14 March 2016

Russia Begins Pullout, Declares Syrian Goals Achieved

When was the last time that the US military declared a victory that actually involved removing troops from a theater>

I'm thinking that it was 1918, because, we are still in Germany, Japan, Korea, etc.

The only place where we've actually gotten all the way out in my lifetime is Southeast Asia, and that weren't no victory.

The Russians had limited goals in Syrian, and the announcement of this move appears to be a part of achieving its goals, maintaining a stable ally in the region, and preventing the return of South Caucuses Jihadis to Russia:
President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia on Monday ordered the withdrawal of the “main part” of Russian forces in Syria, a surprise move that reflected what he called the Kremlin’s achievement of nearly all its objectives in the war-torn country.

The news upended expectations in Western capitals and among ordinary Syrians, setting off fevered speculation about Russia’s intentions, much as Mr. Putin’s unexpected military plunge into the Syrian battlefield five months ago changed the course of the war.

Perhaps the most urgent questions were how the move would affect the war’s outcome and what it meant for President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, whose rule had been increasingly threatened by a string of military losses before Russian forces backed him up.

The Russian decision could signal a new confidence in Mr. Assad’s stability or an effort to pressure him to negotiate with his political adversaries — or both.

Mr. Putin has made his move at a particularly critical moment, as the upheaval in Syria enters its sixth year and a United Nations mediator in Geneva tries to revive peace talks to stop the war, which has displaced millions and created a humanitarian catastrophe.

A Russian military pullback will not leave Mr. Assad’s forces completely alone, because he also has support from Iran and from Hezbollah in Lebanon. And the Kremlin made clear it was keeping its new air base in the coastal Mediterranean province of Latakia, in addition to the naval refueling station it has kept nearby in Tartus since Soviet times.
And we are still hip deep in Iraq, and Afghanistan, and creating more terrorists around the world by our aggressive, and not particularly discriminant, drone war.


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