel militias in Syria and the renewed attempts to find a diplomatic solution to the civil war, one issue above all others is dominating the thinking of military planners, intelligence agencies and their political masters: the increasing danger of the regime’s vast stock of chemical weapons getting into the hands of groups with links to al-Qaeda. [...]
Though the regime is believed to have tried desperately to consolidate its stocks of chemical weapons in areas it still controls, it has so much of the stuff—around 1,000 tonnes of mustard gas, sarin and the even more lethal VX held at about 12 sites—that in the chaos engulfing the country some will almost inevitably fall into rebel hands sooner rather than later unless something is done. Indeed, Jabhat al-Nusra, the most powerful rebel faction and the one with closest links to al-Qaeda, reportedly came very close to capturing a stockpile near Aleppo earlier this year. A senior NATO official argues that, whereas it is premature to talk about al-Qaeda getting hold of chemical weapons, conditions on the ground make it increasingly likely.
Some analysts question the value of Syria’s chemical weapons to terrorists, because skilled technicians are needed to mix the components into a deadly concoction, and the canisters containing it are designed to be fired from artillery and rockets. In other words, they were intended for military use and not for the clandestine portability that terrorists favour. But al-Qaeda has always said it would use chemical weapons against Western targets if it had them, and regime defectors could well provide the expertise to turn them into effective terrorist weapons. [...]
In the absence of UN authorisation to remove those weapons, which would require the acquiescence of Russia and China, no good options are available. Under any plausible scenario, seizing or destroying the chemical weapons would almost certainly require boots on the ground (though not a full-scale invasion) as well as air strikes that could risk spreading some of the poison. Confidence that every site containing the weapons would be quickly found would also not be high.
But the feeling is growing that time is running out. The longer the delay in tackling the problem, the greater the risk of failure. For Mr Obama, who likes to weigh every possibility before taking action, the stakes could not be higher. But as a senior NATO official puts it: “The light has gone on. We can’t not deal with it.”
21 maggio 2013 - 9:30 am | by Silendo | No Comments »
Tags: al qaeda, sicurezza nazionale, siria, stati uniti.
Secondo la CNN Israele avrebbe compiuto un raid aereo sul territorio siriano, attaccando un deposito o un trasporto di armi:
[...] Ma ovviamente si tratta di informazioni preliminari. Non c’è infatti neppure certezza di quando sia avvenuto il raid. Si è parlato di giovedì o venerdì. Uno sviluppo comunque importante che dimostra come il conflitto rischi di allargarsi coinvolgendo altri attori. Israele, in passato, ha già sferrato incursioni in territorio siriano. Operazioni tese a distruggere equipaggiamenti importanti, missili e tecnologia che il regime di Assad aveva intenzione di trasferire ai miliziani filo-iraniani dell’Hezbollah. Il movimento libanese è un alleato chiave di Damasco ed ha mandato i suoi guerriglieri a combattere al fianco del regime. Un aiuto interessato perché è attraverso la Siria che l’Iran invia rifornimenti militari all’Hezbollah. Più volte il governo israeliano ha indicato che sarebbe intervenuto per impedire il passaggio di armi ritenute «strategiche». Gerusalemme teme che Bashar Assad voglia consegnare missili terra-terra a lungo raggio e altri apparati ai miliziani libanesi. [...]
Aggiornamento (05.05.2013): “Nuovo raid di Israele in Siria: colpite basi militari a Damasco“.
4 maggio 2013 - 6:12 am | by Silendo | 11 Comments »
Tags: hezbollah, israele, medio-oriente, siria.
In un breve articolo di qualche giorno fa il commentatore del Financial Times, Gideon Rachman, espone correttamente i dilemmi cui si sta confrontando l’amministrazione americana in questi mesi, tra crisi in Medio Oriente e tentativi di “ribalanciamento” verso l’Asia.
Barack Obama is meant to be the most powerful man in the world. But it looks increasingly as though he may be dragged into a conflict in Syria, against his own better judgment.
The news that Bashar al-Assad’s regime might well have crossed America’s “red line” by using chemical weapons has ratcheted up the pressure on the president to act. There was already a debate in Washington about whether the US should provide weapons to the anti-Assad rebels. A confirmed use of chemical arms in Syria could well provoke a direct military response. [...]
If Mr Obama does end up sanctioning much more direct US involvement in the Syrian conflict, it will be a clear reversal of the grand strategy formed during his first term. This has three key elements. The first is to avoid new wars in the Middle East. The second is to “pivot to Asia” – concentrating US power on dealing with the most dynamic region of the world, rather than frittering away resources in the bloody backwaters of the Middle East. The final element is to rebuild America’s global strength through domestic economic and social reforms, concentrating on what the president calls “nation-building at home”.
The new strategy was tried out in Libya, where the US let Britain and France take the military lead – a policy that gave birth to the phrase “leading from behind”. Yet, in the much more daunting environment of Syria, America’s European allies are incapable of taking the lead. Meanwhile, there is a recurrence of talk in Washington that Iran may be getting closer to another red line – over nuclear weapons – and that the US may also soon have to consider military action there.
As the pressure over Syria and Iran rises, the Obama administration is struggling to maintain its strategic focus on Asia. Last week General Martin Dempsey, the head of the US joint chiefs of staff, was in Beijing. There was no shortage of regional security crises to discuss – from North Korea to the rising tensions between China and Japan.
The real logic of the “pivot”, however, is long-term. The argument is that the Asia-Pacific region is increasingly the centre of the global economy. Unless the US provides strategic reassurance to its friends there – and makes it clear that it has the determination and resources to remain a central power in east Asia – China’s sheer economic weight will mean that the world’s most dynamic region gradually becomes a Chinese sphere of influence.
Any contest for power and influence between the US and China will ultimately rest on the relative strengths of the two economies. That strengthens the case that – after a decade of war and a financial crisis – America must now concentrate on rebuilding its economy. This indeed is the argument of Richard Haass, head of the influential Council on Foreign Relations whose new book is: Foreign Policy Begins at Home. [...]
2 maggio 2013 - 9:00 am | by Silendo | 9 Comments »
Tags: affari strategici, cina, medio-oriente, siria, stati uniti.
L’Europol ha pubblicato qualche giorno fa il TE-SAT 2013, l’analisi strategica sullo stato della minaccia terroristica in Europa.
Due punti degni di nota (a modesto parere del sottoscritto):
1) la crisi economica, fino al momento, non sembra aver avuto un impatto negativo sulla minaccia terroristica nel continente. Scrivono gli analisi dell’Europol:
The current economic conditions in the EU do not appear to have had a significantly negative impact on the overall terrorism and violent extremism picture. In the face of the continuing challenges of the economic situation and the associated governmental austerity measures, attacks by terrorists and violent extremists have not markedly increased since 2008. Although financial institutions, government buildings and officials have been targeted in some EU Member States in 2012, principally by violent leftwing and anarchist extremists, attacks and violent demonstrations appear to have been relatively sporadic. However, this does not preclude the potential for a future increase in similarly motivated offences.
2) crisi nord-africane e, in prospettiva, crisi siriana costituiscono, invece, pericolosi focolai di tensione:
The situation in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is significant for the terrorist threat in the EU.
Two years on from the ‘Arab Spring’ uprisings, the situation in North Africa remains unstable. Two attacks in Benghazi, Libya – one in June against the UK Ambassador and the other in September against the US Ambassador, which resulted in his murder – underline the threat. The volatile situation in Mali also requires significant attention, as it offers a new theatre that may appear an attractive destination for those seeking to engage in armed conflict in support of religiously inspired insurgents. These individuals may pose a threat on their return to the EU. [...]
The current civil war in Syria has attracted a number of radicalised EU citizens. In recent years, such individuals seeking to engage in either fighting or training in conflict zones have travelled to the Afghanistan/Pakistan region, Yemen or Somalia – all regions that are relatively difficult to access. However, in 2012 there was a distinct rise in the number of EU citizens travelling to Syria, in a number of cases fighting alongside groups associated with religiously inspired terrorism. Comparative ease of entry and robust facilitation networks offer these individuals a smoother path to the country. The full implications of increased participation of EU citizens are currently unclear but may have an impact on the future security situation in the EU.
EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report 2013
1 maggio 2013 - 11:30 am | by Silendo | 5 Comments »
Tags: algeria, italia, libia, sicurezza nazionale, siria, terrorismo, tunisia.
… ed anche l’Amministrazione Obama, adesso, sostiene che in Siria le forze governative avrebbero adoperato armamento chimico (il sarin) benchè in piccola quantità.
26 aprile 2013 - 8:40 am | by Silendo | 3 Comments »
Tags: medio-oriente, siria, stati uniti.
Qui di seguito vi segnalo quella che è, a mio parere, una delle migliori analisi sulla guerra civile in Siria. Si tratta della sintesi di un convegno organizzato dalla RAND Corporation nel novembre scorso: “Syria as an Arena of Strategic Competition“.
25 marzo 2013 - 3:51 pm | by Silendo | No Comments »
Tags: affari strategici, medio-oriente, siria.
Il Los Angeles Times, un paio di giorni fa, ha riportato la notizia secondo la quale il Counterterrorism Center della CIA avrebbe avviato la raccolta di informazioni (i c.d. “targeting packages“) sugli jihadisti operanti in Siria, tra le fila dei gruppi anti-governativi:
The CIA has stepped up secret contingency planning to protect the United States and its allies as the turmoil expands in Syria, including collecting intelligence on Islamic extremists for the first time for possible lethal drone strikes, according to current and former U.S. officials.[...]
The Counterterrorism Center, which runs the CIA’s covert drone killing program in Pakistan and Yemen, recently shifted several targeting officers to improve intelligence collection on militants in Syria who could pose a terrorist threat, the officials said.
The targeting officers have formed a unit with colleagues who were tracking Al Qaeda operatives and fighters in Iraq. U.S. officials believe that some of these operatives have moved to Syria and joined Islamic militias battling to overthrow President Bashar Assad.
The CIA effort, which involves assembling detailed dossiers on key militants, gives the White House both lethal and nonlethal options if it concludes that Syria’s 2-year-old civil war — which has caused 70,000 deaths, according to United Nations estimates — is creating a haven for terrorists. The intelligence files also could be used to help opposition figures with moderate views prevail over extremists.
The targeting is part of an array of CIA and Pentagon responses and contingency plans as the Syrian bloodletting steadily worsens, threatening regional stability. Other proposals include plans to seize or destroy Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles, which are closely monitored by U.S. intelligence, to prevent their misuse.
The targeting officers focusing on Syria are based at CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., officials said. The agency has not deployed many American operatives into the war zone, but it works closely with Saudi, Jordanian and other regional spy services active there. CIA officers meet with Syrian rebel leaders in Turkey and Jordan, current and former officials say.
17 marzo 2013 - 9:50 pm | by Silendo | 1 Comment »
Tags: al qaeda, intelligence, siria, stati uniti, terrorismo.
… il numero di febbraio della rivista edita dal CTC di West Point.
20 febbraio 2013 - 5:00 pm | by Silendo | No Comments »
Tags: al qaeda, arabia saudita, guerriglia, libia, pakistan, siria, terrorismo.
Secondo il New York Times, che cita anonimi funzionari statunitensi, l’attacco che Israele avrebbe compiuto ieri sul territorio siriano aveva come obiettivo un convoglio che trasportava armamento anti-aereo diretto ad Hezbollah.
31 gennaio 2013 - 11:00 am | by Silendo | 18 Comments »
Tags: israele, medio-oriente, siria.
28 gennaio 2013 - 12:24 pm | by Silendo | 4 Comments »
Tags: israele, medio-oriente, siria.
Il Natale è passato e tutti possiamo tornare ad essere cattivi. Qui la breve analisi di Brian Jenkins, grande esperto di terrorismo, sulle prospettive del terrorismo islamista nella regione medio-orientale.
Per un sereno 2013…
26 dicembre 2012 - 10:00 am | by Silendo | 3 Comments »
Tags: al qaeda, sicurezza nazionale, siria, terrorismo.
Il problema delle armi chimiche siriane ed i piani di contingenza statunitensi e NATO ben descritti in un articolo del Washington Post e del Foglio.
17 dicembre 2012 - 11:30 pm | by Silendo | No Comments »
Tags: al qaeda, francia, gran bretagna, russia, sicurezza nazionale, siria, terrorismo, turchia.
Tempi e conseguenze della caduta del regime di Assad negli scenari dell’Oxford Analytica.
3 dicembre 2012 - 8:00 pm | by Silendo | 3 Comments »
Tags: affari strategici, hezbollah, iran, libano, medio-oriente, russia, siria, stati uniti.