[Marxism] Fwd: Putin's Syria Campaign Is Far From a Triumph | Opinion | The Moscow Times

Louis Proyect 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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