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06 July 2019


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As I see it everything, I will make a summary by saying that the US acts and the rest of the world reacts, and then this reactions are misinterpreted in the US as "empire building" ambitions.

I do not think Erdogan is seaking to rebuilt the Ottoman Empire.
Of course, everybody wants to expand its sphere of influemce, the more in its neighborhood, but mainly for security reasons due the volatility of the world´s current situation, especially in the ME. But who created such volatility?

I see the reason for Turkey´s interests in buying the S-400 in the last coup d´etat orchestrated from the US by the gülenists and executed mainly by Turskish Air Forces. We must recall that at certain point it was said that Erdogan was being kept on a flight in the verge of the bombing of his presdiential palace, and that he most probably saved himself by a Russian tip.... On the other hand, although it is said that most of the coupists were purged, may well be the case that Erdogan does not want to award his air forces with state-of-the-art F-35...just in case there are remnant traitors there...

Thus, we have here that Turkey simply reacts to US unreliabilityv. Another point where Turkey reacts to US unreliability is in response of the intend of creation of a "Kurdish state" by the US just the other side its borders with Syria in the NE.

In this scenario, does not seem hard to imagine that other nations seeking security on their borders has somewhat aligned with Turkey, in spite of isolated inicidents like that of the Russian jet downed by the Turks.

Simply, al these people, Syria, Iran, Turkey, Russia, Hezbollah, have seen their borders menaced by the "jihadist invent", and thus have realized it is in their interests to conform a "coalition of the willing" in order to prevail as free sovereign states.



Unless that is a VPN IP you are the goofy Spanish dame returned yet again.


> They must believe (as I do) that Putin has agreed to allow Turkey to occupy parts of Syria following the war.

This is absolute non-sense as Russia cannot 'allow Turkey to occupy parts of Syria' as they are not the Syrian government. They have been very consistent, that the Syrian government should be in control of the entirety of Syria.

Look at the entire outcome, not small bits of dialogue and attention-baiting headlines. Syrian government now controls most of Syria, they control all of the key population points and they are on their way to a solution in Idlib, be it a militaristic one of diplomatic.

What people should understand, is that the jihadi's have nowhere left to go. Rushing into Idlib and fighting in the cities is only helpful to the jihadi's. Taking them out in open fields whilst they try to counter-attack to regain their losses is ultimately a better long-term solution.

In the midst of all of this, we have recently gotten confirmation from the man himself, Patruchev, who is probably the 2nd or 3rd most important person in Russia and, most importantly, rarely ever speaks out or leaves Russia, that the Iranians are their allies. This statement, quite frankly, is historic and very important.

What is required now, after a long and costly war of attrition in Syria (which is already won by the Syrian government) is time and restraint. Russia, Syria, China and Iran have all the time they would ever need, they would not benefit from a conflict. That is why Western countries are trying their hardest to re-start conflicts all over (Iran, Ukraine, Syria, Venezuela)


Thanks for that information. I used the term "Arabic", since that is what the poll used. The problem still is that what a majority thinks about it and I still suspect that the same crowd may not be able to find India on a map either.


I agree on the questionable value of the F-35 but the problem is the longer-term consequences. At some point the Turkish Air Force will need new planes and how can they be sure the US or other NATO members will sell them any? Ditto with other weapon systems.

A classic way for the US to bind an ally is making them dependent on US weaponry.

Turkey could end up in a position where they would have to back down and get rid of the S-400 or buy new aircraft from Russia or China which would burn some bridges to NATO. Maybe permanently.


Every deep water port that Russia has is bottlenecked, and can be blockaded at will. I suspect that if I know this, the strategists in Russia also know this. Being a punctilious nation, the Russians live up to whatever treaties they are signatories of. That other nations are less "reliable" is just another fact of life and is part of any strategic assessment.
OBOR does make it possible for Russia to reduce any dependency on the Dardanelles, and on any good will from Turkey,


All treaties are as enforceable as the signers find it profitable to enforce them.
It is my suspicion that Putin and his strategic advisors have vision that extends beyond the current middle east situation, Turkey is just not that relevant, it is nice that Turkey will be buying Russian AA but if that deal gets scupppered another deal will eventuate. Who has Putin or Russia double-crossed and why do you think he would start now? It is probably not a good idea to rely on American infotainment as a source for realistic assessment of anything.


It is not so much the loss of the right to purchase the F-35, it's the loss of participation as a F-35 parts supplier that is a negative for Turkey and its defense industry (esp. with its economy in distress).


Excellent points.

ex-PFC Chuck

Yes! Maintaining and enhancing the security of its access into the Mediterranean Sea is Russia's most basic strategic imperative in this area.


I disagree about Putin seeking Turkey to leave NATO.
It's far more interesting to have good relations with Turkey remaining inside NATO.


They (TIA) are manufacturing fuselage components under contract with Northrop but I have not been able to find anything on the terms of the partnership agreement other than it falls under the terms of 22 USC 2767. Nor could I find anything on the the UK MOD procurement site.

Eugene Owens

CK - Thanks for the response.

I'm sure you are right that the middle east and Turkey in particular is just one tiny piece of Russia's strategic vision. And Turkey buying the S-400 may or may NOT get Turkey out of NATO.

As far as a doublecross, there were accusations of that back in late 2016-early 2017 by some Syrians who were loyal to Assad. That was during the Battle of al-Bab when Russia let the Turkish AF bomb Syria at will without firing a shot back at them. And there were more accusations when the same thing happened again in 2018 when Putin gave Erdogan a greenlight to invade Afrin with both jihadis and with Turkish armor, arty, and air support. And sure, I realize many of those came from Kurds and Syriac Christians. But many others came from Syrian backers of the Assad government and from Iran.

Iran also lashed out at Russia back in 2010, 'saying it had "sold out" Iran to the United States by cancelling a deal to supply S-300 ground-to-air missiles.' Sounds a bit like a doublecross, even though they eventually got them in 2016 due to the lifting of sanctions by JCPOA.

None of that came from US infotainment sources. I prefer the golf channel and classic movies.

Eugene Owens

Aleksandar -

That would be interesting. But hasn't it already happened? And can the good relations remain if once Idlib is liberated that Russia starts bombing Turkish proxy jihadis in the northern Aleppo occupied zones?

Eugene Owens

JJ -

Not just TIA, at least six other Turkish companies are involved:


I don't know the cost. Where did you get that $4.3B figure. AFAIK the Turkish government has only claimed $1B+ in damages if they are cancelled.

Is Russia offring them the same participation-in-manufacturing deal? I suspect not. AFAIK the S-440 is produced entirely by Russian state-owned aerospace company.

Ingolf Eide

Yes, a crucial point CK. Russia under Putin has been carefully building a reputation for reliability and forthrightness. My guess is nothing short of an existential emergency would lead them to jeopardise that brand.


"Every deep water port that Russia has...can be blockaded at will." I think that is no longer the case. Russia has begun building a new naval base at Matua island in the Kuril Islands. During WWII Matua was a heavily fortified Japanese island with a large garrison, an underground fortress/city and naval guns. I had never even heard of it till a year or so ago. Matua island has a reputation as being a very strange place. Interesting story.

The island is in the central part of the archipelago and there is a deep strait nearby, good for subs. Russia is rebuilding the whole Japanese infrastructure there and putting in a new airfield capable of handing among other things TU-22M3 bombers, which carry hypersonic missiles. The combat radius of the Tupolev plus the range of the Kinzhal missile looks like it adds up to a reported 1864 miles. I don't see a blockade as being likely. The United States doesn't have anything now or in the near future that can challenge or stop the hypersonic Kinzhal in the event war starts. Any blockading ships would simply be destroyed. Hard to believe. But it's the reality we now face.

Submarines leaving or entering Vladivostok used to have to use the strait on the north end of Hokkaido where they were at risk of being observed and tracked by anti-submarine planes like the P-3 Orion and by shore-based sensors, technology and weapons. The base at Matua changes that. The base is going to be chock-a-block loaded. Future plans include the stationing there of a lot of antisub helos, AWACS A-50U, corvettes, unmanned underwater craft, icebreakers, floating workshops, several coast guard squadrons and MIG-31 interceptors which I assume are capable of carrying Kinzhals. It is going to become a great Pacific fortress. I think it is going to become very dangerous for any American submarine that tries to operate in the sea of Okhotsk.
The base is also a very real threat to any American bases in Japan. Even to Kadena, Okinawa. But it will take three or four years to get it up and running, I would guess, and climate catastrophe --that other reality that noone has the heart to acknowledge-- is happening at terrifying speed and it will soon change a lot of the nations' strategic thinking and focus.
There is also the question of Kotelny island in the Arctic. I think Russia now controls the Arctic.

Eugene Owens

Tidewater -

I wonder if they will also rebuild the many IJN and IJA bases and airfields on Paramushiro in the northern Kuriles. Or Shumushu and Uruppu?

I believe they already have done that on Etorofu, which now has SU-35s and SAM units.


I think you are right. Russia has seen the US as agreement incapable and is aware many other states also view it a fickle ally. Russia has been working assiduously to show it self as steadfast which seems a excellent strategy for swaying both those looking for a powerful patron and those who wish to remain as independent as possible.



I think we are fully in agreement. By the way, I have started reading The Cuckoo's Egg on your recommendation and I am *really* enjoing it. Thank you. (If you have any other suggestions I am all ears.)


Turkish leader says purchase of S-400 defence system is complete, adding Ankara will jointly produce S-500s with Moscow:



Lars what would they like used instead? Roman numerals are not much fun to do calculations with and I am having trouble thinking of a good alternative. Just rename them al la French fries to Freedom fries as ancientarcher suggest.

Ishmael Zechariah

Colonel, SST;
Ali Babacan resigned from AKP (https://www.ft.com/content/14806d84-a179-11e9-974c-ad1c6ab5efd1 ). Today is probably the first day his excellency, the would-be-caliph, woke up, looked in the mirror, and saw a goat.
Ishmael Zechariah


I was wrong about the 4.3 billion.
From the Wikipedia F35 page
"While the United States is the primary customer and financial backer, along with the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Canada, Turkey, Australia, Norway, and Denmark have agreed to contribute US$4.375 billion towards development costs.[295]"
which is not very clear but when I followed the link, [295], you get

"Eight countries agreed to invest a total of $4.375 billion over 10 years in the $25 billion Joint Strike Fighter program. Britain pledged $2 billion, and is the only "Level I" partner in the program. Italy has pledged $1 billion as a Level II partner, and the Netherlands has also pledged to invest $800 million, also becoming a "Level II" partner. The "Level III" partners include Canada [which pledged $150 million], Denmark [$125 million], Norway [pledged to invest $125 million], and Turkey [pledging $175 million]."
so Turkey's contribution to the development budget is only 175 million.


You have added to my knowledge and I thank you. I think that the world is entering a period of global cooling, my thoughts on this do not impact any nation's policies; it does appear that Putin does not believe in global warming, So you place your bets and you pray for your preferred outcome. I would enjoy global warming, so much more waterfront real estate, so much more arable and productive farm land, so much less a/c cost.

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