October 28, 2015 7 Comments
There is a lot of stuff going on isn’t there. Is it coordinated? I don’t know, but I don’t think it can be ruled out. Other than raising oil prices, it is kind of hard for me to see the commonality between Russia and Iran. But that I don’t see it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It was not intuitive that Germany and Italy (or Russia, for that matter) had much in common. It’s also true that the bad kids tend to stick together. In any case, foreign relations are in an incredible muddle, since the west seems to have no idea of what is going on, let alone what we want.
Not to mention that all this is happening as the US is cutting forces and missions and has the weakest leadership since the seventies, and like then, both civilian and military. The bureaucrats are back in charge, and so career enhancing now means making Rangerettes, not winning wars. The UK, the number four military, seems to be in a similar situation. It’s a perilous situation. The Committee on the Present Danger has some details:
China militarized islands in the South China Sea, claiming sovereignty over ocean territory of Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei, and Taiwan. Free navigation of international waters and billions of dollars of sea-borne trade is menaced.
Aircraft, tanks and troops battle in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine, and Yemen. Terror attacks increase in Asia, Europe and across the Middle East. North Korea builds more nuclear weapons, and some experts believe Iran’s weapons cache already includes nuclear warheads.The world teeters on the brink of Armageddon, and no nation is doing more to push it over the edge than Russia has already done by annexing Crimea, invading Ukraine, threatening Baltic and Eastern European nations, and by using major military assets to defend Syria’s dictator, Bashar al-Assad. Russia’s aggressive challenges to the established order in Europe and the Middle East, together with a demonstrated willingness to change borders with force, are direct threats to the United States and its allies. And, as it was during the Cold War, the backbone of those threats is Russia’s arsenal of strategic and battlefield missiles.To insure that global perception of Russia’s missile power is crystal clear, Moscow routinely flies Tu-95 bombers, armed with cruise missiles, to the edge of American, Canadian, British and Scandinavian borders. New missiles are deployed and tested, and treaties are ignored. The most recent transgression was just last month, when the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty was again violated by the Kremlin.
Then there is this, which pretty much got lost in the noise, of everything else going wrong:
The internet is a crucial piece of infrastructure, but most international connections rely on a surprisingly small number of submarine cables. And Russia, being the insecure frat bro of all nations, is making yet another bid for attention by threatening them without saying they’re threatening them.
According to the New York Times, Russia has spy ships and submarines dangerously close to crucial undersea cables, and may be working out a plan to cut those cables, slowing critical communication in the West.
Cutting a cable is the cyberwar equivalent of dropping a nuke. The last time cables were cut, by accident, it caused problems across the globe. Replacing a cable is not an easy task, as you may have guessed, so cable-cutting is basically the prelude to all-out war.
Thanks to economic problems at home, Russia’s government has been getting adventurous abroad to have successes to point to. The problem, of course, is those “successes” tend to be situations like what’s still unfolding in the Ukraine, blowing airliners out of the sky and then stonewalling criminal charges, buzzing the U.S. Navy trying to provoke a response, and somehowmaking the Syrian civil wareven worse, and considering the U.S. is bombing hospitals, that says something.
The source article suggests that it is war loser for Russia, they may be right, but so was going to war with Germany in 1914. Nobody I know of thinks the Russians are omniscient about much of anything. A bear in a china shop come to mind.
A note on those hospitals: They are run by Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), which supposedly has provided coordinates and such to coalition forces. but they refuse to identify their installations with the required (Geneva Convention) identifications: The Red Cross, The Red Crescent, and/or The Red Cristal. Seems to me it asking a lot to expect a pilot, likely doing evasive maneuvering, to remember that MSF logo is supposed to mean the same thing as the symbols he has known all his life, especially when reports say that MSF, has allowed organized and armed troops to congregate in their facilities, for whatever reason.