The Deep State Holds a Public Brain Storm About Their Plans for Syria – It Is Alarming

The Deep State Holds a Public Brain Storm About Their Plans for Syria – It Is Alarming by A Political Junkie for Russia-Insider

If the Deep State has its way, the US will be in Syria almost indefinitely …

At a recent meeting of the congressionally-mandated Syria Study Group at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the participants outlined Washington’s agenda for Syria, particularly a forward-looking examination of the diplomatic and military components of America’s long-standing efforts in Syria.  The discussion entitled “Syria in the Gray Zone” focused on what is termed “gray zone competition” in Syria, a concept that we will look at in this posting.

Let’s start by taking a quick look at CSIS.  Here, in their own words, is what we need to know about CSIS to put their influence over Washington into perspective:

“Established in Washington, D.C., over 50 years ago, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is a bipartisan, nonprofit policy research organization dedicated to providing strategic insights and policy solutions to help decisionmakers chart a course toward a better world.

Founded in 1962 by David M. Abshire and Admiral Arleigh Burke, CSIS is one of the world’s preeminent international policy institutions focused on defense and security; regional study; and transnational challenges ranging from energy and trade to global development and economic integration. For the past eight years consecutively, CSIS has been named the world’s number one think tank for defense and national security by the University of Pennsylvania’s “Go To Think Tank Index.”

The Center’s over 240 full-time staff and large network of affiliated scholars conduct research and analysis and develop policy initiatives that look to the future and anticipate change.  CSIS is regularly called upon by Congress, the executive branch, the media, and others to explain the day’s events and offer recommendations to improve U.S. strategy.”  (my bold)

With that background, let’s look at key takeaways from the recent CSIS discussion on Syria and the use of gray zone tactics.  According to Melissa Dalton, the director of the Cooperative Defense project at CSIS, gray zone competition is defined as:

“Gray zone competition is the area between conventional warfare and day-to-day statecraft, whereby the United States, along with other significant actors across the globe, are using a range of coercive tools – from information operations, to economic levers, to the use of proxy forces, as well as in the cyber and space domains – to extend their influence and their interest.”

Gray zone tools are generally considered to be nonmilitary in nature and to me, would be considered coercive means used to win a conflict.

Let’s look at the opening remarks by Dana Stroul, the Democratic co-chair of the Syria Study Group and a Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy in which she outlines Russia’s use of the “gray zone” in its activities in Syria.  It is important to keep in mind that Ms. Stroul is a staff member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and spent many years in the Department of Defense:

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