Washington estimates that a 30,000 strong force will be able to seal off the border. Interestingly, the same number of troops is needed to create a safe zone in Syria, according to the Pentagon's fall assessment. This is not a coincidence, Cartalucci believes, and if so, it could point to a possible and troubling scenario.
"In all likelihood, the West would like to attempt to make an incursion into Syria under the guise of having been provoked at the border, and then 'needing' to cross over into Syria to pursue the provocateurs," the researcher assumed.
"Diplomatically, offers to establish a border guard or peacekeeping force on the Syrian side to compliment NATO's within Turkish territory may be the best way to ensure NATO's ambitions remain where they are," he observed.
Meanwhile, Syria, Russia and Iran should keep an eye on what Cartalucci referred to as "the West’s designated 'wild cards,'" for instance Turkey, since incidents similar to the downing of a Russian Su-24 bomber could occur in the future.
"For Moscow in particular, the downing of its Su-24 should be fair warning that while cooperation should continue to be sought as a matter of good diplomacy, treachery must be expected as a matter of good strategic planning," the researcher warned.