It is a few year now since Vladimir Putin set out to tweak the nose of Barrack Obama, isn’t it? Russia following the demise of the USSR had already lost its pride of place as a joint superpower with America, when Putin initiated his campaign.
We all wondered what Putin’s game was, but it is now all out in the open, don’t you think? He is intent on finally restoring Russia’s influence in the wide World, just as he has been allowed to do by military action at a regional level over the past seventeen years with the likes of Chechnya, Georgia, and more recently annexing Crimea and making incursions into eastern Ukraine. He has embarked on this latest course of action a few years ago when he woke-up to the fact that Obama was weak and increasingly ineffective – why it took him so long to realise that is a mystery to many. That scenario is compounded by the impotence of the United Nations co-linked with Russia’s ability to veto any action there it chooses, and is matched with a leaderless divisive inactive European Union drained of ambition by expansion & turmoil, all which has allowed Russia the vacuum to expand into.
Make no mistake about it, Putin is a clever nasty devious cookie who revels in power. He works at it endlessly, so it is no surprise that he is multi-lingual and has a long-term strategy and he controls the Kremlin and Russia with an iron fist. Obama does not work at it and has no strategy, neither short or long term and has a soft glove grip on the legislature and the USA – and the same faults applies to the other Western leaders as well including UK’s David Cameron. Putin has continuously outsmarted them all. At every turn he gets away with astounding outrages, but is still allowed to strut the world stage, and he simply carries on with his plans. [last summer his troops or his insurgents using a Russian surface-to-air missile mistakenly shot down a civilian airliner (Malaysian flight MH17) with the loss of 293 lives – no retribution over a year later. Why not ban all Russian aircraft from the world’s skies?].
And his latest escapade, to Obama’s aghast, is to flood Syria with bomb bearing aircraft and helicopters in a ploy to intercede in the civil war on behalf of the ruling tyrant Assad, a longtime supporter of Russia. His objective is not only to help Assad who is said to be on the brink of defeat, but more importantly to reestablish Russia as a major player and intimidator in the wider region. His obvious remit is to attack all troops fighting against the Assad regime – and that is not restricted to his ‘claimed’ target objective ISIS is it? Should Putin’s planes bomb the anti-Assad forces we support will Obama respond by his planes bombing Assad’s troop positions?
Moving the World’s focus and Obama’s attention to Syria has the added advantage to Putin of diverting everyone’s view away from Russia’s disgraceful actions in Ukraine. Putin also seems to think that Russia’s pretence to support Obama’s fight against a ‘common enemy’ ISIS will prevent America hurting ‘an ally’ with on-going sanctions over Ukraine.
This intervention was apparently unforeseen by Obama and the rest of the West – despite all our high-powered intelligence networks, eh? It has totally unpredictable consequences of course, as we now have two major powers operating totally uncoordinated combat aircraft operations in the same airspace with different targets. The chances of a clash between them are so great that it is more a question of how long and when, isn’t it? And if that happens what then? If you were betting on it, the odds would be on Russia ‘making a mistake’ and taking out a western aircraft, don’t you think?
Putin’s objective will be to ground US and Alliance aircraft as much as possible and to take command of the skies over Syria. Putin is further intent in making mischief and denigrating America and he has started with accusing their airstrikes as being ‘illegal’. He has already thwarted any chance of introducing a no-fly zone in Syria to stop Assad barrel-bombing his own civilian people, hasn’t he?
[You can be ‘certain’ of one thing – no nuclear weapons will be used. You can be ‘sure’ of another – Putin will get his way]