Russia has started there air campaign in Syria after Vladimir Putin spoke before the UN general assembly. These airstrikes are being carried out against what the Russian government says are ISIS targets, although many media outlets and human rights organizations are disputing these claims. As we look at the reasons behind why Russia is operating in Russia, it becomes a little foggy. For a long time it was only the US and there coalition operating from the air in Syria. When this was happening the US was could be seen as trying to spread there interests in that region just like they have for so many years prior. As discussed in class the role of countries trying to project its strength around the world and presenting there plans as furthering democracy. The airstrikes can be seen as the US trying to restore what they see as democracy in a region of the world that has been overrun by religious extremists who don’t believe the same things as we do.
On the Russian side of this scenario is Vladimir Putin who is trying to assert his country into a region where there are already multiple different countries and groups trying to gain power. The airstrikes that are being carried out are said to be hitting ISIS targets, but really are just giving the Syrian regime cover to gain ground in there civil war. Russia is disguising there support of the Assad regime with airstrikes with what they say are against ISIS. By doing this they are strengthening the central government which has been at odds with rebel groups for almost 4 years now. Again we see that countries try to spread there ideas onto other countries, and the easiest way to do that is by flexing there military power.
Over the past 4 years there have been hundreds of different rebel and terrorist groups that have been trying to overtake the Syrian regime and take control of the country. Both the US and Russia are now trying to implement what they think is there version of “democracy”. Both are using airstrikes to help get rid of ISIS, except Russia is also assisting the Syrians to retake control of the country because this is how they think stability will return to the country and will help there ally. Each country is trying to accomplish the basically the same thing of creating a more stable region, but are doing it with completely different strategies.