Wednesday 11 April 2018

Does Putin want Wolrd War Three

Huge focus, rightly, today on the worryingly bellicose tweets coming from President Trump. For me Trump had it over Hillary mainly because of all things, she was a massive war-monger and being a businessman, war was really not his thing.

The Russians though have pushed the West into a very invidious position. They took Crimea and Eastern Ukraine, diverted oil and gas supplies through Iran, had an assassination campaign across the west, troll farms to try to affect Western Democracy, confiscation of Western Assets in Russia, murders of is a very long list and this is before we get to Assad and Syria.

The thing is, the Russians have a plan. De-stabilise the World order with the aim of getting previously unfriendly countries onside and open to takeover by gangsterism and bribery, with a side benefit of undermining the West. At the same time destroy all opposition both in Russia and in Exile to maintain the regime in the Motherland.

I posted on Maskirovka last week, this the bedrock of the execution of this strategy. Deny everything, use useful idiots the world over to promote their fake lines, use their very in-depth infowar teams to promote alternative lines, weaken the resolve to stand up to Russia.

Boy has this been successful, in Syria it got hot because actual Russian forces have heavily supported Assad along with Iranians. The challenge is for the West, that they have mainly been fighting Jihadi's. So it is very much like Libya indeed, where removing Gaddafi was seen as a good thing but turned out to be a big mistake.

However, it seems beyond reasonable doubt that Assad has been using chemical weapons for sometime, clearly as a last resort in several places to break all final resistance. The idea of it being the rebels is for the birds, as has been investigated years ago. But it is great Maskirovka because there are no good guys in a civil war that has lasted seven years and cost too many lives.

The West then is in a bind, Russia can huff it is ready for a war and if the Kremlin is over-confident (tick), then perhaps it is. Perhaps they will try to ruin the West less with bombs and rockets and more with virus's and internet denial attacks. But if he world lets Chemical attacks go unanswered a terrible precedent is set for the future. Chemical today, biological tomorrow, perhaps Nuclear in due course...where do we draw Obama's line in the sand?

So what to do Trump, another missile strike on Assad forces, taking out command and control points to undermine his regime, makes a lot of sense on one level. Also, for me, drawing the line in the sand for the Russians is getting more urgent now, they have really extended themselves but will keep pushing if they see the West folds every time. Very high risk though and so this is also, whilst logical on one level, a poor deterrent. A more realpolitik approach is needed, whereby we let Russia win Syria but then promise to give up Assad for War Crimes - difficult to achieve, but better than world war three risk.


dearieme said...

"very much like Libya indeed, where removing Gaddafi was seen as a good thing but turned out to be a big mistake." Seen by whom as a good thing? Seen by me as yet another wearying example of American head-up-the-arse foreign policy.

"it seems beyond reasonable doubt that Assad has been using chemical weapons for sometime": I disagree. First on general principle: it's wise to assume that nothing we are told about the Middle East is truthful, whether it's told by Putin or The Washington Post. Secondly, on the grounds of who gains: the latest alleged Assad attack would seem to me to have been a mad thing for him to have done - not remotely in his interest. So I simply assume it's just another sad case of those naughty Poles attacking a German radio station. Remember the Maine!

Anonymous said...

Nonsense on stilts and sorry to read it here. Isn't it odd that Assad only uses chemical weapons when he's winning, not when he's losing?

As for interfering in elections, may I refer you to the cover of Time magazine for 15/07/1996.,16641,19960715,00.html

(I was going to write a long and detailed rebuttal of this murderous idiocy, but I'm too disgusted so I'll stop here).

Bill Quango MP said...


The Americans had no interest in Libya. They wanted to stay right out of it. And they did. Except that UK and French aircraft were on extreme range to southern Libyan targets and needed us military help.So the US bombed something like 100 targets for us. But they were not involved in a ground war or a toppling.
It was UK and France.

As for 'who gains?' Its almost the wrong question.
Who gained when the US dropped a missile onto a UK APC in the Gulf war and killed our troops? No one gained. Yet it still happened.
Who gained when the UK, during the Falklands war, were 15 seconds away from shooting down a civilian airliner flying over the taskforce? No one. Yet it almost happened. And did happen in Korea and in Ukraine. And the Americans shot an Iranian airliner down and killed everyone. Who gains?
Its the wrong question. not who gains, but how did this happen.

Soviet Chemical artillery shells and bombs usually have green stripes. USA are dark green canisters.But in the 1980s were dark green stripes with white letters. White phosphorus smoke shells from the same time are light green casing, yellow writing.
Its not hard to imagine some conscript using a chems shell instead of a smoke one.
And in the Syrian army the stuff they will be using now will be Russian. Not export, as they aren't paying. Just Russian. Meaning the lettering and safety clues won't be in Arabic. It will be in Russian.
Its not hard to see how it could happen.

But, as the article makes very clear. And was standard SOVIET era policy for 70 years. Say nothing at all. Maintain complete silence until instructions received. Deny everything. Admit nothing. Blame someone else.

A US reporter in the USSR once asked the Mayor of Murmansk, the major port of the soviet northern battle fleet, why so many Russian sailors were drunk in the town. And doing so much fighting.
The Mayor refused to answer. The following day an answer was given to the reporter by the propaganda service.
"There are no sailors in Murmansk."

CityUnslicker said...

Maskirovka is very effective, I note.

Anonymous said...

Oh, look, Johnny's come back from school with a new word, isn't he clever?

dearieme said...

Thud said...

New to you maybe.

Sobers said...

It is particularly odd that every time any US president suggests getting US forces out of some Middle Eastern hellhole, something terrible happens that means they just absolutely HAVE to stay there, and get more involved to boot.

Personally I'd say the entity with most to gain from this chemical attack is the US military industrial complex - US military spending is pushing towards $1tn (yes trillion with a t), the last thing they want is a President taking away all their toys. Making sure that there's a continuous supply of bogey men out there that secures their futures must take some doing........managing to provoke the Russians into doing something daft probably creams their neatly pressed pants.

Bill Quango MP said...

Anon. CU has a history degree and a masters in WW2 history.

Maskirovka was a doctrine in the Czar’s army of 1910. It was taught at a special school. The soviets brought it back
During WW2 where there are a legion examples to choose from.

It was much more than the camouflage school training. It was, and is, a technique not just of concealing intent. But focusing attention elsewhere and sowing fear and mistrust.
If you think of the allies fake allied army of Patton and the entire massive Normandy invasion efforts to make the Germans think Calais was the landing zone. It’s that sort of thing. And the soviets/Russians were and are very very good at it.
The word is common among any 20th century historian. And common throughout the Cold War.
The Russian is used because it conveys more than just hiding purpose. It also includes mistrust of allies and doubts about releasable information.

andrew said...

The only thing I can think of other than throwing (conventional) missiles at Syria is to cease taking Russia seriously.

Simply parenthesise all russian official statements that cannot be shown to be true as if it was David Icke or 'Nick' who made them.

If the russian spokesman was on R4 today and every time he accused the Israelis of poisoning the skripals etc, the R4 presenter said
'We know Russia has a long history of making things up and this looks like one of those times'

hovis said...

CU: You are Con Coughlin and I claim my £5.

hovis said...

It seems self awareness has gone missing in these parts.. a great shame really.

Raedwald said...

Damn clever artillery shells, these Chemical Warfare things;

- They can kill only children whilst leaving adults unaffected
- They can enter closed rooms without causing damage; not a speck of fallen plaster or bits of debris
- the effects disappear so rapidly that first responders can enter the strike-site without NBC suits or masks with no ill effects.
- The physical symptoms are disguised to look identical to CO poisoning.

Electro-Kevin said...

No. Of course Putin doesn't want WW3.

I don't think China would mind it though. Sitting out the first half of course - then sending its newly acquired African slaves to clear up what remains of the EU battlefield.

Steven_L said...

I posted on Maskirovka last week, this the bedrock of the execution of this strategy. Deny everything, use useful idiots the world over to promote their fake lines ... A more realpolitik approach is needed, whereby we let Russia win Syria ...

It seems to have worked on you doesn't it? When the USA takes out Russian made surface to air defenses in an overnight raid (like in Libya) it's very embarrassing for Russia. The treat of that embarrassment needs to be on the table. Then again, maybe Trump should just go ahead and do it.

Anonymous said...

Of course Putin doesn't want a third world war. How would this overtly heterosexual leader replenish his collection of Judy Garland records and Rock Hudson films when they wear out?