Week Twenty-two of the Russian Military Intervention in Syria: Putin announces new strategy | The Vineyard of the Saker

These are amazing times indeed. Only two weeks ago I outlined the likelyhood of a dramatic escalation of the war in Syria, and this week Vladimir Putin announced the withdrawal of what I would call the “tactical air strike” component of the Russian task force in Syria. How is that possible? How could the Russian warn about Turkish troops poised to invade Syria and then suddenly pull out a major chunk of their Syrian-based firepower.

The dumbest explanation of them all was offered almost as soon as the Putin made his announcement: “the Russians are afraid and they are running away abandoning Syria”. This explanation was immediately picked-up by a motley collection of very different folks: Americans whose delusion of US military might were shattered in the humiliating comparison between US and Russian military performance, Russian “hurray-patriots” who will always accuse Putin of betraying something or somebody, armchair strategists who always cheer for more military action regardless of anything, etc.

As I have mentioned in a previous article, the fact is that the Russians have simply met all their objectives and those who now accuse Russia of “running away” are either deliberately ignoring the crystal clear set of objectives the Russian mission had (“stabilize the legitimate authority and create conditions for a political compromise”) or never bothered to find out in the first place. The logical impossibility of “running away” after having achieved all goals seems to elude these folks.

For those interested in this topic, I would like to recommend the abasolutely superb analysis of Alexander Mercouris in his article “Russia’s Syrian Withdrawal – Why It Happened and Why Regime Change Remains Off the Agenda” which I consider to be the best and most thorough discussion of this topic.

via Week Twenty-two of the Russian Military Intervention in Syria: Putin announces new strategy | The Vineyard of the Saker.

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