Thursday, 1 October 2015

Putin plays a winning hand

With all the faux-outrage this morning around the Russian airstrikes, there is one accusation that is conspicuously lacking from French and US comments - that Putin is acting illegally. Putin's 'illegal' intervention in Ukraine, you recall, was routinely quoted in every news report of that conflict. And neither will you hear the US condemned on the BBC for acting 'illegally' in Syria - for US airsrikes against the Assad regime, and US special forces active in theatre, are indeed very illegal under international law. In Syria the position in the Ukraine is reversed; Putin, invited by Assad to intervene, is acting legally whilst the US, with neither Assad's blessing nor a UN Resolution, is acting illegally. As for what the biggish players are actually up to;

US - Covertly supporting the rebels in war against Assad under the pretext of fighting ISIS. Airstrikes and special forces in theatre.

RUSSIA - Overtly supporting Assad in war against the rebels under the pretext of fighting ISIS. Airstrikes and special forces in theatre

FRANCE - Making a bid to be Saudi Arabia's biggest arse-licker and arms merchant, is supplying arms to anti-Assad rebels which are routed to ISIS. Almost certainly involved in corrupt Saudi financing of terrorism in Syria. 

UK - Sticklers for international law since Blair's contraventions, UK aid to the rebels is confined to 'non-lethal' supplies and equipment and selected anti-Assad intelligence routed from GC outpost Cyprus. Possibly has special forces in theatre. 

If yesterday's Russian missiles took out any US special forces by accident, we won't hear about it. At least not now. But the squeaks of protest from the Pentagon will put pressure on the State dept to declare openly to Putin exacly how many US special forces are in Syria and exactly where they are - if they don't want them zapped. 

For Putin, it's win-win; all he needs is for the oil price to creep back up.


DeeDee99 said...

As Farage said - Putin is a smart operator.

Elby the Beserk said...

.. a smart operator ... who has Obama by the short and curlies. What a wretch Obama is.

Anonymous said...

Nicely observed Raedwald.

A little extra on those Yankees:

The scandal around the “30th Divison,” which was prepared by American trainers for war against Assad, and which immediately surrendered to the Islamist An-Nusra Front as soon as it crossed the border from Turkey, is now resounding around the entire planet. There will be many such scandals. They have been predetermined by the methodology of American training of “allies”—in Syria, in Georgia and in the Ukraine.

Let's recall that as a result An-Nusra Front (a branch Al-Qaeda) received weapons, equipment and a few pickup trucks from the USA. The commander of the "30th Division" assured representatives of the Front that he fooled the American military in order to get weapons. The problems which caused this to happen can be split into three uneven categories.

Problems with intelligence and psychology

The image of a CIA operative who decides whom to choose as an ally in the Middle East has been unduly exaggerated by Hollywood. In an absolute majority of cases the operatives latch onto anyone who shows even the most perfunctory signs of being loyal. But if somebody seems useful but does not show enough of the required signs, then they prefer to purchase his loyalty, even though such "partners" have been considered unreliable at all times. These are, roughly, the principles according to which the anti-Assad coalition was knocked together
- Yevgeny Krutikov

(continued at ClubOrlov)


John M said...

I think that under the Russia section of your post you missed out "and collectively laughing thier arses off at the West and enjoying negotiating leverage with ths US that they havn't had since the datys of Leonid Brezhnev

Thud said...

The first Russian serviceman being burned alive or beheaded on youtube may change things for Putin,Afghanistan still remains a painful subject in Russia and mission creep is common to all nations.

Cascadian said...

The military analysis seems accurate, and I am enjoying the treatment of obama, kerry and cameron as they are given a schooling. There is nothing to choose between the trio for cluelessness. Netanyahu visiting Moscow prior to the Syria attacks seems to point to some coordination, while the USA gets one hours notice, I doubt that the UK even got that courtesy. That will bruise a few egos. Meanwhile Russia asserts itself in the Meditteranean, Ukraine and the Baltic. NATO must be peeing its panties.

Perhaps the price of oil is not so consequential except that it tends to govern the price of natural gas. I have not followed the natural gas delivery to Europe issue too closely recently though I suspect that Putin has a plan to inflict maximum pain should Europe get uppity.

I confess I am enjoying this, perhaps Putin is the crusader we have awaited.

Anonymous said...

Ayuh, the Washington loonies and the UK meejah are at it again, up in arms and squealing with lots of rhubarb bashing Putin for bombing the north and Homs locale.
Well, I ain't no military genius but I have to say, that, Putin has declared and we were all listening - he was in Syria primarily to back Bashar al-Assad and fight the Daesh.

Here is, how I read it..........strategically speaking.

First things first, to fight the Daesh.

President Putin - he has to secure Damascus, the corridor to the Med and the Alouite homeland and to thus, degrade the northern tribalists and secure their [al-Assad] northern flank, before he can concentrate on the real genocidal maniacs and barbarians in the East of the country more particularly those barbarians in Raqqa.


Tonight, and from more than one source, I've heard rumours circulating, on speculation to the extent that, the Iranians are going to, or, already are sending [more] troops to bolster al-Assad's forces.
Conclusion; ie air cover, armour and logistical support from Russia then with Syrian troops and Iranian augmentation for the dirty work on the ground.

Sounds like a plan to me.

Dean Ditchbank said...

So we, the EU and the US are pals with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, SO we have to be on their side in their little war against Syria, Iran and now Russia. Funny how everything lines up so quickly on one side on another. Funny how we all became Sunni's, just because some of them want to sell us gas, or rather have a monopoly in selling us gas.
I'm no expert, but I'd say that Qatar is the only real threat to us at this point, and we should stop them from buying any more of our politicians. Meanwhile we should be much cooler towards Americans who want to mix in everywhere in the Mid East, and we should stand well back during the messy implosion of Saudi Arabia.

G. Tingey said...

There IS a way out of this insanity.

Priority one
KILL all of Da'esh
Two - agree a temporary settlement & a guarantee of no prosecution of Assad - unpleasant but necessary - he gets a free pass out ....
Thee UN mandate in Syria, most importantly with NO input from the Saudis & their Sunni-extremist nutters.
Probably too sensible for some people's egos, though

Anonymous said...

Well, I went to the foot of our stairs.

Tingey and me, we are in full agreement.

Budgie said...

The UN has neither the coherence nor the welly.

No reports I have seen paint Assad in a pleasant light, but if anyone thinks removing Assad will improve the situation I've got this dog who howls at the moon to sell you.