first published on October 8, 2015 by Will
Further taunting NATO with its newest escalation of force, Russia has fired 26 “Klub” missiles at rebel targets in defense of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad on Wednesday, a move that has now caused the U.S. to rule out working with Russia in Syria.
U.S. defense officials called the operation an unnecessary show of bravado, one that could have easily been carried out by Russia’s forward deployed jets in Syria. Instead, Russia chose to, for the first time in an actual real-world operating environment, use navy-launched, surface-to-surface, long-range missiles (similar to Tomahawks) to target rebel groups.
The act shows Russia’s belligerence and willingness to do what it wants militarily, regardless of Western input. The missiles also travelled through Iranian and Iraqi airspace, demonstrating those nations’ approval of Russian military operations in the region.
Putin may be using Syria to flex his military muscle, however in the Baltic States and Poland, he is using disinformation to flood the media with propaganda to subvert ethnic Russian types as well as build synthetic separatist movements to justify possible asymmetrical paramilitary land grabs, à la eastern Ukraine. Admiral Mark Ferguson, Naval Forces Europe, has admitted that NATO has been unable to keep up or predict Russia’s next moves because of their hybrid and asymmetrical style of operations.