Putin's Kill Order

Read about it here.

The rather explicit blame laid upon the U.S. for the security situation in Iraq means this statement amounts to “Since you can’t do anything about it, we will.”

So, the questions are A) Will Russia make good on this threat, or is it political bluster, and B) If the answer to A) is “yes”, will Russian hit squads hinder or help American security efforts. Seems to me it could go either way, but the Russians clearly are not acting on American behalf here, nor do they seem to be asking for anyone’s permission. If Russian and American interests are congruent, then it’s a plus, but serious conflicts with the desire to build a functioning Iraqi state that can manage its own internal affairs are conceivably compromised if you’ve got foreign agents assassinating suspected terrorists at will.

What think you?

I think “don’t fuck with Russia.”

Wouldn’t be surprised if it works either.

If the Jihadists in question were operating in the U.S. instead of Iraq, our government would not tolerate any attempt by a foreign government to murder or even arrest them on our soil, even if those jihadists had murdered foreign nationals. We would say, “Sorry, Vladimir, we understand how you feel, but this is our country. If anybody is going to take care of these guys, it will have to be us.”

So if the new government of Iraq is truly sovereign – are they just supposed to ignore this?!

Because the U.S. showed exactly that kind of consideration and restraint towards suspected terrorists living in, say, Italy, when practising “extraordinary rendition”, ie. kidnap (as a result of which 33 CIA agent now have warrants out for their arrest in Italy, although I doubt extradition has been applied for). If the U.S. wishes to be consistent, it should willingly endorse the Russian actions.

As to the “sovereignty” of the current Iraqi government- they control perhaps less than half the country, and I’m giving them regions like Baghdad and the Kurdish regions where their control is sketchy at best.

Unless you are in Chechnya, of course, where, after over a dozen years of Russian sponsored hit squads, raids, terror attacks, and similar adventures, there still seem to be quite a few Chechnyans who are willing and able to raise hell in Chechnya (along with the periodic foray intio Russia).

According to the link, the Russians have successfully assassinated four Chechnyan leaders in seven years (along with several thousand civilians not mentioned). How long are you going to give them to catch the (unknown number of) insurgent leaders in Iraq?

Circumstantial evidence suggests that it wouldn’t be the first time that Russian nationals acting in an official capacity have violated another country’s sovereignty to settle Chechnya-related scores.

On a practical note, the Russians were a lot more up close and personal to the Chechnyan’s during their wars, do they have enough intelligence to find these people or even operate death squads of some sort in Iraq?

That’s something I wonder. Do they really know who to kill? If they don’t, will they simply rack up a body count to show action? Are they bluffing entirely?