The Saker: Putin withdrawing from Syria because he won

An Antonov transport plane at the Russian Khmeimim base in Syria’s Latakia province.

The Saker analyses the Russian military pullout from Syria:

[…] It is way too early right now to give a categorical evaluation of the timing and consequences of the Russian withdrawal from Syria.  Let us also keep in mind that there is a lot we don’t know.  What we do know is that Sergei Lavrov has had an absolutely crazy schedule over the past month or so and that Russian diplomats have been holding intense negotiations with all the regional powers.  I am confident that the Russians planned their withdrawal at least as carefully as the planned their intervention and that they have left as many open options as possible.  By the way, the big advantage of a unilateral decision is that, unlike one taken as part of an agreement with other parties, it can be unilaterally rescinded too.  It took the Russian just days to launch their initial operation even though they had to execute it all in difficult conditions and under the cloak of secrecy.  How long would it take them to move back into Syria if needed?
When all is said and done, I simply trust Vladimir Putin.  No, no just because I am a Putin fanboy (which, of course, I am!), but because of his record of being right and taking difficult, even risky, decisions which eventually yielded Russia yet another unforeseen success.
Like any good chess player, Putin knows that one of the key factors in any war is time and so far Putin has timed his every move superbly.  Yes, there were times in the past when I got really worried about what looked to me as either too much waiting or as dangerous risk-taking, but every single time my fears ended up being unfounded.  And yes, I can easily muster up a long list of potentially catastrophic scenarios for Syria, but I think that this would only make sense if Putin had, like Obama, a long and impressive list of failures, disasters, miscalculations and embarrassing defeats on his record.  But he does not.  In fact, what I see is an amazing list of successes achieved against very difficult odds.  And they key to Putin’s success might well be that he is a hardcore realist.
Russia is still weak.  Yes, she is stronger than in the past and she is rising up very fast, but she still is weak, especially in comparison to the still immense AngloZionist Empire whose resources simply dwarf Russia’s in most categories.  However, this comparative weakness also forces the Kremlin to be very careful.  When an empire is rich and powerful being arrogant and over-estimating your own capabilities is not nearly as bad as when a much weaker country does it.  Just look at the USA under Obama: they went from one humiliating and costly defeat to another – yet they are still here and still powerful, almost as powerful as they used to be 10 years ago.  While in the long run the kind of hubris and gross incompetence we nowadays observe in US decision-makers will result in the inevitable collapse of the Empire, in the medium to short term there is no truly painful price to pay for failure.  Just one example: just think of the US military interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq.  They are absolute and total failures, abject disasters of incalculable magnitude.  They will go down in history as amongst the worst foreign policy failures ever.  And yet, walking around in downtown New York or San Fransisco you would never think that you are visiting a country which just lost two major and long wars.
Russia does not have such a “luxury of power”, she has to make every bit count and she has to plan each move with utmost precision.  Just like a tightrope walker with no safety harness, Putin knows that a single misstep can have catastrophic consequences.
To withdraw the bulk of the Russian military task force in Syria right now is a gutsy and potentially risky move for sure, but I am confident that it is also the right one.  But only time will tell if my confidence is warranted or not.


co-founding editor of OffGuardian (retired)

Filed under: conflict zones, latest


co-founding editor of OffGuardian (retired)

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The Saker is a 911 Truther. You people really know how to pick ’em.


“There is a lot we don’t know” is about all I can agree upon within the article. Mr Putin is one man, like Mr Obama representing a ‘collection of interests’. The general population doesn’t appear to be one of those interests. What is apparent is the notion of nation states or collectives therein are mere labels of convenience. Our evaluation of world events are fed daily via a dictionary of 19th century beliefs. We attempt ethical, moral understanding where ethics and morals, as we have been taught don’t exist. Our opinions and views are as inconsequential to the ‘collection of interests’ as the fate of the Syrian people.


Reblogged this on Susanna Panevin.

Empire Of Stupid

” … walking around in downtown New York or San Francisco you would never think that you are visiting a country which just lost two major and long wars … ”
Not so fast. Walk around the Wall Street area.
* Major construction site, still only half finished after 15 years;
* Road surfaces that would disgrace Albania;
* Infrastructure, exposed in gigantic repair holes that never seem to get filled in, older than most African countries;
* Building after building standing empty, while occupied ones find rents tripled and quadrupled;
* Homeless, disabled or mentally ill beggars on every block;
* A subway system that 16th century London would envy;
And zombies too mesmerized by shiny technology to notice any of this, in “the greatest city in the world”.


You are absolutely right. The US government has taken away most of the money from the cities of America’s infrastructure, social services, health benefits, etc,,,, what many people see in the streets of New York and San Francisco is just the mask but millions of people lack of the most basic means to fight hunger and lack of opportunities, homeless abound in every city in the US, many people who lost their jobs in the 2010 have not been able to recover, unemployment is high no matter what our government say.
The only people, or the 1% are richer every moment, the gap in between the rich and the poor is bigger and bigger every time. With the 19 TRILLION dollars in debt the US government is going to default in the payments only for the INTERESTS, forget about the Principal. They keep borrowing more and more money to the Jewish banks who are the only beneficiaries of all this scam because we are also fighting for the Jewish entity of Israel and buy the military equipment from the Jewish owned Military Industrial Complex. The PETRO-DOLLAR has no value. All the apparent richness in based on money which has no gold to back it up. The richness is just a facade and will collapse any minute.


The Masters of the Universe may well not see Iraq or Afghanistan as the abject failures the average person believes which this article advances but rather being about securing specific assets/achieving specific aims whilst sewing a wider chaos, which have to an extent been achieved, despite public horror and at whatever cost. Likewise, what appears a disaster in Libya where people actually get to read about it may similarly be understood quite differently, as a success for Africom,a platform for greater influence in subSaharan Africa,the removal of an African leader with a vision for a more independent Africa with a new currency,the cherry-picking of Libyan assets by Western companies etc etc….. If its true that the Russian AF is leaving, Putin may well have had limited options in Syria with elections at home and concerns/criticisms about being more deeply drawn in.He may well want to hold Western peace initiatives up to the light and even have underestimated the perversions of the MSM,but having invested $billions in regime change in Syria,the West will go all out as deftly as possible to fabricate the conditions on the ground for Plan B and will offer Putin an eventual fait accompli around Mosul which he may later have no choice but to accept.

Seamus Padraig
Seamus Padraig

Huh? Mosul is in Iraq, not Syria. The relevant question is what happens to Raqqa–ISIS’ provisional capital. That’s in Syria.