NATO is also terrified that all its state-of-the-art C4i software – command, control, communications, computer, intelligence – has been totally jammed by Russian technology, all across Syria and southern Turkey. Essentially, reduced to sitting ducks. Imagine a similar, much amplified scenario in a hypothetic war on European soil over Ukraine which neocons never cease to itch for.
Author: Pepe Escobar
So this was Putin’s first message to Washington, and the Pentagon/NATO combo in particular; your fancy ideas of stationing tactical nuclear weapons or expanding missile defense to Eastern Europe, or even Asia-Pacific, are just a mirage. Our cruise missiles are capable of wreaking real effective havoc; and soon, as this piece argues, there will be more hypersonic, high-precision long-range missiles added to the mix.
The New Great Game in Eurasia advanced in leaps and bounds last week after Russia fired 26 cruise missiles from the Caspian Sea against 11 ISIS/ISIL/Daesh targets across Syria, destroying all of them. These naval strikes were the first known operational use of state-of-the-art SSN-30A Kalibr cruise missiles.
All it took for the Pentagon was a backward look over the shoulder at the flight path of those Kalibr missiles – capable of striking targets 1,500 km away. Talk about a crisp, clear, succinct message from Moscow to the Pentagon and NATO. Wanna mess with us, boy? With your big, bulging aircraft carriers, maybe?
So a Su-30 enters a few hundred meters into Turkish airspace for only two minutes over Hatay province, and returns to Syrian airspace after being warned by a couple of Turkish F-16s. Then all hell breaks loose as if this was the ultimate pretext for a NATO-Russia war. NATO, predictably, went out all rhetorical guns blazing. Russia is causing“extreme danger” and should immediately stop bombing those cute“moderate rebels” the coalition of the dodgy opportunists refuses to bomb.
Putin is bound to deliver a showstopper at the UN. Spare a thought for the Obama administration’s foreign policy ‘muppets’, including the neocon cell at the State Department. Putin, under the glare of global public opinion, will frame the absolute defeat of ISIS/ISIL/Daesh as the key geopolitical issue of these times; he will commit Russia to it; and he will propose for the “West” to join in.
So now we have a military “pivot to Russia” to complement the by now notorious “pivot to Asia” — which Beijing has interpreted for what it is: a strategic containment policy — running from military encirclement (South China Sea, Indian Ocean, Western Pacific) to trade exclusion (the Trans-Pacific Partnership, TPP), plus the usual threat of sanctions.
All one needs to know about the intellectual caliber of the Obama administration is that it is still pondering whether to persist in “ignoring” Russian President Vladimir Putin, or invest in a real partnership to solve the Syrian geopolitical/humanitarian drama. After all, when in doubt between diplomacy or chaos, the Beltway weapon of choice still veers towards the simplistic group think uniting neocons and neoliberalcons: regime change.