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Marcello
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mattblack How many US intelligence officers have had the chance to play with/against Egyptian and Indian ones is what you probably want to be asking.

 

 

The Russians brief implied that stealth aircraft will not be effective and the systems can shoot further than thought. They’ve upgraded the Syrian network and brought it back to full operational standard. Not sure what any of that means in terms of how things would shake out, (Russian air defense nets have a history of being bested).

 

But the Russians aren't going to shoot down any American planes over Syria. You suppose Assad is worth that much to them? Bonkers.

 

 

The United States stands on the precipice of a war with Russia across the entire Middle East. From Libya to Yemen, Iran, and Afghanistan, perhaps even into Asia. You think Putin is going to throw his own ally to the wolves, such that his alliances with Syria, Iran and even China will collapse, he will be completely alone, and the United States can cut Russia apart at its leisure one insult at a time? Maybe. I suppose that could be the case, but don’t be surprised if that SA-23 is already ordered to shoot the lights out without waiting or getting permission from anyone. The Russians literally just said this is the case.

 

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You believe that Putin thinks Assad is worth war starting a war with the USA for? Don't be silly! If a war starts it'll be by accident.

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Obama is desperate for nothing to upset the political applecart till he is out of there, so likely Putin being a smart lad knows he can push the US a bit right now, then regardless who wins there will be confusion as to any policy changes and a lot of circles jerk while they read the full briefings and digest them. I suspect Putin has a fairly free hand for the next 3 months as long as he does not box the west into a corner. It's pretty clear Russia is not leaving and the rebels stand little chance of winning with them there. So the reality will be for the remaining "moderates" to figure out how to strike a deal. The real hardcore are either going to die in place or try to escape to the east, possibly Iraq.

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Who finances those white helmets anyway? In the beginning they looked like a ragtag bunch of idealists, but meanwhile they look more and more professional. Who gives them money? I doubt they can support themselves on rubble and idealism.

http://uk.businessinsider.com/raed-saleh-white-helmets-syria-us-white-helmets-2016-4?r=US&IR=T

 

USAID has provided the White Helmets with $20 million in monetary aid since 2013.

 

You believe that Putin thinks Assad is worth war starting a war with the USA for? Don't be silly! If a war starts it'll be by accident.

An assumption that no doubt many in Washington share in their urge to regimechange Syria. The problem is that while Assad per se does not mean much it is fairly obvious that it is a red line for Moscow due to big picture considerations. You will remember that nobody sent the the USAF to bomb DRA forces in Afghanistan. We will find out why it would have been a bad idea... Edited by Marcello
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Marcello An assumption that no doubt many in Washington share in their urge to regimechange Syria. The problem is that while Assad per se does not mean much it is fairly obvious that it is a red line for Moscow due to big picture considerations. You will remember that nobody sent the the USAF to bomb DRA forces in Afghanistan. We will find out why it would have been a bad idea...

 

 

Roman touched on it briefly earlier. I said the election was important because Trump and Clinton have different attitudes on where to go with Russia. He said something to the effect that it didn’t matter, that American attitudes have reached a tipping point that have a momentum all their own. I took him to mean that the Americans have become so arrogant that it will take war to slap them out of their stupor. Putin’s pattern in Syria seems to track this theory – the ROE’s appear to be they will shoot without permission from Moscow.

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Colin Obama is desperate for nothing to upset the political applecart till he is out of there, so likely Putin being a smart lad knows he can push the US a bit right now, then regardless who wins there will be confusion as to any policy changes and a lot of circles jerk while they read the full briefings and digest them. I suspect Putin has a fairly free hand for the next 3 months as long as he does not box the west into a corner.

 

 

I don’t think Putin asked himself if he could “get away” with Aleppo due to the election. I don’t think he cares whether its Obama or Clinton in power. He’s ramped it up in Aleppo because he calculates the ground is favorable whether the Americans attack or don’t attack. No sane strategist would ever do something so potentially dangerous simply on the hope that Obama won’t discharge the duties of his office in its final months. It has to be that Putin likes the way things go whether the Americans take the bait or not.

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There is an alternative way of looking at it. That the actions in Aleppo, highlighting the American recklessness in planning to attack him (which of course they are not) and the nuclear exercise is just one more halfassed attempt to discredit the Democrats and influence a Trump election by making Hillary look reckless, and Trump a peacemaker.

 

Which sounds absurd, right up to you realise they have been trying to do that all along.

http://ijr.com/2016/10/709818-homeland-security-looked-into-dnc-and-clinton-campaign-hacks-and-makes-an-alarming-finding/

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Marcello An assumption that no doubt many in Washington share in their urge to regimechange Syria. The problem is that while Assad per se does not mean much it is fairly obvious that it is a red line for Moscow due to big picture considerations. You will remember that nobody sent the the USAF to bomb DRA forces in Afghanistan. We will find out why it would have been a bad idea...

 

 

Roman touched on it briefly earlier. I said the election was important because Trump and Clinton have different attitudes on where to go with Russia. He said something to the effect that it didn’t matter, that American attitudes have reached a tipping point that have a momentum all their own. I took him to mean that the Americans have become so arrogant that it will take war to slap them out of their stupor. Putin’s pattern in Syria seems to track this theory – the ROE’s appear to be they will shoot without permission from Moscow.

 

The Americans could turn off the Russian war effort in a week, and quite possibly they wouldnt even need to fire a shot. Putins comments are shrill, hysterical, and designed to shock.

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Swerve You believe that Putin thinks Assad is worth war starting a war with the USA for? Don't be silly! If a war starts it'll be by accident.

 

Looks to me the exact opposite of what you’re thinking. Putin thinks the Americans have a formidable military, but they are rank buffoons geopolitically so he wants to suck them into a low level never ending contest across the Middle East that’s beyond their competence, where Europe can stay out of it, drains their treasury, to see them collapse in a sea of red ink caused by spiraling deficits and some new catastrophic banking crisis which we all know is coming. End scene with curtain dropping on end of American century.

Good plan? Who knows. But don’t be expecting any more free lunches. Colin’s post suggests to me he assumes the Russians are cowardly little rats that scurry out of their holes to steal cheese from the table whenever the burly American heroes are distracted. Maybe he's right, but I think he’s engaging in wishful thinking. I think there’s going to be more red lines. For example, Clinton’s been saying for months how she’s going to deal with Iran. Really? You think Putin’s is going to let her do a fucking thing with Iran?

Edited by glenn239
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Makes no sense. Russia is weak in Syria, not strong. The only strength he has is due to non American intervention. Its not a place to take on the US and you know it. If the American 6th Fleet decided to put a blockade in place and stop those supply ships coming in, how long do you think the Syrian and Russian war effort would continue? The Russian navy would be unable to do anything about it, without taking the first shot and being promptly stomped.

 

That Obama isnt doing that is evident. The reasons why he is doing it is also evident. But its not evidence of Russian strength, its an inablity, due to poor political circumstances, for the US to do anything. It does not necessarily mean those circumstances will last forever.

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You believe that Putin thinks Assad is worth war starting a war with the USA for? Don't be silly! If a war starts it'll be by accident.

 

You believe that Obama thinks Assad is worth starting a war with Russia for ?

 

Invert the situation and there is no way the U.S. would stand for it. The fact that Russia has had to stand back and let the US and allies into Syria is humiliating enough. If the US start hitting targets in Syria then it is a very very dangerous precedent.

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The Russian navy would be unable to do anything about it, without taking the first shot and being promptly stomped.

 

The Russians will probably try to sail past the blockade. At which point it is either iceland cod war style ramming contest, and the Russians might bring tankers or other stuff a Burke might find unhealthy to get in the path of.Or the US will have to shoot first.

The dynamic of the situation means that the blockade enforcer is the one who has to escalate.

Edited by Marcello
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Russian media widely report Russian helicopter in Syria attacked by MANPAD "known to be delivered from Iraq". Helicopter (described as Mi-8 with humanitarian cargo) survived unharmed because of defense equipment and maneuvering, but in current political climate it makes Russian to remember previous US representatives statements

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Are those Hornets really in Syria? Because there's a US Navy or Marine training aggressor squadron flying Hornets in Russian/Chinese paint schemes to simulate Russian/Chinese fighters for ACM training:

 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VMFT-401

 

I would reckon it's a "tinfoil hat" post the one in your link, and that we're really seeing Hornets from that aggressor squadron or similar unit.

 

ETA:

 

The USAF does the same thing:

 

Edited by Corinthian
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Russian media widely report Russian helicopter in Syria attacked by MANPAD "known to be delivered from Iraq". Helicopter (described as Mi-8 with humanitarian cargo) survived unharmed because of defense equipment and maneuvering, but in current political climate it makes Russian to remember previous US representatives statements

 

More likely Chinese MANPADs instead of Stingers, but there is this from earlier today:

 

CuQeAu8W8AA5DtL.jpg

 

The part about the 122mm BM-21 Grad rockets has already been proven, with FSA groups firing such rockets off far more than usual this past week:

 

CuQkqkzW8AAdLuu.jpg

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The Russian navy would be unable to do anything about it, without taking the first shot and being promptly stomped.

The Russians will probably try to sail past the blockade. At which point it is either iceland cod war style ramming contest, and the Russians might bring tankers or other stuff a Burke might find unhealthy to get in the path of.Or the US will have to shoot first.

The dynamic of the situation means that the blockade enforcer is the one who has to escalate.

 

How? The Boshphorous is so narrow, any traffic transiting it is easly picked up, not least by a guy with a cell phone in Istanbul watching the ships go by. Even in 1962 the Russians discovered its not possible to sneak past the worlds largest navy.

 

Lets tot it up, the US 6th Fleet comprises 40 warships, and thats before you include the French and occasional British contribution. Could anyone try to sail pass a blockage of warshps that deep? Nope. So militarily its feasible to put enough hulls in the are to make Russian resupply impossible, and impossible to take on. Will it happen? Probably not, certainly not until after the election anyway. But it does illustrates quite how weak Russia really is in Syria. Everyone keeps banging the table 'Russia stronk!' and it certainly has remarkable capabilities right by its borders. But Russia has never been strong on deployment abroad. The best example of that is what happened in 1904. Its political unwill that is making Russia strong in Syria. Its military capability is really pretty insignificant compared to what even France could put in if it had a mind to.

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6th fleet is closer to four than forty warships, unless you count something I am missing it is a command ship plus four destroyers or so, number would change as needed I guess but I doubt much more than a couple of carrier groups.

Depending on the political situation a blockade in Turkish waters might be unadvisable. I could totally see Erdogan saying "Not on my doorstep" and the US going along with that.

I am not saying that a blockade won't work, by the way. Just that the US will have to shoot first in all likelihood as not all that many hulls that can be physically put in the path of a russian force. Especially as there might be serious threats for most escorts to be on the lookout for rather than playing "how many Burke to shove a tanker" games.

I do not recall ROE for Cuban blockade but I guess that any runner would have found itself with extra holes.

But back then they were trying to sneak in materials. The goal in this case would be removing the option of defeating the Russians by politically easy non violent means. The US will have to either let them go or fire the first shots of WW3.

Edited by Marcello
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Makes no sense. Russia is weak in Syria, not strong. The only strength he has is due to non American intervention. Its not a place to take on the US and you know it. If the American 6th Fleet decided to put a blockade in place and stop those supply ships coming in, how long do you think the Syrian and Russian war effort would continue? The Russian navy would be unable to do anything about it, without taking the first shot and being promptly stomped.

 

That Obama isnt doing that is evident. The reasons why he is doing it is also evident. But its not evidence of Russian strength, its an inablity, due to poor political circumstances, for the US to do anything. It does not necessarily mean those circumstances will last forever.

It is similar to Rus communists insisting on "USSR collapsed because of Gorbachev was weak leader and US agent". Ask yourself a question - why political circumstances for US are poor? Just few years ago US was ruling the world, having huge economic, military, ideological and political superiority in every aspect one could think of. And now they are in situation when the only option for them to regain position in minor regional conflict is starting WWIII, option that was associated with Russia, country on the edge of collapse, for decades....

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Makes no sense. Russia is weak in Syria, not strong. The only strength he has is due to non American intervention. Its not a place to take on the US and you know it. If the American 6th Fleet decided to put a blockade in place and stop those supply ships coming in, how long do you think the Syrian and Russian war effort would continue? The Russian navy would be unable to do anything about it, without taking the first shot and being promptly stomped.

 

That Obama isnt doing that is evident. The reasons why he is doing it is also evident. But its not evidence of Russian strength, its an inablity, due to poor political circumstances, for the US to do anything. It does not necessarily mean those circumstances will last forever.

It is similar to Rus communists insisting on "USSR collapsed because of Gorbachev was weak leader and US agent". Ask yourself a question - why political circumstances for US are poor? Just few years ago US was ruling the world, having huge economic, military, ideological and political superiority in every aspect one could think of. And now they are in situation when the only option for them to regain position in minor regional conflict is starting WWIII, option that was associated with Russia, country on the edge of collapse, for decades....

 

 

Tell us more . . .

 

Yes we are in a bit more of a fundamentally multi-polar world, but Russia could have frustrated the U.S. previously. The main change in respective power balance is the rise of China, but China is not the one materially and directly opposing US hegemony. The US itself is just as bellicose as it always was, there is no sort of lack of confidence nor significant internal resistance. The US' allies have also not raised any significant objections.

 

Things are changing but I don't get the specifics of your point.

 

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The Russian navy would be unable to do anything about it, without taking the first shot and being promptly stomped.

The Russians will probably try to sail past the blockade. At which point it is either iceland cod war style ramming contest, and the Russians might bring tankers or other stuff a Burke might find unhealthy to get in the path of.Or the US will have to shoot first.

The dynamic of the situation means that the blockade enforcer is the one who has to escalate.

 

How? The Boshphorous is so narrow, any traffic transiting it is easly picked up, not least by a guy with a cell phone in Istanbul watching the ships go by.

 

The narrowest point of the Dardanelles is 1.2 km, & of the Bosphorus 700 metres. There are three bridges across it.

 

The Turks are obliged to keep the straits open most of the time, but anyone can log traffic.

 

But you can't blockade the Syrian coast there. Syria has a pretty short coast, with few ports - but it has borders with countries which might not co-operate.

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Swerve You believe that Putin thinks Assad is worth war starting a war with the USA for? Don't be silly! If a war starts it'll be by accident.

 

Looks to me the exact opposite of what you’re thinking. Putin thinks the Americans have a formidable military, but they are rank buffoons geopolitically so he wants to suck them into a low level never ending contest across the Middle East that’s beyond their competence, where Europe can stay out of it, drains their treasury, to see them collapse in a sea of red ink caused by spiraling deficits and some new catastrophic banking crisis which we all know is coming. End scene with curtain dropping on end of American century.

Good plan? Who knows. But don’t be expecting any more free lunches. Colin’s post suggests to me he assumes the Russians are cowardly little rats that scurry out of their holes to steal cheese from the table whenever the burly American heroes are distracted. Maybe he's right, but I think he’s engaging in wishful thinking. I think there’s going to be more red lines. For example, Clinton’s been saying for months how she’s going to deal with Iran. Really? You think Putin’s is going to let her do a fucking thing with Iran?

 

Um No, i never said or inferred such. Putin likes a free lunch just as much as anyone. The US political confusion means that he can push without fear of any realistic or well thought response. Every country weighs the potentiel political and military response of their opponents.

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The Russian navy would be unable to do anything about it, without taking the first shot and being promptly stomped.

The Russians will probably try to sail past the blockade. At which point it is either iceland cod war style ramming contest, and the Russians might bring tankers or other stuff a Burke might find unhealthy to get in the path of.Or the US will have to shoot first.

The dynamic of the situation means that the blockade enforcer is the one who has to escalate.

 

How? The Boshphorous is so narrow, any traffic transiting it is easly picked up, not least by a guy with a cell phone in Istanbul watching the ships go by.

 

The narrowest point of the Dardanelles is 1.2 km, & of the Bosphorus 700 metres. There are three bridges across it.

 

The Turks are obliged to keep the straits open most of the time, but anyone can log traffic.

 

But you can't blockade the Syrian coast there. Syria has a pretty short coast, with few ports - but it has borders with countries which might not co-operate.

 

Fair one, but its going to be a cast iron bitch to bring in enough fuel to keep the Russian and Syrian air wing operational. You can fly in bombs, but its going to be very hard to come up with enough aircraft to fly in enough ordnance to keep up with demand. Are they really going to drive in bombs and artillery shells all the way from the Russian border? Cant see it myself.

 

I wouldn't blockade in the The Bosphorus, largely because the Turks would likely being the self serving bastards they are under Erdogan, would not play ball. In international waters? Yeah, I think that could be done. I dont think it WILL be done, but as an expression of Political will and complicating the Russian military picture, it would have much to commend it. After all, you wouldn't JUST have the US Navy, you have the Israelis right next door that must be getting very itchy about all the fancy weaponry Hez is getting. It would be one way they have of ensuring Putin sticks by the elaborate promises they gave.

 

As I say, think about it. It illustrates just how tenuous Russias position really is, and quite how much they are depending on the complete lack of resolve they discovered in Obama. Its not military strength that stopped anyone tackling them. Quite the opposite.

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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