Putin orders most Russian troops out of Syria, citing “overall completion” of military goals

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Thank goodness for white guys! Sorting out the Middle East once again!


So lets see…
Show off some high tech weaponry, Done
Lie about high tech weapon’s capabilities, Done
Overfly another territory, get shot down, threaten WWIII, and call everyone else liars, Done
Join the fight against ISIS by helping a murderous regime, and maybe kill some civilians with high altitude dumb bombs, Done

Great, anyone else have anything they need to do? No? Anyone else hungry?

What the hell was all of that?


They did achieve some actual territorial gains for their minion Assad in addition to the less than useful activities you list. I’m a little surprised they’re leaving already, but maybe it’s part of some deal they made. Either that or they believe that the mere threat of their possible return will be enough to keep Assad in power.


It may be as well that Assad, as bad as he is, is the least-evil achievable alternative.


What a depressing thought.

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Of course, there’s that new airbase they built. Don’t think those troops will be pulling out any time soon…


I suspect their military goals consisted mainly of “flex our muscles and play with our toys.”


Sadly this was is problem with a lot of the more ‘moderate’ states in the Middle East. The leaders may be repressive assholes but they are ones who very much like the western world and well better them than the other assholes that will fill the power vacuum.


His military goal was to give himself a self-aggrandizing hard-on.

In a failed state, people often fondly remember the times of good ol’ bad dictatorship.




I went to a seminar by three Middle Eastern experts last year and they argued exactly this.
Chemical weapons - the UK was ready to fight off a German invasion using exactly this in WW2.
Civil War - the US fought one in the 19th century.
As far as Syria goes, it’s Assad who is on the side of a secular society where women have some sort of equality. All the opposition, including the “moderates” the West supports, are theocratic Muslims who oppress women.
Churchill and Lincoln get a free pass because they were on the winning sides.


I’ve looked at a number of sources on the first two and reality is a lot more nuanced.
There’s a case to be made that Erdogan’s son was running oil for Daesh, and the shooting down was retaliation. The Turkish case doesn’t make any kind of sense given the time the Russian actually spent in Turkish airspace. It looks like a put-up job to try and move public opinion.
As for “threaten WW3” that’s just nonsense. I’m waiting for your citation - only things that Putin or Lavrov have actually said, not how Fox News misreported them.

Erdogan is surely no better than Assad, he just knows how to play NATO along.


Demoing their military hardware for possible international customers is certainly part of their agenda, but you could say the same about the US. As for the rest, uh … they did seem to have actual military goals (killing or removing rebels from certain areas), some of which they achieved. What I don’t understand is why they left before retaking Aleppo.

I’m pretty sure a lot of it is fiscal. Assad is a money pit of a regime. Russia, like the US, likes to create military and political allies based on how much those allies can spend. Propping up the Assad government probably seemed like an investment at first but with oil dipping lower all the time Syria isn’t a blue-chip stock anymore.


I think a serious part of the agenda was that in 2013 US commentators dismissed Russia as a country with defunct armed forces. In 2015 the defunct Russians carried out precision and area bombing day after day, launched cruise missiles at targets over 1000 miles away, and demonstrated the ability to supply close air support to a foreign army. Putin remarked, as if casually, that the cruise missiles are nuclear capable “though of course we would never use them in the Middle East.” I am sure that the lesson was not lost on the intended hearers - Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Israel. It was a very clear warning not to expand the conflict or attack Iran.
It has been expensive and with the economic problems of Russia I bet they are glad to stop. But the entire Middle East has seen Russia step in and force a ceasefire in a war that the US seemed to be inflaming rather than putting out.

Rather more successful than that. And note how low-key Putin is in contrast to GWBIIIs premature triumphalism. With his approval ratings, no matter how misguided, he can afford to be.


Yeah, I understand the point you are making. But personally (and this will probably piss people off), people in the Middle East, much of North Africa, most of the America’s and a good chunk of South Asia look like white guys to me. Just varying degrees of tanning. A weird personal observation that means diddly squat.

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The YPJ?

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they don’t count because they’re filthy pinko commies who hate freedomz.

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