Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin

Syria, what is Putin’s end game? They said nature abhors vacuum. Is Putin filling vacuum left by the Americans without a definite end game? Let’s go down memory lane. 

Vladimir Putin

In Afghanistan we saw what toll a vacuum could take on a nation as well as the world in general. Afghan Taliban new leader, Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour lives in Quetta inside Pakistan. Mohammed Omar, the founder of the Taliban also died of tuberculosis in Karachi also in Pakistan. Osama Bin Laden lived so many years in Abbottabad also in Pakistan before American elite fighters, the Naval Seals yanked life out of him.

Following the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989 and the collapse of Najibullah’s regime in 1992, Afghanistan fell into chaos as various mujahideen factions fought for control and in the end, Pakistani backed Mohammad Omar took control. You cannot solve Afghan problem without recognizing the fact that Afghan insurgents or rogue leaders are trained, propped and armed from across the border, by one of the world’s greatest armies, the Pakistani army. For Taliban to be defeated, Pakistan must be confronted with stringent policies. If some of the most brutal terrorist organizations are armed by a nuclear state, then there is danger.

Pakistan has mastered the acts of pretending to help the United States in war against terror when supporting US’ deadly enemies. Pakistan ranks 43rd in world economic ranking by the World Bank, it has one of the world’s largest armies, it has the fastest growing nuclear arsenals in the world, maintains close ties with the world’s most savage terrorists. Its military consumes 26% of its budget, it has over 5.5 millions of children who do not attend school, its military mindset and government policy is embedded in double dealings and playing around with world’s most deadly weaponry, and no one needs be reminded that Pakistan is aticking time bomb awaiting explosion.

In Iraq, US withdrawal has seen the rise of ISIS backed by Sunni governments in the gulf with many deposed Saddam’s generals who are largely secular. In Syria, the vacuum created by American perplexity of who to support and to what extent to avoid trading one despot for another saw Russian incursion into middle east, the first since 1970s. We all know that Russia has history of battle abandonment and is currently cash strapped and being led by Putin who is a very good tactician but not so good a strategist to end game of any engagement.

The question is, what options are left for the West and other concerned global players like Israel in the complex war going on in Syria and partly Iraq? So far the opposition’s backers have largely kept quiet about their plans. What happens next will depend largely on Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, since America has lost much of its influence in the war. Although the CIA has trained and equipped some rebels at a cost of $500m. This programme has failed badly. Only few men are currently in Syria fighting barely enough to fill a pickup truck. Following Russia’s intervention, Barack Obama is said to have authorized the Pentagon to distribute more ammunition and some weapons to 30,000 troops who he hopes will advance on Raqqa, ISIS’ Syrian capital.

President Obama’s feeble response to Russian bombings in Syria has greatly wounded the sureness of Asad’s opponents which is still at bewilderment. Another demoralizing factor to Asad’s opponents who are mainly Arabs is the composition of 25,000 man American proposed ground force only 5000 of whom are Arabs and the rest are Kurds which bodes badly for prospects of taking back Syria’s Sunni heartland.

The lack of credible Sunni representation is feeding instability in both Syria and Iraq and is pushing more Sunnis into ISIS’ embrace. The Gulf States have long wanted to give anti-air missiles to the opposition, but have been held back by Mr. Obama. But recently they have become less subservience to American influence. Mr. Asad currently appears to be enjoying Russian air coverage which allows his already fatigued troops to recover some of the lost territories. Iran on the other hand together with their Hezbollah terrorist puppets helps Syrian military on ground battle.

Assuming United States refuses to raise their engagement in Syria, what is Putin’s end game with Mr. Asad who is more of a liability that an asset now? What will Syria look like with territories recovered without people, infrastructure totally destroyed, terrorist launching attacks from underground and Mr. Asad at the helms of affair? If Russia decides to edge Asad out and replace him with their own puppet, where will they get money to rebuild already totally destroyed country since both Russian and Iranian economies are badly sapless? It will not be out of place to ask, whose void is Russia filling up and can Putin look far enough?

Source: Obi Ebuka Onochie

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