Anyone remember that line from “The Hunt for Red October” where the US Skipper says, “This will get out of control.”? I do, and it is fitting now that the downing of a Syrian Su-22 by an F/A-18E Super Hornet last week Russia has publicly stated that they will treat US and British aircraft west of the Euphrates river as “hostile.”
Statement by the ministry of defense of Russia on the fact that the Syrian air force SU-22 has been sbitiya in a non-Syrian air force.
” June 18, 2017 American Fighter F-18 a from the international coalition air-to-Air Air Force was shot down by the Syrian air force SU-22, a military mission to support the government forces leading the attack against ISIS terrorists in the area of sir (40 kilometers southwest) Raqqah).
As a result of the impact, the Syrian plane was destroyed. The Syrian air force pilot ejected over the area that controlled ISIS terrorists, his fate is unknown.
The destruction of the Syrian air force by American aircraft in Syrian airspace is a cynical violation of the sovereignty of the Syrian Arab Republic
The repeated fighting of the United States of America under the cover of “Counter-terrorism” against the legitimate armed forces of a member state is a flagrant violation of international law and in fact military aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic.
Moreover, in Syrian airspace, the tasks of Russian code were carried out at this time. However, the coalition forces did not use the existing channel of communication between the air air force base (Qatar) and the Airbase Airbase to prevent incidents in Syrian airspace.
We view the actions of the American command as a deliberate failure to comply with its obligations under the memorandum on the prevention of incidents and aviation security during Syrian operations of 20 October 2015
The Ministry of defence of the Russian Federation, since 19 June, has ceased to interact with the American side within the framework of the memorandum on the prevention of incidents and aviation security during operations in Syria and calls for a thorough investigation by the American command with information on its results and
In the areas of Russian aviation in the sky, all air facilities, including aircraft and unmanned vehicles of the international coalition, found west of r. The Euphrates will be escorted by Russian air and air defence aircraft as air assets “.
And this was release by the Russian Ministry of Defence…via facebook. https://www.facebook.com/1492252324350852/photos/a.1492313031011448.1073741828.1492252324350852/1943173689258711/?type=3&theater
Compare and contrast that with statements by Vladimir Putin: https://www.rferl.org/a/putin-set-for-annual-question-answer-marathon-/28553707.html
At the same time, Putin said Moscow was ready to cooperate with the United States on issues such as preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, combating international terrorism, and resolving the conflicts in eastern Ukraine and Syria.
This is the classic Russian double speak of having different state level actors release contradictory statements so that Russia can “own both sides of the argument” depending on which statement is more advantageous in the future.
The weird thing about Russia is that until they decide which statement is “truthier” they will treat both statements as true and act accordingly. This can confuse the hell out of Americans who are used to plain talk and clear communication. Russians just don’t work that way, it is said that their national sport is chess which is a game of misdirection in order to gain positional advantage to achieve checkmate, and ours is baseball which is a much more overt contest of skill and athletic prowess. So think of these two statements as the two pieces of the board that a pawn could attack, and until Putin decides which diagonal to attack on, the pawn will simply maintain position waiting for a chance to attack or move forward to place two more positions in peril.
The US, not used to playing chess with international geo-politics, is now lead by Trump. This is a very transparent and unambiguous “style of chess” that the Russians are very used to dealing with (Bush Jr. was “distracted” so the Russians were ok to do what they did in Georgia, and Obama was “weak” so they were ok to do what they did in Ukraine). One of the best tactics in chess is to give your opponent so many options that they can’t come up with a coherent strategy, but I don’t think this will necessarily work with Trump.
Why? Because SecDef Mattis is, for lack of any more delicate description, very good at cutting through the bullshit. Trump may not be the chess player that Putin is, but he’s got the support of the DOD to ensure that any Russian aggression against US and British aircraft doing counter ISIS missions aren’t easy targets. What Trump doesn’t have is support from the State Department, and while normally this isn’t a huge issue it could prove to be a disadvantage here. Pulling the “D” out of “DIME” (elements of national power; Diplomatic, Information, Military, Economic) is choosing to fight with only 75% strength so to speak.
However, the State Department didn’t prove particularly useful to countering Russian IO or Diplomatic maneuvering during the Obama administration, so keeping the weaker player on the bench might not be a bad move for the Trump administration.
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