U.S and Russia on Syria: playing the field together

As many of you may know, Syria is in a state of crisis at the moment. With all the fighting going on in the streets, the buildup of the Islamic State, and U.S sending aid, there is a lot to grasp. The flow of refugees from Syria has entered Turkey and now the United States is slowly allowing refugees to enter our borders. Now, back to the focal point. The United States and Russia have been rivals ever since the end of World War II. The Cold War era was a back and forth struggle of global influence and power assertion. Recently, Russia has been found to be building a forward operating base (FOB for short). The Pentagon has shown satellite imagery which suggests that Moscow has been setting up some sort of FOB in the Bassel Al Assad International Airport in Latakia, Syria. (Just a website that displays the images). It is said that the activity in that area has been progressing day by day according to U.S Navy Captain Jeff Davis, who is a Pentagon spokesman.

Russia, has informed the U.S that they wish to talk about the recent Military buildup in Syria. Russian Prime Minister Sergey V. Lavrov proposed a “Military-to-Military” meeting, in order to establish an understanding that both forces will be operating in the same area. The U.S has been leading coalition air-strikes on Syria against the Islamic State and it would be rather unfortunate if those airstrikes were to hit Russian assets thus leading into further confrontation and perhaps a skirmish. Secretary of State John Kerry exhibits a positive outlook on Russia’s buildup in Syria, as Russia claims that they are there to combat ISIS. The consultation between the two powers would have to also include Russia’s true intentions and the Obama Administration is hoping that Russia will help in effort to not only combat ISIL but help shape Syria’s Political condition.

In recent days, Russia has been deploying half a dozen battle tanks, Military Advisors, security guards, Technicians, and portable housing units. These can all fall under the notion that Russia is indeed planning something that the U.S does not know of. Since Russia has been backing the regime of Al Assad since the rebellion in 2011. The U.S is perplexed by Russia’s action since they hope for a greater support against the Islamic State.

What do you guys think about Russia’s recent Military buildup in Syria? Keeping in mind that they may also just be there to battle the Islamic State and keep the current regime in power since they have been backing them up.

Links to articles

SoS Kerry on Syria – http://www.militarytimes.com/story/military/2015/09/16/kerry-us-weighs-russia-offer-military-talks-syria/32503989/

NY Times on Syria – http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/17/world/middleeast/russia-proposes-talks-with-us-over-syria.html?ref=world&_r=0

USA TODAY – http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2015/09/16/kerry-russia-wants-military-talks-syria/32505643/

Military Times – http://www.militarytimes.com/story/military/pentagon/2015/09/14/pentagon-russians-apparently-setting-up-air-base–syria/72263276/

Website on Satellite images of airbase and information – https://www.stratfor.com/analysis/confirming-russias-expanded-presence-syria

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10 thoughts on “U.S and Russia on Syria: playing the field together

  1. I think Russia defies the U.S. not to attack Syria because Russia has frowned on the intervention by the third party in the party interested, as well as China, and that Russia wants Syria to be a closest allies in order to maintain the position against Western countries. And if Russia will be attacked haphazardly by them, Russia can vindicate his argument, criticizing for the Western approaches. This can enhence the prestige of Russia in the world, superseding U.S.

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  2. I suppose a crucial question to ask here is: Why is this significant to US interests? Is not the US involved in Syria? Why is it of such dire concern to us that another nation state is doing precisely the same thing that we are? Involving ourselves in foreign conflict, not in the name of peacekeeping, but in self interest. Nation states need to focus on stabilizing the region, not engaging in petty conflicts over territory. The US needs to stop acting like it is the sheriff of the world and start recognizing that other nation states have just as much right to foreign involvement, and often, have even MORE right to the same.

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  3. I can defiantly see the US needing to be involved within the conflict in Syria. The current administration wants to maintain a small foothold within the region to possibly protect future interests of its allies such as Israel. In a way, this will lead to prolonged conflict with the aid we are sending so long as the current regime is in power and possibly cause a little more conflict with Russia in other talks, sort of as a bargaining chip for either side. The US can’t afford to be a world police both financially and militarily, but keeping a small foot in the door to the middle east is a good course of action.

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  4. I would like to believe Russia is there only to combat ISIS. However I do think organizing a military to military meeting with Russia would be wise to avoid any unintentional bombing of Russian assets. On a separate note I think it is good to see Russia sending in troops taking the threat of ISIS seriously, I think it would be a good idea if the U.S. would send ground troops perhaps special operations forces to aid Russia in this fight. Combining our forces with Russia would be a nightmare for ISIS.

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    • The formal Military to Military meeting is a must if they seek to not have any conflict or skirmish arise between the two. Russia coming into Syria and seemingly to have a purpose in Syria to combat ISIS shows how another world power has just as enough jurisdiction as the U.S does in terms of helping out lesser nations who need the help. The combined effort of the U.S and western allies with Russia could be the driving force to put an end to ISIS and their nightmare. Russia doesnt seem to need our aid, but collaboration could expedite the efforts of both sides.

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  5. I think it is a good idea to have the United States help the Syrian people and find some type of solution to these critical issue. I find it very surprising that Russia is interested in getting involved as well. It does make me wonder if there is some type of hidden motive. This also reminds me to the discussion we had in class on how there are rarely wars that are being declared but, that many more smaller conflicts have been happening. If Russia is increasing its military presence in Syria to fight against ISIS, then I think that it is a good idea. If they secretly have other plans, it makes me wonder if it would pose a threat to the United States or other countries.

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  6. I believe that the only relief the United States should be providing is to the people of Syria, in humanitarian efforts. Help feed them, clothe them, and heal them. History shows that entering into a foreign conflict in no real way ends that conflict in a positive way. I believe that the only resolution Syria will find in this conflict is through its own people and government. ISIS is a group with motivations that the U.S. only vaguely understands at best, the Syrian people and surrounding nations understand the origins and history of ISIS better than we ever could. Us kicking down the door and offering military aid will more than likely turn into another attempt to increase our power in the Middle East, rather than an honest response to an entreaty for help.

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  7. Ever since the end of the USSR, Russia has not been considered a super power. In a some models they are not considered part of the “Global North.” It seems like they are trying to regain their former power through all of these power plays though. The USSR was a major power in pushing their foreign policies around and it seems like they no longer want to be in the background. Hopefully the U.S. and Russia can find some sort of middle ground because right now it seems they disagree on everything when it comes to international relations.

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