December 3, 2015 -
Marat Ramazanov, PolitRussia -
Translated for Fort Russ by J. Arnoldski
“Who is ready to join Russia in the operation against terrorists?”
The problem of Daesh (the Islamic State, an organization banned in the Russian Federation) has been spoken about at different corners of the earth for a while. Several countries are already fighting with the terrorists on the territory of Syria and Iraq. Still a number of states are giving the appearance of fighting in dividing militants into “radicals” and “moderates.” a friendly yet ineffective coalition consisting of a number of Western and Arab countries has been confused by all the cards and appearance of Russian military planes in Syrian skies. Our air force, without sentimentality, has begun to destroy all terrorists indiscriminately. Helping the “Syrian people” to overthrow the “tyrant” has become much more difficult thanks to the Russian presence.
In light of increasingly difficult circumstances, it is interesting to note that in recent times information on the participation of new countries in the Syrian operation has appeared. Let’s see who has recently announced their readiness to fight terrorism.
But first, let’s remember the already existing coalition which has been fighting with Daesh in the Middle East even though it is now correct to speak of two groups of countries.
The first [coalition] - Syria, Iran, Russia, and Iraq - is currently fighting against terrorists. At least the first three states are not dividing terrorists into “bad” and “good,” but are destroying all of them. The main objective of this group is clear: ensure peace in the region. Syria and Iraq are destroying the enemy on their territory. Iran and Russia are doing this in advance, beyond their borders. After all, if this was not taken care of, then the risk of terrorist fire on the territories of Iran and Russia is quite likely.
There is another group of "fighters against terrorism" including the US, France, Great Britain, Turkey, Australia, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Jordan, Morocco, and Bahrain. This coalition operates with slightly different goals. Of course, such countries as France face a real threat in the face of veterans of Daesh returning and refugees among whom there can be terrorists. But is it possible to speak seriously about a terrorist threat by militants facing such countries as Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia who are on a more or less state level have relations with these same terrorists, when militants are supplied with finances and arms through “moderate” intermediaries?
It’s somewhat embarrassing to speak of a hypothetical threat by Daesh to the US.
But, apart from the above mentioned countries there are other states tearing into battle either associated by allied debt to participating Western powers or in search of certain benefits for themselves.
According to information from Bild am Sonntag referencing the words of General Inspector of the Bundeswehr Volker Wieker, the Federal Republic of Germany might send 1.2 thousand soldiers to “ensure the functioning of planes and ships.” That is, we probably are not dealing with a potential ground operation, but the support of airstrikes and sea-based strikes. It is interesting to note that Germany can send soldiers immediately after the receiving of a mandate. What is not clear is if Germany is hoping to secure a UN mandate, or if this is about something else.
Debates on the sending of German troops have not yet begun in parliament, but the question of providing military assistance to France has already been discussed. It’s been stated that Tornado observation aircraft, drones, military frigates, and equipment for refueling planes will be sent.
The Germans, like the French, might fear a hostile influx of persons from the Middle East. But why join the operation now and now immediately when the coalition of Western and Arab countries was formed? It’s possible that, to put it mildly or minimally, the point is diverting attention away from the German army’s participation in international operations due to the historical past.
It should be noted that when a similar coalition once again “saved the mir” from a “bloody tyrant” in Iraq, German troops were not deployed.
The usual ally of the Germans in world wars is also spoiling for a fight. We are talking about Bulgaria. Minister of Defense Nenvchev, even announced readiness for a ground operation. Surely, the problem of migrants is the hot issue, is it not? Or is this simply for the sake of praise by a “senior partner” from across the ocean? Nobody from the West has showed any special interests in Bulgaria joining a ground operation, except for the statements of individual senators who are usually referred to as hawks. Accordingly, the desire of Bulgarian politicians seems quite strange.
The UK has already been formally participating in the operation against ISIS, and some politicians don’t seem to mind expanding military operations at all. The vote on the participation of British soldiers in the Syrian operation was concluded on December 2 in parliament. As in the case of Germany, the point is only air strikes on ISIS positions. Apparently, the role of “cannon fodder” in the fight against ISIS has been given to countries with “younger democracies.”
Information on plans of the People’s Republic of China to participate in the fight against Daesh appear from time to time. But there don’t seem to be any serious motives for this. The presence of Muslim Uighurs on China’s territory which could only very hypothetically take up radical ideas and attempt to arrange something like this [in Syria] is possible, but unlikely. Is China using its modern weapons to display strength to its Western partners or to support Russia and Iran? These are also insignificant reasons for China to send its troops to fight the terrorists. This is why frequently appearing information on the sending of Chinese ships and submarines to the coast of Syria is consistently refuted.
News on the participation of Cuba in the fight against terrorism occasionally pops up. This “global threat” for Cuba, located so far away from the Middle East and not having any significant number of Muslims among its population, is not too dangerous. And expression respect for “senior partners” - excuse me, but Cuba has no such partners. Such relations at the current moment do not exist either with Russia or the US. However, it is possible that some kind of small Cuban contingent is providing support to the forces of B. Assad, but speaking of any serious influence of Cuba on the situation in the region is hardly necessary.
The establishment of a broad coalition
Given the desire of more and more countries to fight terrorism gives rise to an interesting question: will the participating states act against the militants as a single fist? After all, it is obvious that coordinated efforts would greatly expedite the process. A number of Western countries (France, Italy), to whom refugees now pose a real threat, are not against the creation of a broad coalition with Russia against the terrorists. However, another group of countries is trying to hush up this process.
For example, the recent actions of Turkey concerning our plane show that they do not have any desire to somehow really solve the problem of terrorism. Other states, leading a double game, are also not seeking serious joint operations.
The president of Turkey, Recep Erdogan, does not feel the least guilty over the incident with the Su-24 despite the overhanging economic losses, and is not going to apologize. Vladimir Putin in turn does not see Turkey as an ally in the fight against global terrorism and has had no desire to meet with Erdogan at the summit in Paris. Thus, talking about any coordinated operations against the terrorists is difficult.
The question arises: why then are some Western countries going to send troops to the Middle East if there is no real desire to fight the terrorists? All of this is somewhat reminiscent of events after the Second World War. When it became clear that the Third Reich was doomed, our allies quickly dashed to finish off the world threat.
They did this not so much out of good intentions, because serious military operations could have been started earlier, but instead to receive dividends from the victory and limit our influence in Europe along the way. There is reason to assume that our Western partners are not too pleased with the growing influence of our country in the Middle East. Hence their desire for a greater focus on the region.
"The inflated coalition"