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Article: Grandmaster Putin’s Hard Lesson on Emptiness and Fullness

The ability to gain victory by changing and adapting according to the opponent is called genius. – Sun Tzu, The Art of War

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Haneul Na’avi
29 November 2015

Russia’s two-month long battle against the Islamic State has proven fruitful and elevated her status as a champion against global terrorism, but while the country has much to celebrate militarily and economically, its successes eventually placed it at cross-purposes with a key strategic ally.

The “stab in the back” heard round the world—Turkey’s surreptitious downing of a Russian SU-24 as it flew in Syria’s northwestern Latakia province—not only cost pilot Sergei Rumyantsev his life and constituted a war crime under Article 51 of the UN Charter, but reveals Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s ambivalent geopolitical ambitions. Turkey has become a servant of too many masters, forcing the ruling AKP in a predicament that it may not be able to control later.

On October 6, Reuters reported that “a MIG-29 fighter jet of unknown nationality and Syria-based missile systems ‘interfered’ with eight Turkish F-16 jets patrolling along the Syrian border”, yet a Middle East Monitor article shifted focus on Ankara’s concerns to a Russian Su-24 by stating that, in a press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, “the military did not specify the type of plane but Turkish presidential sources and the Russian Ministry of Defense identified the aircraft as a Russian SU-24”. This created the perfect conditions for the Nov. 24 takedown of the Su-24, as the Syrian Arab Army commonly uses MIG-29 fighter jets, but Russia’s Sukhoi-24 fighters could come under Ankara’s crosshairs to escalate future provocations. In the article MEMO sources, they do not specify the type of plane which caused the provocation.

Continue reading Article: Grandmaster Putin’s Hard Lesson on Emptiness and Fullness

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Episode 31 – Hands off Russia… Today!

https://www.mixcloud.com/widget/iframe/?feed=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mixcloud.com%2Fthelastdefense%2Fe0031-hands-off-russia-today%2F&embed_uuid=b93aa3f4-2aba-4455-b500-056e4b26388f&replace=0&hide_cover=1&embed_type=widget_standard&hide_tracklist=1

Released: 26 Jan. 2015

On this installment of TLD, we have a go at the overlords of cable television as Time Warner Cable has kicked off Russia Today from its program listing. We debate current topics about Russia, including the current economic war resulting from American sanctions, why we need a multipolar world (and media), the possibility of thermonuclear repercussions, and other babblings as we salute one of our favorite news stations.

Music: Dickriding Obama, Boondocks (Season 3)

Top Russia Expert: Ukraine Joining Nato Would Provoke Nuclear War

Stephen Cohen is one of America’s top experts on Russia.  Cohen is professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University, and the author of a number of books on Russia and the Soviet Union.

Cohen says that the West is mainly to blame for the crisis in Ukraine:

This is a horrific, tragic, completely unnecessary war in eastern Ukraine. In my own judgment, we have contributed mightily to this tragedy. I would say that historians one day will look back and say that America has blood on its hands. Three thousand people have died, most of them civilians who couldn’t move quickly. That’s women with small children, older women. A million refugees.

Cohen joins other American experts on Russia – such as former U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union, Jack Matlock – in this assessment.

Cohen also says that if Ukraine joins NATO, it will lead to nuclear war:


[Interviewer:] The possibility of Ukraine in NATO and what that means and what—

STEPHEN COHEN: Nuclear war.

[Interviewer:] Explain.

STEPHEN COHEN: Next question. I mean, it’s clear. It’s clear. First of all, by NATO’s own rules, Ukraine cannot join NATO, a country that does not control its own territory. In this case, Kiev controls less and less by the day. It’s lost Crimea. It’s losing the Donbas—I just described why—to the war. A country that does not control its own territory cannot join Ukraine [sic]. Those are the rules.

[Interviewer:] Cannot join—

STEPHEN COHEN: I mean, NATO. Secondly, you have to meet certain economic, political and military criteria to join NATO.

Ukraine meets none of them. Thirdly, and most importantly, Ukraine is linked to Russia not only in terms of being Russia’s essential security zone, but it’s linked conjugally, so to speak, intermarriage. There are millions, if not tens of millions, of Russian and Ukrainians married together. Put it in NATO, and you’re going to put a barricade through millions of families. Russia will react militarily.

In fact, Russia is already reacting militarily, because look what they’re doing in Wales today. They’re going to create a so-called rapid deployment force of 4,000 fighters. What is 4,000 fighters? Fifteen thousand or less rebels in Ukraine are crushing a 50,000-member Ukrainian army. Four thousand against a million-man Russian army, it’s nonsense. The real reason for creating the so-called rapid deployment force is they say it needs infrastructure. And the infrastructure—that is, in plain language is military bases—need to be on Russia’s borders. And they’ve said where they’re going to put them: in the Baltic republic, Poland and Romania.

Now, why is this important? Because NATO has expanded for 20 years, but it’s been primarily a political expansion, bringing these countries of eastern Europe into our sphere of political influence; now it’s becoming a military expansion. So, within a short period of time, we will have a new—well, we have a new Cold War, but here’s the difference. The last Cold War, the military confrontation was in Berlin, far from Russia. Now it will be, if they go ahead with this NATO decision, right plunk on Russia’s borders. Russia will then leave the historic nuclear agreement that Reagan and Gorbachev signed in 1987 to abolish short-range nuclear missiles. It was the first time nuclear—a category of nuclear weapons had ever been abolished. Where are, by the way, the nuclear abolitionists today? Where is the grassroots movement, you know, FREEZE, SANE? Where have these people gone to? Because we’re looking at a new nuclear arms race. Russia moves these intermediate missiles now to protect its own borders, as the West comes toward Russia. And the tripwire for using these weapons is enormous.

One other thing. Russia has about, I think, 10,000 tactical nuclear weapons, sometimes called battlefield nuclear weapons. You use these for short distances. They can be fired; you don’t need an airplane or a missile to fly them. They can be fired from artillery. But they’re nuclear. They’re radioactive. They’ve never been used. Russia has about 10,000. We have about 500. Russia’s military doctrine clearly says that if Russia is threatened by overwhelming conventional forces, we will use tactical nuclear weapons. So when Obama boasts, as he has on two occasions, that our conventional weapons are vastly superior to Russia, he’s feeding into this argument by the Russian hawks that we have to get our tactical nuclear weapons ready.

http://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2014/9/5/ukraine_ceasefire_takes_hold_but_an

Former Polish president – and famed anti-communist activist – Lech Walesa agrees that the U.S. and Nato’s arming of Ukraine could lead to a nuclear war

Cohen also notes that the West has entered into an agreement to cover-up what happened to Malaysian airlines flight 17, because Russia was not responsible:

http://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2014/9/5/did_major_countries_agree_not_to