[Marxism] Fwd: Putin's Syria Campaign Is Far From a Triumph | Opinion | The Moscow Times
lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Oct 12 06:15:27 MDT 2015
Despite the wall-to-wall media hysteria that it has engendered, Russia's
initial campaign in Syria has been tiny, massively outclassed in scale
by the American air campaign against the Islamic State. Depending on who
is doing the counting, Russia's deployment of combat aircraft is
somewhere between 10 and 15 percent of the size of the U.S.-led
coalition's. A massive, Afghanistan-style invasion this is not.
But while Russia's air campaign has had no appreciable impact on the
fighting — and unless it is massively scaled up, will not — it has
succeeded in further poisoning relations with a host of countries, most
noticeably Turkey. Russia and Turkey had, over the past 15 years, made
substantial progress in boosting economic relations, with bilateral
trade rapidly increasing and Russia even playing a role in the
construction of a nuclear power plant. They hadn't suddenly become
"allies," but Russia and Turkey could do business together.
Much of that progress is now being rapidly undone. According to reports,
over the past week Russian jets have repeatedly violated Turkish airspace.
Ankara is predictably furious at these incursions on its sovereignty,
much less Russia's ostentatious support for an Assad regime that it
wants to see destroyed.
Russia, then, is in the process of dramatically sabotaging relations
with a large, rapidly growing, and economically powerful country in
order to bail out an impoverished client regime on the brink of
collapse. That is a lot of things, but it is not savvy geopolitical
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