Can Putin’s Missiles Perform?
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  • ljgude

    “Capitalizing on Western incompetence in order to turn the reality of military weakness into an illusion of political strength is Russia’s chief stock-in-trade these days.”

    Now there is a money quote if I ever saw one!

  • Bob_from_Ohio

    ” contract has been signed a few years ago. It hasn’t been fulfilled yet”

    And never will be.

    The missiles have no military benefit to Assad since the rebels have no air power,

    On the other hand, they are an invitation to Israel to smack Syria around again.

    Putin is not stupid. He can send other arms, more useful to Assad, without risk.

  • Icepilot

    System capability is but a third of the equation. Air control tactical support and the training/experience of the operators make up the other two thirds.

  • Is it possible that he’s not shipping the weapons because the U.S. is leaning on him? After all, just a week ago this page was arguing that the delivery of the missiles would be a dire blow to American prestige. . .imagine my disappointment at reading that their *not* being delivered is even worse for the U.S. and empowers Russia even more.
    Why, it’s as though it almost doesn’t matter whether dictators stay in power or fall from power, whether it happens with America’s involvement or without it, and whether other countries become involved or not. Whatever transpires is invariably the worst thing that could ever have possibly happened, and it’s always the President’s fault.

  • ljgude

    @Thidsyphon I see your point having suffered through the Bush administration where everything was for the worse and it was always the president’s fault. Unfortunately there is a lot of truth to it. Both Bush and Obama have repeatedly demonstrated that unskillful intervention and unskillful non intervention can and do have bad consequences. Still it is important to spot the media trope which I think of as ‘heads I win, tails you lose’. For example, I was listening to CBS news on the radio on the freeway in Oakland with my sister during the early part of the Obama administration and heard them do a story about how increased hiring of Christmas temps was a disaster for the economy. Even those in the press who openly support Obama sometimes can’t resist an opportunity to spread fear and loathing. As to the chess game around the Russian missiles I agree it is entirely possible that the US has leaned on the Russians. It also seems that deploying the missiles is more of a move against Israel than against the Sunni rebels so my best guess is that, for now, it is more a bluff meant to warn Israel off, than a serious threat to deploy.

  • bigfire

    Russia/Soviet have been playing this game of big announcement of weapon purchase followed by years of non-payment and non-delivery. If Iran can’t pay for the weapon that weren’t delivered (because Russian actually want cash before delivery), why would Syria be any different.

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