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08 October 2016

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FB Ali

I was referring to the NYT report dated 9 October 2016 to which Haralambos gave a link.

mike allen

If SECDEF did this, it will come out. Too many people in the chain of command for Ash Carter to do this by directly ordering a pilot to do it.

For myself, I am not fond of the man but do not understand why people seem to think he wants to start a war?

turcopolier

mike allen

IMO Hagel was replaced with Carter because Hagel was not a neocon. BTW, according to my network's personal intra-community knowledge Carter is married into a hard core Ziocon family who are 150% pro-Bibi. IMO he is an example of the subservience of people to family influence. Does he think the Russians are weak? Who knows? pl

mike allen

Colonel -

I liked Hagel. We need more like him. I never understood why the Republicans tried to filibuster his nomination as SecDef and then would never work with him in Congress . I would guess because McCain never forgave him for endorsing Obama against McCain in 2008. And probably for being such a critic of the Junior Bush administration and also voting against the surge.

Chris Chuba

2] No, the Russians are not afraid of us. I never said that and had no intention of implying that. What I said was they know the limitations of both the S300 and S400.

So Russian claims that they can target stealth aircraft are false, they know it and we know it, is this what you are saying? It looks like our govt and foreign policy establishment believes this based on how they are discussing Syria.

Qoppa

mike allen
And there is the knowledge of history that unintentional air attacks on blue/allied/third party non-hostiles/civilians are common among all air forces

Usually I would also go with this explanation.

However, the circumstances of the Deir al-Zor attack were quite special:
- on a hill, clearly distinct; - known to be SAA position for many months; - static front; - US says they observed the position for days; - extremely clumsy explanation for "mistake"; - more deadly than any other attack on IS.

Most importantly, why would they strike on IS at Deir al-Zor town anyway? While there have been airstrikes in that province, this would have been a strike (if delievered "correctly" at IS) that would have helped the SAA. Sudden love for Assad? not believable.

I omit the peculiarity that IS immediately went on attack as if they had known. I don´t believe there is secret communication between army and IS:


Then we have a clear motive. The army was more than explicit in disliking the US-Russian arrangement. This is no fancy motive from hypotheticals, it was in the press.


Take all this together and the "shit happens" explanation is highly implausible.

Peter AU

The Russians will know the limitations and abilities of their S-300/S400 systems. For public consumption, specs of non export versions of hardware always seem to be under stated. No move is a reactionary stand alone type move.
Russia deployed manoeuvering ICBMs with multiple independently manoeuvring warheads some time ago. Several months ago Russia started deploying the S-500 system. I believe some of the S-500 missiles have multiple warheads capable of independently targeting incoming ICBMs or warheads. Rather than kinetic kills, some I think some use nukes. I believe US still has old tech ICBMs not capable of evasive manoeuvring. Russia has been running civilian evacuation exercises to revamped nuke shelters. Also deployment of new early warning systems
Others here may be more knowledgeable on this subject, but Russia may have reached a point where nuke war is surviveable, whereas US has no defence unless they can take down the Russian nukes in launch phase

What we are seeing is just the first little pushback from Russia in Syria.
Until now Russia has been manoeuvring and playing for time. If Russia has secured dominance in the nuke field, then that pushback by conventional means will only increase.

Babak Makkinejad

These steps, even if true singly or in totality, will no longer suffice to alter the course of the war; it only prolongs it.

alba etie

All
Secretary of Defense Carter lately has been talking a great deal about using nuclear weapons to defend the Baltics and other 'critical allies in Europe " so it appears to me that we are 'playing chicken " with President Putin not just in Syria but many other places .. Is this the actual start of the New Cold War ?

PeteM

I didn't read any direct threat to engage a US attack on Assad's forces and C&C in the Russian statement. They did state they would defend their forces and instillations and the S-400's are to protect their naval base. All they seemed to state about Assad's forces was that their supplied equipment would be used by Assad for his defense.

The statement about them not being able to distinguish between attacks aimed at Assad's forces or their instillations may or may not be accurate but they did acknowledge that the US attacking cruise missiles will probably be targeted only at Assad's forces and not the Russians.

Putin may not like this coming change in policy and action but he is getting an early warning and has time to prepare his forces to be mostly out of harms way when this new reality is acted upon. I doubt Putin will risk all he has accomplished in Russia over this small Russian imperialist holding in Syria especially with a loose cannon such as Assad's tail wagging the dog.

F5F5F5

As a cold war kid, I'm desensitized to WW3/Doomsday alarms, yet stirred, as one could be with horror films.
So I see this as yet another episode of escalation, but at the back of my mind I wonder if that could be the start of a chain of unfortunate events.

This fake BBC News report on an incident in Syria which escalates into a nuclear war is very well done.
https://youtu.be/6y_4rZ0aXMw

Fred

Mike,

"ibya had over 450 of the Igla-S version (SA-24) but they have disappeared.... "

Now would be a good time to ask why the US ambassador to Libya was in Benghazi rather than in the embassy in Tripoli.

Fred

mike,

And how do the Russians know it was an "accident" since the troops attacked had been in the same location for weeks if not months? "I do not believe they will try to use those S400's against US air. They know their limitations."
Which limitations are those? I believe the limit on dead Russians and their allies in Syria has already been reached. The message couldn't be any clearer but apparently Secretary SwiftBoat can't accept it or is unable to explain it too his boss.

jld

LMAO, your propagandist side shows more and more, not sure it will have any effectiveness here, even probably the opposite.

b

Lister is again obfuscating here. The weapon delivery never stopped. Nothing is "new" arriving. New multiple rocket launchers were seen some two weeks ago.
https://twitter.com/towersight/status/783708827598200832/photo/1
https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20161002/1045932750/grad-missiles-rockets-syria-hama.html
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFq07xxPW5k

MANPADs were used several times over the last month. Two days ago a Russian MI-8 escaped two of them - near Hama, not in north Syria.

Frankly - Lister does not know sh**. He is a Qatari paid shill without any of the necessary background (militarily, regional) to get things right.

b

The S-300 VM makes the "envisioned" cruise missile attack against Syrian airbases nearly impossible. Positioned in Tarus it blocks the western approach, the only one that could be used into Syria without crossing any others airspace.

Neither Turkey nor Iraq, nor Jordan will agree to cruise missile overflights to hit Syria. Israel and Lebanon will not agree either. The only possible way would be through the Barzani clan enclave in north Iraq. But even that would be politically unfeasible with lost of possible second-order effects.

A smart move by the Russians.

Saw some "analyst" claiming that the F-22 could pass through S-300/400 protected airspace. He didn't volunteer to fly the first plane trying.

b

Now make that calculation for the $100 million the "White Helmets" received ...

David Habakkuk

Mike Allen,

The point about Carter is not that he wants a war.

It is simply that, if one has bungling incompetent ‘Fachidioten’ in charge, events can very easily spiral out of control so that war happens without anyone wanting it.

As you probably know, a key document in the formation of ‘neoconservatism’ was the NSC 68 paper masterminded by Paul Nitze in the spring of 1950.

At the time, and in the months that followed, the State Department’s best and most experienced Soviet expert, Charles ‘Chip’ Bohlen, directed a serious of devastating memoranda to his colleagues exposing the idiocy of the paper’s conception of a Kremlin ‘design for world domination.’

A suggested emendation from a September 1951 memorandum to a successor paper seems of some interest in the light of the current situation:

'Soviet actions in Korea and their subsequent attitude to the United States’ response to the challenge served to underline the extraordinarily pragmatic and opportunistic nature of Soviet policy and the absence of any fidelity to a blueprint, or even design. Such a conclusion by no means reduces the danger of the present period to the United States. On the contrary, it tends to make the danger more continuous since it enhances the possibility of general war arising through either a miscalculation on the part of either one of the principal powers of the world—the Soviet Union and the United States—or the equally great danger that local situations could so develop through a process of action and reaction as to render war in the eyes of either one of these two powers preferable to any alternative course open to either one.'

(See https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1951v01/d44 .)

A salient difference, of course, is that Putin’s Russia is not Stalin’s Soviet Union. But the only relevant difference, in the minds of people like Carter, seems to be that they think the massive decline in Russia’s relative power means the country can be pushed around with impunity.

LeaNder

Babak,
I have to watch this. But today to my utter surprise the first channel news used video feeds of the Syrian army. One could get used to the White Helmets icon on the left recently. ...

Venassa Beeley on twitter yesterday:
https://twitter.com/VanessaBeeley/status/783970389705814016

Interesting, isn't it?

Not least considering the the UN's Syrian representative recently suggested that only 11,25 of the rebels in Eastern Aleppo are Islamists, the rest are "moderate rebels". Correcting his earlier Security Council presentation were his estimate was still 50/50.

Vic

As this makes no military sense at all, I suspect it was Kerry and the Foggy Bottom boys behind this policy decision. The supply of these weapons is so counter productive to what State Department wants to accomplish, that I wonder "what are they thinking"? I suspect that they are trying to send a message using military means. Jerks! State Department is supposed to use a démarche for that.

Expect 2nd order effects to be:
- SAA MRL counter fire on the Grad firing positions
- Artillery suppression of TOW using air burst or WP munitions
- Strike suppression missions using cluster bombs against MANPADS

All are area munitions and all will likely cause increased civilian deaths and lengthen the conflict.

Vic

Lurker

It can confidently be asserted that there will be no nuclear war exchange with Russia before the US presidential election and until the new elected POTUS is installed in the WH.

Two bullhorn's for the globalists have chimed in recently, they are both in Hellary's political camp:

1) Jacob Rothschild has declared that Russian Elites he controls told him that they are ready to take back the Russian government from Putin next year. So he is basically saying CALM DOWN to the political elites in US and STAND DOWN to the war hawks in the Pentagon. He is saying: wait till next year, don't start a nuclear war just yet!

2) Gyorgy Schwartz (George Soros) just promised that a Russian Maidan is next in the cards

This may amount to wishful thinking on their part for the more the Media demonizes Putin and Assad, the more support they both get from their own people.

mike allen

CC -

No, I never said that. And I do not believe our government believes that either.

What I do know is that weapon systems (no matter whether American, Russian, Chinese, or whoever) always come with a great deal of hype. But the people who have to operate, maintain, and command those systems usually know the difference between the hype and reality.

Babak Makkinejad

What if your doubt turns out to be misplaced and Russians shoot down US air assets?

Is the United States prepared to be destroyed over Syria?

I do not think so.

I think that game of NFZ etc. in Syria is over.

Babak Makkinejad

As I wrote before; all Russians need to do is to help establish autonomous Russian-speaking enclaves inside the 3 Baltic Republics and thus fracture them.

Andrey Subbotin

* Standing back without fight will have a high domestic cost for Putin. People still remember that he essentialy betrayed DNR/LNR by promising to take them in like Crimea, then leaving them under Ukrainian bombs. Doing that for a second set of allies starts to look like a record of failure. Even fighting and losing would in some sense be better.

* Syria is not a 'small holding' for Russia - it became a focal point for a web of influence that covers large part of middle east - Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Central Asia - and those countries are our neighbours. Demonstrating that we, bluntly put, can provide protection from US bombing adventures can solidify that influence. Proving we cannot undoes previous work. Turning our entire southern border into jihadi dystopia, which USA seem to encourage, would be an existential threat to us. Those are important stakes for Russia

Whether they are important enough to do to shooting war with US if it starts an air war? I don't know. I'd suspect that we'll try to strike a balance - shooting down cruisie missiles, painting aircraft, maybe shooting one or two and saying they attempted an attack run, raising hell in UN, generally looking as inpredictable as possible and hoping USA blinks first. It seemed to work with Turkey. If it doesn't, we are back to a very hard choice.

Hopefuly this will not be neccesary

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