Is the Syrian situation likely to escalate?

Russia says it will attack US planes bombing the Syrian military?

Is Putin bluffing? Would Trump respond in like manner if he isn’t? This shit is making me nervous. Could all this get out of hand?

Allahu Âlim. But did I not read from the Pro Trump that among the reasons to elect him was Mrs Clinton would escalate a confrontation with the Russians just like this?

Honestly it is hard to think Madame Clinton would be so clumsy only months into her Presidency.

I don’t think you want to make this about Clinton. Remember, she wanted to institute a no fly zone. That would likely have made things worse.

I hope it escalates to full on nuclear war. I’d like to walk around the nuclear wasteland and still hear people say “Clinton would have been worse”

Probably. Russia has as much or more to lose as the US if dialogue breaks down wrt the back channel communications between Russian and US/alliance air groups. He’s got a lot more to lose (as does Assad) if they start actually shooting at US planes.

This particular incident seems to have been a test of US/allied resolve. From what I’ve read multiple attempts were made to wave the Syrian aircraft off (it had already done an attack run previously), and my WAG is that the Syrian’s (and probably the Russian’s) figured they would see what we’d do if they pressed the attack. Guess they found out, tragically for the poor pilot who had to do the dying part.

On this Trump’s hands are probably tied. I doubt he’s going to pull the US out of the region or halt air sorties in the area, so this will play out as Russia wants it to at this point. If Putin takes some shots at US or allied aircraft then I’m pretty sure the ROE will allow the US to respond in the theater (i.e. they won’t have to ask Trump et al back in DC if they can shoot back).

Yeah, no shit. This has a pucker factor of at least 9.

Ah yes, i had not followed the details of these things.

It is difficult to evaluate how Clinton would have responded to events but in her capacity as Secretary of State in the Obama Administration she veered toward more hawkish. However, she would likely have assembled a Cabinet with experienced advisors and not gutted the State Department of senior leadership, and would likely started by taking a hard stance with Putin, giving him less tactic encouragement to push the envelope of US/NATO and Russian relations.

Please do not joke. Given Trump’s blatant ignorance about military affairs and our nuclear deterrent, this is all too plausible a scenario.


I’m not joking. On the bright side, a lot of coal-mining jobs will be needed to get us out of the stone age again.

I won’t argue with any of that. My response was more to the idea that it’s obvious Clinton would not have been involved in shooting down Syrian jets. That is not at all obvious to me, even though I think Clinton would have been infinitely preferable as president than Trump. Her campaign rhetoric implied an escalation of the hostilities in Syria, not an effort to extricate us from them.

So all you “Clinton would have been worse” people think that she would have unilaterally imposed a no-fly zone that included the Russkis, and ordered the Air Force to shoot down Russian planes that violated the zone?

That’s what would have happened?

The only way a no-fly zone can work is if the Russkis agreed to it. Because it’s one thing to shoot down an airplane belonging to some third world shithole, it’s another thing to shoot down a Russian, or Chinese, or European plane.

Of course, this is how the isolationist Trump of the campaign was always going to get embroiled in some foreign shooting war. His overwhelming fear of looking weak means that the only option is escalation.

I dislike Trump at least as much as anyone else on this board, but in this case, I can’t see how things would have been different under Obama or Clinton. Well, except perhaps one key point that Stranger mentioned, namely that by acting and saying some of the stuff Trump has he’s given Putin et al the false impression we’d (the US that is) would stay clear of Syria and let them do whatever they wanted. Neither Obama nor Clinton would have done that, so Putin and Assad would have known where they stood on this more clearly than with the often contradictory Trump and his convoluted and befuddled foreign policy where even our allies don’t know what the fuck we are doing or where we are going with any of this.

You’ll have to take that up with Ms. Clinton, as she clearly had no intention of seeking Russian agreement. Her no-fly zone would have included Russian planes along with Syrian planes. From the 3rd presidential debate (that is, Oct 2016):

There is more danger of shooting down Syrian (or Russian) planes if a No-Fly Zone is in place. Unless you expect them to meekly not test it.

I suppose it could, but keep in mind that Turkey shot down a Russian jet, leading to a Russian pilot’s death and the loss of an additional rescue helicopter and crew member, and war didn’t break out between them. I think we’re even less likely to end up in a full-on shooting war with Russia over a Syrian plane and pilot.

That was the concern.

I think Putin is more likely to continue to test Trump than he would have likely dared test Clinton.

Putin sees how America has twisted itself around the axle over Russia’s meddling in the elections and he has every reason to think that continuing to threaten US interests will continue to yield desired results. After all, the punishment for having meddled in the elections was an invitation to Russian diplomats to the oval office for an RT photo op.

There is big difference in shooting down a plane (which has happened on and off since '45, though mostly off these days) and having a policy of attacking any Russian plane you see over Syria.

Dude all those Tridents, SS-18 and Minuteman are just sitting there. Might as well get some use out of them. :stuck_out_tongue:

Were the ‘desired results’ of testing Trump a damaged airbase and a shot down (Syrian) jet? That seems … counter-intuitive.

Why would bombing the shit out of another country for 2 years “get out of hand”? We’re the good guys.

Miscalculation. The gas bombing obviously was a serious miscalculation based on both previous inaction when they did it before and by the perception that Trump would allow Assad and Putin a free hand in Syria, with the US backing away. This jet attack was probably similar, though I think it was also a test to see what the US would do. If the US backed off, then well and good. If not, well, I guess from Putin’s perspective (and Assad’s for all I know) it was a small loss to test our resolve.

In what world? Putin has “tested” Mrs Clinton and Obama many times and typically outmaneuvered them. In Syria, In the Crimea, in the Eastern Ukraine.

To think Putin is motivated by anything other than Russian self-interest is crazy. As crazy as those who think the Soviets backed down because they were scared of Reagan.

Now if there were adults around, like say, Mr Clinton, then yes things would have been a lot better.

The conspiracy theory part of my brain always goes to Russian and Trump creating som controversy between them whenever the evidence of how close they get to a certain level. First, it was bombing the air base and now shooting down a jet. That way the trumpists can point and say “Look, Trump and Russia can’t be friends, just see all of the things he does that they don’t like.”

Of course, that is also the part of my brain that says this can’t escalate due to both parties manufacturing it. I’m not sure whether I want to believe that part of my brain or not.