« Sean Hannity's time has come ... (irony) | Main | (BBC - 15 March 2018) The trouble telling aid workers and foreign fighters apart - the Virginian »

17 March 2018

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

 jld

A nuclear strike on an European or Canadian city to "educate" Americans about MAD?
How nice!
But that doesn't sound Russian to me, what do you think?

 jld

Just curious, what is exactly the meaning of the seemingly random capitalized letters?

daniel

Colonel ,
"IMO what we are seeing is a slow motion annexation of NW Syria by Turkey." 
Oh Yes !
And you forget the 4000 km² land or so ( Azaz, Jarbulus, Al Bab) given by Isis/Daesh to Turkey one year ago. This swath of countryside is heavily turkisised ( Postoffice, school, Police, hospitals ) and cleaned of evil thinking. Kurds, Christians and others are looted. Tukmen are settled.
All that is for lasting. Reuniting the 3 zones ( Azaz- Jarabulus, Afrin, Idlib) makes sense.
Inviolability of borders ?

Account Deleted

Andrey Subbotin, scott s, CP

Thanks for your responses. Well if it is surface vessels my guess is we can expect them to be the subject of a real world demo of the Kinzhal if they are used. I think it is worth reminding everyone what SmoothieX12 said on the subject recently:

The usage of such a weapon, especially since we know now that it is deployed already in Russia’s Southern Military District is very simple–the most likely missile drop spot by MiG-31s will be in the international waters of the Black Sea, thus closing off the whole Eastern Mediterranean to any surface ship or group of ships. Russia can also close off the Persian Gulf completely.

https://www.unz.com/article/the-implications-of-russias-new-weapons/

Is anyone out there listening now?

English Outsider


" .. a news item that the Russian Navy has run nuclear subs right up to the US coast & they were not detected"

We don't know that. If they did get that close we also don't know whether they were detected or not.

We also don't know whether the Wunder Waffen talk is mostly just that or whether both sides have capabilities we don't know about.

More importantly we don't know what the two sides are really up to. It seems, if he means it, that Putin has just extended the tripwire. Previously Russian intention was that if NATO breached the Russian borders then, given NATO's conventional superiority, that would be the occasion for using nuclear weapons. In the old cold war terms, that was the tripwire that would indicate that MAD had come into play. That was understood on both sides and it was that understanding that restricted our actions against Russia to encroachment into the old Soviet space or to covert destabilisation rather than explicit direct attack.

Now the tripwire's set a little further out, or is it? And if so, do the US accept that extension of the tripwire to Syria and possibly Donetsk and Lugansk? Will the US accept it or will it test it? We don't know. We also don't know how far the US tripwire extends. Riga? Kiev? Warsaw, as you suggest? One would be a fool to put money on any of them.

As far as Trump is concerned we don't know the weight of the pressures an American President is subject to. You will recollect that after the UN Israel decision Truman ruefully admitted that he'd been given the bum's rush by the lobbyists and pressure groups, and that his decision had been against the advice of his more responsible advisors. If an American President could be so boxed in in those days then given that Trump's position is weaker than anything Truman had to cope with it's reasonable to assume that Trump is boxed in now.

Putin also? Are the Hurrah Patriots who've been calling him timid since at least the Maidan coup just an internet artefact or do they represent a significant slice of Russian public opinion? Are his military getting fed up with rolling with the punches? One assumes there will be some in Washington who are still hoping for a Russian Spring so is that also a realistic threat Putin has to guard against? We also don't really know the true state of the Russian economy and society, or rather we know it's still semi-derelict for many but we don't know how that affects Russian public opinion with regard to Putin. So does he also look at all those factors and see himself as boxed in as well?

Such a lot we don't know. All I see is that our truly extraordinary government here is directing the anti-Russian PR in the direction of more sanctions and the like, not of beating the war drums. But that there is nevertheless something of a feeling of 1914 in the air, as the Colonel indicated recently.

1914, for all the jingoism and war hysteria around then, was essentially a time when all it needed was a series of damned silly accidents and miscalculations to set the thing off. This is a coming up to being a similar time but with one essential difference. This time the troops are under no illusions that they'd be home by Christmas. Nor are the politicians and the military leadership, so there's a restraining influence now that there wasn't then.

Reassuring I believe, but even so, and especially with all the hysteria around, there can always be accidents. I think I'll join you in that drink.

turcopolier

daniel

Can I take it that there is a certain irony in what you wrote; looting of the evil ones, etc.? Nice place you are at in the French Alps. I would agree with you that the ultimate goal or dream is to annex the whole strip all the way across northern Syria. pl

turcopolier

james

So, what sort of grade would you give me on this Syria piece? B-? pl

ISL

Dear Colonel,

One might infer that Syria is more or less acquiescent in the loss of Idlib. SST and your point has been that Ghouta is a sore, but it is a sore that could not grow to threaten the regime, unlike Idlib. The SAA may have calculated that jihadi's crossing from Turkish territory or from Idlib is the same and they can live with that.

If so, then the next push would be towards the east - combined Turkish and SAA pressure on the Kurds may force them to realize longterm US protection is not securing their interests and then, in turn, to turn on their current US allies.

ISL

Fred, Barbara Ann

Source:

https://www.rt.com/news/421471-russian-nuclear-subs-us-drills/

As to whether this was true, my assessment is yes or mostly yes, see next article from WSJ

https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-russian-ghost-submarine-its-u-s-pursuers-and-a-deadly-new-cold-war-1508509841

This article from a mainstream source more or less admits that Russia has a modern stealth capability that makes US tracking difficult to impossible at times (when needed). I suspect that same is true of US submarines in terms of their role in the nuclear triad.

Unsurprisingly, the WSJ article has two meta-messages - the US is not threatened (ignore the MAD implications) and a clear plea for more money (to restore US invulnerability). Interestingly, the US is attributing Russian activities to marketing, not restoring MAD (unclear why actions cannot have two purposes).

The implications of both articles are that MAD has returned. Expect to see more signaling from Russia to the US along the same line, probably more aggressively if they feel the message has not gotten through.

Matthew

Col: The slow motion train wreck seems to have no conductor. The British feared the rise of Wilhelmine Germany so they shrieked for decades about the Germans before 1914. And what a price to pay for British paranoia and Prussian rigidity.

Fast forward to today. It's pretty sad when we really are relying on the Russians to be the grow ups.

Where is George Marshall now?

turcopolier

ISL
" ... more or less acquiescent in the loss of Idlib." Rather less tham more I would think. IMO the SAG can do something about Gouta but something made them think they could not continue on the victorious campaign against Idlib. Future Turkish/SAG cooperation against the Kurds? I doubt it. Tthe Turks are carving up Syria. the Kurds want autonomy. pl

Tom

Visiting Russia at least two times a year since 1992 and speaking the language. Talking to anybody I meet, knowing journalists, historians ordinary people I think that Russia has found some sort of equilibrium. It is a deeply conservative place afraid of any sudden changes. Living standards might be slowly eroding for many people but that is not the matter. People want stability above anything else. And are quite willing to tolerate a certain amount of corruption and misbehaviour by the authorities. In fact both these amounts have not been going up but rather decreasing.
The crazies (the Russian equivalent of their Nazi brethren on the Ukrainian side) might howl about how Putin is a weakling and an appeaser but in vast Russia the majority doesn´t give a damn about Ukraine.
The main problem of Russia internally is the Caucasus. Putin has in effect allowed Chechnya to be independent (even FSB agents have been hindered to do their job by Kadyrow) as long as she toes the overall line and doesn´t conduct her own foreign policy. But Chechnya is only a small part of Muslim Russia. You have a much higher birth rate there then in "real" Russia and a strong religious resurgence.
As long as there is no help from the outside Putin can keep these forces at bay. But had Syria been turned into some sort of Caliphate there would have been real trouble in Russia´s southern regions. That is why I believe Putin felt he had no choice but to intervene.
To my mind Russia´s intervention is wholly defensive in nature. Should the US decide to nevertheless effect regime change in Syria all bets are off. I don´t think it will come to that.
Sometime in the future Europe will just have to accept that chaos in the name of democracy is no solution. The pressure is building in Germany day by day. There are about 15 million in the age bracket of 20-25. BY the end of this year there will be 2 million refugees in this age bracket of which the majority are young men. Young men who´ve seen war and have not been effeminated by a PC education system. But who are completely useless in a high tech country like Germany.
The temparature on the streets is constantly rising and there is no police force able to deal with such numbers of potentially violent young men. The media is sweeping daily occurences of violence under the carpet. But the discontent among ordinary Germans is steadily rising. Many people get the connection between the havoc the West is creating in the middle east and the rising chaos in Europe. Apart from the fact that Germany is already paying as much for defense as for housing refugees. It would be much cheaper to send the people back, buy into Russia´s peace plan in Syria and fund reconstruction. In the end the pain will be to great and there will be a rupture one way or another. Sooner than people think.

Babak Makkinejad

Absolutely on the mark except the last part; the West will not follow the low cost course of action in the last 2 sentences.

Thomas

"Russian air defence has been overwhelmed & Damascus is a smoking ruin. Hundreds of Russian dead.
You are an advisor to Vlad the Hammer. What is your advice?

My advice would be to nuke Warsaw."

How about Boca Raton or having ground zero at 5801 South Ellis Avenue, Chicago? Hmm, not so sound either. Though on that track it would be more realistic to do New York and Tel Aviv conventionally (no easy out) so the symbiosis of these warmongers can finish the cup they pressed to its very dregs. But that isn't a good solution either.

Vladimir has already had his sovereign government formally and officially state that any missile launching platform becomes a legitimate target. There is a valid reason in previous Kaliber missile strikes on the jihadis that Russia showed pictures of the launches coming from Kilo class submarines.

The military understands this, as for the civilians, especially those with roots from central Europe, that is a question (or they do understand and want to burn the world down anyway).

Another factor in the escalation ladder is if the "WEST" launches an attack because, for example, poor cuddly Qadea babies got barrel bombed with chemical weapons ("We got proof but classification prevents us from making it public" screams the perpetrators) then there is a highly likely chance that the cold civil war brewing in the United States boils over and it won't be Black and White.

Overall the complexity of our current situation is in trying to remove the destroyers infested in the systems without bringing the whole edifice down so that the foundations are still there for future generations.

And the beat goes on...

Kooshy

Thank you very much for your comment. But IMO the rising pain you describe that exist in Germany’streets, it dose t occur here in our streets in US and that’s what really count. Ever since WWII, Germany is not a foreign policy sovereign country, at such, she wouldn’t be allowed to pursue her own foreign policy interests, unless she wants US’ sanctions, tariff, or even a soft regime change regardless who and what party is in power here. That same goes for the rest of Europe including France, Spain, Italy and the Westminster lapdogs. IMO, is not that the people of Western Europe are not informed,or do not know what’s going on, with their Forign policy, but IMO, in their colonial upbringing mindset they rather know well and just want to have one more free lunch for as long as it lasts. Didn’t they do the same thing many times in this last 300 years?

daniel

Colonel, your 18 March 2018 at 09:05 AM

I'm sad and grieving.
I do not want the Kurds to be crushed and Turkey to leave NATO. Emotion (Kurds) and rationality (Turkey) say it is impossible to marry the two. So I'm stuck. And I don't like...
But the big picture is Ankara satrap about Greece, S400, brotherhood, European blackmail, Manbij, Cyprus and so on. How do we stop this infamy?
The Alps are an image of peace and harmony. But they remind us how much we paid for letting down the Spanish Republicans in 1936. (Seek, if you deem it necessary,"the glières, 1944", a tiny space and event where about 75 Spanish Republican refugees bravely fought and died for a common cause. I live next door.)
You wrote that this is August 1914. Perhaps the Second World War in Europe began in 1936 with French and British "appeasement". Cowardice doesn't pay, yesterday and now. So 1936.

Kooshy

IMO, the Russian are not targeting the message to be heard by the western populations, not yet. I think this initial show of force was to inform the Borg regime for possible change of mind. The time to really inform the western population comes when the Borg media starts showing us how to hide under desks for how to make a good luau.

plantman

Colonel,

It looks to me that you must be right about this:

"IMO what we are seeing is a slow motion annexation of NW Syria by Turkey."

But the deal must have taken a lot of flexibility on both Putin's and Assad's part. It looks like there will be a soft partition, although Turkey might not formally annex the land.

I read recently in the Turkish media, that Turkish Intelligence was helping to remove elements of al nusra from E Ghouta. (but they were having a hard time)
I can't see why they would help with that unless concessions were made assad. And I'm sure that Putin must have acted as the interlocutor.

Putin is starting to look like more of a wheeler-dealer than Trump. I mean, if Turkey, Iran, Syria and Russia have already worked out some kind of arrangement for a soft partition, then maybe the fighting will stop quicker than anyone thought possible.

Ishmael Zechariah

SST;
The YPG-PKK cadres, including the all-female units have abandoned Afrin w/o a fight.
Ishmael Zechariah

LondonBob

Probably should have been more paranoid. I don't think the British establishment thought the Germans would cynically prod their Austro-Hungarian allies to send a list of demands designed to be rejected and then invade Serbia, inevitably provoking war with Russia and then France. The subsequent invasion of Belgium and accompanying atrocities left the British cabinet, with great regret, to act on their guarantee of Belgian neutrality and declare war. Revisionism has its use, but sometimes the estbished historical narrative is that way because it is true. Anyway I thought the reason Germany chose war in 1914 was the completion of the Kiel canal and, given their rapid pace of indutrialisation, Russia would be too strong in just a few short years to attack and the dream of a German empire in the east would be dead.

With my cynics hat on the Syrian government didn't control these areas before and they still don't now. They are probably as likely to regain some of these areas from the Turks as they would if they were occupied by Kurds backed by the US. Better to see two opponents fighting each other than you.

Anna

"...American civilian casualties may be entirely acceptable to the Likud Party and its proxies in the US."
-- Agree, the neo-Trotskyists (Israel-firsters) have been guiding the US towards the glory of Eretz Israel by any means, including, potentially, the massive American casualties. It is curious, whether Russians explained Bibi the fate of the "only democracy" in the Middle East in case the US initiates a destruction of Damascus. The Lobby should be aware of the details of the Middle Eastern geography. In addition, the Lobby is perhaps not aware of the psychological consequences of the extensive experience that Russians have had with the Jewish population in a course of more than 200 years. Perhaps, the “chosen” and “most victimized” have become accustomed too much to the western reverence (swiftly dissipating though) to their “eternal sufferings.” Russians remember Kaganovitch (Holodomor), Frankel (GULAG), Zemlyachka (mass execution of the officer corps), Yagoda (security apparatus CheKa) and other influential Bolshevik activists with a particular disdain for the Russian culture and Russian intelligentsia.

Anna

Thank you.

Babak Makkinejad

And among the first acts of Turks has been the destruction of an ugly statue of Kaveh the Blacksmith, the Persian hero who raised the flag of Justice, per legend.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kāve

Babak Makkinejad

The Western Europeans, say about half, also think of themselves as being morally superior - even to USA. No modesty there...

Babak Makkinejad

Then you would be grieving over fantasies; among Kurds, or Turks, or Spaniards.
Appeasment was not the proper descrpition of the Anglo-French policy. Its true name would have been Destroy-USSR-by-Germany. It just blew on their faces.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

October 2020

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Blog powered by Typepad