Thursday, October 1, 2015

"A Geopolitical Chernobyl"

-- The words of David Petraeus describing the current situation in the Middle East.

We really don’t know what their (Russia's) intentions are. --
General Lloyd Austin, Barack Obama's commander of US Central Command

Since Dumb and Dumber (Obama and Kerry) remain intractably clueless on the subject - here are Marco Rubio's September 16th debate comments explaining the motives and goals of Vlad Putin, two weeks before Putin began bombing our Syrian allies.

It’s pretty straightforward: He wants to reposition Russia once again as a geopolitical force. He himself said that the destruction of the Soviet Union, the fall of the Soviet Union, was the greatest catastrophe of the 20th century. And now he’s trying to reverse that. He’s trying to destroy NATO. He is exploiting a vacuum that this administration has left in the Middle East. Here’s what you’re going to see in the next few weeks: The Russians will begin to fly combat missions in that region — not just targeting ISIS, but in order to prop up Assad.

(My emphasis)

Ralph Peters seconds Rubio's assessment --

Because Putin didn’t go to the right prep school and has poor table manners, Western elites continue, even now, to underestimate his intelligence, his strategic vision and his ruthlessness. Putin cynically portrays his intervention in Syria as part of a common fight against the Islamic State. But the immediate target of his military will be the (relatively) moderate Syrian opposition, leaving the West with a choice between Bashar al-Assad and Islamist fanaticism.

Putin has a vision of a wall of Iranian-dominated, Russia-friendly, anti-American states stretching from western Afghanistan through Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon to the Mediterranean Sea. And he’s well on his way to achieving it, thanks to the nuclear deal with Iran, US military hesitancy in the region and, now, an open alliance between Russia, Iran, Iraq’s Shia militias, Hezbollah and the forces of the Assad regime.

That wall would not only keep out the United States, it would isolate our Kurdish allies and overshadow our last clients in the region, including Israel (which has already moved to improve relations with Moscow).

While Russia moves forcefully to exert influence over Syria and Iraq, the Obama "strategy" has, at a cost of half as billion dollars, trained a grand total of "4 or 5" Syrian fighters. Four OR five - numbers too large for precision from Obama's military.

Yes, Obama is completely unqualified for his job. But his incompetence is augmented by an even more disturbing characteristic. As Peters notes in a tweet --

You bet President Obama’s afraid of Putin. Physically, tangibly, change-the-diaper afraid.

And Putin knows it. That's why his next move, predicts Peters, will be a dangerously provocative act --

Vladimir Putin’s next strategic gambit may be to order the shootdown of an American military aircraft over Syria. If we’re “fortunate,” it will only be an unmanned airframe he chooses to make his point.

But it may be a manned fighter. Putin is confident that the Obama administration wouldn’t respond militarily, but would eagerly accept his explanation that the shootdown was an accident, a simple misunderstanding.

Peters column --

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