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19 February 2016


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I know a guy who knows a guy ...

Wait. I thought that there were no Russian ground troops. Maybe a few Spetznaz that can be easily withdrawn?

Sounds like more extra-diplomatic negotiations.

One thing I know for sure: I need to buy more popcorn.


There is an excellent article in the Boston Globe by S Kinzer,
fully consistent with information presented on S-S-T. https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2016/02/18/the-media-are-misleading-public-syria/8YB75otYirPzUCnlwaVtcK/story.html?p1=Article_Trending_Most_Viewed


Maybe we need a modified version of Goodwin's law for negotiations.

Just as lengthy blog discussions lead to a mention of Hitler, lengthy negotiations (either diplomatic or battlefield) lead to veiled threats of nuclear weapon use?



I'd go for Erdogan being mentally unstable these days.


Sounds that the author (Mr. Perry) has some issues with scale:

"then Russia will have to decide what to do to protect its 20,000 or so military personnel inside Syria."(c)

Russia doesn't have 20 000 military personnel in Syria, unless I missed the moment Ivanovo or Pskov Divisions landed there. Using nuclear weapons option, however, is not that unfeasible. After all, there was a lot of behind the scene activities between UK and Argentina during Falkland War in 1982 and one of the arguments used there was nuclear. But, judging by the recent activities of the Southern Command (Military District) of Russian Armed Forces, Russia is ready to go conventional if need be.



Parry, not Perry. pl


Roger that. Indeed, my mistake. I know Mr. Parry as journalist and respect most of his work.

Istanbul Guy

Within the last half hour I saw a report of over a hundred Turkish tanks crossing at Kilis... but still haven't seen it hit any other site....

seemed to happen a few moments after it was public that france and US would not support the russian UNSC draft...

Babak Makkinejad


Gullen is no panacea; putting one's hopes on him is a misplaced; it is wishful thinking.

Babak Makkinejad

I seriously doubt that Putin has made such a threat about using nuclear weapons.


Thanks for the link, but the comment section is not encouraging. Overall more criticism of the article than support for it. Shows how successful the propaganda has been.


Really? Would be an interesting news day tomorrow if it is so. Hundreds of Tanks are a little too many for that kind of terrain, and we know how media calls everything on tracks "tanks". Anyway, there would have been a lot of aircraft activity as well, which would be on the wires momentarily. Maybe maneuvers, shifting of unit positions an making threatening noises. But I don't see an all out invasion, just dry posturing, ala Erdogan.


I don't think that it is Putin who makes those. There are plenty of other high positioned people in Kremlin and General Staff who can simply remind those overly zealous to re-read Russia's military doctrine. This is as far as this "threat" can go. Nobody would literally threaten the use of tactical nukes. But, sometimes, getting the perspective on things needs to be encouraged. Having said that, there are conventional contingency plans in place anyway.


Agreed. I have to wonder about this statement...

"If Turkey (with hundreds of thousands of troops massed near the Syrian border) and Saudi Arabia (with its sophisticated air force) follow through on threats and intervene militarily..."

Does Turkey really have "hundreds of thousands" of troops on the border?


The problem is you can see how it could happen. As soon as any hostilities start between Turkey and Russia, the Turks could close the Bosphorus. At that point it's all in or fold as far as the Russians are concerned.


We are in a dangerous place right now. Washington and Ankara are faced with a "to be or not to be" moment because the R+6 are going to win, absent action from Obama and Erdogan.

Obama made the quips to the effect that "it was not about him and Putin" in his recent press conference. This is BS, its always about him because that is the way narcissists are constructed. The question then becomes what the Borg will do as it contemplates a renewed Syria and a battle tested and hardened R+6 who, I think, will have their own plans for the Middle East that will not advance Israeli or American interests one bit.

Erdogan faces the collapse of his Neo ottoman dreams and the possibility of a Kurdish state carved out of Turkeys border region.

Saudi Arabia contemplates a renewed and "emboldened" Shia crescent that will no doubt have a view on its treatment of its own Shia minorities.

Will Obama allow Turkey to make one last throw of the dice?


Babak, Gulen has a huge network and money behind him in many countries, and his movement is producing regiments of PhD's in all the respectable Universities around the world. At one time within the last decade, his disciples in police forces within Turkey were trained and educated in top US universities on full scholarships. They were the ones who led the legions which crushed my friends through the Gezi protests with ruthless efficiency which stunned me, as an observer and participant, I have commented here. I have never thought Turkish police so well trained in Western tactics in crowd suppression and control, and brutal as borgs, as if brainwashed. These people are just not capable of doing what they do without some kind of deep support from somewhere, for some purpose, but my mind is too precious to occupy with the answers of such questions. Others say, though.

That man is a false messiah, who knows what he is after, but it is definitely not a dialog between faiths and peace on earth. Ask The Turkish Army Officer corps which has been decimated through false accusations and frame ups over the last decade.


Istanbul Guy: I guess the Russians will just continue thinning the Jihadi herd.


New information, Erdogan and Davutoglu lied, within hours of Ankara bombing they declared it was done by YPG militants. YPG denied it, so did PKK. Turns out, based upon the latest information, it is TAK, a hawkish offshoot of PKK, you can call it a rogue element. PKK disavows them, so who does the Turkish Army attacks and punishes now? Maybe a call went to Carl Rove, I don't know, so who you gonna call for a new book of dirty tricks Volume II?


I don't think the threat needs to be made explicit--just a few reminders that, if, in response to Russian response, Western powers try to escalate, the logical end point is mutual nuclear destruction. Conventional Russian military power should, without doubt, be able to defeat the Turks if properly mobilized. The real Turkish gambit has to be that NATO would bail them out if they have to face the full weight of Russian conventional forces--and suitable rattling of the nuclear saber ought to dampen it.

The real question for me, though, is whether the present day Western leaders are sufficiently aware of their surroundings to realize this.


Cynical Turks. See https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/700614157067010049



It is Russian military doctrine that if threatened with loss by overwhelming NATO conventional force they will respond with nuclear weapons. That is why Ukraine is amazingly short sighted because it puts WW3 and the end of humanity on a fifteen minute hair trigger. The US likes to keep all options on the table, Russia just states, we nuke you till your country glows.


I don't think the Russians would start lobbing nukes around just cause the straights were closed for a while, they have lot's of options, who knows how long they would stay closed. Temporary loss of southern maritime access is not an existential threat.


Maybe not ...


Babak Makkinejad

In regards to Ph.D.s... etc.

"Jesus's donkey,
Taken to Mecca
Coming back,
Still be an Ass!"

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