Military Review

Syrian crisis: why Washington does not understand Moscow

Russia made it clear that it will participate in resolving the Syrian crisis. And she showed that she could take this step without a nod from Washington. The White House is alarmed: how to respond to such behavior in Moscow? Earlier, strategists in Washington believed that with the Russians it was possible to agree on the issue of “fighting terrorists” in Syrian territory; you can even include them in the "coalition". However, these hopes have now collapsed. Military experts admit that the coalition will create Russia, Iran and Syria. At the same time, the “Afghan scenario” for Russia is rejected.

On the Bloomberg View A new article appeared by Leonid Bershidsky, a famous columnist (Leonid Bershidsky), in which he wondered about the divergence of the US and Russian positions on the Syrian crisis.

When Russia made it clear that it would not remain aloof from the Syrian conflict, the American strategists realized that they would have to give the Russians a reply. The situation is familiar: for many years the United States has been responding to every unilateral action of Russia, forgetting to admit that the two states are on opposite sides of the conceptual dispute over the nature of sovereignty.

For Russia, sovereignty is a traditional concept, dating back to the Treaty of Westphalia, which put an end to the Thirty Years War (1648). According to his provisions, the state has complete power over its territories; external factors have no right to interfere in the affairs of a sovereign state.

The European states and the Obama administration in the United States adhere to a different, later concept, ostensibly based on universal human values: if the regime oppresses citizens, it is acceptable to intervene.

The journalist quotes Charles Ziegler’s commentary from the University of Louisville. He wrote in his article (2012) about the Russian concept of sovereignty: “Europe is gradually shifting, if not already, from the traditional concept of the modern state to the postmodern concept of limited sovereignty with its priority of humanitarian values. Russia, like China, largely adheres to the modernist principles of government, based on the Treaty of Westphalia and considering sovereignty as an almost absolute concept. European cosmopolitanism, as if responding to this, interprets the modernist interpretation of sovereignty as outdated and even barbaric. The United States lies somewhere between two types of sovereignty, far apart from each other throughout modern and postmodern ... ”According to Ziegler, if Western realists and isolationists stand closer to the first concept, then the liberals and neo-cons generally share the second.

According to Leonid Bershidsky, at the level of instincts, the European (and recently American) approach seems to be “more attractive”. After all, "for dictatorial regimes, for example, for the regime of President Vladimir Putin in Russia, it is natural to defend absolute sovereignty." The columnist points out that such an approach is useful “for self-preservation” of the regimes, although this preservation does not necessarily take into account the interests of citizens. In addition, "postmodern" sovereignty is based on a much later international consensus than the Treaty of Westphalia.

The observer recalls that in 2005, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution affirming the “responsibility to protect”. This principle allows the international community to use any suitable means to protect a country's population from a regime that arranges ethnic cleansing or commits war crimes.

The reality, however, turned out to be much more complicated.

“Responsibility to protect” has become a subject of heated debate. Many countries, including China and Russia, considered that this principle looks more like a “preventive doctrine”. “Responsibility to protect” was first applied in practice to justify armed intervention in 2011 in Libya’s affairs (against the regime of Muammar Gaddafi). Russian Prime Minister Putin called the intervention of the West in the affairs of Libya "crusade" against a sovereign country. The actions of the West, despite the disagreement of Putin, were approved by the then Russian President Medvedev, and this case was the only act of disobedience of the “weak president” to Putin, the analyst believes.

Today, Putin still considers Libyan intervention by the West a mistake. The Russian president repeatedly mentions Libya in justifying Moscow’s support for the Bashar Assad regime in Syria.

Meanwhile, the columnist believes, even though Putin claims that the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria is the result of Western intervention, his hidden purpose is easy to see - it is self-interest. Moscow supplies Assad weaponwhich "killed thousands of Syrians." But this corresponds to the principle that external factors do not have the right to try to change the ruling regime in a sovereign country.

On the other hand, it can be argued that Putin himself does not comply with the principles of his concept. The columnist cites as an example the "military adventures of Russia in Georgia and Ukraine." He also recalls Putin’s “official explanation”: Russia's intervention in both cases was a response to the previous intervention by the West - after all, it contributed to the illegal regime change in two post-Soviet countries.

According to the author, there is no doubt that Putin defends his own pragmatic interests - both in the post-Soviet space and in the Middle East.

But what else is interesting. Be that as it may, Putin defends a clear concept of foreign policy, while the United States and its allies with their own pragmatic interests adhere to a “vague” policy.

The analyst sees only three approaches to resolving the ideological conflict between Russia and the West.

The first: military and economic opposition of the West with Russia. In this scenario, Russia's geopolitical position "will not matter."

The second is the achievement of an agreement by the great powers on new rules for an international settlement. This will mean the development (probably under the auspices of the UN) of very limited and concrete measures of international intervention. This, of course, is an idealistic variant, the author writes.

Third, the most likely option: each new incident is considered as a separate situation with its consequences (Realpolitik). This to some extent reflects the approach to Ukraine: Putin was allowed to take the Crimea; Western negotiators forced Ukraine to accept the special status of those territories that are currently "under the control of Russian representatives." In Syria, this may mean a situational alliance with Russia against the "Islamic State", and then backstage negotiations either on the division of the territory of Syria, or on the gradual removal of Assad from power. This is unlikely to bring fame to the West, but still this approach is preferable to “endless diplomatic and military escalation,” the columnist said.

Military expert Igor Korotchenko also highlighted the “realistic scenario.” Total in his LJ The analyst described three likely further scenarios in Syria.

The first scenario is “negative.” Despite Russian military-technical assistance, President Assad is unable to keep control of the situation. In the face of the threat of the fall of Damascus, Russia is forced to evacuate the embassy, ​​the mission personnel of the main military adviser and Russian citizens living in Syria.

The second scenario is “positive.” An international coalition is being created, receiving a mandate to fight the IS from the UN Security Council. In the framework of participation in the coalition, the Russian Federation will limit itself to using its long-range aviation. Russian troops do not participate in ground operations; these functions are performed by the Syrian armed forces, the Iranian army and the IRGC. As for the land operation in Iraq, it is carried out by Western members of the coalition and the monarchy of the Persian Gulf.

Finally, the “realistic” scenario. The task of keeping Assad in power is being solved by Russia and Iran. “And here I don’t even venture to describe possible options for action — there are too many of them,” the expert writes. “One thing is clear: a repetition of the Afghan epic in Syria, with the large-scale introduction of our troops there, in my opinion, is completely ruled out.”

To this we must add that, at present, the Syrian army has begun to use new types of aircraft and ground weapons provided by Russia.

September 17 Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem saidthat Russia has provided his state with new weapons and instructors for the training of troops. Damascus, he said, is ready to call on the Russian military to fight as part of the Syrian army, if necessary.

According to an unnamed source of "Reuters" in the Syrian army, the Russian military support for Damascus is increasing, and the weapons "are very effective and very accurate."

Observed and commented on Oleg Chuvakin
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  1. papont64
    papont64 22 September 2015 06: 21
    God give us and in this multi-way we will win ...)))
    1. mirag2
      mirag2 22 September 2015 06: 40
      You know, I would answer this question (why Washington does not understand Moscow), as a resident of Lakoniki: -because the goals are different.
      Even so: the goals are different.
      1. kodxnumx
        kodxnumx 22 September 2015 08: 22
        You see how people in Syria are happy that Russia has finally begun to really help the Syrian people, because everyone on planet Earth knows where Russia is winning! Now the situation will change radically.
        1. marlin1203
          marlin1203 22 September 2015 09: 26
          In the fight against such medieval evil as ISIS, sin cannot be helped. This is already a direct struggle between light and darkness.
        2. Vasily Krylov
          Vasily Krylov 22 September 2015 12: 09
          let me correct you a little ... life is there.
          1. mirag2
            mirag2 22 September 2015 18: 55
            In general terms, I understand the situation with Syria. But I don’t understand one thing, why did El Murid write up his whole LJ with topics such as Americans are happy to hold their breath that Russia entered the Syrian topic almost by troops?
            What is the joy of the Amers? -What side are they happy for?
            1. aiden
              aiden 22 September 2015 22: 14
              you are reading this clown arena? This expert is not credible to anyone.
  2. vasiliysxx
    vasiliysxx 22 September 2015 06: 28
    and weapons "are very effective and very accurate."

    They wrote in the Western press, after the use of "Pinocchio" ISIS fled in horror, well, who survived.
  3. Floock
    Floock 22 September 2015 06: 29
    I would like to wish our guys those who are there now - this is a right thing! Help the Syrians win and return alive. With a shield!
    1. kot stepan
      kot stepan 22 September 2015 21: 04
      If the Su-25 arrived, with Israel a joint coordination headquarters, a statement by Hezbollah ( ...
      Everything speaks of the preparation of a ground operation in the near future.
      "My heart feels that we are on the eve of a grandiose nix."
  4. rotmistr60
    rotmistr60 22 September 2015 06: 31
    How to react to such behavior in Moscow?

    But as? It’s just time already not to put our EGO above the normal and constructive proposals of Russia. And everything will fall into place.
    1. Amurets
      Amurets 22 September 2015 08: 34
      That's right! For a long time already it is necessary to cheat on the decisions of the West. Let it be self-destructing. They are not afraid to help Assad and give him the opportunity to use thermobaric weapons wherever possible, so that not one survives. And here, in my opinion, by the way, The visit of the Israeli leader to Moscow. It was very unexpected that someone flew in from Netanyahu, the chief of the General Staff, the chairman of the national security council and the chief of intelligence. And most importantly, there were no representatives of the press and the visit was very urgent. I ran through news sites, everywhere there were only speculations, but there was no news. is that our Jews with BO know something. Moreover, the meeting on trade and economic cooperation will be held in late September.
  5. sa-zz
    sa-zz 22 September 2015 06: 56
    postmodern concept of limited sovereignty with its priority of humanitarian values

    Mlyn analysts got ridiculous with their perverted notions about the purpose of the holes.
    Farther than their nose (read-interest) do not see. Quite beneficial for international mega-corporations represented by vassal governments "limited sovereignty with the priority of humanitarian values."
    1. palmse
      palmse 22 September 2015 10: 47
      It's funny. I don’t understand why no one is talking about the pipeline from the Saudis to Europe. For me this is the main reason. ISIS must be equated with mountains and the desert. If you don’t agree, I’ll go to the monastery as a monk.
    2. The comment was deleted.
    3. tracer
      tracer 22 September 2015 12: 48
      Not to see beyond your own nose is a tradition and, if you want, the worldview of Anglo-Saxon culture. "I am not interested in anything that does not concern me personally" here it is the alpha and omega of their worldview, elevated to the rank of politics of entire states. Other points of view are incomprehensible and unacceptable to them. This will always lead to a neo-colonial policy in relation to any states.
  6. mamont5
    mamont5 22 September 2015 07: 08
    "Syrian Crisis: Why Washington Doesn't Understand Moscow"

    He understands everything perfectly. It's just that we have different goals with amers, so the United States is trying to crush Russia, using with might and main its "administrative" resource, which has been accumulated over these years.
  7. Obolensky
    Obolensky 22 September 2015 07: 13
    How Western countries support the sovereignty and security of citizens from other countries! Already kicks a tear! They are ready to help and help, solve the internal problems of other states practically for nothing. I’m just curious, but if, for example, it seems to some Iran or China that in Germany or France, or even in the USA, the rights of citizens are violated and, in general, everything doesn’t interfere in the internal affairs of these states, as they sing These countries? Will it be help for them or aggression? Something I think is exclusively only the second. It is enough that only the West is allowed to decide for other countries how to live.
  8. parusnik
    parusnik 22 September 2015 07: 24
    After all, “for dictatorial regimes, for example, for the regime of President Vladimir Putin in Russia
    It’s already freezing .. this phrase is dictatorial regimes .. And who does not drink? Name it! No, I'm waiting! .. And where are not the dictatorial regimes now? Name it! No, I'm waiting! .. USA? Yes, there are not even direct elections there ..
  9. fvandaku
    fvandaku 22 September 2015 07: 32
    I love these American columnists OU SUCH FUN GUYS. laughing
  10. chikenous59
    chikenous59 22 September 2015 07: 52
    Quote: rotmistr60
    How to react to such behavior in Moscow?

    But as? It’s just time already not to put our EGO above the normal and constructive proposals of Russia. And everything will fall into place.

    Dear, go crazy. dispensary and explain to "Napoleon" that he must change, the result is obvious, he will not hear you, will not understand, will behave aggressively! With the United States, everything has long been clear - psychopaths are not treated by persuasion - they either haloperidol or "lulling". There is no other way !!!
    1. EFA
      EFA 22 September 2015 12: 51
      Quote: chikenous59
      There is no other way !!

      TOL (from surgical psychiatry) also helps))
  11. The comment was deleted.
  12. Sibiryak13
    Sibiryak13 22 September 2015 08: 13
    Some kind of nonsense. Korotchenko can still be heard, but the columnist is very near.
    1. kotvov
      kotvov 22 September 2015 20: 48
      but the columnist is very near. ,,
      it’s not even that they think like that. It’s like a capricious child, I want it all. Now they are trapped. I continue the previous policy, they worsen the situation, but they don’t know how to rebuild it.
  13. serega.fedotov
    serega.fedotov 22 September 2015 09: 02
    The reaction of the United States is absolutely understandable, just imagine: Russia alone, or together with Iran, is throwing out igils from Syria, the next day they will come running to us from Iraq and Libya! And in a day the ENTIRE Middle East will take a position of "what you please" - either Russia squeezing out igil will not go anywhere! And the Middle East is not only the price of oil, but also the control of Europe (oil and gas will be supplied under the control of Russia)
    That is, for the United States it is a complete disaster!
    So the mattress mats fussed about - on the one hand, they raised a screech about the Russian army in Syria (hinting that they would interfere in ALL AVAILABLE ways), and at the same time urging us to cooperate in Syria (In fact, asking us to "our chariot" on any conditions - to cling to victory saving a person like "we plowed", and not let Russia turn in the east)
    And if you also remember that Biden recently said "if Ukraine cannot defeat the United States, they will refuse its support" (a hint for us to exchange dill for Syria!)
    1. tracker
      tracker 22 September 2015 12: 21
      it’s absolutely correct that the main thing for mattresses is to cling to victory over the IS in time or prevent to the maximum. Like during the Second World War, they quickly landed in Europe and went to Berlin, where they fought, and in most cases the Germans gave up en masse.
  14. Roman 1977
    Roman 1977 22 September 2015 10: 07
    It is known as a global sponsor of international / Islamic terrorism, at least from the beginning. 80s is the West, led by the United States. They started in Afghanistan, then continued in Bosnia and Serbia / Kosovo, did not pass the North Caucasus, and now they have become simply "multi-stationers" - Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Syria - i.e. "spud" a large region of the Islamic East.

    No doubt they have allies in the field -
    - These are extremist monarchies of the Persian Gulf, first of all Saudi and Qatar, which in the 50-70 of the secular progressive regimes that came to power in a number of countries in the region were frightened to death. Here I would have to make the next move, but ... The USSR was already skidding with ideology and was unable to take it.
    There is a passive ally - Israel, which has diligently delayed the forces of these progressive regimes, and is now rejoicing, seeing how the state military-technical potential of its former opponents is being destroyed. In the face of the militants of the Caliphate - crowds with machine guns and on the carts of Toyota, Israelis have not yet seen the enemy.
    There are also assistants / helpers - they are liberals of all stripes. The parochial, who foolishly engage in the destruction of third countries, does not interest us, here only about the main column of liberals — about Russophobes.
    Some of them are on salary, but part of them, proceeding from their physiological, densely Russophobia, are working on naked enthusiasm - remember how they all rode in chorus during the Chechen wars ?!
    And now they continue to support the Islamists and the West - already in Syria - they say, if Russia did not support B. Assad, there would already be democracy and order - and such statements (as I wrote recently, they received a new textbook on ) this is not dementia or idiocy, as every normal person might think - this is a small part of Russophobic propaganda, where the liberals have their own, considerable role.
    And it is useless to appeal to their reason - it is already programmed to destroy. And this is covered up with all the pseudo-beautiful tales about freedom and the priority of the individual, with the universal struggle for it. Moreover, such tales sometimes have an impact on some people - mostly young people and intellectuals (of a non-technical profile, usually) - but these can still be re-educated or retired.
    The situation with the liberals-Russophobes themselves is different - if, I repeat, parochial liberals, for example in the same States, are scattered marginal groups of urban madmen, which few people pay attention to, then in Russia and around it - it’s organized, solid and well a motivated group that sets as its goal (like its owner, the West) the destruction of even that fragment of Russia that we have now - the Russian Federation.
  15. vladnn2015
    vladnn2015 22 September 2015 10: 07
    Expensive pleasure - participation in the war! We'll have to tighten the strap again. But nothing - we can withstand this war.
    1. tracker
      tracker 22 September 2015 12: 29
      The Olympics were held, and there the money was spent several times more, and the football championship was ahead, the money was spent on some exercises, most likely several times more
  16. LMaksim
    LMaksim 22 September 2015 11: 17
    The American approach is becoming dangerous for the United States. They have an oppressed population (Indians as well as Americans themselves). Total surveillance, the killing of blacks, reservations for the Indians, all this gives the right to believe that the regime rules in the United States. And adhering to their own positions regarding all regimes there, we have the right to take measures to overthrow the regime in the United States and European countries. In the same Baltic countries, the Russian-speaking population is oppressed, and this is again an occasion to seek a regime change. It turns out that European countries are alive only thanks to the conservative views of Russia and China.
  17. iouris
    iouris 22 September 2015 11: 28
    Fushington only understands real politics that use forceful arguments.
  18. Redfox3k
    Redfox3k 22 September 2015 11: 31
    Oh, to add fuel to a feud within the United States and to throw a spark ....
  19. Reptiloid
    Reptiloid 22 September 2015 11: 40
    Why he doesn’t understand. Ordinary jumps - lags behind in development! or just pretend to be a fool
    The main thing - Syria, Iran - understand !!
  20. Stinger
    Stinger 22 September 2015 12: 17
    why Washington does not understand Moscow

    He does not understand because the rich do not understand the poor, the stupid does not understand the clever, the drunk sober does not understand. Snickering. That's when they sober up and get a little wiser, then they will understand. May be. In the meantime, scenario One is bending: a military and economic confrontation between the West and Russia. In this situation, Russia's geopolitical position “will not matter”
    As O. Bender said in a lecture on chess: “We see that a blond plays well and a brunette plays poorly. And no lectures will change this balance of power ”
    1. padded jacket
      padded jacket 22 September 2015 13: 22
      The main sponsors of terrorism in the BV are the United States, the Israeli regime and the Wahhabis without them there would be no war in Libya or Syria. And mind you, first of all, countries that are friendly to Russia and leading an independent policy in the region are being destroyed, but the "puppets" of the United States live happily ever after. Again, the "evil" IS does not express any threats against the United States, Israel, Turkey, or the PZ monarchies, which once again indicates where exactly their sponsors are located and where they are controlled from.
      The most important thing for our country now is not to get involved directly in the war, but to limit itself to massive supplies of weapons to the genuine fighters against terrorism in Syria, Iraq, Iran, Hezbollah. And in no case do not enter into "allied" relations with the Israeli regime, this is a faithful satellite of the United States and a country that supports terrorism and will give us any moment.
      We do not like: Russia has accumulated enough questions for Israel
      1. Alexander Romanov
        Alexander Romanov 22 September 2015 13: 28
        Quote: quilted jacket
        The main sponsors of terrorism in the BV are the United States, and

        Padded jacket, let's go to Israel, we’ll sit and have a drink. We will go to the Professor and Atalef. We will mingle the world problems and deeds of Israel wink
  21. olimpiada15
    olimpiada15 22 September 2015 13: 43
    Western verbiage is fed up.
    Especially infuriates "Putin's dictatorial regime" -
    - this is when in the country behind the screech of the liberals paid by the West it has long been difficult to hear the normal correct point of view, which the same liberals do not call propaganda otherwise.
    Personally, I stopped listening to liberal nonsense, after I became convinced of their lies and complete neglect of the facts -RBC, ECHO, etc. - I do not consider it worthy of attention despite any flashy headline.
    As for Putin’s criticism, liberalism is what destroys the country's economy and patriotic attitude. And the rest, Putin’s position is respectful.
    The events in Ukraine have well demonstrated the "objectivity" and "democracy" of the Western media, which did not notice either the genocide of the Russian-speaking population, or the suffering of the Donbass people, or mass and single killings, or the pro-fascist Bandera regime.
  22. ankir13
    ankir13 22 September 2015 13: 59
    Indeed, "for dictatorial regimes, for example, for the regime of President Vladimir Putin in Russia, it is natural to defend absolute sovereignty." Columnist points out that this approach is useful “for self-preservation of regimes.
    As for Uncle Vova, some kind of stupidity, dictators are a babama and others like him, and their regimes.
  23. ComradE_AlekS
    ComradE_AlekS 22 September 2015 14: 44
    In the meantime, everyone here argues "What is to be done and who is to blame ?!", as well as those who believe that the "enemies of Russia" are monitoring information through the Russian segment of the Internet and refer to it as evidence of Russia's participation in certain cases, in the network there are more and more new photos of the Russian Air Force in the SAR (this is me to the fact that it is not necessary to keep the USAiKo completely for idiots, when they need they know everything)
    Orenburg-Baghdad-Tehran-Latakia. This is the route of the Tu-154M with the tail number RA-85041 of the 223rd flying squadron of the Russian Ministry of Defense, which, according to Flightradar24, flew from Orenburg to Baghdad on September 19, flew from Baghdad to Tehran on September 21, and today on September 22 departed from Tehran towards Latakia ... One gets the impression that the final "synchronization of hours" of some serious operation carried out by Russia, Iran, Syria and Iraq is underway. Of course, I could be wrong, but at least this is where all those pieces of the puzzle, in the form of various facts, rumors, etc., that have come in recent months, starting with the enigmatic phrase of the commander of the Qods forces of the IRGC Iran, General Suleimani, about the great future surprise in Syria and his visit (s) to Moscow and ending with the latest pictures of the airport in Latakia.
    It’s also interesting that in recent months, new Shiite volunteer units with Iranian advisers being flown by Iran (and, according to some rumors, some small Iranian regular units) seem to have accumulated for the most part and were practically not involved in operations, despite the difficult situation in some areas . There were rumors that the Syrian forces themselves were trying to gather reserves.

    I repeat that I could be wrong, in any case, we will find out soon ..
  24. PValery53
    PValery53 22 September 2015 15: 43
    "Why isn't the camel eating cotton wool?" - "But he doesn't want her"
    Why doesn't Washington understand Moscow? “He doesn't want to.”
  25. gladcu2
    gladcu2 22 September 2015 16: 51
    The stupid opinion of this columnist.

    Everything goes according to the GDP plan. He holds the world by testicles tightly. All these cries of rebellious Russia are just for distraction. :)
    1. PValery53
      PValery53 22 September 2015 19: 04
      Citizen of Canada! Take humor even more seriously! A quote about WATU - from the play "Princess Turandot" of the Moscow Academic Theater. Vakhtangov.
      1. gladcu2
        gladcu2 22 September 2015 20: 53

        I didn’t get it. I hate performances since childhood. From school. This is at the level of reflexes. Hope you are not ironic. This will undermine my childhood sensitivities.
  26. The comment was deleted.
  27. Navy7981
    Navy7981 22 September 2015 21: 17
    "The European states and the Obama administration in the United States adhere to a different, later concept, supposedly based on universal human values: if the regime oppresses citizens, it is perfectly acceptable to intervene."
    Of course, you can especially when the loot and power are at stake, and if you are sure that you won’t get it by arrogant erysipelas and greedy little hands. But if there is such a chance, verbiage about human love begins. But if the loot and power do not shine as a gingerbread, which can be devoured, then a vivid example of Kampuchea and the Khmer Rouge half the country were cut out with mugs and nobody cared.
  28. realist
    realist 23 September 2015 14: 33
    The USA will never understand Russia. We have different tasks and a view of the situation. we need cheap oil for them. we need a stable world. and they need a war wherever there is no US, and while they are winning this war! frankly, I don’t know how to achieve a turn of the world (in the sense of all countries) against the one-sided position of the American "partners".