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30 November 2017

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Patrick Armstrong

I see his badge reads police and MVD. Has the old GAI disappeared or been incorporated into the regular police? I'll never forget having lunch in a restaurant in Saratov(?) in 1995(?) and seeing a couple of GAI come in having obviously just shaken somebody down for the price of lunch. Or my surprise one day in Moscow seeing a GAIchik actually doing some actual traffic work. (I also remember that part of the BS about Saakashvili the great reformer was that he has eliminated the Georgian GAI. Usually teh only example ver given too.)

Grazhdanochka

In honesty I still try and get my Head around exacts of recent Police Reforms (Most Recent Forming of National Guard and removal of Paramilitary - OMON/SOBR-OMSN from MVD along with VV ) especially as I have lived abroad many Years. DPS or GAI of old has changed over the Years and it still exists as Part of Interior Ministry... I sometimes hang around some Interesting Characters but seldom do those come into Picture.

You would be amazed to see what they do Today if you were Impressed with Work you saw then! )) Admittedly some is by increased Social Media Presence but there was Case lately - avoid hitting a Cat.... Cat climbed into the Undercarriage of Police Car so they had to lift the whole thing to get it out... They are of course pushing this Naratives - but it is indication that they are increasingly considering Public Perception.

In general I see DPS working reasonably well (Mostly I am in Moscow but I am from the South). Of course though Russians will do as Russians will do, so most expensive S600 will still cover its Plates parking on the Footpath to avoid paying the most inoffensive of Fines...

Richardstevenhack

I have no opinion whatever on the Kurd arms issue. I do think it has zero effect - far from "dramatically reducing" it - on the current antagonistic situation between the US and Russia.

Richardstevenhack

And when Tillerson goes, I won't have to say "I told you so." Of course, by then everyone will be saying how they thought that would happen long ago.

Grazhdanochka

I should clarify somewhat to People not understanding....

There was a Time when disinterest and disregard by Police in Russia was universal, there was disinterst and contempt of almost highest Level...

Somewhat understandable if you are irregularly paid or treated in turn like Rubbish. But I think since at least the Police Reforms began (Even with simple Renaming, Uniform Changes, Fitness Requirements etc.... it is slowly worked better

Yeah, Right

BB, I suspect that it isn't that he "punts the ball" so much as he simply can't be bothered playing the game.

He may not care less what Congress says w.r.t. the JCPOA since that amounts to the Congress poking its nose where it doesn't belong.

As a consequence he'll just say that he is under no obligation to do anything when they attempt to throw the ball back to him, and then dare them to say otherwise.

Again, just my take. But I suspect Trump doesn't have the patience for Congressional grandstanding, nor is he inclined to pander to their sense of self-importance.

Babak Makkinejad

There is no game comes January, he will either suspend the US sanctions per JCPOA or he won't. At which point JCPOA would be dead.

Annem

Yes, I recognize that it might/might increase the chances of Assad getting reelected. However, given that literally millions of recent refugees are still in neighboring countries or Europe, it would be unlikely that election outcomes would have given any credence without these voices. It would not be possible to separate these more recent refugees from those who have left the country in previous weeks, months and years but kept their Syrian nationality. It does raise another problem, however; in the US and perhaps elsewhere, Syrian expats who are seen as anti-regime were denied renewal of their passports by their embassy unless expired passports are considered as well. It is also the case that while the regime DID restore Syrian nationality to SOME Kurds following the onset of civil war, many thousands remain stateless as a result of the very arbitrary manner in which they were stripped of nationality. That would also have to be dealt with. There will also be an attempt on the part of the regime to limit voting inside the country to areas they consider pacified. I'm also sure that they will do everything possible to avoid international monitors.

In the end, though, elections are a primary demand of the opposition and even if they could be persuaded to leave the regime in place until elections were conducted [highly unlikely given the UN accord] and no "peace" is likely to win approval either by much of the Syrian population, regional parties and the international community, without completing this step. The only other way to settle things is for the regime to declare victory and simply ignore the opposition. That would likely lead to continued conflict at some level, especially within the proxy factor, including the occupation of areas by Turkey and the US and Israel making demanding its own demands.

Frankly, the Russians don't want to hang around for that but the Iranians may. I think Putin hopes to get his triumvirate plus the US to agree on what comes next and it will be thus. That, too, is a long shot.

Babak Makkinejad

Assad would likely follow in the footsteps of Franco, declare total victory, suppress any and all opposition, and adopt many of opposition's ideas as his own. He could readmit refugees from Lebanon and Turkey but not from Jordan and EU.

Yeah, Right

Not true, strictly speaking.

It is the President who is required to "certify" the JCPOA, and Trump has already shrugged that off.

But it isn't the President who has to issue the sanction waivers.

That task has been delegated to the Secretary of State.

So, yes, Trump can continue to play his game with Congress come January, and if/when Tillerson issues those waivers then Trump can say, in all honesty, that when he gives a job to someone then he lets them get on with that job.

Babak Makkinejad

That is an immaterial imature silly game for internal US consumption of the Deplorables and the 1%.

Patrick Armstrong

I close comments when I think the conversation has wandered too far away. I think that is now. See you in a couple of weeks.

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