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You Want War? Russia is Ready for WarBy Pepe Escobar (about the author) Permalink (Page 1 of 2 pages)
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The Pentagon carries the same message embedded in newspeak: the Full Spectrum Dominance doctrine.
Syria is leading all these assumptions to collapse like a house of cards. So no wonder in a Beltway under no visible chain of command -- the Obama administration barely qualifies as lame duck -- angst is the norm.
Syria is now Coalition Central. There are at least four; the "4+1" (Russia, Syria, Iran, Iraq plus Hezbollah), which is actually fighting Daesh; the US-led coalition, a sort of mini NATO-GCC combo, but with the GCC doing nothing; the Russia-France direct military collaboration; and the new Saudi-led "Islamic" charade. They are pitted against an astonishing number of Salafi-jhadi coalitions and alliances of convenience that last from a few months to a few hours.
And then there's Turkey, which under Sultan Erdogan plays a vicious double game.
Sarajevo All Over Again?
"Tense" does not even begin to describe the current Russia-Turkey geopolitical tension, which shows no sign of abating. The Empire of Chaos lavishly profits from it as a privileged spectator; as long as the tension lasts, prospects of Eurasia integration are hampered.
Russian intel has certainly played all possible scenarios involving a NATO Turkish army on the Turkish-Syrian border as well as the possibility of Ankara closing the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles for the Russian "Syria Express." Erdogan may not be foolish enough to offer Russia yet another casus belli. But Moscow is taking no chances.
That's how we can draw a parallel of Syria today as the equivalent of Sarajevo 1914.
Since mid-2014 the Pentagon has run all manner of war games -- as many as 16 times, under different scenarios -- pitting NATO against Russia. All scenarios were favorable to NATO. All simulations yielded the same victor: Russia.
And that's why Erdogan's erratic behavior actually terrifies quite a few real players from Washington to Brussels.
Let Me Take You on a Missile Cruise
The Pentagon is very much aware of the tremendous heavy metal Russia may unleash if provoked to the limit by someone like Erdogan. Let's roll out an abridged list.
Russia can use the mighty SS-18 -- which NATO codenames "Satan"; each "Satan" carries 10 warheads, with a yield of 750 to 1000 kilotons each, enough to destroy an area the size of New York state.
The Topol M ICBM is the world's fastest missile at 21 Mach (16,000 miles an hour); against it, there's no defense. Launched from Moscow, it hits New York City in 18 minutes, and L.A. in 22.8 minutes.
Russian submarines -- as well as Chinese submarines -- are able to launch offshore the US, striking coastal targets within a minute. Chinese submarines have surfaced next to US aircraft carriers undetected, and Russian submarines can do the same.
Here, a former adviser to the US Chief of Naval Operations essentially goes on the record saying the whole US missile defense apparatus is worthless.
Russia has a supersonic bomber fleet of Tupolev Tu-160s; they can take off from airbases deep in the heart of Russia, fly over the North Pole, launch nuclear-tipped cruise missiles from safe distances over the Atlantic, and return home to watch the whole thing on TV.
NATO would need to knock out all these Iskanders. But then they would need to face the S-400s -- or, worse, S-500s -- which Russia can layer in defense zones in nearly every conceivable theater of war. Positioning the S-400s in Kaliningrad, for instance, would cripple all NATO air operations deep inside Europe.
And presiding over military decisions, Russia privileges the use of Reflexive Control (RC). This is a tactic that aims to convey selected information to the enemy that forces him into making self-defeating decisions; a sort of virus influencing and controlling his decision-making process. Russia uses RC tactically, strategically and geopolitically. A young Vladimir Putin learned all there is to know about RC at the 401st KGB School and further on in his career as a KGB/FSB officer.
All right, Erdogan and NATO; do you still wanna go to war?
Pepe Escobar is an independent geopolitical analyst. He writes for RT, Sputnik and TomDispatch, and is a frequent contributor to websites and radio and TV shows ranging from the US to East Asia. He is the former roving correspondent for Asia Times Online. Born in Brazil, he's been a foreign correspondent since 1985, and has lived in London, Paris, Milan, Los Angeles, Washington, Bangkok and Hong Kong. Even before 9/11 he specialized in covering the arc from the Middle East to Central and East Asia, with an emphasis on Big Power geopolitics and energy wars. He is the author of "Globalistan" (2007), "Red Zone Blues" (2007), "Obama does Globalistan" (2009) and "Empire of Chaos" (2014), all published by Nimble Books. His latest book is "2030", also by Nimble Books, out in December 2015.