Vladimir Putin has just ordered the withdrawal of the Russian forces in Syria:
“I consider the objectives that have been set for the Defense Ministry to be generally accomplished. That is why I order to start withdrawal of the main part of our military group from the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic starting from tomorrow,” Putin said on Monday during a meeting with Shoigu and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
“In a short period of time Russia has created a small but very effective military group in Syria. The effective work of our military forces allowed the peace process to begin,” Putin said, adding that “Russian government troops and [Syria’s] patriotic forces have changed the situation in the fight with international terrorism and have seized the initiative.”
The first question which needs to be asked is whether this is correct: have the Russians achieved their objective or not? To answer this question, we need to look at what the initial Russian objectives were. I did that in my article “Week Thirteen of the Russian Intervention in Syria: debunking the lies” where I wrote: (emphasis added)
The key issue here is what criteria to use to measure “success”. And that, in turns, begs the question of what the Russians had hoped to achieve with their intervention in the first place. It turns out that Putin clearly and officially spelled out what the purpose of the Russian intervention was. On October 11th, he declared the following in an interview with Vladimir Soloviev on the TV channel Russia 1:
Our objective is to stabilize the legitimate authority and create conditions for a political compromise
That’s it. He did not say that Russia would single-handedly change the course of the war, much less so win the war. And while some saw the Russian intervention as a total “game changer” which would mark the end of Daesh, I never believed that. Here is what I wrote exactly one day before Putin make the statement above:
Make no mistake here, the Russian force in Syria is a small one, at least for the time being, and it does not even remotely resemble what the rumors had predicted (…) There is no way that the very limited Russian intervention can really change the tide of the war, at least not by itself. Yes, I do insist that the Russian intervention is a very limited one. 12 SU-24M, 12 SU-25SM, 6 SU-34 and 4 SU-30SM are not a big force, not even backed by helicopters and cruise missiles. Yes, the Russian force has been very effective to relieve the pressure on the northwestern front and to allow for a Syrian Army counter-offensive, but that will not, by itself, end the war.
I was harshly criticized at that time for “minimizing” the scope and potential of the Russian operation, but I chose to ignore these criticisms since I knew that time would prove me right.
Today’s declaration finally puts to rest the “most anticipated showdown” and other “game changer” theories. At least I hope so :-)
The Russian intervention is a stunning success, that is indisputable. Vladimir Putin and the Russian military ought to be particularly praised for having set goals fully commensurate with their real capabilities. The Russians went in with a small force and they achieved limited goals: the legitimate authority of the Syrian government has been stabilized and the conditions for a political compromise have been created. That is not an opinion, but the facts on the ground. Not even the worst Putin-haters can dispute that. Today’s declaration shows that the Russians are also sticking to their initial exit strategy and are now confident enough to withdraw their forces. That is nothing short of superb (when is the last time the USA did that?).
Still, this leaves many unanswered questions.
A partition of Syria?
By withdrawing their forces the Russians could be giving the signal to the USA that they are free to have their “little victorious war” against Daesh. But this could also be a trap. If you consider the complete failure of the US military in Afghanistan and Iraq, you could wonder why they would suddenly do so much better in Syria, especially considering that besides Daesh they might also come face to face with Iranians and Hezbollah fighters. Furthermore, unlike the Russian Aerospace forces, the Americans will be committing ground forces and these have a much bigger tendency to get bogged down in long counter-insurgency operations. If I was a US military advisor I would caution my commanders against a ground operation in Syria even if the Russians are gone.
Still, what if the Americans are successful? After all, Daesh has taken a bad beating any maybe they can be at least pushed out of Raqqa? Maybe. But if that happens then the question will become whether the Americans will try to achieve a de facto partition of Syria (de jure they cannot, since a UNSC Resolution specifically called for a unitary state).
Partitioning Syria has been, and still is, the longterm Israeli goal. Considering the immense power of the Neocons today (nevermind a Hillary Presidency!) the chances that the US will be trying to partition Syria are immense.
And what if the Americans either fail or don’t even take the bait and stay out of Syria? Does the Russian withdrawal not risk leaving eastern Syria in Daesh hands? Would that not be just another de facto partition of the country? Maybe. Again, this is a real risk.
Finally, if the Turks and their Saudi allies do invade, that would almost certainly result in a partition of Syria as it is doubtful that the Syrian government could take on Daesh and Turkey and the Saudis at the same time. Iran, of course, might, but this would result in a major escalation threatening the entire region.
I think that the risk of a partition of Syria is, alas, very real. However, that being said, I would like to remind everybody that Russia does not have any moral or legal obligation to single-handedly preserve the territorial integrity of Syria. In purely legal terms, this is an obligation of every single country on earth (because of the UN Charter and the recent UNSC Resolution) and in moral terms, this is first and foremost the obligation of the Syrian people themselves. I think that it would be praiseworthy for Russia to do everything she can to prevent a partition of Syria,and I am confident that Russia will do her utmost, but that does not mean that this is a Russian obligation.
Future Russian options and operations?
I want to draw your attention to the following words by Putin: “I consider the objectives that have been set for the Defense Ministry to be generally accomplished“. For those unfamiliar with the context (evaluation of a military operation) this might sound like a total approval. It is not. In Russian military terminology “generally accomplished” is better than “satisfactory” and roughly equivalent to “good” but not “excellent”. Putin is not saying that the performance of the Russian forces was less than perfect, but what he is saying is that the goals set out initially have not been fully/perfectly reached. In other words, this leaves the door open for a “objectives completion” operation.
The second interesting moment in today’s statement is that Putin added that “to control the observation of ceasefire agreements in the region, Moscow will keep its Khmeimim airbase in Latakia province and a base at the port of Tartus“.
To me the combination of these two statements points to the high probability that the Russians are keeping their options open. First, they will continue to supply the Syrians with hardware, training, intelligence and special operations and, second, they will retain the option of using military power if/when needed. Not only will Russia retain the capability to strike from the Caspian, the Mediterranean or with her long-range bombers, but she is likely to leave enough pre-positioned supplies and personnel in Tartus, Khmeimim and elsewhere in Syria to be ready to intervene at very short notice (say in case of a Turkish attack towards Latakia, for example).
Finally, I am confident that when speaking to the (newly created) “moderate opposition” the Russians will carefully but regularly drop hints about the need to achieve a negotiated agreement with the Syrian government “lest the war resume again with a new intensity” (or something along these lines). Keep in mind that, unlike their US counterparts, the Russian diplomats and intelligence officers truly understand their counterparts, not only because they are fluent in the local languages and understand the culture, but because the single important quality expected from a Russian diplomat or intelligence officer is the ability to understand the real, profound, motives of the person you are speaking to, to put yourself into his/her shoes. I have had enough personal experience with Russian diplomats and intelligence officers to be sure that they are already patiently talking to all the key figures in positions of power inside the so-called “moderate resistance” to maximize the stake each one of them might have in a negotiated solution. Oh sure, there will be beautiful speeches in the plenary meetings and conferences, but they key effort will be made in informal conversations happening in restaurants, back-rooms and various hotels where the Russians will make darn sure they convey to their interlocutors that he/she have a very personal interest in a successful negotiation. There will be a lot of bargaining involving promises and hinted threats and while some will, of course, resist such “gentle pressures”, the cumulative effect of such informal meetings will be crucial. And if that means preparing 500 different approaches and negotiation techniques for 500 different contacts, the Russians will put the manpower, time and effort to make it happen.
It is way too early right now to give a categorical evaluation of the timing and consequences of the Russian withdrawal from Syria. Let us also keep in mind that there is a lot we don’t know. What we do know is that Sergei Lavrov has had an absolutely crazy schedule over the past month or so and that Russian diplomats have been holding intense negotiations with all the regional powers. I am confident that the Russians planned their withdrawal at least as carefully as the planned their intervention and that they have left as many open options as possible. By the way, the big advantage of a unilateral decision is that, unlike one taken as part of an agreement with other parties, it can be unilaterally rescinded too. It took the Russian just days to launch their initial operation even though they had to execute it all in difficult conditions and under the cloak of secrecy. How long would it take them to move back into Syria if needed?
When all is said and done, I simply trust Vladimir Putin. No, no just because I am a Putin fanboy (which, of course, I am!), but because of his record of being right and taking difficult, even risky, decisions which eventually yielded Russia yet another unforeseen success.
Like any good chess player, Putin knows that one of the key factors in any war is time and so far Putin has timed his every move superbly. Yes, there were times in the past when I got really worried about what looked to me as either too much waiting or as dangerous risk-taking, but every single time my fears ended up being unfounded. And yes, I can easily muster up a long list of potentially catastrophic scenarios for Syria, but I think that this would only make sense if Putin had, like Obama, a long and impressive list of failures, disasters, miscalculations and embarrassing defeats on his record. But he does not. In fact, what I see is an amazing list of successes achieved against very difficult odds. And they key to Putin’s success might well be that he is a hardcore realist.
Russia is still weak. Yes, she is stronger than in the past and she is rising up very fast, but she still is weak, especially in comparison to the still immense AngloZionist Empire whose resources simply dwarf Russia’s in most categories. However, this comparative weakness also forces the Kremlin to be very careful. When an empire is rich and powerful being arrogant and over-estimating your own capabilities is not nearly as bad as when a much weaker country does it. Just look at the USA under Obama: they went from one humiliating and costly defeat to another – yet they are still here and still powerful, almost as powerful as they used to be 10 years ago. While in the long run the kind of hubris and gross incompetence we nowadays observe in US decision-makers will result in the inevitable collapse of the Empire, in the medium to short term there is no truly painful price to pay for failure. Just one example: just think of the US military interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq. They are absolute and total failures, abject disasters of incalculable magnitude. They will go down in history as amongst the worst foreign policy failures ever. And yet, walking around in downtown New York or San Fransisco you would never think that you are visiting a country which just lost two major and long wars.
Russia does not have such a “luxury of power”, she has to make every bit count and she has to plan each move with utmost precision. Just like a tightrope walker with no safety harness, Putin knows that a single misstep can have catastrophic consequences.
To withdraw the bulk of the Russian military task force in Syria right now is a gutsy and potentially risky move for sure, but I am confident that it is also the right one. But only time will tell if my confidence is warranted or not.
I think it’s way too soon to withdraw, but it’s possible it might work out, especially if Putin reserves the right to come back just as fast as they did initially to pre-positioned resources.
Still, in my view this sends a bad signal to the war-mongers in Washington. You just KNOW the media will be full of “Putin backs down” and “Russia failed to sustain their operations” bullcrap. Worse, the neocons will seize on this to push for more US intervention, which will be a disaster for Syria.
It’s also going to be demoralizer for the Syrian Arab Army and its Iranian and Hizballah allies who have been used to effective air support for the last six months.
I think Putin should have waited another month or several and made sure that the Syrian Arab Army and its allies could take out ISIS main bases and that real negotiations were being conducted to resolve the crisis.
I suspect that Putin will give a great visual impression of vacating Syria while leaving a suitable contingent behind in one form or another. I also think there might have been an agreement recently with Saudi and Qatar as the latter are running out of money. In other words clear off and stop the support you can ill afford in Syria and Russia will withdraw somewhat too -or else.
Turkey I am not so sure about but I also think messages (different) have been sent both by Russia and the USA.
This may be an opportunity for all, not including Russia, to withdraw without losing face. Russia obviously does not need to save face -just ignore the inevitable bluster from NATO and pals.
Dear The Saker,
Thank you for your analysis. The key here is also how Russia “surprises” the West yet again. Russia is always 3 steps ahead. All the MSM/think tanks etc. use the word surprise/unexpected withdrawl etc. to the sudden notification by Putin of the bulk withdrawl – not all – of Russian troops. It is a political master stroke again by Putin and his team. They want to push the peace process and will be seen as the one’s doing so.
Two articles today – show that the Russians aren’t leaving completely just reducing and keeping all their air defences there.
Meanwhile the MSM and HNC all trying to twist it into something negative and against Assad – which it isn’t……
I really enjoy watching and observing the Russian chess play. Give them enough rope…..
Meanwhile – the UK/US are so desperate they are now trying to illegally photograph Russian military airbases in Russia – and been caught:
Maybe part of this withdrawl back to Russia also sends a subtle message to NATO et al that Russia knows what they are up to and is ready to defend its homeland too…..just a thought based on this news….
“Maybe part of this withdrawl back to Russia also sends a subtle message to NATO et al that Russia knows what they are up to and is ready to defend its homeland too….”
NATO Plans First Strike:
This was posted here I think a week ago. This would match your thoughts.
George Bush Jr announced First Strike policy over a decade ago.
The withdrawal is of the *ground* forces; that is those tasked with defense of the bases.
Those forces never did (nor were tasked with) any ground offensive on the frontlines, so their withdrawal makes no difference at all for SAA.
Actually, their withdrawal means that russian command trusts the SAA enough for the defense of the russian bases that a russian ground presence is not needed. For SAA that is nor demoralizing at all, it’s actually something to be proud of! (like when russian air force started using syrian air force jets to escort the russian bombers: a show of trust and respect for their allies).
It can also be a deliberate “signal” sent to Turkey/Saudi Arabia. While the MSM and the gullible will say that Russia steps back, etc; the military and even government of those two countires above will be puzzled, not knowing what to do. Actually that announced (and announced and publicized is important; remember the Saker words about the importance of communication in modern warfare) withdrawal could turn out to be a bigger deterrent of a ground invasion than the presence of the troops. It may seem paradoxal at first, but doubt instill more fear and inaction that knowledge. You are more willing to fight even a powerfull oponent when you know (or think you know) the oponent motives or positions; but when you don’t know them… you simply cannot plan.
I suspect there is some kind of panic in tha NATO brass; asking themselves what will be the next russian move, and having absolutely no idea of what it would be.
Pavlo, thanks for such an insightful addition to the Saker’s analysis. I won’t even go into specifics because all that you said made such perfect sense. Withdrawing troops that weren’t even needed, showing complete trust in the military competency of your host country’s military prowess, showing utter disdain for US or EU or Saudi or Turkish capacity to effect different outcomes. Great. Again, thanks!
How much better than those untutored armchair kibitzers who make such inane comments such as “Well, I think he should have done it differently.” How could they possibly know, sitting in front of a TV set munching their ice cream and M & Ms. Way to go!
A very good analysis about the withdrawal of Russian forces from Syria :
Do not forget – even the Saker sometimes forgets – to get high enough above the game to see again and remind oneself of the fundamental confrontation of the age that is being defended and fought for by the US against its non-vassals. Syria and the ME are only a tiny part of the big issue. The ‘great game’ in play is that America, Britain, Europe, Japan and to a lesser extent Canada and Australia are all bankrupt. The reality of that is only avoided because each of these individually and in concert exploit their ‘reserve currency’ status to issue unlimited debt to cover their domestic obligations and liabilities. And they can do so just so long as the rest of the world can be forced to buy their worthless currencies at the point of a gun. This is the only difference between the wealth of America and the frustration of Brazil, for example: the ability to extract tribute from lesser nations by forcing them to buy a currency, issued at no expense. All western foreign policy since the reformation (aka the great re-distribution) in England has been built on this principle. Theft. It is the founding principle common to all empires, if you go read your Tacitus ‘Agricola and Germanicus’ (again?).
The rise of the BRICS, with Russia and China at its core, is not just a push back against the injustice of this situation and its unsuitability in the modern world. The BRICS have formed at precisely the inflection point in history where an empire has run up against impossible geographical, ideological and well resourced resistance. The immense tensions we all feel and see in the world today are because both empire and its targets know that if the US and its debt allies can’t achieve or are challenged in their quest for ever-increasing tribute to cover their ever increasing liabilities they are irrevocably bust, the consequence of which is total social, infrastructural, governmental, agricultural re-boot. And both parties know that the USA will do anything and kill anyone to prevent that from happening. All the extraordinary horrors and holocausts that the US has unleashed over the last 70 years have been enforcing their indispensable right and now need to issue debt and to snuff out dissent.
The US in particular has now two objectives: to secure the obedience of existing vassal states and their tribute in perpetuity by TTIP, TTP and TiSA agreements and second, to push on to subjugate Russia, divide and plunder it, and to reduce China to its knees. The most expedient way to do that is to start a big war, as per the last two. The trouble is of course that wars continue by their own logic once started. But they are mighty difficult to start against a non-aggressor.
And this and this alone is why Putin gains my great respect; the USA sharp shooter has repeatedly flung the pistol on the floor at Russian feet and dared them to pick it up. Putin and his team have managed to kick it out the door several times without either averting their eyes, stooping, touching it, or turning their back, all the while telling everyone in the room that they are not picking it up. He and his team have masterfully avoided America’s need for a major war and its all important terms of surrender.
Syria, in and out, is a decision made in the shadow of this perilous situation. It is quite possibly calculated to neuter some massive false flag escalation that they have learned of. Above all, in the eyes of all but sworn imperialists, the Russians have behaved honorably, truthfully, precisely, legally and stand as a major counterpoint to the aims and methods of the Empire of death and debt.
And this is the crux: the BRICS, indeed the whole world needs to see the end of this empire if, for example, Africa and S. America are to be allowed to get up off their knees. But empires do not end in one big war. They die by the spread of a better alternative. The Romans gave virtually nothing back to their tribal vassals, repeatedly smashed them and turned one against the other, mocking their aping of Roman culture as nothing but the robes of enslavement. Christianity swept a whole empire aside by offering to vassals – under the revelatory message of ‘a brotherhood of man’ and ‘the commonality of resources’ – the knowledge and benefits that the empire had kept for itself.
That Russia has left Syria now, having genuinely assisted in bringing peace, in helping to stabilize the US created migrant crisis for Europe and having continued to be unwavering and transparent in its commitments is just such an unstoppable act of counter-empire. Coupled with China’s peaceful and genuine trade-agreement romp across the ME a few months ago, the two are presenting an alternative which is dawning as a huge relief on many over-strained empire vassals and enemies.
This just gives America a chance to back out and save face. Russia has big shoulder’s. American MSM means nothing to informed global village.
Oh boy, have we been taken for a ride…
You sure have, sports fan. Try ESPN.
Oh no, not a sports fan – a former Putin fan, long time ago……
Fan = fanatical spectator. Who is your new “hero” or “team”? Your new passive pastime to vicariously live through without taking any sort of right action? The sports spectator analogy is apt for 90% of the American public.Morons under Hegelian Dialectic mind control. Thanks for providing a live example for pedagogical purposes. Wake up, snorer.
[Sign at the doorknob: “Bitte nicht stören. Wake me up when it is all over. Danke shön.”]
Sorry,zzzzz. I am not Jesus. I cannot wake The Dead. For you it’s already over, it seems. RIP
The checkers players and duck hunters want to see all the ducks in a row. This is a game of chess where Putin has taken the seat of a player that hat lost nearly all of its pieces and the opponent was just toying with him.
Gradually putting pieces back on the board, setting up moves, taking opposition pieces. This is a long game, the very gradual positioning of pieces for the final checkmate. Because it is chess, the ducts will never be in a row. Because it is chess being played by a very good player and a master, the averager punter, analyst (of saker fame :) ) or US Department of Bullshit will not see the chess pieces being positioned for the kill.
In saying that, because Putin took over the game of a player that had virtually nothing left, he may yet still lose.
This may be your most cogent article since I’ve known you and I have read all your archive as you well know (including all your comments).
It is bullseye realist, insightful, and provides a broad context of the situation geopolitically, diplomatically and militarily.
Putin has made a move. It is easily reversible. No one knows from this move what his next one is in any arena—military, diplomacy or geopolitical.
He has 360 degree maneuverability. You describe it.
I think it is the opening move domestically that signals he is running for another term as President.
“I brought you world power status, great honor for our military, we are not bogged down, dear fellow Russians, I want one more six year term. You can trust me.”
And he has planted Russia permanently inside Syria to protect the gas pipelines Russia wants and the ones from Qatar it does not want.
He has blocked NATO with Turkey.
He has allied with the Kurds as needed.
Assad has a liable chance.
Syria may unite against the liver-eaters.
Putin and Shoigu and Lavrov are giants.
exactly…. thank you!
So the terrorists get to keep the east and south of Syria, the Kurds get the north and the Syrian government will try to hold onto the western strip – for now,
Sounds like Kerry’s plan B after all
Except, the question is to what extent has both the Syrian army been strengthened and to what extent has ISIS/Al-Qaida/Al-Nusra/CIA moderate rebels been weakened.
We’ve seen new tanks, artillery and I think some planes go to the Syrian military. And I’d suspect the less noticeable replacements and restocks of small arms and various ammos. We’ve seen the Syrian army’s morale appear to change from a defeated force just hanging on to a victorious force marching forward.
Meanwhile, we’ve seen ISIS et all degraded by a real bombing campaign, and we’ve seen ISIS troops falling back in areas and reports of ISIS et all fighters fleeing across the borders and generally deciding that Hillary Clinton’s Libya is a much safer place to be than Syria.
So, the question is can the Syrian army carry through and finish the job? Or will the cease-fire hold enough to enable a political settlement?
And perhaps Mr. Putin has made it clear to Mr. Obama et al that if there is now a major re-supply and re-grouping of the terrorists…… then Mr. Putin will do his best Arnold Scharzneger voice and “WE’LL BE BACK”
I think it is the opening move domestically that signals he is running for another term as President: “I brought you world power status, great honor for our military, we are not bogged down, dear fellow Russians, I want one more six year term. You can trust me.”
I completely agree. I think that he will run and that he will get reelected. Considering his current popularity, you could say that he is morally obliged to do so.
And he has planted Russia permanently inside Syria to protect the gas pipelines Russia wants and the ones from Qatar it does not want. He has blocked NATO with Turkey
Here I am not so sure. As I said, at the end of the day I trust the man and his advisors, but I expect the worst for both the Turks and the Wahabis.
Hopefully this is just my natural paranoia speaking…
Great analysis, Saker, thanks a lot, I mainly agree and also trust Comrade Putin.
Also, as I have commented on RI, this movement is a good reverse to those in the West MSM, Trotskyist psedudoleft and Western governments claiming Russian Imperial ambitions.
Since you are mentioning Russian diplomats/intelligence officers art / habilities, just yesterday I posted these links in the Moveable Feast Cafe about the Soviet Foreign Service in Saudi Arabia just at the times the Middle East, as we know it today, was in formation. An interesting reading which not only provide a good insight on long tradition and Russian Diplomacy style but also a good historical background to the actual Syrian crisis.
I’ll make a note of it and try to read. I hope it mentions the west’s “Great Game” that Russia has been forced to play for the past couple of centuries; and that Russia today is not the Russia of Soviet times. It appears that Russia has now grown a leader who is capable of creating a counter, Great Game.
The Turks and Wahabists do not act independent of empire. They will not move unless they are assured of their full backing. Presently I do not see that as a possibility. Your thoughts?
One question for The Saker.
In your statement: “…but I expect the worst for both the Turks and the Wahabis.”
Is “for both the Turks and the Wahabis.” the correct wording or did you intend to publish “…FROM both the Turks and the Wahabis.”?
I know it’s just one word, but the meaning of your conclusion rests on it.
I meant “from”, sorry,
come to think of it,
I also expect the worse *for* them
as they are lead by psychopathic leaders.
I think Putin’s decision to withdraw from Syria are:
1. Putin checked the competency of his army in real war and concluded that it meets expectations.
2. He showed other nations his weaponry and effective army, which also increased Russia’s arms sales.
3. Out of money.
The point “3.” is the main one. The game has simply become too big for Putin and his purse.
Note though, that ‘out of money’ elicited a responsible and sane response from Russia.
Unlike some other less fiscally responsible superpower that need not be mentioned, to whom ‘out of money’ somehow means print more, spend it even faster so maybe no-one will notice.
Thanks for the analysis, Saker.
I have no idea if Putin decides to run for the presidency. He has a moral obligation to run and he guarantees stability, true. As president he can fullfill his longterm plans. However, if it serves his country better, he will not run. A new president may be what Russia needs to mend broken relations, send a powerful signal Russia is not backing down or guarantee continued import substitution. Putin will do what is best for the country.
If so, who will take over? Perhaps Shoigu or Rogozin, if a hardliner is needed. Lavrov, if diplomacy is needed. Medvedev, if the president should be someone the West has confidence in. And if the economy is the number one priority? Who then?
Lavrov is my first guess. Putin speaks perfect German. One of his important tasks was to build a relationship with Germany. Then he also learned some English. Lavrov is multilingual and speaks four languages. He is an excellent diplomat and known and respected around the world. A man to do businesss with.
The only thing I know is Putin keeps surprising us. I welcome input on possible successors. There are crownprinces, but they are hard to identify. I am sure Saker can produce a better list and there are others who know Russia better than I do.
“If so, who will take over?”
Sergey Ivanov, the present Chief of Staff of Presidential Administration, is frequently mentioned as Putin’s heir designate.
Many thanks, you may certainly be right about Ivanov. Putins successor is someone who thinks as he does and perhaps Ivanov fits. Perhaps Lavrov, Rogozin and others are so outstanding in their fields they serve best in their present positions. Shoigu is a winner.
I study Russia from the West and I have no inside information. What I think I know is that Putin will carefully chose his successor. That Russia is always number one for him and if it serves the motherland, the Russian world, rodina, he will step down. That the choice depends on the needs of the times. If it is best he stays, he will stay.
Please tell us more about Ivanov. Is he a Christian? Does he give or take orders? An important question. What do you know about him?
Putin is in good shape, but look at his work load. He, former KGB, is as disciplined as a jesuit and can last for years. Is this the case with the younger generation? I am not young and could never do what Putin does. He recently had an important meeting at midnight. He is outstanding, one of very few statesmen I can name, but he is getting older and look at all the trouble he must handle. They are burdens on the heart and the head. What a responsibility. We will see what he decides. Thanks for your input.
Putin is not going anywhere. He still has to straighten out the banking sector and make sure the NSR is more fully implemented before he steps down. He has to deal with the Ukraine the constant attacks by the PNAC gang that will come in the form of hybrid warfare-terrorism, colour revolutions, illegal sanctions, propaganda. The reality, for Russia the best is yet to come. When these problems are surmounted and the vision is on the horizon then Putin will rest. Not before then. Lavrov loves his job and he is the best man for the job of FM. He is of greater service to Russia in that position and that is what counts. Ivanov could stand in at any time but it will be a more mature Rogozin who will be most suitable in 4 years time. Also other talent is being developed and ready to take over as well. That Deputy FM lady for example. She would make a good President as well. Don’t underestimate- put any thing past Russia-they have always been more advanced socially than given credit for.
Four languages! I speak seven if you count Latin, too. Does that make me a good candidate for a president? Alas, I am not Russian.
Yes, my friend. Lavrov speaks Russian, English, French and Singalese.
I am European and I also speak four languages (not unusual in multilingual Europe. Not counting the many dialects, especially the difficult German ones, of course). I also speak some simple Russian so make that four and a half.
You know much more than I do, but president of Russia you will not be. Lavrov is a man of languages, but he is foremost a presidential candidate for his diplomatic achievements. For his long service. It is not enough to know languages. Lavrov may be a possible successor because he is a statesman.
I have never understood why some Americans think it is snobbish to speak French, for example. Americans need to understand multilingual Europa. I can make myself understood everywhere on the continent and it was given to me by the school system.
Maybe you should run for President in your own country. And not think of becoming President of Russia. That would be nice of course. But that’s what dreaming is for.In your dreams you can become whoever you like.
Saker and L445 both make a lot of sense to me.
It feels like Russia is rested and tested and Syria is relieved, resupplied, and retrained and there is still mopping up momentum.
Meanwhile both wait for the enemy’s western sponsors to put up or shut up on liquidating IS ( I expect shut up, and little meaningful action…..) but if they try the same old blatant covert/overt terror support, a multi-dimensional political/diplomatic/ and military counter-punch that can outdo a very impressive Round 1 seems like it is already fully prepared, if needed.
Watch as the usual suspects fall over themselves to tell you this is a ‘genius’ move by Putin.
However, in the game of geo-politics, whether today, ten thousand years ago, or any time in-between, the ONLY factors that matter are power and trust. If you have massive power to the point of being far greater than the next potential ally, you don’t need the trust of anyone. But if your empire enemies exist on the same scale as yourself, you 100% need to appear trustworthy and reliable to all potential allies.
How much trust does Putin build with this move? Absolute zero. Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Israel and the USA are waiting in the wings to move into Syria the moment it is ‘safe’ and that means the moment Russia makes it clear it no longer cares to defend the people of that nation. Putin’s withdrawal now hands Syria to the monsters- and ISIS recruitment will explode of the back of this knowledge.
MANPADs from Saudi Arabia and Israel are flooding into Syria, which means the Syrian air-force is finished. ISIS assassination teams will infiltrate newly lost regions and exterminate all those that co-operated with the region, teaching the local populace how long term their best interests can never be served by working with the enemies of Saudi Arabia.
Putin got to ‘sell’ Russia’s latest military tech to the world, and near future arms fairs will be a source of great success for Russian arms manufacturers. More external sales means more internal investment in Russia’s military R+D, clearly benefiting the nation in this sense. It seems as if this fact is Putin’s only concern- an isolationist policy that sez that a ‘strong’ Russia is all that matters, as the rest of the planet goes to hell under Anglo-Zionist rule.
The Serbs, The Cubans and the people of East Ukraine will all happily explain the ‘cost’ of having a fair-weather, here today gone tomorrow, ‘friend’ like Russia- and nations in similar vulnerable positions will all be moved to the West’s sphere of influence by simple long-term necessity.
And again, let me clearly point out that a ‘conquering’ force never ever withdraws before the peace treaties have been signed, the i’s and t’s dotted and crossed, and the regional powers have come to terms with the ‘new order’. Can anyone here say, with a straight face, that Israel, Turkey, Saudia Arabia and America have accepted the idea that their plans to destroy Syria are finished? No- the press of the West has only recently reluctantly accepted the absolute dominance of Russia in the region, and the fact that Russia forces on the ground mean that Russia will determine the future of Syria. Everyone of these press outlets knows that Russia cutting and running at this stage, before lawful stability has been re-established in Syria, means that Syria is up for grabs, and the West better move and fast before Putin ‘changes’ his mind.
Here comes Obama’s ‘no fly zone’ over the entire area Turkey aspires to control. And as in Libya, this initial ‘no fly zone’ will be used as an excuse by NATO aircraft to bomb the homes of leading figures in the Syrian regime.
You forgot one–IRAN.
What does this latest move say to Iran about the chances of seeing those S-300s by that new hope-a-dope delivery date September this fall?
The Serbs, The Cubans and the people of East Ukraine will all happily explain the ‘cost’ of having a fair-weather, here today gone tomorrow, ‘friend’ like Russia- and nations in similar vulnerable positions will all be moved to the West’s sphere of influence by simple long-term necessity.
it is not clear to me whether the 400’s are to be switched off, removed,
which, either way, would make one hell of a difference to anybody’s
The s 400 and Pansiter anti air craft systems are on the ground in Syria and the SAA has been well trained in their use. Unless people have been sleeping, Russia has used every breech by NATO, every “betrayal” to up their forces and tighten the conditions for any deal. This is the West being baited. Putin needs a justification to go back in heavy and any one who fires a shot gives him the excuse to do so. If they don’t he wins anyway as the peace process will continue. Some very short sighted readers on this blog I must say. And who ever does breech the peace is the bad guy—-further delinated the West as supporters of terrorism….That Russia has both might and right on it’s side only becomes further highlighted no matter what the west does. And this step was not taken unilaterally-Iran, China and Hezbollah all know what is going on. Russia did not make this move unilaterally That is not their style and nothing in this mission indicates otherwise.
Watcher, your analysis is true. Trust or lack of it will decide much of the future of Russia. I hope that someone there read this forum carefully.
Your comment on Cubans show you have a complete lack of knowledge of the real situation.
Cuba doesn’t rely on Russia, nor relied on USSR either, for its defense.
The USSR, back then when it still existed, actually removed the deployed missiles in cuban soil, without consulting nor informing cuban authorities.
Cubans learnt the lesson.
And it was not a lesson of saddness and bittery, but a lesson of reality and maturity: only you yourself can defend your country, nobody else.
If, but ONLY IF, you can defend your country, then, but ONLY THEN, it may happen that other countries will help you.
Libya is an example of what happens when you cannot defend yourself.
Russia, even with Putin as president, would not have helped Libya, simply because Libya failed to defend itself (Libya dismantled their air-defense systems!)
Syria, on the othe hand, is the example of a country that decisively and against all odds fights back. And exactly for such reason, because Syria can be TRUSTED to fight for itseld, can Russia intervene and help.
It makes no sense for a country to intervene and fight in behalf of some other; those are interventions that can only fail (and Afghanistan is an example of that).
Cubans know very well how things work; hey they even knew about the fall of the USSR before hand, and adapted their military doctrine and economic planing in prevision of that (and that is the reason why Cuba could prevail, they were ready for such harsh times). So it is quite ingenious to think that Cubans will consider relationship with Russia based on what western media retransmits of a public presidential speech.
Cuba actually has both a good diplomatic service, and a good intelligence service; cuban authorities know far better that us readers here what are the russian positions and intentions.
Oh, and just as a reminder, even if situations are different, and Cuba is not Russia; but Cuba itself also did a foreign intervention to help a friendly country. After militarly wining a peace talk, cuban army started withdrawal.
Then USSR was weak and the USA thought it could renegate the peace treaty and start an offensive. Well, Cubans came back very quickly, and this second time it ended with the fall of the Apartheid and the liberation of Nelson Mandela.
What I mean is that keeping garrisons is not a show of strength but a show of weakness: if you need garrisons it means you are rounded by enemies.
Current Russia (to the stark difference of Eltsin’s era Russia) acts in a quite transparent and rationale way (well, granted, the transparency of it only reveals afterwards); so for me if Russia decides that ground (not again: ground) troops are not needed any more, it just means that ground troop are not needed any more.
And should the situation suddenly change; Russia has showed its ability to very quickly deploy its forces. It will even be much quicker now, that russian military is in steam mode.
Remember Russia even has (and I think it is the only country with such ability) the means to drop by air full armoured teams right on the front line; that is a theoretically deployment time of mere hours.
Libya held out for months against NATO; they could defend themselves.
Russia seemed divided on whether or not to help Gaddafi, but did provide some diplomatic support. They also may not have been able to intervene militarily at the time. The recent Syrian intervention may look sudden and amazing, but its surely the result of years of careful planning likely prompted by the hard lessons of Libya. Russian planners realized, expeditionary capability was necessary.
Two Libyan errors compounded. First, Gaddafi made peace with the West at the expense of his Russian friendship, making him an unreliable ally to the only real ally he had. Second, Gaddafi held out for a negotiated solution, thinking his newfound personal Western ‘friendships’ meant something, instead of applying his antiquated defenses to full effect, which could have taken out a few NATO ships and aircraft and forced a diplomatic solution.
When the Russians signed onto a Libyan no-fly-zone, then they lost Libya. NATO had no problems backstabbing Russia any more than they minded backstabbing the Libyans they supposedly made peace with. And still, until Mermaid Dawn, Libya held out.
The ongoing survival of Gaddafi’s remaining children, probably explains why Gaddafi essentially gave up after retreating to Sirte. Typical mafia threat; surrender your assets, and your children may live.
By comparison, Assad’s Syria always made sure that whatever concessions were made to the West, the Russian relationship remained paramount, and, when the first crunch came during the Sarin Red Line crisis in 2013, Assad made it perfectly clear he was willing to die in a blaze of glory, with Russian help using his naval defenses to obliterate NATO’s Mediterranean presence.
I agree MANPADS could cause a problem. But Syria is still in a good position.
Russia will want to protect its airbase and will be back if necessary. I do not think they said anything about taking their superior air defense missiles back to Russia.
Russia is still operating to help refit Syrian warplanes, if I am not mistaken Syria made an airplane purchase.
The YPG is now fighting with the Syrian Army, a major major development which makes up for lost air power. Lets not forget the foreign fighters from Lebanon and Iran.
Russia still provides modern tanks to the Syrian Army.
Both Syria and Iraq are on the offensive, though the pace could be quicker they are gaining ground. I do not see this changing anytime soon.
If Syria does win. It will be a Syrian victory. It will be a victory for its allies from Lebanon and Iran too. They will gain greater regional influence, more international prestige and respect. If they can win against Isis and the rebels independently of Russia it will do more for their sovereignty.
Russia is not like the USA who stupidly pays dozens of nations defense budgets with little in return for it. Russia is in no position to be a world policeman. Syria and its neighbors need to be able to stand on their own.
I wish I could be so optimistic over this move of Putin’s. Does he seriously trust the parties involved to suddenly start working together for peace? Does he expect Turkey to simply stay out of Syria because Russia is gone? What about Saudi Arabia? Daesh is on the run – will they now stay on the run?
Something simply does not add up here. I know Putin and Lavrov have been talking to everyone recently, and perhaps agreements were made, but has Putin any reason to trust these agreements, given the West’s actions in the past?
I truly hope for the sake of the Syrian people that Putin is making the right decision here….
Trust cannot be built with mistrust.
In order for a political process to develop, you need to trust.
That trust can prove to be wrong, indeed; but what is certain on the other hand is that if you don’t do that step you cannot achieve the political process.
So, if you don’t do that step, you have 0% of probabilities of achieving the goal; and doing it you have maybe 30%. It’s that simple.
If the opponent breaks the trust; then it will be the opponents fault, and that by itself will change the conditions, and actually reinforce your position for the next round.
Keep in mind that military Russia has not been defeated (nor Syrian army, BTW). But Russian (to the difference of the USA) understands that military means alone are not enough to achieve political goals.
The military means have ensured a change in the situation, making it possible now to advance with some diplomatic and political means (think about it: would the opposition groups that signed stop of hostilities have done it some months ago? keep also in mind that the goal of the syrian authorities is not a simple “kill everybody” militar goal, but also, and primarly, trying to keep syrian people safe).
Personally I’m convinced that the main reason of the withdrawal of ground forces is simply because their task can now be fully done by the syrian army.
And you are completely right, “If the opponent breaks the trust; then it will be the opponents fault, and that by itself will change the conditions, and actually reinforce your position for the next round.”
Russia and Syria win either way. And Putin will have forces back in Syria in a matter of hours…..for all the blather we listened to about Russia not being able to mount an effective force against NATO in the Med…..they will hit the ground running without NATO even knowing they have landed thanks to Russia’s electronic scrambling. “Brings tears to the eyes” US General reports. And a lot more if they try anything even more stupid than they have already.
is the onus now being put on the UN to step up to the mark?????
Under Putin, from 2001 to 2007, the Russian economy grew at a rate of 7% per year. Russian Domestic Product (GDP) increased 6 times, climbing up from the 22nd to the 10th largest in the world. Average wages had almost increased tenfold. The percentage of people living in poverty was cut in half. Once totalling nearly 150% of GDP, nearly all foreign debt was paid off. Moscow also became home to the fastest growing group of millionaires. And everyone still thinks Putin is the “bad” guy.
Also on another note, It is stunning how superior Putin’s leadership is to anyone else in the world at present. Six months ago Syria was continuing to descend into a disaster, the poor victim of Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, with US and British support, providing weapons and mercenaries to completely destabilise the place. Some mercenaries were called ‘moderate’, some not, but the different group joined and fought each other at the same time, and it had this effect.
Since then, the brave Russians have allowed the legitimate government to regroup, consolidate and gain ground against the terrorist groups. Putin then pulled out all stops to halt the violence. There is a long way to go, but he has proven how stupid and criminal western policy has been, and how bad western propaganda has become. You know the U.S and its allies have lost it the moment that moronic warmongering imbecile John Kerry proposed the idea that Syria should be partitioned into states. How desperate can they get? The west destroyed and setback progress in my country Somalia with the 2006 Ethiopian invasion backed with the U.S Air Force and its special forces. They did the same to Libya, Syria and Yemen were in progress (Yemen still is) and Iran was next on the hit list. But thank god Putin put a stop to this.
This video proves how 7 countries were supposed to be taken out. But there is hope and good men still exist today. The west needs to come back to reality and understand that their dreams of a unipolar world will never be realised. The Russian bear and the Chinese dragon have awaken from their slumber.
“Moscow also became home to the fastest growing group of millionaires. And everyone still thinks Putin is the “bad” guy.”
“I simply trust Vladimir Putin. No, no just because I am a Putin fanboy (which, of course, I am!)”
Saker, It seems that you are implying that the USA really wants to destroy ISIS. In reality ISIS are mercenaries paid for by the USA.
I was looking forward to the Russians destroying ISIS at Raqqa.
Putin must know better. Have to trust him.
There is perhaps more to this move than meet the eye.
My first thought was that Putin must be pre-empting something – some move by his adversaries that needs to be thrown out of balance by this unexpected announcement.
One would have expected Putin to wait and see what Erdogan was going to come up with after the latest terrorist attack…
This may also be opening a door for UN action against al Qaeda and ISIS. At the very beginning both China and Russia were willing to take part in UN action against ISIS.
Now that the few “moderates” have been separated from the diehards that fight with al Qaeda and ISIS, possibly Russia will make some moves at the UN for a UN force to destroy both groups, which would include Russia and China and remove the US coalition of the killing from the picture?
Never be reactive. Putin believes in striking first. Turkey is up to its ass in ISIS loose cannons and Kurds, from Syria and Iraq. And the security of the Russian bases is left to Russia. So, it seems that Erdogan can talk but no one takes him seriously. Expect the Ukies who think he will take back Crimea for them.
Pardon me while I laugh.
Putin is giving the rebellious Syrians an opening to work politically for an agreement. He is pressuring Assad to accept reality. Russia will not fight for him. He must make the most of the situation on the ground and the opening for diplomacy.
It only cost the Russians a few soldiers. It cost them 228 civilians in the downed airliner. That’s plenty of blood and Putin has his limits.
There are supposedly plenty of RF Chechens special operators left in Syria to work with the Syrians, Quds force, Hezbollah. That should be good enough.
The Syrians have been saved. It is up to them to save their country. That is political. It they fall back into civil war, there will be nothing but an abyss and wasteland.
This is not a civil war. It is an invasion by outside proxie armies consisiting of genuine fanatics, private western mercenaries combined with regular military with conflicting missions. Regular military is supposed to be fighting ISIS and CIA ISIS proxie are fighting own people. That is the Clusterfuke that the US has gotten itself into thanks to their allies in the ME. and a couple of mulitnational oil companies.
Saker, It seems that you are implying that USA wants to destroy ISIS. In reality, ISIS are mercenaries paid for by USA.
Whilst what you write is true re the US and ISIS, you must always remember that the US/AZ deep state/permanent government have never in their foreign policy history had friends,they only have interests, which fluctuate.
It is this mindset which makes any negotiations or peace treaties with them so difficult, changing that mindset to one of open and honest accountability for the exceptional types and all nations is what is required to build a peaceful multi polar world where international law is sacrosanct,respected and adhered to by one and all.
That’s what i think
A good synopsis. Putins move is probably designed to highlight the difference between Russia and the USA
Saker, I have read several analyses from various people and yours is one of the most coherent. You are also perfectly aligned with the opinion of other excellent analysts, such as Andrew Korybko. If you allow me, I would like to reproduce his comment from Facebook:
Everybody, relax, please.
Russia is not “withdrawing” from Syria in the manner that some might immediately think, it’s still maintaining its facilities in Latakia and Tartous and has helped the Syrian Arab Army liberate the majority of the country’s inhabited areas since the anti-terrorist intervention began.
President Putin is sending a strong message to the rest of the world in advance of the Syrian talks’ resumption that Russia is doubling down on a diplomatic solution to the conflict and is in no way turning its back on Syria.
Any return to large-scale hostilities will see a Russian response, hence why forces will still be maintained in Latakia to ensure compliance with the ceasefire.
If needed, and should the situation dramatically change, all the units that are being removed from the battlespace can assuredly be returned.
This is a grand military-diplomatic move that Russia would not have undertaken without professionally assessing the whole situation and engaging behind the scenes with all relevant global powers, whether directly (like with the US) or indirectly via back channels (possibly with Iran talking to Turkey on Russia’s behalf).
It’s way too premature for anyone to allege a “partitioning” of Syria or some kind of selfish deal between Russia and the US at Syria’s expense. I’m sure that there were all kinds of discussions, there’s no question about it, but that doesn’t mean a “division” into “spheres of influence”.
What we see on Russia’s side is just the most visible and news-making result of these secret negotiations; it’s less obvious what Iran, Hezbollah, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, and the US are doing for their part, but best believe that this was not a unilateral action undertaken from Russian or Syrian weakness and was obviously coordinated with their allies.
Quite the opposite, it was a preplanned and strategic maneuver, one which while surprising, was obviously thought out in advance.
These upcoming talks will be key, and just as it has been before, it will remain first and foremost up to Syrians to decide the future internal administration of their country, be it the retention of its unitary nature (which I personally support) or Identity Federalism (which I don’t support).
The situation will become clearer throughout the week and beyond, but let’s never forget that the ones jumping the gun and alleging anti-Russian and anti-Syrian theories are the ones who had these “wishful” thoughts all along and were just looking for a seemingly convenient moment to express them.
God bless Russia, God bless Syria, and God bless their and their allies’ talented negotiators at these upcoming talks.
I believe in Russia and Syria and have full faith in their tried and tested leaderships…do you?
Thanks @SunLion for quoting Andrew here.
I agree with him too and links nicely with a comment I made above.
Right on. And to add, Russia would not be in Syria if they had any doubts that Syria was willing to die fighting for itself. It is not fighting Syria’s battle for them. This is one reason why they did not go into Western Ukraine after the coup-but helped the East who knew what they wanted and demonstrated by their actions where they stood. You cannot help someone who is unwilling to help themselves.
Turn to history. Russia declares war to help/liberate its “friends/brothers/bratushki” with lots of emotion and fanfare. Russian soldiers/ volunteers die thinking that their death is for the liberty. Local people regard Russia as saviour. Russia exchanges them for some benefits for itself. “Liberated” by Russia local people are betrayed. They never trust Russia anymore. ” We do not want neither your honey, nor your sting” – which 19th century politician said that?
Russia demands from them eternal gratitude and calls them traitors if they do not. The process starts again somewhere else.
In Russian there is no contradiction with the released brothers. Contradictions between the ruling elites of Russia and other countries. This is really sad.
What you said would be in ideal world. I reality, Russians do not respect their slovianic brothers by blood and culture and at the first whistle from the West turn their back to them. They in return mistrust Russians at least. And together those would be invincible in every way. The same applies to every other nation that is not Western. I read Russian forums and see for myself the attitude of non-elite.
US has already agreed to a peace deal with Russia?
Geneva peace talks just to distract Turks and Saudi’s?
Meanwhile the genuine peace talks between Syrians are taking place on the ground in Syria with Russia as the mediator?
It is big party tonight in the western MSM…Putin surrenders,Assad must go etc
Even pro Russian crowd lost moral.
From Mark Sleboda FB page
Thank you Putin for dashing the hopes & moral of every #SAA, #NDF, #YPG, Iranian, Iraqi, and #Hezbollah soldier & most Syrian civvies tonight☹
#Kremlin’s withdrawal from #Syria announcement: ill-conceived, naïve, ill-fated diplomatic goodwill gesture 100% certain to backfire badly.
This will be misread as weakness and embolden #AlQaeda, #AharAlSham, #JaeshAlIslam, #ISIS, #Turkey, #Saudi, and #Qatar. However NATO reacts – the aforementioned now have clear reason to torpedo talks and return to regime change.
To put #Russia withdrawal from #Syria into perspective: it WOULD be as bad as a GW Bush #MIssionAccomplished moment IF he had left Saddam in control of 65% of Iraq
Obviously our allies can take away from this that #Russia-ns will stick w them to the bitter end #Syria Shades #Donbass
You don’t leave until the job is done. The job is not even close to done.
What should be Russia’s real military objectives in #Syria (2-3 years away from now)
Syrian govt stable and in control of all its borders and most of its territory.
No major urban area remaining in hands of jihadists – Palmyra, Aleppo, Raqqa, Idlib City
ISIS and AlQaeda defeated to the point where counter-insurgency ops takes place of field battle
West-backed “moderate” proxies (all 5 of them) fully peeled from and disavowing #AlQaeda allies and signed onto peace process.
US, EU, Turkey, Saudi, and Qatar signed on to real peace process. With agreed on goals and endgame. And having ended support for their proxies.
German FM,French FM etc are all calling for Assad to go.
General Mark Sleboda has a long career of winning wars on the game machine in his den.
President Sleboda planned the return of Crimea and personally trained the Polite Green Men.
More fantasies will follow from Mark Sleboda at a moment’s notice.
Where’s Gleb Bazov and El Murid?
What a group of whiners.
Take a rifle and go fight your glorious wars, Mark.
This is not a civil war. It is an invasion by outside proxie armies consisiting of genuine fanatics, private western mercenaries combined with regular military with conflicting missions. Regular military is supposed to be fighting ISIS and CIA ISIS proxie are fighting own people. That is the Clusterfuke that the US has gotten itself into thanks to their allies in the ME. and a couple of mulitnational oil companies.
Afghanistan and Iraq are not failures if you consider the opium trade and illegal oil grab. I hope Putin has laid a trap for the dark side. If things go downhill in Syria then no one can blame Putin. And I like Sakers idea that the ceasefire was really a trick to do some behind the scenes planning. Maybe the US currency is about to crash and it will BRICS the upper hand Maybe something else was discovered by Putin about to happen that needed fast surprise action. The mainstream media seemed cought off guard by the news when it broke and could only offer a Twitter level report and had no spin ready.
The war in Syria is probably the first one to use underground tunnels to an unbelievable extent (war of RATS). It is mind blowing if you get an idea about how many hundreds of km or miles have been created (there depots, hospitals and ammunition factories underground). It is like a different world, all underground, protected by most of the airstrikes. A new type of war, too. Most of the high-tech digging equipment has been provided by the west. There are many tunnels under the border of Turkey and Syria, so the flow of the retarded, suicidal, stinky apes is unstoppable.
Russia has no other chances but retreat, wait for the right moment and deal a nuclear blow to the root of the problems.
Sooner or later, orthodoxy and Russia will be attacked, it’s a 1000 years war.
Russia should really look at who are their real allies (in terms of culture, religion, way of thinking) and give them a signal. Most arabs are definitely not.
That awkward moment when Putin pulls out of Syria but the Neocons are scared to come in because they don’t know if Putin will come back.
Someone should find a way to emblazon these words in letters a thousand feet tall across the whole sky. If it were my call, you win the entire thread. Thanks.
Ha! Great two liner Hamis…
Some people it seems are not good chess players –
The fact is: the game is changed and the struggle continues…
Putin just foiled all plans of the dabiq ‘end of days’ conspirators. That is my belief.
It has become apparent that Russia is alone in the region, except of course Syria. Iran’s treacherous ‘reformers’ made a deal with the Empire and Russia needed to turn the page very quickly, before the promised quagmire became inescapable.
As shocked as I am I am somehow not surprised. Russia has seized the political initiative. Best laid anglozionist plans are turned upside down. What will the US presidential candidates say? What of Europe and the increasingly boisterous Putin bashers? So many questions arise.
The decision is easy to change, and will probably not be so dramatic or quick. I can’t help wondering what the Syrians must feel. The decision comes as the SAA moves in the direction of Palmyra and Raqqa. Did Syria refuse to listen to Russian advice and cease operations? This is also a possibility. The Syrians had wanted to launch this operation once before and were redirected by Russia.
So many questions but like Saker, I have tremendous confidence in Putin. Though it is completely against my nature, I will fall in line behind his decision.
Hmm. Irans defection to the dark side could be supported by the cancellation of Russian Military Hardware order to Iran I read of recently. Also the lifting of Iranian sanctions by Obama/Kerry seemed odd in 2015. But all that deep state/ white hat/ black hat theory makes it confusing however lol.
while the bazaar class in Iran and the Atlantist in Russia might back stab, the religious establishment will never allow Syria to fall, the people will not forgive their traitors. Iran and Russia have always been regional rivals, now pipeline rivals too.
There were news, 2 days ago, about Iran asking to re-negociate lower prices with Russia for some energy plants and railways constructions. Iran said it’s because sanctions have been lifted and they can get cheaper prices. Also, Iran announced a while back that they will buy Airbus airplanes for about 100 bllions. Most likely, Iran and Russia have only short-term interests and the level of suspicion between the two is quite high. This move by Russia is also an invitation for Iran to go in Syria and prove how much they are willing to commit to the mutual military defense pact. After all, Syria is invaded by many foreign troops, including Turkish ones. Come on Iran, show to the world what you can do. Your ally, Syria, was invaded by Turkish troops in the Hasak province.
Syria will be partitioned, no doubt about it.
What do you imply with the sentence: “Also, Iran announced a while back that they will buy Airbus airplanes for about 100 bllions.”?
That Iran should buy Russian-built planes instead?
As far as I know, Russian-built passenger planes are not allowed to land on airports in “the West”, for “safety reasons”. Even Russia has to buy Airbus and Boeing passenger planes for international flights.
Moving forward to the Rear
The great writer, Arthur Koestler, parodied the Marxist Leninist leadership in the 1930s, as one – advancing from defeat to defeat.
1..The Zionist imperialists dominate the Middle East and Europe
2. They have disrupted and partitioned the Nations of Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen. Most of the remaining undestroyed Middle East Nations are waiting their turn.
3. Forty million Russians in the Ukraine have been separated (behind a ruined economy, barbed wire, minefields, and NATO troops), from their Motherland.
4. The Zionist-USA-NATO Troops are digging in, in the Baltic Principalities, just a stone’s throw from St. Petersburg, Russia’s most important Trading Port (equivalent to America’s New York City).
5. NATO’s Abrams (tanks), are also in Poland.
6. Turkey is now free to turn up the screws on Greece.
7. NATO shot down a Russian bomber. Russia did not shoot down a NATO bomber.
8. The Palestinians are toast.
9. The Russians will be toast. Read the BBC: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=8&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjqgKm4lcHLAhWGGh4KHXo9D2gQqQIIMjAH&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bbc.com%2Fnews%2Fworld-middle-east-35807689&usg=AFQjCNGCla2LFVbvtjqZliSPVULfT1SF1Q&sig2=yhyOjXNL-KtF85I732eaxA
The rescue of Syria would have opened the doors to a Russian revival, possibly in the Ukraine. Now, the Russian leadership are withdrawing their forces, while Syria remains in ruin, with half of its people dispersed over the Middle east and Europe. Iraq will not be able to recover.
10. The incipient revival of opposition to Zionist EU/IMF/NATO in Europe, specially in France, will be dampened.
11. Vladimir Putin will not rate a Mausoleum when he dies.
12. That Football guy is singing “Its all over.”
13. Repeat: “President Hilary Clinton.”
14. The American National Anthem: “Have a Tequila.”
15. The Communists got many things wrong (almost everything wrong), but they made it to Berlin.
These numbered comments are Not in chronological order.
Durruti’s Anarchist did not win, either; but they did not surrender. Now, do you understand Igor Strelkov?
It was in Spain, in 1938, where the Marxist Lemonists withdrew the International brigades from Spain, and called it a ‘Victory.” The Spanish Republic survived that ‘brilliant move’ less than a year. One of the leaders of Spain’s Communist Party, Dolores Ibarruri, said, ” It is better to die on your feet than live on your knees.” She lived the rest of her life on her knees.
The 1920-30s encompassed a series of defeats and retreats by the Working Classes and Peasants, from China, to Latin America, to Ethiopia, to Germany, France, and, finally, Spain. Even with the world in a Great Economic Depression, the people were unable to gain ground. The final event that stabilized the Capitalist system, and the power of their Oligarchs, was the triggering of the Global waste, destruction, and horror, of World War II.
Sixty million dead later, the Russians, Serbs, and Chinese, had suffered catastrophic losses, and have still not been able to recover. In the rest of the planet, brief sparks of resistance have been incapable of keeping the fires lit.
Durruti: for the Anarchist Collective.
For the Democratic Republics!
the West is bewildered by the news …
“Did Putin once again outfox Obama?
The Russian leader’s announcement that he will pull forces out of Syria caught Washington off guard.
Vladimir Putin’s announcement on Monday that Russia will begin pulling out of Syria appeared to take the White House by surprise, and revived concerns that the Russian leader is outmaneuvering Barack Obama.”
Was the “move” made only to bewilder the West?
Already the spinmeisters in Washington are circling the wagons and claiming that Russia’s intervention “complicated” the so-called peace process. Peace Process? Unlike most of the foreign policy wonks in Washington, the Russians know all about Orwell’s “news-speak.” Putin and his advisors bailed the Empire of Chaos’s ass out of a major conflagration. The Neocons buried within the foreign policy “deep state” are furious that their fantasy of “full spectrum dominance” has been thwarted. I wouldn’t be surprised if – before too long – we start seeing articles in the MSM claiming that Putin realized his position was weakening and decided to pull-out before being ‘bogged down’ in a quagmire.
Every fragile empire maintains self-delusion to the last.
No mention of Assad. No Russian commitment to a post conflict state.
I refer to Lavrov here: “A reliable solution to the problems of the modern world can only be achieved through serious and honest cooperation between the leading states and their associations in order to address common challenges.”
This must be what the Russians are trying to achieve.How do they measure it operationally?
1: The ability of Syria to maintains it’s offensive against the “Common Challenge.”?
1.a. Will the aerial bombardment be maintained? (How?) Do the Syrians know how to fly LOB Russian Aircraft?
1.b. Will the Americans (allowing their allies, including the Europeans) maintain their supply of constituent elements of the “Common Challenge.”?
The Russians have options.
There is another emerging “Common Challenge” which directly impacts Europe – the spectre of visa free movement from Ukraine and Turkey into the EU.
Now the Russians are no longer “weaponising migration” by supporting Assad
Now the Russians are “free” to concentrate their attention on Ukraine.
The role of the OSCE in the Ukraine is extremely interesting. I would like to see Russia focussing on the withing the framework identified by Lavrov.
IF RUSSIA HAS ESCALATORY DOMINANCE IN UKRAINE, WHY HAS IT NOT WON YET?
(In response to Alexander Mercouris on Russia Insider)
1) We may have completely misunderstood the Western expectations in Ukraine. It may be that that the US expected Russia to occupy / “liberate” all of Ukraine in March 2014. It was never the plan to support or hold on to the Maidan regime.
The real aim of the Maidan coup was to start a Cold War between Russia and the West. This would allow the US to make perpetual its occupation of Europe.
As I wrote on February 7, 2014: “From the point of view of Western geopolitical strategy it would be very desirable to see Soviet tanks in the streets of Kiev. In the absence of Soviet tanks Russian tanks will do – if not in Kiev, then at the very least in the Crimea. Western strategy is the same as that in Afghanistan, get Russia tied up to its own Vietnam. Russia must be internationally condemned and isolated from the “international community.”
Russian military action in Ukraine would be followed by a remilitarization of Europe under NATO with economic and information war against Russia. These steps have been taken, although they now seem completely disproportional to Russia’s true “aggression” in the Ukraine.
Because the awaited Russian invasion of Ukraine never happened, the Russophobic sanctions policy is now in political trouble.
2) Sanctions were NOT intended to cripple the Russian economy!
Russia believes that security in Europe can be mutually guaranteed by strong economic cooperation between EU and Russia. The US correctly believes that European dependence on Russian trade and energy will make European NATO members reluctant to fight a hot war with Russia on American behalf.
The real aim of the sanctions it thus to break economic ties between Europe and the West and make Europe less secure. In this it may have been successful.
3) If Russia has escalatory dominance, why has it not won in Ukraine?
Barack Obama said: “Ukraine is a core Russian interest but not an American one, so Russia will always be able to maintain escalatory dominance there.
“The fact is that Ukraine, which is a non-Nato country, is going to be vulnerable to military domination by Russia no matter what we do,”
Obama is correct, Russia has escalatory dominance in Ukraine. It could never lose and NATO could never win. Then why did the West expect to win in Ukraine?
It did not! NATO expected Russia to win and take over all of Ukraine.
But why has Russia not won yet?
The answer may be that Russia sees this not as a battle over Ukraine, but as an existential battle between itself and the West. Russia cannot win on one front when it faces an existential threat on others. To prevail in Ukraine Russia must prevail in all of Europe!
and what is exactly they are supposed to do the day after ‘winning?’ . Soviet Union could export ideology (and USA still does, maybe). But they got no ideology, really, Their economic methods are not of original, or superior, or proven nature, and those, as well as governance, do not come in attractive and big worded packaging, compared to Western ones. If they try to run Ukraine tomorrow, many youngsters will either resist or more likely look to the West to escape, It will be basically a weaker re-run of the Soviet Union ending in eventual failure for all the same reasons. (But with things as they are, those youngsters may actually got to see the West for what it is and become quite disillusioned).
While if Russia still has a moral high ground, it would be (some vague) fairness and justice, not reliance on strong arms. While what is happening right now is terrible, yet it would not seem fair or just to occupy somebody when there are doubts on whether they are really asking to get occupied.
Moral grounds aside and pure business, there is no business gain here as well.
It is indeed very unfortunate that there is this horrible stalemate. But there are reasons for it, which are not just leadership errors, and which will not easily go away.
And in the mean time most of Novorossiya is still occupied, Donbass is getting shelled daily and the Kiev nazi junta is still there…..
” think that the risk of a partition of Syria is, alas, very real. However, that being said, I would like to remind everybody that Russia does not have any moral or legal obligation to single-handedly preserve the territorial integrity of Syria. In purely legal terms,”
-Isnt one of the objective to to maintain Syria’s territory so that Saudiarabia and Qatar cant build a pipeline through the Syrian territory to Europe and outcompete Russia on the EU market?
“Earlier on Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Moscow’s anti-terrorist air campaign created the conditions for political process on Syrian reconciliation”
Lavrov’s quote was key; Moscow’s anti terror campaign created the conditions for a political process on Syrian reconciliation
I interpret this as Russian involvement had the aim of creating the conditions to get all parties to the table- Including the US. Russia was never going to stay to the ‘bitter end’ in Syria because it was never in their interest- The secured enough territory to keep Tartus and the airbase in government held lands- The brought the US and co to the table.
As for partitioning of Syria- from where I sit and quoting Putin himself
he said….. Putin: “Russian and American troops will jointly delineate the territories where these groups are active”
That sounds like partition to me
Saker “To withdraw the bulk of the Russian military task force in Syria right now is a gutsy and potentially risky move for sure, but I am confident that it is also the right one”
Obviously it’s the right move for now, or Russia’s leader wouldn’t have undertake this decision
A good degree of Kurdish autonomy is certainly possible. The Kurds seem to be united and organised and have the same enemies as the Syrian government.
Sunnistan? How many secular Sunni compared to sectarian Sunni? And the various groups of sectarian Sunni’s are quite often fighting each other. I cant really see that happening.
Is this the end of the Syrian state?
Well reasoned argument and agree with all your comments but for the following:
“And yet, walking around in downtown New York or San Fransisco you would never think that you are visiting a country which just lost two major and long wars.”
“When an empire is rich and powerful being arrogant and over-estimating your own capabilities is not nearly as bad as when a much weaker country does it. Just look at the USA under Obama: they went from one humiliating and costly defeat to another – yet they are still here and still powerful, almost as powerful as they used to be 10 years ago.”
The only remaining strength of the Empire, other than its military, is its ability to trade common electrons for real, value added stuff like crude oil, electronics, etc., i.e. the reserve currency. And Putin has to a large extent neutralized the threat of US military retaliation for not bowing down to the all mighty petrodollar. The US dollar is on the brink of collapse. The Russians and (mainly) the Chinese have set up alternative systems to the IMF, the WB, and most importantly, SWIFT. Treasuries are being dumped by sovereign wealth funds left and right, and the only reason US Treasury rates haven’t gone through the roof is that they are being bought up surreptitiously by the mysterious Exchange Stabilization Fund of the Dept. of the Treasury, who answers to no one.
Once again Putin is proving a master of timing, but this time his timing revolves around the collapse of the dollar. He knows that the US is in a Wiley Coyote moment, having driven off the cliff, and is about to look a km down to that river gorge. Patience – grasshopper. Without the dollar being accepted in trade, the US will truly become a “pitiful giant.”
@Well reasoned argument and agree with all your comments but for the following:
“And yet, walking around in downtown New York or San Fransisco you would never think that you are visiting a country which just lost two major and long wars.”
WAlking around New York and San Francisco, not to mention the “flyover states,” you see a country that indeed has been devastated by war. Collapsing infrastructure, rampant homelessness, poor health with no access to medical care, a populatoin enslaved by debt, and not the consumer kind, people are preyed up on by “businesses” like check cashing because popele are too poor to have a bank account (becuase of minimal balances), hundreds of thousands of unemployed, people being poisoned by the water they are forced to drink, millions of citizens in prison and disenfranchised—in short, a people and a society with the very low standing on the Gini index.
This is because the USA has invested in war, instead of in it people and in peace, economic development and physical and social infrastructure. And, t his doesn’t even count the astronomical suffering and lack of care of those who actually have been injured, traumatized, made unemployable, etc. from our wars (and don’t foreget the trauma to their families and friends) by WAR.
This is probably the greatest foreign policy achievement by Putin. His prudence in entering, and leaving Syria, and his execution of the destruction of Terrorists, and the stability of the Syrian State is pretty much flawless.
I think your analysis is exactly on point and totally agree with you, both about Russian diplomacy viz-a-viz Syria and more broadly with your last paragraphs about the relative weakness of Russia as compared with the Empire. Paradoxically, the “very well important and well informed people” in the US military-industrial-national security-political-corporate incubus seems incapable of thinking outside the box. Indeed, through the MSM and other mouthpieces, mindlessly promotes the false narrative of an American exceptionalism, of the US as being the indispensable nation. Seems never to have read Thucydides history of the Peloponnesian War! In their hubris they imagine that they will be the hegemon into eternity. Such a fixation is, of course, absolute pie in the sky. Truth to tell, we live in a balance of power world, and at some point, where “allies” are not fixed in concrete. Indeed, we see many of them already distancing themselves from the US out of fear of the all-powerful hegemon. We see this process already well advanced in many parts of the world. The American illusion that there is a military “solution” to every problem, combined with the mindless illusion that American “interests” around the world are infinite, are a prescription for disaster.
That said, this is an excellent piece. It will be interesting if the American MSM is capable of understanding what is going on, or if it will go on endlessly trumpeting the false narrative that this is somehow a great “defeat” for the Russians.
I admire Putin also–as a leader of Russia. Many who idolize him don’t understand this relativism. He has spelled it out: “I am nobody’s wife.” Russia’s goals in Syria can be satisfied with a divided Syria and Assad gone. The Syrians put up a valiant fight but it appears Syria is headed for the butcher’s block and the Israelis will have their way. If it was a simple matter of the Syrians voting Assad out, what would be the problem? Obviously, the Syrians don’t want this. Will the hordes of Bangladeshis, Afghans, Iraqis and other economic refugees with fake Syrian passports get to vote in any upcoming elections? I wouldn’t be surprised.
Putting U.S. forces in Syria, I suspect, is designed to foster a future attack on Lebanon and Hezbollah after a false flag. This because the Israelis were too inept to defeat them with overwhelming superiority and its U.S. “golem” must satisfy their strategic desire. Two sidewinder missiles were just intercepted. Really fortunate discovery as they were being shipped from Lebanon to Portland, OR on a civilian airliner. I imagine they could have been destined to target airlines–despite any cover story that is concocted–and there may be more…
Just so you know I’m not talking through my hat:
Yes, the Kurds wasted no time unilaterally declaring a separate state. Federalism is fine, but it has to be agreed on by ALL Syrians–or at least a substantial majority of them.
Sorry, while I have the highest respects for Putin, this move leaves me scratching my head. And when I think about it, it seems to be rather “consistent behavior” with Putin. Trust me, I truly admire the man, I even think he deserves the title “Putin the Great”. But here’s where I have to give my 2cents.
1. this move seems to designed to force Assad to basically come to an agreement with the “moderate rebels”
2. this makes the “moderate rebels” harder to negotiate with, now that they see that Putin is “abandoning” Assad (they will spin it that way no matter how or what we say)
3. It opens up possibilities of more interventions by the Nato-ists.
4. finally, by “consistent” I mean this looks similar to the event in Ukraine, just when the Ukies are to be completely wiped off and Porky will lose everything, there goes Putin agreeing to negotiating for the Minsk II agreement, another chance of complete victory gone…
Sorry, I think this is regrettable.
Chercher la …. gazpipes.
» … just think of the US military interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq. They are absolute and total failures, abject disasters of incalculable magnitude. «
Were they? We must not forget who Uncle Sam really is and what the nature of his objectives really is.
In Afghanistan, Uncle Sam redressed the opium production the Taliban had destroyed, saving the lucrative drug business and drug weapon that can be used to corrode societies. Let’s not forget either that many of the terrorists ravaging Syria are from Afghanistan and Iraq. So these countries grow terrorists that Uncle Sam uses to destroy Syria. Coincidence or clever planning?
If it weren’t so utterly perverse, you could say the arrangement had a certain economic elegance to it.
The Dirty Games video you just posted explains that the Anglozionist way is to have your enemies destroy one another. They pitted Germany against Russia to conquer Europe themselves. They pitted Iraq against Iran in the 1980ies. They’ve been trying to pit Sunni versus Shia for more than ten years, using “suicide bombers”. Now Turkey versus Russia. Clash of civilizations, Christians vs Muslims.
I cannot convince myself that by and large, Uncle Sam failed in his cynical endeavours.
As for the withdrawal, out of the blue, I was very surprised, but I trust the move is designed to help the overall success.
Unfortunitly i have another idea about this withdrawn of russian forces… I think they percieve that the Rebels now can shotdown planes (MIG-21 yesterday…), with arabian weapons and it wold be a shame and a defiance if another russian jet got down on Syria… I think it was a movement to avoid the need of a counter attack with risks of a big war…
And i want to say i AM PUTIN FANBOY TOO!
Sorry my bad english…
Like the astute comment above ?’CIA duh’ or similar. Like you say too. The Zionist/Hidden Hand was trying to pit Putin against Turkey/SA et al and have a proxy WW3. And Putin is saying he won’t play that game. Like saying no to an abuser and setting boundaries. Now if the dark side attacks, no one can blame Putin like they wanted to. This explanation fits all the facts.
This from Al-Aribya yesterday:
Russia claims Turkish troops are on Syrian soil
Russia has evidence that the Turkish army is on Syrian territory, Russian news agency Interfax reported the Kremlin’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying on Sunday.
The top diplomat also claimed on Sunday Turkey’s actions on Turkish-Syrian border were ‘creeping expansion.’
Slipping the noose?
Putin has implicitly stated that a delineation, drawing lines, partitioning into Federated territories, is a consideration. Therefore that possibility is and remains on the table. Simply stating the obvious.
Otherwise, a spot-on analysis.
Full transcript of the meeting with Mr. Sergei Lavrov and Mr. Sergei Shoigu has been already published:
There is a saying in the army:
I do not presume to be the master,
But become the guest.
I do not dare advance an inch,
But retreat a foot.
This is called moving without moving.
Rolling up sleeves without baring your arms,
Repelling without opposing,
Wielding without a weapon.
There is no disaster greater than
Contempt for the enemy.
Contempt for the enemy —
What a treasure is lost!
When the fighting gets hot,
Those who grieve will conquer.
This is called moving without moving.
Tao Te Ching
What does it mean, how do you interpret that saying? I’m not familiar with military strategies and nuances. Thanks in advance
First attempt at reading it, I would say that the truer warrior of the spirit will prevail. But let the master reply.
Interesting timing, given the rise of Ukrop actions in east Ukraine. There are also Gray Wolves and ISIS fighters working in Ukraine. Given Russia has a UN mandate to go against ISIS and the Gray Wolves murdered a Russian pilot, any hint of either of these acting in east Ukraine may be a sufficient excuse for Russia for to invoke the ISIS national security threat and come down like a ton of bricks on the UkroNazis. Europe seems to be growing weary of Ukraine, all hopes of Ukraine accession into the EU seem to have faded, and Europe businesses are becoming increasingly and openly critical of Merkel, Merkel is facing the elctoral backlash in elections, so what can they do it Russia does act? More sanctions? Pfffft!
agreed-could be VP is preparing for different ukraine scenarios, considering Turkey working closely with Poro to take back Crimea………………..
Genius move, no one can read Putin. No one saw him coming or going
Hi Saker. This is my first comment ever and I would like to first express my thanks to your blog and the crew around you.
Regarding Russia’s and Putins motive to withdraw. I think possibly another factor regarding the timing is the current situation in europe and with the refugee situation which is creating huge problems for many nations and people are getting tired of the consequences of war plus Erdogan’s blackmailing of europe and all their shananingens that are going on with SA,Quatar etc funding IS etc. Also recent elections show that german people are not at all satisified with Merkels performance which will probably be seen also in other countries against their current leaders.
So Putin is putting pressure towards europe and their leaders. It’s going to be very hard for them to demonize him now without losing face and pushing europe also to push for peace in Syria and stabalize the region. Also a way and opening for europe to cooperate with russia and possibly lift the sanctions which would be a huge politival victory for team lavrov/putin.
Do you have any thoughts about this? Or is Europe and EU leaders still to spineless?
Interesting thoughts. So Putin is risking Russia to make it hard to demonize him?
Good point! This is a chess game between the Anglo-Zionists and Russia. As such, lifting the sanctions and getting Europe to separate from the US is still the ultimate goal. And the more the US applies pressure and runs itself into the ground, the closer the objective comes to fruition. Patience is best applied here.
Lifting the sanctions is no more than taking a pawn, but breaking Europe from US would be like taking the queen.
I see the word “game” repeated in many comments. Do you see the suffering people behind the game?
I am VERY happy with this news/development.
Unless I have missed – no one has mentioned what I see as the obvious reason for Russia intervening in the fist place.
That – was to expose the real going on’s Re the Syrian supposed Civil War.
Russia has cemented the result into history – will it be let out for the simple minded to absorb and accept ??????
This may anger some people, but I’ll stick my neck out and go with it anyway. Enemy premises and our own premises about fierce competition for energy, oil, pipelines and so on are real enough in the short term. But if you were an intelligent visitor from elsewhere in this galaxy, the human race might just strike you as a most absurd and senseless collection of beings, operating on mostly ignorant, fearful and fallacious assumptions. Especially in regard to hydrocarbons.
Since I have not spotted any reference to it here yet, in any of my daily strolls through the rows of grape vines or its open cafes, here goes: We may NEVER run out of oil……..Say what?????
Something by F William Engdahl almost escaped my attention for more than 10 days. I had read his book Myths, Lies and Oil Wars about a year ago and was most struck by his bold assertion that almost everyone (in the West, at least) has been misinformed (brainwashed if you will) by the western oligarchy whose specialty is control of energy, into believing that oil “comes from dead dinosaurs” or other living matter.
Apparently a NASA probe currently orbiting a moon of Saturn (Titan) has proven that the Soviet scientists who claim the revolutionary discovery that oil comes from far deeper (200 km) below the earth’s outer crust than any dinosaur or other living matter could ever have descended to, were correct.
An excerpt from his article of March 5, 2016 explains:
“An elite, cross-disciplinary team of Russian and Ukrainian scientists (in those days it was one Soviet Union) were given the mandate by Stalin in the early 1950’s to make the USSR during the Cold War totally independent of Western oil imports for her economy. What the brilliant Russians scientists discovered was that oil, far from being biological in genesis, was abiotic. Moreover, they posited, and later proved that it was being continuously newly generated deep in the Earth’s mantle and pushed to the surface or as close to it as the subsurface geology allowed. The Earth’s dynamic core was one huge radioactive oven that constantly created new hydrocarbons–oil, gas, coal, even diamonds, another rare hydrocarbon.
Now, some six decades later, the Russian scientists have been vindicated by of all people, USA’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
NASA Confirms Oil in other planets
Near-infrared pictures of the Saturn moon, Titan, from the NASA Cassini spacecraft currently orbiting Saturn, confirm that vast methane lakes exist on the surface. The largest such methane concentration is about 925 square miles (2,400 square kilometers) large and at least three feet (1 meter) deep. Cassini, a joint endeavor of NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Italian space agency, Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI), is a sophisticated robotic spacecraft orbiting the ringed planet and studying the Saturnian system in detail.
Ralph Lorenz, Cassini radar team member from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, reported in theGeophysical Research Letters that Saturn’s orange moon Titan has hundreds of times more liquid hydrocarbons than all the known oil and natural gas reserves on Earth, according to Cassini data. The hydrocarbons rain from the sky, collecting in vast deposits that form lakes and dunes.
There has been further confirmation that methane gas, the most simple of the family of hydrocarbons that includes petroleum, tar, coal and even diamonds, is abundant in our universe in places dinosaurs feared to tread. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany have discovered that the Horse Head Nebula galaxy in the Orion constellation contains a vast field of hydrocarbons.
Oil no fossil fuel
In short, oil is no “fossil fuel” as Western geologists have claimed, but never scientifically proved, for more than a hundred years.”
Full article link is here: http://journal-neo.org/2016/03/05/needless-wars-over-oil/
Disgust and shame must arise in the West at the senseless fear and hatred driving the insanity of the Empire. May a rising tide of such sentiment weaken the Empire and aid Mr Putin, President Assad, and the Syrian people, in this pause, however brief or lengthy it may turn out to be.
Ironically, it’s often referred to as the “Russian-Ukrainian Theory of Oil Formation”. You’d think they’d have learned by now. When Churchill set out to overthrow Mossadeq, he believed the Soviet Union was energy-deficient. Keeping Iran’s oil in British hands would cripple Soviet economic development. Well, that played out well, didn’t it?
I am very grateful for this article on the Russian pull-out. Its critics seem to be a mirror-image of the neocons. How can Russia force a peaceful settlement? The Anglo-Zionists have no good options left to them. Jeff Huber once said the problem with neocon war-making is that the losers get to decide who has won – so long as they keep up the violence, they can kid themselves that they’re still in the game, which is a moral defeat as well as a physical defeat. Ever since the assault on Libya, the US Chiefs of Staff have been fighting a rearguard action against the neocons. By clearing a space for diplomacy, and joint action, the Russians have given them a space to restore international law.
Please; can the junk.
Whether oil is of biotic or abiotic origins does not change the fact that the supply RATE is all that matters, not whether the presence of oil in a field/nation is completely exhausted.
ALL oil wells peak, so do fields, and so do countries. There’s a list of nations past-peak on wiki- the US hit peak in ’70, the USSR in ’89…54 of the top 65 oil-producing nations are past-peak.
It is irrelevant if we never run out if we’re unable to supply it at the rate economies need for growth. In fact, this is why we find ourselves in this economic malaise- global C&C production peaked in 07/08
Spoken like a true slave, Trav!
It “makes no difference” that a lie of scarcity has been promoted for a hundred years, that trillions of dollars of wealth was siphoned in the US from its citizens into the pockets of Standard Oil and the others by the insane dismantling of public transport (light rail, standard rail) and over use of the automobile to jack up the consumption of the product of the Rockefellers, and other oligarchs who are now going for NWO global slavery control, for nearly a century? Really??
More fundamentally, truth itself has no “relevance” for you? With that attitude you are either deceived or a deceiver.
“…this is why we find ourselves in this economic malaise…..” ??? Utterly absurd!
How about plans of NWO oligarchs to divide and conquer humanity through insane wars based on a multitude of deceptions, including the one under discussion here, which you immorally dismiss as “irrelevant”?
How about under production in Iran due to sanctions and under-investment, engineered by the same western oligarchs?? How about the Bush wars on Iraq?
How about huge unexploited fields in the Donbass, where Nuland and Co have messed up that potential for who knows how long? Where western “petro-science” says oil could not possibly be found??? Because they (anglo-American NWO crowd) don’t want it to be found, or replaced by a higher, cleaner technology either.
What a dismal standard of epistemology you have exhibited with your comment!
Call me naive, but what happens if a new government comes to power, in what’s left of Syria, and asks Russia to vacate its bases ? I don’t think Russia will have the option of annexing territory then, as it did with Crimea. Sadly, I think this is another case of Putin trying to work with his Western
” partners ” .
Actually, there’s no point in using a term like ‘western’ to describe his partners—they’re all one-worlders.
didn’t Putin visit Cypyus recently to set up use of their ports for Rus navy humanitarian situations etc? this could be developed into formal Treaties with them perhaps as fall back…….
precisely, then why go in there in the first place ?
As I understand, by the transcript of the meeting between Mr. Putin, Mr. Lavrov and Mr. Shoigu, what was signed today in Geneva is that the peace process remains now in the hands and under supevision of UN, so that any violation of this peace process ( read Turkish or Saudi intevention ) would lead to a counter-intervention endorsed by the UN Security Council and these countries would be banned for the remains, at least for the remains of their current leadership. I do not rule out that a wild intervention of this type will lead to a regime change in both, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. So the situation is win-win. If the peace process remains and go ahead, good, if Turkey and or Saudi Arabia make a crazy move, good also because we got rid of several satraps with one shot.
elsi-good analysis…Any stupid move by Erdogan/Saud will be deal swiftly diplomatic/military might…
elsi -Good analysis …Any stupid move by Erdogan/Sauds will be dealt swiftly by diplomats or military.Dummies did not expect Russians coming to Syria they did not expect this pull out either…Sun Tzu.. Good move VVP.
This nice also complicates things between Europe and the US. I think it’s early and Putin is being overly cautious. But the man is a genius strategist. He’s probably right and the rest of us wrong.
@Russia is still weak… especially in comparison to the still immense AngloZionist Empire whose resources simply dwarf Russia’s in most categories. However, this comparative weakness also forces the Kremlin to be very careful.
Rightly so. We should not lose sight for a moment that the (declared) goal of AZE is the submission of Russia. It was built for that in the first place, to control all the world resources. The Z cannot sleep if they are not in total control. There should be no place where their ‘enemies’ can hide and plot against. Russia is the country of Gog and Magog, the sleepless enemies of ‘Israel’.
Do not forget that the ‘discovery’ of America was in fact, a little temporary hindrance on the way to conquer China. The search for the “northern passage” was carried out from both ends by the Anglos. In America, it resulted in the capture of the immense resources of the American Continent and in the creation of a solid territorial base for the otherwise resourceless islanders and of a state geared for the conquest of the ‘World Island’.
But what it is generally neglected are the attempts made by the Anglos to open the way to China from the West, through Russia. It was what the Muscovy Company tried to do from its creation in 1555, besides its attempts to take advantage of the difficulties of Russian foreign policy to obtain a monopoly on the whole Russian trade. It tried to open the ‘Northern Sea Route’ to China, but failed, the Russian were already there. The relations of the Company with the Russian State have been troubled. In 1571, the company’s granted right to free trade and navigation down the Volga was revoked by Ivan IV, who had been offended by English demands to close Russian trade to other European nations. The unease between the Muscovy Company and Russia continued to the end of the sixteenth century, under the anti-English dominated courts of Fyodor Ivanovich and Boris Godunov. In 1646, Tsar Alexei I rescinded the exemption of the Muscovy Company from Russian customs, in response to the company’s alleged support of the Parliamentarians in the English Civil War. Still, the company held a monopoly on English-Russian trade until 1698, when it lost its privileges due to “political opposition” (as Wiki shyly puts). It certainly had a hand in the Streltsy Uprising of 1698. Favored by Peter, the Dutch merchants were replacing the English as the dominant traders in Russia.
OTOH, I would tend to think that the confused reactions of the MSM at the Russian withdrawal, express their frustrations that they have been again caught on the wrong foot in all their predictions. No prospective Afghanistan redux, no body bags which would dent “Russia’s Putin” popularity, e.a.
The only thing they been able to come up, so far at least, is this hilarious statement of the ’eminent’ military analyst Alexander Golts:
“Nobody wanted to deal with Russia after Ukraine, and the goal of the Syria campaign was to force the west to deal with Russia again,” said independent military analyst Alexander Golts. This is it!
Excellent analysis and all the more so given the timing.
I was shocked when I heard this and then consulted your side. Sure enough.
Part of the Syria scenario is credibility for Russia and Putin, in particular. I can’t imagine the Russians pulling out so clearly without some sort of deal that preserves the integrity iof Syria and assures that the bloodletting is ended.
It is also one more face saver for Obama. The shift on Obama’s part in the past ten days or so is remarkable. He, quite appropriately, took down Cameron and then admitted, as much, that the attack Syria scenario in 2013 was based on a lie. That’s the implication in spades.
Wishful thinking here. Russia is not “rising up very fast”. It’s collapsing and this is exactly why she had to use military force. A strong power does not need to use military force to achieve a strategic goal. It’s when it is endangered that a given power uses force to compensate.
Second, it is clearly an assessment of profound weakness. Putin has achieved nothing but limited tactical gains. His aim was limited to have a seat at the negociation table, as a part of his long term plan : make Russia a world power that US or China for that matter can not ignore. Once again, this underlines the profound weaknesses of Russia’s real situation.
Everybody could read, recently, that Moscow had to cut military budget as the oil and gas revenues are collapsing. Putin grand plan for a massive and modern army is gravely endangered by a russian economic model based upon energy exports.
Despite russia’s best efforts, the “chinese alternative” in face of european sanctions are nothing but a pie in the sky. China is in a depression until, at least, 2020 and won’t be able to absorb what Europe is no buying. Anyway, Europe itself is in recession. Plus, the so-called “sino-russian friendship” is nothing but a temporary understanding. China is eager to redraw siberian borders and, on the long term, will offer Moscow a simple alternative : become a puppet state or face the consequences of any attempt to confront Beijing.
China is rapidly economically coloniazing former USSR republics in Central Asia and will not stop anytime soon. Which nullifies Putin attempts to mitigate Soviet Union fall with his “Eurasian Union”. If such an union takes shape in the future, it will be at China’s initiative.
Time is running out for Putin and he knows all too well that USA and China agree on the fact that Russia is irrelevant as a world power even if she can intervene at the regional level and obtain some limited tactical gains. It does not matter : America has plenty of time and allies. Russia does not.
The decision made by Putin is missing several points : nobody in the Middle East will bow to his designs, even if negociated along with the White House. Iranians and Saudis or Turks will no start to love each other because it accomodates Putin or Obama. If Iran can have russian help to secure Syria, Tehran will be more than happy to have it. If not, it’s fine : the war will continue. Same for Turks, Erdogan has to deal with the White House. But in the end, Ankara will pursue her regional aims. The highly emotional middle east does not work on a purely cold blooded calculus such as Putin is accustomed to.
Putin is withdrawing of the battlefield as he thinks US now admitted him at the negociation table. But basically, he’s sitting there with his gun left home. Turks, Saudis, israelis, who are anything but people of good will, will correctly understand it as a major mistake.
For them, the situation is as follow : back to august 2015. The only difference being a weaker “opposition”. Not a problem for Saudis who do not care about how much money they have to throw in this war, how many civilians have to die, how many years it will take to crush the persian plan.
The Turks are no different and the kurd situation, ever more violent, is a factor that will draw them in the conflict.
The wolves smell the blood and will strike back. Lebanon is the perfect battlefield to overtake Russia and hit Damascus. At the same time, new offensives will strike Syria. Russia, who will have retreated, will have to chose between resuming her operations or admits defeat. And fight in the Caucasus, let alone Ukraine.
Putin thinks he can negociate Russia’s future. Sorry but China and US have only one plan for Moscow : a colony status. There is no alternative but fighting for survival.
Russia was “buried” many times over in the last 1000 years. It came out of the pit every time with a vengeance.
have you read a lot of Tom Clancy novels ?
HLD: thanks for your interesting analysis. However, if Russia’s position vis-a-vis the West is as you claim – that is, ‘weak’ – I don’t think Putin would have decided to withdraw from Syria at this stage. He would not have withdrawn empty-handed; he has presumably withdrawn because certain political objectives have been met via negotiations. It remains to be seen whether the U.S. will honour its side of a political ‘deal’ with Russia. Last time such a deal was struck, between Gorbachev and Bush the Elder (in 1989), Bush broke his agreement and NATO moved into Eastern Europe. But, unlike Gorbachev, Putin is not naïve and it seems likely that Putin is withdrawing on the basis of some sort of unpublished ‘memorandum of understanding’ with the West. I bet it has to do with (1) the relaxing of the sanctions, and (2) the political future of Ukraine – in which case we won’t see any significant change in the situation in Ukraine in the immediate future lest the ‘deal’ be perceived as a Western backdown.
The problem for Putin is the American neocons. Obama will honour the agreement (if any) that he has with Putin over Ukraine, but once Obama is gone and the White House is occupied by Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, it is anyone’s guess what the U.S. will do. It may be that Clinton has been co-opted into Obama’s deal with Putin, and that Putin is gambling on a Clinton win. His partial withdrawal from Syria may make it easier for Clinton to win. Time will tell.
You mention Saudi Arabia. I presume the U.S. controls Saudi foreign policy. If Clinton wins the Presidential election, and if she is party to the Obama-Putin agreement, then Clinton seems likely to lean heavily on the Saudis to respect the agreement.
I see Ukraine as crucial for Russia’s military security; it is on Russia’s southern flank and important for Russia’s access to Crimea and its Black Sea fleet. The partial withdrawal from Syria is about Ukraine rather than Syria. What happens if Trump wins, is anyone’s guess. Like Putin he plays his cards close to his chest. Hopefully someone will remind Trump that the U.S. cannot draw on a conscript army, as they did during the Vietnam War – America cannot commit 500,000 soldiers to a theatre of war in Ukraine; Korea is likely to remain a flashpoint for some time. America facing down a Russian army in Ukraine would be, as they say, a ‘challenge’. Even for Trump. – Gunnar
Ukraine would inevitably collapse as it was predicted from the beginning of the crisis. It would drag Europe after it if Europe persists in its stupidity. And Russia does not have to do anything, but wait for it to happen.
Not a few people who studied history remembered that it was the stupid overextension of Germany in Ukraine in 1918 which weakened the forces of the Central Powers destined to bring the decision on the Western Front. Germany had to keep more troops in Ukraine than it was initially calculated to deal with a restless population and, in the end, it lost all.
The repetition of the mistake brought about an even greater disaster.
“A strong power does not need to use military force to achieve a strategic goal. It’s when it is endangered that a given power uses force to compensate.”
Thanks for confirming, HLD, what I have thought all along, i. e. that the Empire had always been and continues to be, to this day, ever so weak!
China turning Russia into a puppet state… right.
That would make China’s far smaller and weaker neighbors, Vietnam and North Korea, the Phillipines the lapdogs from hell, only seeming to be sovereign states feeling quite free to pursue their national interests in spite of China, but its all part of the plan. Oh, and India, that big nuclear armed blue water carrier-capable navy pretend-power is such an obedient client pushover, any disputes with China are clearly just theatre.
The massive, motivated, culturally sophisticated and technologically superior Bear must be all a-quiver at China’s cunning imperialist caprice and flawless diplomatic subtlety.
I don’t think anybody but Putin and a few close comrades know all the details of what is going on. But I do know this, if you ever find yourself in a dance with a Russian Bear, it’s the Bear that decides when the dance is over.
I agree, the Russian military remaining any longer is counter productive, They will have contingency
in place should TR or KSA get more stoopid if that’s possible… they got a lot of air to ground exp. As far as i know only one combat death/murder? And TR will forever pay the price.
Who recalls the Russian intervention was made only after the failed efforts of Iran to reorganize the SAA into — get this — a Shia militia?
This story from the Guardian, December 17, 2014:
Iran transformed Syria’s army into a militia that will help Assad survive another year
I can’t speak as a military ‘expert’ but it seems obvious if you are badly outnumbered by foreign sponsered proxy terrorist forces, who are in possession of virtually unlimited monetary resources and direct support from the Empire, the absolute worst thing you can do is de-profesionalize your military, agreeing to fight your enemy in a war of attrition.
Now recall Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimeini’s infamous trip to Moscow, obstensibly to plan for victory but in effect to plead for Russian intervention, reported by Reuters October 6, 2015:
How Iranian general plotted out Syrian assault in Moscow
The Russian intervention ‘solved’ the problems created by Iran. Either because of incompetence (Soleimeini), treachery (Rouhani), or both, a possibility I’ll elaborate on further in a moment, Russia was forced to quickly decide if it was willing to offer desperately needed support. It may be remembered that after signing a deal to use facilities in Cyprus at the begining of 2015, it was reported Vladimir Putin said Russia did not need another port in the Mediterannean, displaying an open willingness to ditch the Russian naval base at Tartus, and along with it Syria.
At the same time Russian leadership must have understood it needed to stand up to Anglozionist aggression. They needed to knock the Empire off balance and the plea from Iran offered Putin an opportunity.
Presumably Iran promised to deliver large numbers of Shia voluteers to strengthen the position of Syria, a promise they failed utterly to deliver upon, while effectively allowing the war in Syria to be turned into a Clash of Civilizations between Sunni and Shia, East vs. West, in perfect alignment with US strategy since Samuel Huntington’s thesis became the basis of US foreign policy.
With regards to Iranian involvement, I smell a rat.
Now read the last paragraph of Thierry Meyssan’s latest article, dated March 7, 2016 and titled The nuclear Near East! including the following shocking statement concerning Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, noted in boldface type:
Finally, everything leads us to believe that the Saudis acted within the framework of US policy, but that they overstepped themselves by violating the NPT. By doing so, they have laid the foundation for a nuclearised Near East in which Iran could no longer play the role that Sheikh Rohani had hoped to recover, that of «regional police force» for the benefit of his Anglo-Saxon friends.
I believe Iranian political leadership, the ‘reformers’, duped Qassem Soleimeini into believing he would get strong backing for his project in Syria, conspiring with the US to sabotage and undermine his efforts to strengthen Syria. There is no other reasonable explanation for the dismal failure of Iran to deliver sufficient numbers of Shia volunteers to Syria. Even today most of the foreign militias fighting in support of Syria consist of Iraqis, Afgan Hazaras and Pakistanis. Iran has 70 million+ citizens and for their numbers to be so few in Syria is only possible if efforts to recruit Iranian born fighters were never made.
According to Guardian reporter David Axe in Iran transformed Syria’s army into a militia that will help Assad survive another year, first link provided, Iran’s initial response was to “send Hezbollah” in support of the faltering Syrian government, drawing Israel’s most dangerous enemy away from the Israel-Lebanon border. Here’s more quote from that story:
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, with Tehran’s help, has transformed its professional army into a militia-style amateur force that’s cheap and easy to train. Its ranks are filled by eager young men, who are numerous in pro-Assad Syria.
However, the same militia force that allows the regime to keep fighting also lacks the mass, mobility and firepower to mount a decisive offensive against the rebels. One that would stand a chance of recapturing northern and eastern Syria from secular rebels and Islamic State militants and end the war on Damascus’ terms.
Combined with the rebels and militants’ own similar limitations, it’s a recipe for a stalemate. And another year of grinding warfare.
Concerning Iran’s US allied ‘reformers,’ as early as September 2013, Iranian oligarch, war profiteer and terrorist (Fada’iyan-e Islam — devotees of Islam), Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, publically called for a “reappraisal” of Iranian support for Syria exactly one month after fellow ‘reformer’ Hassan Rouhani was elected President of Iran in an election many believed was rigged (Rouhani won a surprisingly and mathematically unlikely plurality on the first ballot while receiving covert assistance, including a viral ‘Happy Dance’ psyop enticing youthful Iranian voters to the side of pro US ‘reformers’).
Iran: Rafsanjani signals wavering in long-standing support for Syria
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, 79, has been written off more than most. But the former president and head of the expediency council remains an astute operator, and my guess is that he has chosen his ground carefully in calling for a reappraisal of Iran’s unblinking support for the regime of Bashar al-Assad.
In saying Assad’s forces were responsible for using chemicals weapons in Damascus in an attack on 21 August, Rafsanjani has surely judged this a good issue for the first serious clash between pragmatists and more “hardline” forces since Hassan Rouhani, a Rafsanjani ally, took over as president a month ago.
Need more evidence of who and what the Iranian ‘reformers’ represent? Here goes:
Did you know Hashem Rafsanjani is a major owner of Highway 407 and Centre Point Mall in Toronto, purchased sometime between 2000 and 2004, according to the email/letter to Stephen Harper linked below?
RE: Mullah Rafsanjani and his family’s foreign investment in Canada
October 16th, 2006
Un-huh. Highway 407, a massive and very expensive toll road (costing roughly $19 billion and ‘leased’ (read given away for peanuts) to foreign investors for a paltry $3.2 billion, if memory serves, was stolen from Ontario taxpayers by the Conservative government of Mike Harris. Highway 407 eventually wound up in the hands, at least partially, of none other than Iranian oligarch Hashem Rafsanjani and his family despite years of strong anti-Iranian statements made by both Liberal and Conservative Canadian Federal governments.
Got that friends in Ontario? Your 407 tolls, apparently, go directly to Hashen Rafsanjani. Read the letter to Harper for a better understanding of exactly who and what Rafsanjani represents. Although information is sparse it appears that our despicable, vile and unalterably corrupted ‘leaders’ sell off our most valuable assets to bankers or deep state middle men who then jack up the price and sell those same assets to people like Hashem Rafsanjani.
Please excuse the slight deviation but this information so infuriated me I had to include it. It is damning for several reasons including how this relationship strongly indicates Rafsanjani and his ‘reformers’ are favourites of both Anglos and Zionists.
How do you spell treachery? Look at the timeline of events below and consider what could possibly motivate Vladimir Putin to make such a dramatic announcement:
August 2013 — Virtually unknown ‘reformer’ Hassan Rouhani wins surprise first ballot victory in Iranian election. Zionist media openly celebrates his victory.
September 2013 — ‘Reformer’ oligarch and war profiteer Hashem Rafsanjani signals willingness of new Iranian government to abandon Syria. Zionist media is downright giddy.
>>> Negotiations between the White House ‘reformers’ get underway.
November 2013 — Geneva interim agreement, officially titled the Joint Plan of Action pact is signed between Iran and the P5+1 countries, marking official begining of negotiations leading to the eventual signing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in July 2015. Zionist media puts up a fuss but mostly defers to White House strategy.
May 2014 — Responding to prodding from Iran and a rapidly deteriorating military situation for the SAA, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah promises “all-out effort” in support of Bashar al-Assad government in Syria. Zionist media seems pleased.
December 2014 — Guardian announces completion of Iran-led military reforms de-professionalizing the SAA and turning it into a Shia militia, now completely incapabable of ousting foreign sponsered terrorist forces from Syria and locked into a war of attrition. Zionist media conitnues to go lightly with regards to the Islamic Republic.
July 2015 — amid worsening conditions and predictions of the imminent collapse of their Syrian ally, Iran signs the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with the P5 + 1. Again, ZIonist media seems mostly pleased while continuing to spare no effort demonizing Russia and Putin.
September 2015 — after months of quiet preparation, Russia launches an air campaign in Syria, immediately and dramatically altering the fortunes of the SAA and Syrian government. Efforts to re-professionalize the SAA, exactly opposite the of the plainly stupid, incompetent and possibly treacherous strategy pursued by Iran’s military advisors, quickly bares fruit as a renewed Syrian fighting force quickly regains the initiative. Zionist media seems mostly surprised.
>>> As the Russian intervention moves forward it quickly become apparent it is a striking success!
After the Russian intervention begins:
Anglozionists seem perturbed but do everything they can to slow Russian momentum while simultaneously escalating their own efforts, moblizing their militaries, threatening Russia all along its border and working tirelessly to reorganize and rebrand their proxy terrorist forces, sacrificing defeated captogen soaked jihadis but successfully preserving an effective core.
All while terrorists false flags and a staged refugee crisis rage across Europe. Repression accelerates everywhere while German voters, no matter the headlines, just signalled their approval of Merkel’s leadership re-electing the CDU in Saxony Anhalt and remaining in power with Greens in Baden Württemberg.
Events are almost too many to recount. It seems as though everything might spin out of control at any moment. The US election media circus looks set to go haywire as pro and anti Trump supporters look ready for violent clashes. We know, Turkish and NATO soldiers are in Syria in significant numbers and the scale of Iranian ‘reformer’ treachery is now fully apparent.
I believe Russia may have partly lost control of Syria as well. The courageous Syrian Army Army feels strong and is pushing towards Palmyra and Raqqa. Did they do so in contravention of Russian ‘advice’?
So all the marbles go on negotiations for a peaceful resolution. Vladimir Putin has turned the best laid plans of Russia’s eternal enemies upside down, surprising everyone and giving us another opportnity to avoid a disaster that could quickly go nuclear.
Putin just slipped the noose.
And since Iran is located geographically next to Afghanistan, could there be a relation to opium or other trading thru Iran? Seems so interesting why Iran and the non Saudi Arabs haven’t united. Maybe Iran did cut a deal with the POODLE Kerry et al. Hmm.
You are either naïve, misinformed by MSM (Zionist) media propaganda ; or you are deliberately posting Zionist misinformation / propaganda.
I’m not going to bother debunking you comment as that would mean just about every point you have made. If any truth to your comment were a ‘needle in a hay-stack’, I would have to burn down the hay-stack to find the needle.
@ C I eh?
I think the reason why Iran would train the SAA to fight militia style; is because they themselves do that. According to my knowledge, Iran fought Iraq back in the 80s using mostly militia and mob-warfare tactics because they didn’t have access to spare parts and ammunition for their advanced weapons, not to mention the regular army still contained many personnel loyal to the shah. In other words, Iran’s doctrine seems to be their own version of Mao Zedong’s “people’s war”. They probably thought they could implement this in Syria but it backfired. I’m sure this will cause them to rethink their doctrine.
Gah, public private partnership (PPP) raises its ugly head.
OK, I know Harper sold out the Canadian Wheat Board so now Canadian Prairie farmers world for an American-Saudi cartel, but selling out to Iran is mind boggling.
The only news on the 407 is from 1999-2001, and it only mentions a sellout to a Quebec-based company partnered with a Spanish one, then a sellout to an American finance capital firm after sellout to a Canadian private equity firm in-between.
Needless to say, the trail is a little confusing.
However, yeah, the highway was stolen from Ontario taxpayers. It can, bey legislation, perhaps be taken back with a little popular prodding of the political will.
Its all part of the public-private ‘partnership’ movement where the neo-rentier aristocratic bankster class rooks more peasants for the yoke.
Hopefully Russia never falls to deeply into PPP drek than it already has.
Oddly enough, some consider PPP to be a socialist arrangement, when its actually fascist.
Russia is the only world power that demonstrably eats fascists for lunch; PPP is a poison pill.
Maybe Putin took a team uSA’s rationale for boots on the ground off the table.
Could be a trap for Saudi Arabia.
Maybe there is more to the SA-Turkey operations than we can know?
So how long does it take to school up some good bomber pilots to the newer generation planes? Hmm, about 4 months you say ……..
We’ll know for sure if we see a bunch of Syrian Arab Airforce pilots flying much newer bombers in support of the Syrian Arab Army and pummelling Al Nusra & Daesh.
Just don’t tell anybody :-))) But there are rumors that the Syrian pilots had finished training at the higher school of pilots in Russia. Besides a month in Syria will be a sandstorm, which limits the use of aircraft. It’s time to remove equipment at the refineries, for the analysis and full technical about
“…. ISIS militants in Iraq has become cut from a major part of its funding sources. This situation has decreased the ISIS’ ability of open confrontation with the regular forces. Thus, it’s expected that ISIS will start to act in a guerrilla war style as a main approach. Marks of this we’ve been already seeing in Iraq….”
So I guess that air force will be less effective, and time for more ground force (Iran?)
Correct. Lots of Russian-speaking Syrian officers, who trained in Russia.
Along with students in ordinary university courses. Russian will soon replace French as a second language in Syrian schools.
What an insightful and emotional article Saker. That really came from the heart. I know, I’m a Putin/Russia fanboy too!
The comments posted have been great too. Thanks you all.
Where to start!? Sigh.
What we witnessed today from Putin and his Administration was a spectacular and brilliant move. I can tell you that militarily nothing really changes, its simply like someone re-arraigned the furniture in the living room. . Russia is taking a ‘pause’ in operations( in military doctrine, this is normal, and referred to as ‘battle or campaign pulses’; and this is taking place conveniently while the diplomatic ‘talk-shops’ are under way. These ‘peace talks’ are a temporary theatre of the absurd, given all the characters, foreign intelligence services, numerous terror Wahhabi groups , disgruntled ‘paid for by the West opposition etc.Nobody is fooling nobody here. Syria’s future will be drawn on the battlefield.
Thus, this move today was carefully orchestrated and planned by Russia and her allies-the Syrian Gov, Iran, the Kurds, Hezbollah, Iraq and I’m sure China was consulted and gave the nod as they too have a stake and a vested interest in the Middle East/Levant (trade, oil, silk road , and geopolitical stuff) The Chinese President was recently touring the Middle East and staked a big claim geopolitically in the region-something very new actually. Anyways, tactically, Russia is still there in the form of an airbase, naval port, warships , subs and a new sophisticated network and infrastructure and tech at said assets. Also, when need be, Russia’s long range power projection from the mainland is quite impressive (logistics, paratroop divisions, special quick deployment airborne troops cruise missiles, ballistic missiles etc)
The ‘move’ today was geopolitical, or more specifically a political one. Putin essentially ‘disarmed’ the propaganda/misinformation ‘ narrative of ‘Russian Aggression’ ‘Putin is an Autocratic ruler propping up a brutal dictator and rebuilding the old Empire’..and so forth. Politically, now Russia has gotten away from center stage and the crosshairs. Now its time to conserve one’s energy, and play the game of diplomacy and secret and not so secret negotiations. Simple and brilliant .
If anyone has been paying attention to state media in Iran this last week or two will know that Iran has specifically stated through various high level politicians and military brass that they are ‘all in’ when it comes to Syria (a red line ) and Iraq, and will do whatever it takes to assist them politically and militarily. For Hezbollah , Syria w/Assad and Iraq (all in one piece; there is an understanding with the Kurds, they pose no real problem) is a matter of life or death . Thus, they are all in as well.
There will be no invasion from Turkey and/or Saudi or any other gangster state. Both these countries have deep problems . Turkey is at war already with half its polulation, the president there is in a vice, between a rock and a hard place. I am sure the military brass are disgruntled and the countries overall situation is highly unstable for major adventures. Saudi Arabia has a pretty nice sized portion of their population that live in the eastern part, right on top of the strategic oil reserves ; and these folks are very irritated and disgruntled and feel marginalized and one match stick and it can really flare up for the house of Saud. They are Shiite and are loyal by tradition to Saudi Arabia’s perceived enemies. That includes the Houthi’s who are giving the Saudi military a run for their money. How these brave goat herders with flip-flops and skirts w/ AK-47 and some left over Soviet era tactical missiles and how they are able to aim them at the Saudi and UAE military bases with pinpoint accuracy I have no clue, but is amazing none the less.
Also there is some rumbling and dis-satisfaction going on in the upper echelons of the princes of the House of Saud. Salman needs to tread carefully, lest him and Ergodan both meet the same fate. How ironic would that be, Bashar stays, they go down in coup’s. Anyways, on top of all this, the low price of oil , bogged down in Yemen means no more adventures for the Saudi’s at this point.
Now, the Donbass. I’m going to keep it simple here. In 2014 when Maidan kicked off and later the Junta initiated military action against the overwhelming ethnic Russian citizens in Novorussia, it was looking pretty bad for the separatists. Resistance was unorganized and unprofessional as most resistance movements tend to start out. But they put up a decent fight. Then, surprise, a mysterious number of highly professional military units (“big bulky guys with lots of weapons” was the description one Orthodox priest described them). Suddenly these new guys quickly organized the resistance and tactical guerilla warfare was the new way. These guys were Chechens, sent by the President of Chechnya , with a nod from the Russian MOD. No insignia, no nothing. Just basically route the Ukrainian National Army and its criminal Right Sector bandits. These Chechens are fierce and not to be messed with , especially with large armored column. Actually they are quite a bit like Hezbollah in their tactics and operations. If you looked closely, you could see a few of these guys escorting the then Military/political head of Donetsk as he made his press tours of hospitals and such. They looked very mean. To make a long story short, the separatists delivered a devastating rout to the Uks and co. at Donetsk International Airport, and later on in the campaign shredded huge armor columns at the Battle of Debalstevo(not sure about spelling), the separatists were even poised to take Mariupol. Minsk 1 & 2 kicked in, the Chechens went back home, and the front lines are now very similar to WW1 style trenches, with occasional sniper fire or an artillery round here and there.
What is also interesting is that the President of Chechnya, has asked, almost pleaded with Putin and his administration to let him unleash a 50, 000 strong division on Daesh and co. in Syria. He has made comments to the fact that all Putin had to do was give the nod. Him and his commandos and fighters are itching for the opportunity, after all ; Hezbollah and allies cant have all the fun. The said president of Chechnya ( I forgot his name, Khadorov or something, i’m to lazy to look it up; anyway, he personally went to meet with Putin at the Kremlin a couple of days ago and offered his resignation. This news hit the Russian media like a storm( this guy happens to be very popular in Russia along the likes Of Lavrov, Shoigu etc). Putin didn’t accept his resignation and knows that the amn is a little upset and feels like he’s being made useless. Putin told the Media through Peshkov that he will ‘ponder’ it al then silence for days. Perhaps some intrigue ensued . Perhaps Putin told him okay, we will pull out in the open, you can go in to Syria and kick some beheader ass. Maybe, its a little far fetched, but possible.
Well, that’s about it for now. Oh, btw, you guys should look at the MSM media and how they are spinning the latest news. The Anglo-Zionist is dis-orientated and have been out-maneuvered once again, and in the comments at Yahoo, MSN and the other circus’s, people are saying the most crazy stuff, with a large number saying that Russia is broke, and cant afford Syria anymore, others are saying the Russians are running away essentially because the FSA and co. have received their first batch of Manpads from McCain and Saud’s. Its like walking into a theatre of the absurd. The sheeple are so disillusioned.
Ok, seeya later, and thanks again for hearing me out, no matter how crazy my analysis may be. Cheers.
It was good reading. Good analysis.
agreed-good thoughts here-keep posting.
This pullout and probably without advising Syria & Iran is further evidence of Putin.s bungling-he has
been browbeaten by Merkel into pulling out of Ukraine-recognized Poreshenko-accepted Minsk 2
which trapped him behind the sanctions duplicitously determined by Germany-accepted the European observers
not to talk of the BRICS and Turkstream-this erratic behaviour by Putin reveals that he is just another
charismatic leader like Nasser . Sukarno without the strategic ability to see a conflict thru to victory
the Putin narrative falls apart at the seams today
Colin Powell must be green with envy. :) In the middle of his career, between helping to cover up the My Lai massacre and being a lying front man and stooge for Bush the Incompetent, he came up with the “Powell Doctrine” when he was in charge of the US military before the 1st Iraq War.
Is a vital national security interest threatened?
Do we have a clear attainable objective?
Have the risks and costs been fully and frankly analyzed?
Have all other non-violent policy means been fully exhausted?
Is there a plausible exit strategy to avoid endless entanglement?
Have the consequences of our action been fully considered?
Is the action supported by the American people?
Do we have genuine broad international support?
Seems like he just watched Mr. Putin and the Russian military execute that to perfection.
He must feel like the British and French officers who help develop tank tactics between the first two world wars, then saw their own militaries ignore these thoughts while the German officers later acknowledged that they’d closely read their books and papers and put them into use.
With VVP’s announcement The US has lost the initiative in the propaganda front: the last 10 days we witnessed an increase in the message that the refugee crisis was fueled by the russians. One more propaganda campaign foiled. this is important because it was laying the groundwork for a move by NATOUrkey.
I will take the announcement at face value: The objectives drawn at the beginning were met. Now any countermove to partition Syria will be void of legitimacy because it would imply that the US blatantly would support ISIS.
On a broader scale i would venture to say that VVP is watching the economic crisis unfold in the west. and he wants to give as little opportunity as possible for Wall Street to blame him – Russia for the catastrophe brewing in financial markets.
Ample opportunities for the Anglozio party to make a fatal mistake.
Kudos to Saker.
“there is a lot we don’t know”
Here Saker is 100% right.
As for the rest…
Instead, how about:
* the sanctions bite too hard all sectors of RF economy, hurting seriously even the RF military budget;
* too many enemies successfully ganging up on Russia at every turn;
* big and persistent drop in oil and gas prices (by western design or otherwise) drastically reducing RF revenues;
* demonising everything Russian and denying elite western clubs memberships to Putin, Sharapova, Rogozin, … , seriously getting under skin;
* ISIS too tough to crack;
* no Turkish Stream if irritating Erdogan;
* no anything if irritating “Israel”;
* and God knows what else …
… and Putin finally said: “Enough is enough”, put his tail between his legs and quietly left Syria.
Well, the people who were saying that Russia and Putin were secretly conniving with the Americans to backstab Syria apparently have some substance to their arguments.
Can’t say that I disagree with them too much.
Did Russia cut a dirty deal with the Americans (and Israelis) in which it gets a slice of the imperial pie in the form of energy concessions off the coast of Syria in exchange for this Russian withdrawl?
If so, this would be an act of Russian treachery that will not soon be lived down and cannot be spindoctored away by pro-Russian fanboys.
It also wouldn’t be surprising.
At base, Russia doesn’t really want to oppose the West.
Russia wants to be recognized as a felllow European imperialist power with the imperial privileges that come with this acceptance.
If Russia was willing to sell out its “slavic brethren” like Serbia, it would certainly backstab an Arab state like Syria today in order to advance its own neo-colonial agendas in the Middle East.
If you were surprised by the announcement, then it was probably because there are things going on that you don’t know about, and how could you, since they are going on behind the scenes.
How can Russia agree to partner the US against ISIS, with the US taking on Raqqa and Russia taking on Palmyra, and the VERY SAME DAY announce a withdrawal from Syria?
Russia is ready to work with America on liberating Raqqa : Lavrov
14 March 2016
The US has shown interest to divide the operations in Syria where the US –led coalition partners to recapture Raqqa, and Russia to capture ancient city of Palmyra in the central Homs Province.
In an interview with the Ren-TV Russia’s Foreign Minister said that Russia is ready to work with the US in liberating Raqqa from ISIS terrorists.
“We are ready to coordinate our actions with the Americans, because Raqqa is in the eastern part of Syria, and the American coalition is mainly … acting there,” Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in that interview.
According to Lavrov, the US has shown interest to divide the operations in Syria where the US –led coalition partners to recapture Raqqa, and Russia to capture ancient city of Palmyra in the central Homs Province.
“Perhaps, this is no secret, if I say that at some stage the Americans suggested performing a ‘division of labor;’ the Russian Air forces should concentrate on the liberation of Palmyra, and the American coalition with Russian support will focus on the liberation of Raqqa,” Lavrov stated.
And this snippet after its regular report on the announcement:
SouthFront has received a comment on the Russian military withdrawal from Syria from a source close to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
“Russia in international relations is continuing to show a fundamentally different approach than the US and the West. The decision on the partial withdrawal of its military from Syria is a move that clearly shows the commitment of the Russian leadership to the sequence of actions aimed at a comprehensive settlement of the crisis by peaceful means. Russia is not looking for an opportunity to gain a colonial resource-rich territory or create puppet regimes, but only provides the necessary and sufficient assistance in the fight against terrorism and extremism seeking to avoid escalation of the conflict and to minimize civilian casualties.”
There is more to this than meets the eye. Proceed with caution.
I see this as another huge error to match the maidan aftermath failures in Ukraine. Note to Russia when you throw someone a lifesaver in the ocean. Don’t cut the rope to it as soon as the person’s hands start to grip it. And to potential allies. Are you sure you want to beg for a lifesaver. Sometimes drowning might be more blissful that getting false hope first and then drowning.
US has lost interest in Syria for the moment. They tend to do that when the going gets a bit tough.
Looks like they are about wander over and poke the China hornet nest to see if they can have a success there. A sucker for punishment. The bear was a bit tough so now they are going to poke the dragon and try and wake it up.
Its interesting how while being attacked constantly by the MSM for its involvement in Syria. Russia and especially Putin has gained enormous amount of support from the “common people” in the West because of that involvement. They saw that as an action to save Syrians from the jihadis. And in particular as saving Christians in Syria. And many people that never supported Russia before supported that move. But that’s all gone now.The MSM will be painting the withdrawal as “running from the kitchen”. And no amount of ,”buts and and”s” by us,will make that look any better.Those people in the West that supported Russia in this will fall away in disgust. Way to go, in once more,”snatching defeat from the jaws of victory”.
“Those people in the West that supported Russia in this will fall away in disgust.”
In the West – and elsewhere.
Count me in too.
No wonder Serbian rulers have no illusions about today’s Russia and are painfully flirting with the EU hoping to scrounge at least something – as opposed to be left with absolutely nothing.
Another point. Saker has a general division of the Russian elite into two currents: Atlantic Integrationists and Eurasian Sovereignists, Medvedev in one, Putin in another, etc., etc. However, turns out that is merely an illusion, a Fata Morgana in the desert of our wishful thinking. Rather than insist that the Earth is in the center of the Universe, place the Sun in the middle and let the Earth go around it – and everything is untangled simply and clearly.
@ Uncle Bob:
My thoughts too. This is a complete PR disaster.
And I know, I know… the Putin fanboys&girls will say that Putin is the president of Russians, what others outside the RF may think of him is inconsequential.
Well… no! It is very much consequential particularly when we’re talking about a president and his country which are being constantly vilified and demonized in the western media. It’s only popular opinion that is pushing strongly against the Hegemon propaganda war effort.
And propaganda wars left unchallenged lead to politicians actually taking physical actions against their enemies [Russia] in the real world because they don’t think ‘The People’ will oppose them. This is why they’re all so obsessed with polls. They’re constantly testing the waters looking for a window of opportunity to act.
It’s from that perspective, that I’ll say; with this latest move of his, it’s as if Putin said; ‘You see all this invaluable political capital I have here? The kind of political capital any world leader would kill their firstborn for? And I have it here, right in my hands, and all for free!
Who needs that!’ – and he throws it all out the window.
I do play chess and this looks way too early to me. Even Aleppo is not retaken yet. Those disgusting turks are still bombing and supplying. ISIS has not even been scratched yet. In the BEST case scenario, Assad can retake his country in 5 more years. The bloodshed is actually WORSE when you leave both warring sides relatively equal.
Same thing happened in Donetsk. After Debaltsevo when everything looked perfect to take Mariupol and clean Donetsk completely from Kiev’s army, Putin decided to stop. He could have SO EASILY finished cleaning Donetsk, and then no negotiations would be necessary as they could just form a new republic. They have republic now too, but Kiev is basically sitting in Donetsk’s suburbs and shelling them whenever they please, and without Mariupol, Donetsk will have a hard time developing economy.
I don’t understand these moves, of very deliberately PREVENTING A FULL VICTORY. I respect Putin like no other government official, and I really hope he has something in mind that I just don’t know. Because from my view of the chess board, he now doomed the poor Syrians and Donetsk people to years of slow sadistic bleeding.
Preventing the DNR to take Mariupol was designed to avoid a greater self reliance regarding the new republic economy. DNR is totally dependent of Russia for its supplies, thus avoiding any political initiative not supported by Moscow.
Cynics would argue that the Kremlin’s goal is to be a partner of the West, someone who gets to sit at the same table. So Russia has to be able to offer some useful things, such as not selling the S-300 to Iran or perhaps letting the Kurds get a zone in Syria. In addition, Russia wants to keep the Ukraine in one piece, so that means putting the Donbass back in it. Nobody would agree to that there if they had the choice, so leverage is required. By keeping the rebel republics desperate for food, fuel, ammo, and money, the Kremlin can control them. This is ugly, but the way the world works. Kiev is in the same boat; they are totally dependent upon the West now.
Another factor is that Russia is trying to offer face-saving techniques for the West, or at least factions in the West. Remember the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons? That was an example. A big PR circus that stalled for time and allowed the Obama administration to not attack Syria directly.
“[..] Russia wants to keep the Ukraine in one piece, so that means putting the Donbass back in it. Nobody would agree to that there if they had the choice, so leverage is required. By keeping the rebel republics desperate for food, fuel, ammo, and money, the Kremlin can control them. This is ugly, but the way the world works. Kiev is in the same boat; they are totally dependent upon the West now”
Good comment. Totally agree.
Trouble is that you, or me, or anybody can say something like that now and get away with it. Back when the “masterful chess move” of signing Minsk 2.0 just happened, if we implied anything remotely like that, in these Russophiles quarters of the internet, it was treated as tantamount to heresy.
What you say about the Donbass being reliant on Russia for essentials… this really turns them into a de facto Russian province, which is what their people voted for in favor of in a referendum anyways. And they kindda got that, But! With non of the privileges of being an actual Russian citizen.
Not that western Ukrainians are in a better position being a de facto US province… but my point is, the sick twisted irony here maybe that in a bizarre way western media and their propaganda about ‘Russian expansion’ was in fact, in a way… true after all?
Now that’s something to ponder on…
And, I’m not even against either: a real [as opposed to an imagined] “Russian expansion,” nor I’m against the Russians extending their bubble of “influence” around the world. They can help themselves to it and I would be clapping them all along.
I’m just not too sure about the methods they’re employing-about achieving this :/
back2freedom: It’s simple, in a way. Putin is not interested in a separate and independent Donetsk Republic, because if that were to happen he would – eventually – be faced with a NATO-integrated western Ukraine precariously close to the border of southern Russia with only a small Donetsk rump state wedged between Russia and NATO as an ineffective ersatz buffer.
What Putin wants is the ‘Finlandisation’ of Ukraine – that is, he wants Ukraine to become a completely neutral/non-aligned country with no NATO in it – not even covertly. If the U.S. will agree to this, Putin will agree to withdraw his military support to the Donetsk region. However, he will insist on considerable administrative autonomy for Donetsk, and the Russian language and culture will remain there, and its trade with Russia will be resumed. And he will guarantee Donetsk’s military security against a resumption of Kiev’s banditry against it. But he is not interested in control over or integration of Donetsk with Russia. This is not about territorial gain, as far as Putin is concerned. It is about the protection of Mother Russia in the south.
As for Ukrainian membership of the EU – well, I’m guessing that Putin would not be totally opposed to Ukrainian associate membership, but full membership? – maybe not, because full membership and NATO membership have tended to go hand in hand, historically, since c. 1991. Besides, full EU membership would mean the introduction and enforcement of neoliberal ‘austerity’ in Ukraine; and Putin wants a prosperous Ukraine that will pay its energy bills on time and in full. Putin wants political stability and economic prosperity in Ukraine. It is in Russia’s interest not to have a failed state next- door.
Putin’s wish is reasonable. Ukraine is within Russia’s ‘sphere of interest’; his wish is to protect the southern flank of Mother Russia from NATO. Factions of the Kiev ‘government’ would love to see Ukraine integrated into NATO. However, other sections of Ukraine’s society and parliament would like an end to the civil war and trade with and travel to both East and West. Putin’s incursion into Syria was (mainly) designed to obtain leverage on the Ukraine issue and prevent NATO encircling Russia.
Whether Ukraine can become another Finland as it was during the Cold War is the question. Compared with present-day Ukraine, Finland was a haven of peace and political tranquillity. The Ukrainian polity is polarised with oligarchs and armed groups wielding influence, and is replete with incompetent and corrupt politicians. It’s not an easy country to ‘pacify’ and de-Nazify into non-alignment, even if all parties were to co-operate on this venture. But it can be done. It was done in post-war Germany. – Gunnar
Moon of Alabama makes an interesting point. If the Russians are leaving who will clean up the ISIS mess?
Well Ash Carter insisted he wouldn’t work with the Russians on anything so I guess he wants the job for himself.
Russia 3; Empire 0
“Considering the immense power of the Neocons today (nevermind a Hillary Presidency!)”
Killary IS a neocon.
Draw the Turks in and nuke ’em.
1. There is more to this than meets the eye at this time
2. There was not much to “withdraw” as there was not a mega influx of personnel
3. It avoids being maneuvered into conflict with Turkey on terms which are not its ( Russia’s) own at this time.
4. More attention, materiel, available for the situation on its borders in a crumbling, chaotic Ukraine which could get mega messy very soon.
Smart move by Putin: Each new chapter of the story is being decided primarily by the Russians, and the Western propagandists are always playing catch up, reacting. Saker has astutely written that the Russians don’t threaten, they act.
Militarily, the Russians have used limited air power, some deadly accurate cruise missiles, and electronic wizardry to great effect, and have helped Syria with military technology, and enabled the Syrian military and its allies to turn the tide against the mercenaries and their management. The foreign mercenaries have been badly hurt. Whether or not the mercenaries have the will and means to dig in and fight a protracted guerilla war against Syria, the Russian air force is in any case not a really effective way to deal with that kind of fight.
Turkey has been exposed to the world as aiding and working with, and buying oil from, ISIS, and helping fuel the refugee crisis.
The American people have been exposed to a new narrative. ISIS had been depicted as this monstrous but unstoppable force, but Russia stopped them real quick. The narrative shifted away from the hyped ‘Assad is evil is the problem’ towards a plausible ‘ISIS is evil is the problem’.
Trump has made positive reference to Putin, and is quoted as saying: “The rebel group we have no idea … I was talking to a general two days ago, he said: ‘We have no idea who these people are.’ We are training people, we don’t know who they are. We are giving them billions of dollars to fight Assad.” . So a change in the American political winds is at least in the air.
Obama has been more cautious about military adventurism than some around him would have liked, and that is likely to continue.
European economic difficulties, especially vis a vis Russia, and social/refugee stresses are directly related to American-AngloZionist domination and agendas. Demonization of Russia becomes less effective given Russian competence militarily and diplomatically, and given Russia’s respect for international law. Here again, change is in the European political winds.
The Russians have demonstrated to the ‘Empire’ that militarily they are a force to be reckoned with, using a relatively small force with unexpected effectiveness. Anyone with designs on making war on Syria has to now ask themselves: what will Russia do?
Not sure about this, but Russia may have avoided the phase whereby new military technology in the mercenaries hands might have been capable of putting the Russian planes at more risk.
Turkey is in a civil war, KSA is in deep financial problems, and I assume so are the other gulf countries. If Russia’s main goal was to exhaust Syria’s enemies and bring them to the negotiating table, they might have just accomplished that. The next few weeks will tell us more.
And US relations with its “good allies” Turkey and Saudi Arabia couldn’t be worse. Erdogan’s campaign of shutting newspapers and criticising the Constitutional Court is an enormous embarrassment to the “Freedom and Democracy” line. Of course they will get away with it because their own media is also captured, but ordinary people can work it out for themselves. Likewise SA’s difficulties in subduing Yemen.
Perhaps Putin’s arrangement with Assad was only to get him back into a position where he could go to a peace conference and negotiate NOT from a position of weakness. There’s heaps of fighting still to be done to re-take Aleppo and Idlib, let alone Raqqa, but Putin was never up for that, as Saker says.
Saker have you seen this:
What Success Looks Like – When a ‘withdrawal’ is not a withdrawal
Commentors check it; quite an illuminating read.
I dont know what they promised Putin but what is certain that they will stab him in the back in no time.Their goal is to destroy Russia with political islam and Russia has to fight.There is no option.Leaving now is extemely stupid.It will prolong the war.It will give they enemies of Russia pause to breath.Putin should have gone all in to win in the shortest time possible to defeat the anglo-zionists and deliver an open blow to them.I repeat making deals with these people will lead to betrayal and desaster.