Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Vladimir Putin’

Pentagon Chief Outlines Three R’s’ to Defeating ISIS

October 28, 2015 Leave a comment
Ashton Carter, US Defense Secretary

Ashton Carter, US Defense Secretary

Russia fills the vacuum in Syria and U.S. welcomes it. Contrary to what the mainstream Medias have fed the public asserting U.S. and Russia remain at odds over their objectives in Syria, there has never been a change in US position; in fact there hasn’t been any disagreement between US and Russia on the roadmap strategy in the Middle East. Sectarian division, ethnic tension and internal violence have been planned and exploited by the World Powers in the Middle East to create instability, destruction and chaos throughout the region generating the necessary conditions toward reshaping and redrawing the map of the regional states and their political fragmentation.

Broad economic, strategic, and military objectives are main part of a longstanding World Powers’ agenda in the region. New sources of energy in the Central Asian region, Eastern Mediterranean, and the Caspian Sea basin are known to contain giant reserves of natural gas and oil, access to which and sharing in their potential wealth represent objectives that motivate corporate interests, revive imperial aspirations, and fuel international rivalries. It is all about the World Powers’ new world orders, under which New Middle East is created in accordance with their geo-strategic needs and objectives. [DID]

WASHINGTON (AP) — Signaling a possible escalation of U.S. military action in the Middle East, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Tuesday that the United States is retooling its strategy in Iraq and Syria and would conduct unilateral ground raids if needed to target Islamic State militants.

The U.S. has done special operations raids in Syria and participated in a ground operation to rescue hostages last week in northern Iraq that resulted in the first U.S. combat death in Iraq since 2011. Carter did not say under what circumstances the U.S. might conduct more ground action, but said, “Once we locate them, no target is beyond our reach.”

“We won’t hold back from supporting capable partners in opportunistic attacks against ISIL, or conducting such missions directly, whether by strikes from the air or direct action on the ground,” Carter said, using an acronym for the militant group. Read more…

Syria: Moscow Strikes, Washington Watches

October 3, 2015 Leave a comment
201786

Russian air strikes target the Syrian territories under the control of moderate opposition.

Obama’s speech during his second-term presidential election “We will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are” was nothing more than rhetoric to the US voters. By adopting “no ground-force policy in Iraq and Syria” he unambiguously signaled to the Islamic terrorists that they would have a clear field of operation. He has also suspended the $500-million US program to train and equip Syrian opposition forces known as the New Syrian Forces, or NSF. By abandoning the program, Washington risks losing its ability to influence events on the ground in Syria. More importantly Obama has actually warned to veto the defense policy bill that Senate has recently passed, keeping the restraints on the US military during a critical time that the nation and the world are in utmost need for safety and security. It comes as no surprise to expect from such useless president the mere carelessness in response to the pledges of millions of innocent people whose lives were threatened by those terrorists when we de facto witness that he is not even concerned about the shattered lives of US soldiers by the same evil enemies. His pathetic support measures in Middle East to fight a proxy war is doomed to failure. Securing global peace requires strong and dedicated leadership and a resolute will in responding to the unprecedented crimes against humanity that the world is witnessing today. [DID]  

Four years of failed US policy toward Syria have produced alarming results that transcend the Levant. Having carefully gauged the gap between Obama administration rhetoric and action, Russian President Vladimir Putin has elected to intervene militarily to help the Assad regime defeat its non-Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) enemies. He is doing so in the belief that the US response will essentially be one of bemoaning the supposedly big mistake he is making. Like his predecessor over fifty years ago, he senses weakness on the part of a US president. Like his predecessor he risks discovering that trifling with the United States is not a healthy pursuit. But such a risk entails dangers for all concerned.

Missiles in Cuba are not the same thing as Russian fighter-bombers assaulting non-ISIL enemies of the Assad regime. The Russian air assaults, however, signal Moscow’s deep contempt for Washington and a careful calculation that the Obama administration will do nothing substantial to counter them. To the extent that the Obama administration still believes that what happens in Syria stays in Syria, it is seriously mistaken.  Read more…

Barack Obama’s Legacy Problem: A Nation in Retreat

May 13, 2014 Leave a comment

download

“Obama is simply less personally engaged in foreign policy matters than any of his predecessors reaching as far back as Herbert Hoover.”

As he enters the Back Nine of his second term in office, President Barack Obama is clearly looking to establish his historical legacy. No doubt, his highest priority is the preservation of the Affordable Care Act, which his Administration views as no less important than Medicare and Social Security. Whether Obamacare will survive in its present form, or even survive at all, of course, remains an open question that will be determined both by the future composition of Congress and by the policy preferences of the next White House occupant.

In addition, it is clear that he wishes to be remembered as the president who defeated Al Qaeda by authorizing the successful operation to kill Osama Bin Laden. This legacy, too, is uncertain. It is not merely the host of unanswered questions about the Benghazi fiasco. More to the point is the fact that Islamic extremists, who are at the center of both the Syrian and renewed Iraqi civil wars, are increasingly assertive and violent in Africa and are far from dormant in Southeast Asia as well.

Finally, and most critically, Read more…

How Obama Is Accelerating America’s Decline

May 10, 2014 Leave a comment

usimage

Before the end of 2014, China will have become the world’s largest economy. For the first time since 1872 — when China overtook Britain — the United States will not top the list. This news amid data published last week by the International Comparison Program, a respected institution hosted by the World Bank, came as a surprise. The hierarchical shift of the world’s most powerful economies wasn’t expected to happen until 2019.

But this goes beyond just the field of economics. America’s domination faces more challenges ahead. Though the United States does not yet have a rival when it comes to foreign policy, Washington’s voice is not as strong as it had been for over 70 years. Read more…

Go Big, Get Crazy

May 7, 2014 Leave a comment

57780_cartoon_main

Up to now, Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, has been playing a weak hand in Ukraine very well. I mean, how strong are you when your allies insist on wearing masks? But Putin thinks he knows his adversaries better than they know themselves. He thinks the Americans will never be serious about energy, that the Europeans will never be serious about sanctions, that the Ukrainian reformers will never be serious about governance, and that he can control the separatist forces he’s unleashed in eastern Ukraine and dial them up or down as he pleases. Read more…

Could the Ukraine Crisis Spark a World War?

May 6, 2014 Leave a comment

8346383424_b05d1293b4_b

The rapid slide from lawlessness to violence that has claimed the lives of more than sixty people in the Ukrainian cities of Donetsk, Slovyansk, and Odessa in the past week sounds alarms that should be heard more clearly in Western capitals. The strategy Washington and the Europeans have chosen that focuses on the villainization of Putin (much as he deserves it), calls on him to withdraw support for the separatists, and threatens further sanctions if he does not is bound to fail. It will not stop the killing. It will not prevent the de facto dismemberment of Ukraine. It will not deter Putin from continuing whatever role he and Russia are playing in this process. And it fails to address the risk that what happens in Ukraine does not end in Ukraine. Read more…

Credibility is about Reassurance as well as the Use of Force

May 2, 2014 Leave a comment

A nagging doubt is eating away at the world order—and the superpower is largely ignoring it.

“WHY is it that everybody is so eager to use military force?” America’s cerebral president betrayed a rare flash of frustration on April 28th when dealing with a question in Asia about his country’s “weakness”. Barack Obama said his administration was making steady, if unspectacular, progress. By blundering into wars, his critics would only harm America.

Mr Obama was channelling the mood of his people, worn out by the blood and treasure squandered in Iraq and Afghanistan. Read more…

Obama’s Failure of Leadership

April 22, 2014 Leave a comment

Expert-Marksman

President Obama came to office nursing dreams “of forging a new partnership” with a stubborn rival. When times got tough, he abandoned the relationship and adopted dusty zero-sum gain policies of his predecessors. To allies and rivals alike, he looks naïve, weak, and disconnected.

This is the portrait presented Sunday by Peter Baker in his front-page New York Times story titled, “In Cold War Echo, Obama Strategy Writes Off Putin.” What struck me about the piece is the unstated parallel between Obama’s handling of Russia and Republicans, and how in both cases the gap between promise and performance illustrates a fundamental failure of leadership.

Baker writes:

Read more…

Could Ukraine Spark a World War?

April 22, 2014 Leave a comment

arw4

Secret mobilizations. Attacks with plausible deniability. Unclear alliance commitments. Vague statements of resolve. A battle for neutral parties. Highly provocative military movements. We have seen these events take place in the last few weeks in the crisis in Ukraine. We also saw these same dynamics at play almost exactly one hundred years ago on the eve of World War I [3].
The major powers of Continental Europe were maneuvering, and the wheels of war creaked into motion. In the coming battle, swift mobilization would be key, but even more important was the commitment of a powerful third party. Read more…

The Putin Doctrine: Myth, Provocation, Blackmail, or the Real Deal?

April 20, 2014 Leave a comment

2014-04-20_10-00-28

There are all sorts of reasons to be stunned and perplexed today. Stunned by the reintroduction of the fears and phobias of the 20th century into 21st-century international affairs. And perplexed by the explanations offered for Putin’s actions in Ukraine by the world’s best and brightest.

1. HOW DOES THE WEST READ PUTIN?

Here’s one explanation that has prompted many nods of approval: Putin isn’t quite in his right mind. As Madeleine Albright has said, “I think that either he does not have the facts, or he is being fed propaganda… It doesn’t make any sense… Putin is, in many ways, I think, delusional about this.” Read more…

So Much for Solving the Ukraine Crisis

April 19, 2014 Leave a comment

putin spanking obama

HOPES that an accord struck on April 17th in Geneva between Ukraine, Russia, America and the European Union would lead to a swift resolution of the Ukrainian crisis have been swiftly dashed. Denis Pushilin, the chairman of the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk, speaking in the region’s occupied administration building, said that Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister “did not sign for us”.

As part of the agreement, illegal armed groups are to be disarmed and illegally occupied buildings and other places vacated. An amnesty is to be extended to protesters and there will be a new constitutional process that includes “all of Ukraine’s regions and political constituencies”. Read more…