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Saturday, September 19, 2015

Michael Gordon, "U.S. Begins Military Talks With Russia on Syria": Obama Fulfills His Promise to Putin



In a lead New York Times news article entitled "U.S. Begins Military Talks With Russia on Syria," Michael R. Gordon reports on US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter's discussion on Friday with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. This chat was undertaken pursuant to Obama’s orders, after Russia sent marines, an artillery unit, 9M133 Kornet anti-tank missiles, BTR-82 troop carriers, Hip troop-transport helicopters, MI-28 MIL assault helicopters, heavy T-90 tanks and Su-27 fighter aircraft to protect the regime of mass murderer Bashar al-Assad, which was on the verge of collapse. Gordon writes:

"The diplomatic initiative amounted to a pivot for the Obama administration, which just two weeks ago delivered a stern warning to the Kremlin that its military buildup in Syria risked an escalation of the civil war there or even an inadvertent confrontation with the United States. Last week, President Obama condemned Russia’s move as a 'strategy that’s doomed to failure.'

. . . .

'The whole region is watching this,' said James F. Jeffrey, a former American ambassador in Iraq and Turkey. 'Russia is trying to change the security dynamic in the Middle East and demonstrating that it supports its allies to the hilt. The White House is sitting there and worrying about de-conflicting airplanes when we should be upping our efforts against Assad.'

But after failing to impede the buildup by convincing nations to close their airspace to Russian transport planes — Bulgaria banned the flights but Iraq did not — the White House is trying to make the best out of a situation it feels it is powerless to prevent."

The US is powerless to prevent this Russian military buildup in Syria? Or is this all in keeping with Obama's March 2012 open mike promise to Putin, delivered via then Russian President Medvedev:

Obama: "This is my last election. After my election, I have more flexibility."

Medvedev: "I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir."

"The whole region is watching this"? In fact, the whole world is watching the follies of a naïve American president, who has yet to realize that impotence is not a basis for implementing foreign policy.

1 comment:

  1. Russia stepping up in Syria is really complicated for Americans to process. Was reflecting on this while watching/listening the C-Span encore of the US Senate Armed Services "we spent $500MIL to train five Syrians! expletives barely deleted use deconflicting" hearing last night.

    No faction can bear the idea of Russia using boots on the ground to stabilize Syria with Assad, for different reasons, mostly tied to ideological frames that ignore reality.

    at least Kerry knows to listen to FM Lavrov before Kerry told Obama to tell Ash Carter to call Shoigi about deconflicting.

    Pollyanna meets Hobbes.

    Me? closing with a thank you to Al-Sisi's Egypt for flooding those Gaza tunnels, and hoping Russia gets the new map of Syria right.

    k

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