An extraordinary warning tonight from Russia to the US against conducting military strikes in Syria. In a strongly worded statement, a spokesperson for the Russian defense minister said any [US] strikes against President Bashar Assad’s regime … could result in American aircraft being shot down. (ABC)
US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter responded Friday that Russia will face the consequences for its growing involvement in Syria. (See, they are surprised Russia has had the boxy to involve itself in a way that endangers US aircraft as a result of earlier advice from Hillary that said it wouldn’t. Thus, the Obama administration professes outrage that things have taken this seriously dangerous turn.)
The Pentagon this week has been presenting the Obama administration with options for potential strikes on Assad’s air force bases to punish the regime for its failure to abide by the recent ceasefire agreement. (And, as the next article shows, because overthrowing Assad was always Plan One as a measure of support for Israel.) State Department officials, however, have said that Obama is unlikely to approve the strikes, though the Joint Chiefs of Staff are in favor of them.
To this news of recommended air strikes directly against Assad, Major-General Igor Konashenkov, the Russian defense ministry spokesman, responded,
I would recommend our colleagues in Washington to thoroughly consider the possible consequences of the realization of such plans.
This is about as close as you get to a hot war with Russia without actually being in one. Russia is not just saber rattling. It is saying its missiles will be in the air, and Russia won’t have time to coordinate missile flight plans with the US. So, if the US happens to be in the air in the same place and same time, its planes could get shot down.
I think there is even more to this warning than concern that US planes may accidentally get caught in the fire:
Konashenkov, however, suggested Russia would target any unidentified aircraft attacking Syrian government targets and warned “American strategists” not to assume a covert intervention would go unanswered…. Konashenkov also warned that Russian troops were now widely deployed across Syria, implying any strikes could hit them, pulling the U.S. into conflict with Russia. Konashenkov referred again to a strike on Sept. 17, when U.S. military aircraft killed dozens of Syrian government troops accidentally. The Pentagon has said the strike was a mistake, but Konashenkov said Russia was prepared to prevent “any similar ‘mistakes’” against Russian troops.
In other words, all stealth aircraft (by nature “unidentified”) that attack Assad will be targeted and shot down, even though they most likely belong to the US if they are not planes Russia can identify as its own; and any US attacks against Assad that wind up endangering Russian troops will receive a direct Russian counter-attack.
Russian bombardment of the besieged city of Aleppo during the past week was described as the most intense in this war to date. At the same time, the fact that the talk of targeting by the US has been directed at Assad’s air bases says that clearly regime change is the only order of the day for the US. ISIS seems to have become a sideshow compared to US rage against Assad. (It was, in fact, a sideshow from the beginning of Clinton’s recommendations for a US war against Assad.)
In Syria, these tensions advanced this week very close to becoming a hot war — about as hot as the Cuban Missile Crisis. As soon as US Secretary of State John Kerry terminated diplomatic relations with Russia in the Syrian war this past week, the Syrian war began to look and sound all the more like the “very, very familiar proxy war cycle from the bad old days of the Cold War” (Vox) that some said it was.
The Clinton reset button looks more and more like the proverbial nuclear button that launched a purposeful chain of regime-change wars that is turning out to be more of chain reaction.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Sunday he had detected increasing U.S. hostility towards Moscow and complained about what he said was a series of aggressive U.S. steps that threatened Russia's national security.
In an interview with Russian state TV likely to worsen already poor relations with Washington, Lavrov made it clear he blamed the Obama administration for what he described as a sharp deterioration in U.S.-Russia ties.
"We have witnessed a fundamental change of circumstances when it comes to the aggressive Russophobia that now lies at the heart of U.S. policy towards Russia," Lavrov told Russian state TV's First Channel.
"It's not just a rhetorical Russophobia, but aggressive steps that really hurt our national interests and pose a threat to our security."
With relations between Moscow and Washington strained over issues from Syria to Ukraine, Lavrov reeled off a long list of Russian grievances against the United States which he said helped contribute to an atmosphere of mistrust that was in some ways more dangerous and unpredictable than the Cold War.
He complained that NATO had been steadily moving military infrastructure closer to Russia's borders and lashed out at Western sanctions imposed over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis.
He also said he had heard that some policy makers in Washington were suggesting that President Barack Obama sanction the carpet bombing of the Syrian government's military air fields to ground its air force.
"This is a very dangerous game given that Russia, being in Syria at the invitation of the legitimate government of this country and having two bases there, has got air defence systems there to protect its assets," said Lavrov.
Lavrov said he hoped Obama would not agree to such a scenario.
Russia suspended a treaty with Washington on cleaning up weapons grade plutonium earlier this month in response to what it said were "unfriendly acts" by the United States.
Lavrov said both countries had the right to pull out of the treaty in the event of "a fundamental change in circumstances".
"The treaty was concluded when relations were normal, civilised, when no one ... was trying to interfere in the (other's) internal affairs. That's the fundamental change of circumstances," said Lavrov.
An analysis of US generals’ growing dissatisfaction with the political leadership in Washington sheds new light on the direction in which the American military machine is heading. In particular, it is interesting to observe the military planning for the future of the sea, air, space, cyberspace, and land forces.
Conclusions and today's conflicts
Because they have effectively taken advantage of all the above factors, Russia, Iran, and their allies have attained the necessary skills to prevent direct US intervention in various contexts, from Ukraine to Syria.
In analyzing what has not worked in the Middle East or Eastern Europe, the US is blinded by the complexity of its military system and is focusing mostly on its inability to rapidly devise a workable strategy that is inexpensive in terms of human casualties. This is the main reason Washington has been forced to lean on outside actors to influence events on the ground (mercenary battalions in Ukraine and Salafis and Wahhabis in Syria). As we can see, these are all choices that do not pay off in the long run, instead allowing other rising powers to dominate the United States without necessarily resorting to a direct confrontation.
The wars of the third millennium AD also heavily rely on psychological factors and deterrence, as well as the essential ability to influence an opponent with false information. Take the example of Syria and the Russian intervention. No one at the Pentagon or CIA was able to predict Russia’s air and naval deployment, which was accomplished in less than 48 hours. No one, least of all Dunford, was ready at the time with a well-defined plan to respond to this move. In addition to technical and organizational inefficiencies, there is a clearly inadequate ability to decipher an opponent’s moves such as one does in chess. The ability to catch an opponent off guard has already proved its effectiveness in the conflict in Ukraine, in which Crimea was reunified with Russia without a shot being fired and with full popular support.
Dunford and Neller have grasped that any future battlefield will be a hostile environment in terms of air superiority, Internet connectivity, and the simultaneous management of resources across a broad geographical spectrum. It is a challenge with - by the general’s own admission - a far from obvious outcome. Washington's policy, which is dominated by lobbies and corruption, requires an unprecedented turnaround in its military apparatus. But this is what is needed in order to meet the future challenges of a multipolar world with different nations (allied together) with capabilities equal to that of the US military machine.
The truth, which is difficult for US policymakers to accept, is that the current environment of the military-industrial complex (MIC) leaves little room to maneuver, given the gargantuan projects that are in place. The F-35 is unlikely to be put on hold while the project is completely revised and its actual ability to carry out the tasks required of a fifth-generation fighter reviewed. The same could be said about the development of expensive ships such as the USS Enterprise and USS Zumwalt, in which several hundred billion dollars have already been invested.
Military spending is an essential gear in the machine of the US system of oligarchy, but the consequences are starting to drag down the future military capabilities of the United States. Its rivals are catching up, using systems that are more advanced, more economical, and more effective, while also easier to use or replicate. The military leaders at the Pentagon are starting to show telling signs of impatience, calling for a transformation that will be difficult to achieve, since it will require a sea change in the country's top-brass establishment. The ultimate consequences are evidence of a pattern that is slowly draining Washington’s wallet and greatly reducing the competitive advantage that Washington possesses.
I am cautiously suspicious of the downgrading of the United States economy, military, and overall position in the world. We know Obama has displayed the desire to apologize to the world for the mistake that is America. But then there is Syria. Who is pulling his strings? On the surface, our administration is sorry for 200 plus years of global tyranny. Behind closed doors, the same game of "Risk" continues. It's hard to know who or what to believe.
Wow!!! Just wow!!! Why do we even tolerate presidential debates? Everything either of these two say, are evasive, unresponsive, and mainly a waste of time. I will say this again. No wonder, this country is a laughingstock of the world, if these two are the best candidates we can come up with. And what's even more comical about all this is the after debate, commentary.
May Gods will be done! And please hurry!
Amen! Your bride is waiting Yeshua!
David I heard an interesting video earlier this evening...the man said, "God was able to do far more through a carnal Samson than an unrepentant Jezebel"
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