I am a fan of professional wrestling.....although I admit that I've never been to a match in my life....I'm strictly a TV fan. The reason? It's like an opera.....written out....scripted....and there's always a phase where another story gets dumped into the action and new strategies get introduced. It's a live-action soap opera.
This week, Russia finally put its cards on the table. If you paid attention back in July, there were several meetings going on in the Middle East with Russia meeting up with Syria, and then some meeting that the Saudis asked to have with them. Something was in the works.
Over the past month, the Russians moved in air defense equipment, and fighter aircraft. Yesterday, the Russians stood up and gave notice to the US to stop it's flights over Syria or risk being shot down. The Russian Parliament agreed to send troops....although no one says how many.
In a scripted way, Putin has finally put the right cards into the poker game, and the US cannot win. All of this Arab Spring-talk and pretending that each revolution was internal? Well....most folks don't believe it anymore. Egypt woke up at some point, and took out the Arab Spring product. Syria stood around and did a fair job of holding off Arab Spring.....at least till ISIS emerged. And now, Russia will end all this Arab Spring business....at least in Syria.
Where this goes? This is curious.
The US will probably go with some policy of continuing fighters going over Syria, and I suspect within two weeks.....one US fighter will be shot down. The guy has to hope that he gets picked up by the Russians....because if ISIS gets him....it's a pretty bad scenario. I think the Russians will be kind to the guy and fly him out to Jordan or Cyprus, and just let him go. The US will get all hyper and threaten to take out the air defense sites. Frankly, it just escalates into a massive mess if they attempt this. The Russians will bring a dozen-odd ships and then suddenly go into massive air control situation with lots of enthusiasm.
What the Russians will do to help Syria? If they put 20,000 Russian troops into the country and go aggressively, they could take take down any opposition to Assad (both ISIS and the 'others') in a matter of probably two or three months.
The US will be standing there.....as it has for months....talking about ISIS but not really doing much. Putin will isolate ISIS and force them to leave the area. Naturally, you might ask where ISIS will go, and that's the big question out of this whole strategy.
If they go into Iraq....will Putin follow them? Will the Iraqis grasp that Putin is their friend, and allow Russia to follow ISIS into Iraq? Will the US come to the aid of Iraq?
If they go into Saudi Arabia....will the US come to help the Saudis? As the weeks and months go by with the US decision process....will oil prices escalate (back to the norm of $100 a barrel)? Well, yes, and what countries benefit greatly from oil price escalation? Well.....Iran and Russia of course. If the Saudis get knocked out of action....how many oil producers will applaud?
Yep, it's a pretty gifted WWE-like scenario. Good guys now who were bad guys before.....Good guys who are now bad guys.
President Obama? He has to be sitting in a daze because he figured that he had Putin in a corner. Putin might now be the real peace-maker in the Middle East.
As for the Germans? Well, they figure into this too. Let's say that Putin establishes Assad back into a peaceful place by January. Syrians sitting in Germany will look at things and by March.....at least half of them will want to leave Germany and go back home. I do agree....the younger ones will see dozens of reasons to stay in Germany, but if you are over forty and kinda home-sick....it just makes sense to go back.
Putin will probably throw in some reconstruction money, and help to put homes back up.
Germans will be happy over a bunch of Syrians leaving, and look at Putin as the guy who should have a Nobel Peace Prize....instead of President Obama.
In a way, you have to admire Putin. It took a while to arrange the cards into the fashion that worked, but it seems to be a winner's hand.