After all, Israeli leaders have publicly stated that they prefer to keep ISIS around rather than deal with Iran, hence the attacks on Russia in Syria by Israel itself.
I wish this were idle speculation. But if you haven’t been paying close attention, you'll probably be shocked at just how much direct military and diplomatic provocation has been going on between NATO/US and Russia over the past several years ~ and in recent weeks, in particular.
Even more shocking is that no one in power can provide us with a compelling reason for exactly why these tensions are flaring. It seems that Russia’s main sin is in not entirely, completely and immediately giving the US/NATO anything and everything they request.
America apparently achieved a double success: It circumscribed Iran’s nuclear program, and the U.S. Treasury has hollowed out the nuclear agreement’s financial quid pro quo, thus limiting Iran’s potential financial empowerment, which America’s Gulf allies so feared.
All this infringement of Syrian sovereignty does not really seem temporary but rather the opposite: there are shades of Afghanistan, with all the “temporary” NATO bases. In any case, it is no exaggeration to say that skepticism about Western motives is in the air ~ especially after Ashton Carter, the U.S. defense secretary, raised the possibility of NATO entering the fray.
The Russians evidently thought they could make an honest deal with [U.S. Secretary of State John] Kerry [and President] Obama. Well, they were wrong. The U.S. supported jihadis associated with [Jabhat al-Nusra, al Qaeda’s Syria wing] ... merely ‘pocketed’ the truce as an opportunity to re-fit, re-supply and re-position forces. The U.S. must have been complicit in this ruse. Perhaps the Russians have learned from this experience.
during the “truce,” “the Turks, presumably with the agreement of the U.S., brought 6,000 men north out of [Syria via the] Turkish border ... They trucked them around, and brought them through Hatay Province in Turkey to be sent back into Aleppo Province and to the city of Aleppo itself.”
“Preserve us from these dreadful jihadist terrorists, but not just yet, for Nusra is too useful a tool to lose.”
All this suggests renewed military escalation this summer.Russian President Vladimir Putin will probably not wish to act before the European summit at the end of June.Neither would he wish Russia to figure largely as an issue in the U.S. presidential election. Yet he cannot ignore the pressures from those within Russia who insist that America is planning a hybrid war for which Russia is unprepared.
The Russia commentator Eric Zuesse encapsulated some of these concerns, writing that “actions speak louder than words.” Earlier this month, he notes, the U.S. refused to discuss with Russia its missile defense program:
Russia’s concern is that, if the ‘Ballistic Missile Defense’ or ‘Anti Ballistic Missile’ system, that the U.S. is now just starting to install on and near Russia’s borders, works, then the U.S. will be able to launch a surprise nuclear attack against Russia, and this system, which has been in development for decades and is technically called the ‘Aegis Ashore Missile Defense System,’ will annihilate the missiles that Russia launches in retaliation, which will then leave the Russian population with no retaliation at all.
“for a much bolder U.S. strategic policy against Russia, based upon what it argued was America’s technological superiority against Russia’s weaponry ~ and a possibly limited time-window in which to take advantage of it ~ before Russia catches up and the opportunity to do so is gone.”
There is talk both in Russia and Iran of the need for a military surge to try to break the back of the conflict.Does the U.S. see that ultimately such a strategy might further entangle it ~ just as much as Russia and Iran ~ in the conflict?Does it understand Saudi Arabia’s intent to double down in Syria and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s political interest in continuing the Syrian crisis?Does it judge these very real dangers accurately?
~ the American shrug of the shoulders at making Iran feel cheated over the nuclear agreement;~ at Russia, Iran and Damascus seething that the Syria cease-fire was no more than a clever trap to halt their military momentum;~ at the psychological impact of NATO exercising on Russia’s borders;~ at the possible consequences to Obama’s refusal to discuss the ballistic defense system;~ all this is more likely about showing Democrat toughness and savvy in contrast to Donald Trump.
In short, the Democrats see the opportunity to cast themselves as tough and reliable and to transform foreign policy into an asset rather than their Achilles’ heel.
But in Russia, there is an influential and substantial faction that has come to believe that the West is planning a devastating hybrid military and economic war against it.
ED Noor: Let me put forth the suggestion that the rush for war is because Trump and Putin have both indicated that they might actually be able to "broker deals" together and AVOID further conflict.