The Syrian rebellion began two years ago. Protests against President Assad and his Baath party began on March 15, 2011, according to wikipedia;
The Syrian civil war, also commonly known as the Syrian uprising, is an ongoing armed conflict in Syria between forces loyal to the Syrian Ba’ath Party government and those seeking to oust it. The conflict began on 15 March 2011, with popular demonstrations that grew nationwide by April 2011. These demonstrations were part of the wider Middle Eastern protest movement known as the Arab Spring. Protesters demanded the resignation of PresidentBashar al-Assad, whose family has held the presidency in Syria since 1971, as well as the end to over four decades of Ba’ath Party rule
Being a rebellion of the people it took a little time to really get rolling but things got hot pretty quick as they are likely to do when a dictator is under duress. Still two years has gone by fast, not that Syria gets a lot of news coverage here in the States but I wouldn’t have guessed two years already.
Syria is most notable because it is the first major ongoing conflict in recent years with Arabs on each side. Most of what happens involving Israel has remained small and Libya and Egypt were over much quicker. Basically the US invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan(even though Afghans are Arabs) have been the largest conflicts in the area for the past decade. People tend to forget the middle-east is not peaceful even when there is no one else around to agitate them.
Countries from the middle-east tend to have weak militaries. They do this because they are worried about traitors and coups. Nobody wants that kind of trouble if it can be helped and one way to help prevent those problems is by keeping anyone from having to much power or influence over the military. This weakened military is not simply a problem because it’s loyalty is tenuous but also because their ability cannot be vouched for.
Put more simply Arabs do not have a notable fighting reputation in the modern world. Saladin would be sad.
America has seen this on display for some time. Both invasions of Iraq went like a knife through butter and Afghanistan was equally just as easy. Poorly trained, poorly led, and poorly motivated soldiers make a weak army. But this is not the whole story, the US suffered plenty of casualties in occupation compared to its invasions.
Does this suggest that Arabs are poor fighters but decent “raiders”. Arab armies can be swept away like sand but the population in general will harass and hinder for time after that with IEDS and ambushes. They won’t fight but they will be a pain in the ass.
That is probably why the Syrian civil war is still ongoing. They are too much of a pain in the ass and yet at the same time too limited and ineffective offensively to be able to win. They can’t win but refuse to give up.
When you see video like this one I saw over at weaselzippers, that theory looks credible. This may take another few years…
Posted on March 18, 2013, in Problems to Ponder and tagged afghanistan, arabs, baath, civil war, corrupt, iraq, military, president assad, rebellion, saladin, syria, us. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.