Since they’re both there and all. It will be interesting to see where they hold the exercise. Presumably they will steer clear of any area in which they would excite the territorial-claims concern of Greece and Turkey. That may or may not eliminate the waters between Cyprus and Syria. I suspect the Russians would avoid that area; it would be an “in your face!” gesture at Turkey to have the exercise there: the use of a card Russia doesn’t need to play just yet. Continue reading “Great news: Russia, China to hold joint naval exercise in the Med”
Suddenly, even Vladimir Putin looks more attractive. He looks, at least, like he actually intends to fight radical Islamism – in some of its varieties anyway. In theory, he has some pull with Iran. He can exert a certain level of “check” on the Syria crisis. His relatively well armed nation sits on the other side of Erdogan’s wild-card Turkey, which keeps bouncing from China to Iran to NATO and back again. He’s not “Europe” – not really – but “Europe” acknowledges that he has to be given a place at the table.
In case you were wondering: no, the former-Soviet navy didn’t use to send warships to visit Nicaragua, back in the day. Although the Nicaragua of the 1980s under Daniel Ortega was a client of the Soviet Union, Moscow didn’t send naval task forces to visit back then. Soviet navy ships were in Cuba on a regular basis, but running the Russian navy around a Central American circuit is a new thing.
It being the silly season in Washington, there had to be a rumor of war. Well, a rumor of a cruise missile strike. Well, OK, a rumor that U.S. Navy warships were ordered to “close their ranges” with Syria in case Obama gets permission from the UN to mount an attack, if there’s clear evidence that the Syrian regime gassed its people.
That last point is actually an exact characterization of Obama’s posture, which he expressed in the interview with CNN aired on Friday:
“There are rules of international law,” he told CNN’s Chris Cuomo. “If the U.S. goes in and attacks another country without a U.N. mandate and without clear evidence that can be presented, then there are questions in terms of whether international law supports it, do we have the coalition to make it work, and, you know, those are considerations that we have to take into account.” Continue reading “Obama on Syria: Low-quality “jaw-jaw””