I read a couple of interesting posts during the past couple of days about Russia increasing its political and maybe its military presence in the Middle East.
I don’t know what to make of them, and I have no way of knowing what is on President Vladimir Putin’s mind.
I do know that, if I were in Putin’s place, with the USA and its NATO allies stirring up trouble in nations bordering mine, I would look for ways to stir up trouble for the USA and NATO.
If I were Putin, I would see ISIS as a threat, and look join forces with Syria, Iran and other anti-ISIS forces.
A pro-Russian, pro-Putin blogger who calls himself the Saker says that Putin has neither the desire nor the power to project Russian power any great distance from what the Russians call their “near abroad.”
The Saker pointed to the Russian Federation’s military oath, which is to defend the Fatherland. It says nothing about invading foreign countries.
But the American military oath is to uphold, protect and defend the Constitution. It also says nothing about invading foreign countries, and this hasn’t proved a limitation. As the Saker remarked, U.S. foreign policy resembles the old Soviet “international duty” to intervene globally wherever necessary to defend supporters and defeat enemies.
Russians and Americans have not come into direct confrontation since U.S. and allied forces occupied Vladivostok and Archangel during the Russian civil war of 1918-1920. A direct military confrontation in the Middle East between the world’s two most heavily-armed nuclear powers would be dangerous for the whole world.
Russia’s Middle East ship drops anchor in the Suez Canal by M.K. Bhadrakumar for Asia Times.
Enter the Bear: Does Russia plan air strikes on Daesh / ISIL in Syria? by Juan Cole for Informed Comment.
Russian troops ‘fighting alongside Assad’s army against Syrian rebels’ by the foreign staff of Britain’s The Telegraph. Significant if true, but based on second-hand reporting.
Terrorist group ISIS claims it blew up car bomb at Dagestan base by Rory McKeown for Britain’s Daily Star. If ISIS attacked a military base within the Russian Federation, this would be reason to attack ISIS in Syria.
A Russian military intervention in Syria? I very much doubt it by the Saker for The Vineyard of the Saker.
On Russian military intervention (or lack thereof?) by the Saker for The Vineyard of the Saker.
Russia and Syria: the Die Is Cast by Israel Shamir for the Unz Review. [Added 9/4/2015]
The most anticipated showdown in recent history or a load of BS? by the Saker for The Vineyard of the Saker. [Added 9/5/2015]
Are there Russian troops in Syria? by Ruslan Leviev, a Russian investigative journalist. [Added 9/6/2015]