Is the Syrian situation likely to escalate?

It’s all nothing much, and whomever was US president in this scenario doesn’t matter, military policy by all parties proceeds regardless.

*The U.S. has increasingly moved to block the efforts of the Syrian military and its allies, which include local and Iran-backed militias, to retake parts of the country once under ISIS control. In addition to sponsoring the Syrian Democratic Forces in Raqqa, the U.S. has set up a Special Forces operations base near the southern town of al-Tanf, located by the Jordanian and Iraqi borders. Around this area, the U.S. has unilaterally declared a “de-confliction zone” where pro-government forces cannot enter. In the past few weeks, the U.S. has launched airstrikes against the pro-government forces three times, accusing them of threatening U.S. and local allied forces, many of which seek to topple Assad.
*Russia had previously threatened that it would defend Syrian troops against U.S. aggressions.

So ISIS is collapsing due to Putin’s support of Assad, and America wants to exploit the gap * as it would*. Which it did unilaterally as it would. Russia then says it will defend Syrian pro-government forces, as it would.
This is not WWIII. The dance continues.

And on a more serious matter, why do these fracking news sites have auto-playing video starting up ? Apart from being cheap and nasty, it makes people wary of going to their sites. Plus it’s kind of condescending.

If I intimated otherwise, I would like to restate for the record that it is all in the interest of Putin/Russia.

That said, I would not assume that simply because Obama did not declare war on Russia because of Russian aggression in Ukraine and Syria, necessarily means that Putin outmaneuvered everyone at every turn.

Yeah, I’d have to say that the supposed genius of Putin, The Great Chessmaster is vastly overstated. Let’s see what it’s gotten him thus far. He got the Crimea, a province that’s a net negative for Russia, even if we don’t include the sanctions that have been ramped up on Russia (at a time when, frankly, they can’t afford them, seeing as how their one trick pony has lost its trick). In Syria, he’s gotten bogged down in a money pit that has also cost the Russian’s plenty of political capital and good will around the world and basically put them squarely on the side of folks like Assad. Eastern Ukraine is pretty much the same thing…they are on the side of folks who shot down a passenger jet because they were too stupid to remember to breathe and mistook it for a Ukrainian fighter. Overall, his political maneuvers have made Russia look bad, has cost them financially and generally put them on the sides of the worst actors in this entire drama…and that’s pretty difficult to do, considering the rampant corruption in the Ukraine and the fact that most of the other actors in Syria are pretty bad as well.

In short, Putin is an idiot who is merely less clueless than Trump but has miscalculated himself into a position where there aren’t very many good options…the least bad being if he actually gets into an armed conflict with the US directly in Syria. Sure, it will be bad all around, but it will be worst for the Russians than anyone else (well, except perhaps Assad).

Mutually assured destruction still works with Putin. Putin is the dictator of a large, powerful nation and probably has $300 billion squirreled away. He isn’t going to risk any of that over Syria, which has strategic interest to Putin due to access to the Mediterranean, but he isn’t going to risk everything for it since there are many other countries that border the sea he could build alliances with.

He also rose through the ranks of politics to become dictator and enjoys 80% approval ratings at home. He is also technically the richest man on earth (Forbes doesn’t count heads of state who got rich due to that position in their list). He attacked Ukraine after Ukraine gave up their nukes in exchange for security assurances, and the west didn’t do much to stop him. Russia is promoting a form of propaganda that is pretty effective (throwing so many lies and truth out there that people give up and stop paying attention). So he can’t be doing everything wrong.

He’s eroded his image at home by attacks on their press and other political parties opposed to him as well as policies that have lost the Russian’s jobs and money. Much of his ‘80% approval ratings’ come from the fact that he controls the press and the message as well as just general Russian angst over their loss of power and prestige when the Soviet Union folded. It will only go so far, and at least to me the cracks are starting to be visible in his clay feet.

No, of course, The West™ didn’t do much to stop him in the Ukraine or the Crimea…but, again, what has that actually gained him in tangible terms? As to his propaganda lies, well, the thing is that as with the Chinese equivalent, folks aren’t nearly as stupid or clueless as Putin or the CCP THINK they are, and certainly not as much outside of their countries. Oh, even on this board we have folks willing to swallow anything they put out or handwave it away, but I think the majority see it for what it is…a load of horseshit.

Is he ‘doing everything wrong’? No, of course not. He, like Trump, has tapped into a wellspring of emotion and anger over the world and how it is. But, as with Trump, that only goes so far…at some point, you have to produce. And he’s been pretty bad about producing tangible results, just a lot of hot air and words telling the Russian people to suck it up, good times will be around the bend. Eventually, even if you totally control the message, they figure out that around the bend never happens, or that the light at the end of the tunnel is really a train coming the other way.

That is a weird thing to happen since the forces of the Russian and the Regime Assad have spent almost all their time fighting the non DAESH opposition from the Islamic to the centrist, and have had an almost complete détente with the DAESH.

It is quite the dezinformatsia revisionist history, worthy of the kind of claims the fellow-travellers made about the stab of the POUM, to claim that DAESH is collapsing because of the Russian and the Regime Assad non-action. While the Kurdish and the other fighters non-Assed have bled and died in reality against the DAESH.

Totally agree it’s an odd claim, and it’s sad that those who have fought and died to actually make this happen are often overlooked in the effort to claim it’s really Russia and Putin who have done this. :frowning:

I saw a good special on national geographic last weekend called Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS. It was very well put together, and they claim that the Assad regime wants ISIS to be strong because they want the west to feel like their only options are to either support Assad, or support ISIS. Having a democratic middle group that is fighting against Assad provides a group the west can get behind supporting.

They also claimed 80% of Russian attacks have been against the moderate resistance, not ISIS.

Yes that is exactly the information that you can get in the ARabic as well.

Outside of the circles of the Russian propaganda and the Regime Assad propaganda it has been very evident that the Regime Assad has not been sad to have the entente cordiale with the DAESH, letting them attack the other opposition, and trading the oil with them.

For those apologists here - there is more than one selling the idea of the Russian Assed axis as the real heroes - this has the bizarre echoes of the Stalin apologies.

Syrian planes/pilots are expendable to Putin. Russia has planes to sell to Assad. Putin may not be playing the long game but he is very good at testing what he can get away with. That much has to be obvious by now to the entire world.

Why is testing an opponent’s resolve a counter-intuitive strategy? Given Trumps erratic and impulsive behaviour, it seems like an entirely rational strategy for Putin.

I think Putin is rational enough to back down from a situation here he knew he would lose. The problem is he might misread the situation. I can see Putin and Trump getting locked into an escalating situation where each thinks he can make the other one back down by pushing a little harder.

The image of Putin pushing a little harder on Trump is not one that I want in my mind! :eek:

Ugh…probably on a bear skin rug (that Putin personally shot after he had some of his boys tree it) with vodka and McD’s wrappers strewn about the floor…


I don’t think Putin had all that much to do with it. Do you believe Putin ran the chemical weapons attack and/or ordered the SyAAF Su-22 into the de-confliction zone?

The Syrians/Russians have every right to shoot down hostile planes over Syrian territory.

I don’t imagine how anyone, not immersed in propaganda, would see differently.

Is anyone saying the don’t? It’s war. You shoot at each other.

It’s exactly the same ‘right’ they have to bomb the crap out of the Syrian population and the same ‘right’ that has kept Assad in power all these years after his brutal treatment of his own people…a ‘right’ they have chosen to use with abandon.

I’m sure it will be cold comfort to them that they had the ‘right’ to shoot at US or other allied planes when it escalates into war. ‘But we had the RIGHT!!’.

I don’t see how anyone, not immersed in propaganda, can’t see that it’s more complex than ‘but we have the RIGHT!’. I’m fairly sure that even Assad and Putin understand this…otherwise they would have been shooting at US and allied planes in the past.

I have no evidence to support that assertion, but I do not believe it’s beyond the pale.

If I were Putin, I certainly would not hesitate to probe my opponent’s resolve.

When did the US declare war on Syria?