‘Putin has become an idol in the West: The good guy, whereas Obama ist the leader of the unquestionably bad boys. This all belongs to the Hegelian dialectics stage play:
Fox News 14 Oct. 2015 poll: Just 29 percent agree with Obama’s take that Russia is “weak and desperate.” Some 46 percent think Russia’s action shows it is “strong and shrewd.”
At the same time, 70 percent feel the White House doesn’t have a clear strategy to handle the situation in Syria.
Veterans Today 16 Oct. 2015: More and more US officials are coming out against the Obama administration’s Syria policy. Former defense secretary Robert Gates has been gone so far as to call it “nuts.”
The New York Times 14 Oct. 2014: The Russian operation in Syria — still relatively limited — has become, in effect, a testing ground for an increasingly confrontational and defiant Russia under Mr. Putin.
In fact, as Mr. Putin himself suggested on Sunday, the operation could be intended to send a message to the United States and the West about the restoration of the country’s military prowess and global reach after decades of post-Soviet decay.
In the Georgia war in 2008, the Russians did poorly, lost three fighter jets and a bomber on the first day of the war that August, and seven over all, according to an analysis conducted after the conflict. Russian ground forces suffered from poor coordination and communication, as well as episodes of so-called friendly fire.
In the war’s aftermath, Mr. Putin, then serving as prime minister, began a military modernization program that focused not only on high-profile procurement of new weapons — new aircraft, warships and missiles — but also on a less-noticed overhaul of training and organization that included a reduction in the bloated officer corps and the development of a professional corps of noncommissioned officers.
Russia’s victory in its fight against the Islamic State will mean Washington’s crushing defeat in front of everyone. … Everyone will know that Russia’s Armed Forces are more effective that American troops. And most importantly, Russia will secure a footing in the Middle East,” La Republica quoted Yaakov Kedmi, who once headed Israel’s Nativ government agency, as saying (Sputnik).
Russian military spending bottomed out in the mid-1990s but has risen steadily under Mr. Putin and, it has surged to its highest level in a quarter-century, reaching $81 billion, or 4.2 percent of the country’s GDP, a common measure of military expenditure.
The Russian advancements go beyond new weaponry, reflecting an increase in professionalism and readiness. Russia set up its main operations at an air base near Latakia in northwestern Syria in a matter of three weeks, dispatching more than four dozen combat planes and helicopters, scores of tanks and armored vehicles, rocket and artillery systems, air defenses and portable housing for as many as 2,000 troops.
“What continues to impress me is their ability to move a lot of stuff real far, real fast,” Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, the commander of United States Army forces in Europe, said in an interview.
Since its air campaign started on Sept. 30, Russia has quickly ramped up its airstrikes from a handful each day to nearly 90 on some days, using more than a half-dozen types of guided and unguided munitions, including fragmentary bombs and bunker busters for hardened targets, American analysts said.
Russia is not only bringing some of its most advanced hardware to the fight, it has also deployed large field kitchens and even dancers and singers to entertain the troops — all signs that Moscow is settling in for the long haul, American analysts said.
The operations over Syria showed that Russia has caught up to the capabilities the United States has used in combat since the 1990s.
He and others said that the biggest surprise so far has been the missile technology on display. The cruise missiles fired from Russian frigates and destroyers in the Caspian Sea were first tested only in 2012. With a range said to reach 900 miles, they had not been used in combat before, and despite the loss of four cruise missiles that crashed in Iran in one salvo, they represent a technological leap that could prove worrisome for military commanders in NATO.
Russia’s state television network boasted on Monday that from the Caspian, they could reach the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Peninsula and the “entire Mediterranean Sea.”
American officials say Russia has closely coordinated with its allies to plan its current fight. “The broad outlines were decided months ago,”
American officials, while impressed with how quickly Russia dispatched its combat planes and helicopters to Syria, said air power had been used to only a fraction of its potential, with indiscriminate fire common and precision-guided munitions used sparingly. It is clear the Russians are already harvesting lessons from the campaign to apply to their other military operations, said General David A. Deptula.
“Essentially,” he said, “Russia is using their incursion into Syria as an operational proving ground.”
Veterans Today 15 Oct. 2015: Earlier in October, Netanyahu said Russia and Israel were pursuing different goals in Syria but this would not endanger relations between the two states.
Veterans Today 16 Oct. 2015, Gordon Duff: The report below was received from Syria and Lebanon this morning. I will bullet point what I believe are the salient points.
Left: CIA-trained Chechens
ISIS chief, al Baghdadi, was removed from his position 4 months ago because the CIA is putting command of ISIS in the hands of 15.000 Chechen and Russian jihadists who are both trusted and better trained.
This is being done to resist Iranian and Russian involvement both directly and through the new Baghdad intelligence coordination center which is threatening to end the war, something the CIA and Mossad cannot allow.
US Special Forces, on the ground in both Syria and Iraq, working out of Deir Ezzur, al Mayaden and Ramadi and receiving logistic support from America’s 3000 man contingent inside Iraq, is managing combat operations for ISIS and al Nusra in combination with Israeli forces.
Veterans Today 17 Oct. 2015: The Russian attacks have demoralized IS(IS) in Syria: They feel they will all die, if they do not get away. So at least a thousand of them have shaved their beards off and are running to Turkey and Iraq. Their wages have been cut from 350 to 100 ot less dollars a month. They are asking their countries of origin to be allowed to go back home, as they miss the conveniencies in the West (and they will be received well – unless shot by their own pals as deserters!)
There are internal splittings along racial, national and religious lines. Some who came to liberate the oppressed Syrians loathe at the IS(IS) cruelties.