A Game Changer


"Additionally to the downed F-16I of the Israeli Air Force, at least one Israeli F-15 warplane wad damaged by a Syrian missile and was forced to make an emergency landing on February 10, the Al Arabiya TV network reported citing own sources.

According to unconfirmed report, in total 3 Israeli warplanes were damaged additionally to the F-16 which was downed by the Syrian forces earlier on February 10.

If these reports are at least partly confirmed this will be one of the biggest Israeli failures in the recent time."  SF


Israeli collective psychology is based on an assumed military and cultural superiority to the Arab states surrounding them.  For them to lose an F-16 to the Syrian Air Defenses as well as to suffer damage to several F-15s is an unacceptable challenge to their self image and to the intimidating effect that they seek.

For the Israelis this defiance of their usual air supremacy requires massive retaliation.  This is ongoing.  pl



This entry was posted in Current Affairs, Israel, Middle East, Russia, Syria. Bookmark the permalink.

124 Responses to A Game Changer

  1. According to reports I posted in a previous thread, I believe the AA systems used were reported as S-200, not the more advanced S-400.
    There are people claiming to be suspicious of the S-200 claim, since Syria has never hit any Israeli jets before. They think this was a Russian S-400 which IIRC the Syrians do not directly operate.
    The motivations for Russia to hit an Israeli jet are left to the reader.
    If it was the Russians, I believe this might tie in with the fact that Russia is allegedly intent on expanding military cooperation with Lebanon. Another “warning” to Israel about escalating things in Lebanon and potentially Syria?

  2. This is horribly off-topic (my apologies, Colonel) but far too interesting to ignore. Move it elsewhere if you wish.
    U.S. Spies, Seeking to Retrieve Cyberweapons, Paid Russian Peddling Trump Secrets
    “It’s a Really Weird One”
    The inside scoop on the New York Times’ Russian spy story from the guy who reported it
    U.S. Secretly Negotiated With Russians to Buy Stolen NSA Documents — and the Russians Offered Trump-Related Material, Too
    At first reading – and I recommend reading all three pieces as there is additional info in each – I can only conclude that this whole affair is lunatic in the extreme.
    Perhaps our intelligence experts here can weigh in on the probabilities of any of this being an accurate account of a real intelligence operation that makes any sense.
    Specifically whether it makes any sense for the NSA to try to “buy back” stolen NSA software from the US declared “primary adversary” Russia. Does the NSA even believe the Shadow Brokers are Russian intel (assumptions are one thing)?
    Note that almost nothing is produced in these articles as actual evidence of anything either pro- or anti-Trump, although some things are suggested.
    Whether these pieces are merely more anti-Trump propaganda intended to bolster Russiagate – as I believe the Dutch intelligence report earlier was – might be weighed.

  3. Jomu says:

    I don’t see any reference to S-400 as a culprit anywhere else.

  4. turcopolier says:

    Keep looking. pl

  5. Harry says:

    Yes, they strongly hinted it was s400.
    What great product advertising! Everyone is gonna want a s400 system. And it seemed our israeli friends backed down.
    Is this a response to other actions? It sure looks that way to me.

  6. SmoothieX12 says:

    This, at least momentary, defeat was evidently accomplished with the Russian built S-400 system.
    Doesn’t look like S-400. Plus, Syrian AD does operate a number of Pantsyr systems, which are completely capable of shooting down any aerial target. But the message is clear here. I think (I could be wrong, of course) that it is Syrian Air Defense, granted with targeting from Russian complexes. As Russian media report, Israel considers the incident as closed and over and seeks Russia’s mediation. Below, in Russian:

  7. SmoothieX12 says:

    Specifically whether it makes any sense for the NSA to try to “buy back” stolen NSA software from the US declared “primary adversary” Russia.
    This is so outlandish that wouldn’t even make late Tom Clancy’s fantasies.

  8. MGS says:

    Perhaps they were Iranian S-300’s. The export version is obviously not equal to the Russian version, yet probably far more effective then the Syrian S-200. I wouldn’t put it past the Iran’s to attempt to secure their projects in Syria with this system or a Chinese version.

  9. SmoothieX12 says:

    The motivations for Russia to hit an Israeli jet are left to the reader.
    Russia DOES NOT need to hit Israeli jets. But what Russia has motivation for and is actually doing it–is to update SAA Air Defense and to train Syrian crews better (wink, wink). I said it many times, I’ll repeat it again–Israel’s worst nightmare is a competent, largely secular, well-armed Arab military at her borders.

  10. Tyler says:

    The Turks lost a helicopter to the Afrin Kurds as well.
    Russia didn’t take the loss of that Su-24 lightly.

  11. Peter AU says:

    A couple of links I posted earlier over at b’s blog. I believe the electronics in the Syrian system had the electronics upgraded before being integrated into the Russian system. I think the upgrade would have included the missile guidance system.
    From what I have read, the S-200 is a very large, very fast missile with a large warhead and kill radius. Perhaps not as maneuverable as newer missiles but if impervious to electronic countermeasures would still be dangerous to an F16.
    That all the aircraft made it back to Israel makes me think that evasive maneuvers kept them at extreme range for the warheads.
    I doubt all would have made it back to Israel if it had been S-400
    “KUBINKA /Moscow region/, August 25. /TASS/. A unified air defense system has been set up in Syria thanks to efforts of Russian and Syrian military experts, Chief of Staff and Deputy Commander of the Russian Aerospace Forces Major-General Sergey Meshcheryakov told a round table dedicated to the Syrian experience at the Army-2017 International Military-Technical Forum.
    “Today, a unified integrated air defense system has been set up in Syria. We have ensured the information and technical interlinkage of the Russian and Syrian air reconnaissance systems. All information on the situation in the air comes from Syrian radar stations to the control points of the Russian force grouping,” he said.”
    And from April 2017
    The efficiency of the Syrian air defense systems will be beefed up, Konashenkov told reporters several hours after the US conducted a missile strike on a Syrian airfield.
    “To provide cover for the most sensitive targets of the Syrian infrastructure a set of measures to bolster” the defense systems would be “shortly implemented,” he said.

  12. jdledell says:

    The F-16’s came out of Ramat David air base. The plane that was shot down was an F-16 C from the 110th squadron. My nephew flys F-16 D’s from the 109th squadron also based at Ramat David. He reports that his instructions were to watch out for (and run from) any Russian aircraft. Frankly, the IAF was not concerned with any anti-aircraft missiles and gave pilots no information about their location before the they entered Syrian airspace and no information on the S-400’s at all.

  13. turcopolier says:

    The S125 (improved SA-3)is being legislated against in Israel as “anti-semitic?” I am impressed with this evidence of simplicity of mind on the part of the Izzies. And Nikki baby is talking this up the possession of these beasts as evidence of “Russian meddling” in Syria. Evidently the Syrians are not allowed to defend themselves against The Chosen. How long is Trump going to put up with this evident bullshit? pl

  14. Harry says:

    The syrians have had s200 for a long time. Why did they get lucky this time?
    The Russians appear to have set a trap, flying a drone over the Golan knowing this would prompt a response. The israels must have been pretty much over israel when shot down.

  15. turcopolier says:

    You are probably over-thinking this. pl

  16. turcopolier says:

    thanks. that is invaluable. pl

  17. Larry M says:

    It is an irony of fate that absent Western, Saudi and Israeli support for the attempt at regime change in Syria, neither the Iranians nor Hizbullah might never have gained any kind of military presence in that country.

  18. ked says:

    As long as Ivanka & her husband tell him to?

  19. Someone I read – Mercouris? – suggested the Syrians waited until the Israeli jets were at or over the border inside Israel to fire as a hint that they could hit the Israelis inside Israel.
    The fact that the F-16 was shot down over Israeli territory suggests either that the original Israeli air strike was carried out from Israeli territory – with the Israelis launching long range stand-off missiles against the alleged drone facility from their own air space – or that the Syrians waited for the Israeli aircraft to return to their bases after the air strike before attacking them.
    In either case the Syrians have shown that they are able to track and target Israeli aircraft flying in Israeli air space.
    If the Syrians shot down the F-16 in an ambush when it was returning to its base then they have also demonstrated a previously unknown level of tactical skill.
    End Quote
    He also references a case in March, 2017, where it appeared the Syrians waited to fire until the Israeli jets had crossed the Lebanese border into Israeli airspace. In that case, they missed.
    I have no idea whether he could be correct on that, since it seems speculative absent more actual details.
    As for who sent the drone, the Israelis claim Iran, but Mercouris thinks it more likely to be a Syrian drone manufactured by the Iranians. Of course, it could have been an Iranian drone from Iranians inside Syria for their own reasons, but I tend to agree with Mercouris that seems unlikely.
    I don’t think Iran had anything to do with the shoot-down, as some people seem to suspect.
    Also, just because Russia upgraded the Syrian’s electronics doesn’t mean Syria is running S-400’s. It might just mean the S-200’s are getting better coverage or response time.
    Also found this interesting article explaining why S-400’s weren’t involved in Trump’s cruise missile attack last year…
    After U.S. Strikes Syrian Air Base, Russians Ask: ‘Where Were Our Vaunted Air Defense Systems?’
    The addition of four more S-400 batteries delivered in January of this year led to the following (anti-Putin) speculation:
    Is Putin about to use Russian S-400 missiles to push the US out of Syria?
    But according to reports, those four systems went to Hmeimim airbase and Tartus, not further east, as speculated in the article, although of course they could have been moved.
    All in all, I can’t find any reference to the Syrian military running S-400’s, so I suspect it was S-200 involved in the shoot down, albeit possibly upgraded with better integration into the Russian air defense systems.

  20. Willybilly says:

    Russtikh President which produces the S400 says that they might sell the system to the USA…. 😂 😂
    أشار رئيس شركة “روستيخ” الروسية سيرغي تشيميزوف إلى أن ​روسيا​ قد تبيع منظومات “إس-400” للدفاع الجوي للولايات المتحدة حال رغبت ​واشنطن​ بامتلاكها.
    وفي حديث لصحيفة “واشنطن بوست”، أوضح أن “إس-400 منظومة دفاعية وليست هجومية، ويمكننا أن نبيعها للأميركان حال أرادوا ذلك”.
    وأكد أن “لا مشاكل من وجهة النظر الاستراتيجية أمام ذلك، ولا أرى أي مشاكل كذلك بالنسبة للأمن الروسي”.
    وأشار إلى أن هناك الكثير من الدول تود شراء هذه المنظومات من روسيا، لافتا إلى أن المعلومات المتوفرة لديه تدل على أن “إس-400” أفضل من حيث قدراتها مقارنة بالمنظومات الأميركية.

  21. iowa steve says:

    It will be interesting to say the least what the Trump administration’s response to this will be. Unfortunately I suspect the public response will be a doubling-down on “Iranian aggression” and/or “Russian meddling”, with an added measure of more support for our continued military presence in Syria.

  22. Yeah, Right says:

    The Israelis will not want to escalate.
    Israel wants their upcoming Big Arse Shooting War to be against Hezbollah alone, and that requires intimidating Assad into remaining on the sidelines.
    That way Israeli F-16 bombers can lay waste to Lebanon’s infrastructure while only having to contend with whatever air defences Hezbollah itself can muster.
    But if that Big Arse Shooting War *starts* against Syria and *then* spreads to Lebanon then all those assumptions go out the window: Syrian air defences will be involved from day one, and any Israeli jet that sorties over Lebanon will have to content with Hezbollah mobile defences and Syria’s long-range air defences. That’s a much more daunting prospect when the Israelis will need to fly round-the-clock to try and suppress those Hezbollah rocket sites.
    Best to de-escalate for now, then wait for another chance to launch a turkey-shoot against Lebanon.

  23. Walrus says:

    My guess is that Israel will go running to Trump. Asking for what I am unsure.

  24. Peter in Toronto says:

    Colonel, what evidence have you seen to suggest it was the S-400 system? Have the Russians expanded their engagement envelope? It was generally thought that their own SAMs would be used only to protect Russian ground forces and support personnel.
    One theory I’ve come across is that in addition to systematic upgrades to older Syrian SAM systems, allowing them to interface in a network, the Russians have now shared a data link to their Nebo-M stations, which offer much better detection ranges and resolutions.

  25. Anna says:

    The moral midgets of Israel are agitating for a war for Eretz Israel — on American dime and limb:
    Sample from comment section: “With Trump in office, Israel will take the gloves off and there will be indiscriminate destruction of Lebanon, Syria and Iran. Israel will be hurt but Hizbullah and Iran will be obliterated particularly if they use WMD giving Israel and excuse to make these former countries flat, black, lifeless and glow in the dark for the next 10,000 years.”
    The comment section is filled with similar bloodthirsty posts. It is amazing how the “eternal victims” are so fond of “indiscriminate destruction” and massive obliteration of people living in the Middle East.

  26. Christian Chuba says:

    “The syrians have had s200 for a long time. Why did they get lucky this time?”

    Harry, this was the first raid in a very, very, long time where the Israelis actually entered into Syrian air space. They usually drop their bombs over Lebanese territory. In this case, it looks like they went deep into Syria giving the Syrians a decent amount of time to react. The S200 is old but it’s a high fragmentation device which might explain how it damaged aircraft without bringing it down right away.
    The Iranians just used a surveillance drone, Netanyahu went into his usual hysterics talking about Iran’s ‘attack’ on Israel, blah-blah-blah and the stooges on FOX ate it up. They say they were monitoring ISIS on the Syrian side of the Golan but even if they were surveilling the Israelis so what, I would. The Israelis have been threatening to invade their allies in S. Lebanon for months so why wouldn’t they want to see if there is evidence of a military staging consistent with an offensive.

  27. I saw this a few days ago on the English language Lebanese Naharnet site. This news must feel like another big green weenie slowly piercing the IDF’s arse. I think the endgame is an integrated Syrian-Lebanese defense network under Russian tutelage… a nightmare for Tel Aviv.
    “Lebanon and Russia are preparing to sign a military cooperation treaty that involves a “comprehensive framework for coordination” and “joint activities” between the armies of the two countries, media reports said.
    An official Russian government website for documents and information has published a government decree authorizing the Russian Defense Ministry to conduct “necessary talks with the relevant Lebanese authorities to draft a final format of the treaty.”
    According to the decree, the treaty involves “exchanging information on defense means and enhancing international security capabilities; activating anti-terror cooperation; improving joint cooperation in the fields of cadre training, military exercises and armed forces building; exchanging IT expertise; and establishing mechanisms for cooperation between the two countries’ armies in the various military fields.”

  28. pl,
    “How long is Trump going to put up with this evident bullshit?”
    With the histrionics of Fox and Friends, the inevitable tears of Ivanka and the whisperings of Jared in his ear, Trump will be salivating at this evident bullshit. This will be a far better distraction than another memo from Nunes.

  29. turcopolier says:

    So, you are convinced that Trump is guilty of whatever it is that Mark Warner, Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Nance Pelosi, Adam Schiff et al are selling and should be removed from office? What is it exactly that he is guilty of other than poor taste, and a bully boy, Joe Sixpack phony manner? pl

  30. turcopolier says:

    Peter in Totonto
    It was in several accounts. I don’t care what system they used. Believe what you please. pl

  31. Tel says:

    Seems like Israel has volunteered to do Russia’s sales demo for them.
    With the word out that Russian gear can keep your skies clear of F-15 / F-16 incursion, Putin’s export department will be getting a lot of interested parties.
    Not that I’m a manufacturing expert, but a bunch of aluminium tubes on the back of a big truck must be reasonably easy to build, and Russia seems remarkably capable with the phased array radars these days, and rapidly improving their software capability. They need all the foreign exchange they can get, living under sanctions ain’t easy. I would expect to see a whole lot of these missile defense systems shipping out the door in the next few years.
    Game changer indeed, I’d say the whole concept of imposing air superiority is about to need a serious rethink.

    “According to reports I posted in a previous thread, I believe the AA systems used were reported as S-200, not the more advanced S-400.
    There are people claiming to be suspicious of the S-200 claim, since Syria has never hit any Israeli jets before. They think this was a Russian S-400 which IIRC the Syrians do not directly operate.”

    Don’t underestimate the potential of a relatively cheap control system upgrade for older equipment. Throwing pipe in the air is very easy to do, but hitting something is another matter again. Back in the bad old days of WWII, Korea, Vietnam, it was about how much explosive you can drop to blow the shit out of everything. These days, it’s about using a little bit of explosive and putting it in the right place at the right time. The winner will be whoever designs the systems with quickest response and best accuracy.

  32. SmoothieX12 says:

    Perhaps they were Iranian S-300’s.
    No, IDF itself gave confirmation that Syrian S-200 and Buk were involved.
    In Russian.

  33. pl,
    No, I am not convinced of Trump’s guilt in any collusion-related accusations. I don’t see it as being in his nature to wittingly go along with anything like that. But he desperately wants the Mueller investigation to go away. I am convinced that Trump is sufficiently bellicose towards Iran and Hezbollah and simpatico with his fellow tough-talker Natanyahu to go along with a wider war in the ME. Mattis and Kelly are downplaying the possibility that any of this will lead to a confrontation with Russia. That’s the only thing that could put a brake on Trump’s enthusiasm for taking on Israel’s enemies. The idea of being a war President and the ensuing bump in popularity would appeal to him.

  34. Tel says:

    “I said it many times, I’ll repeat it again–Israel’s worst nightmare is a competent, largely secular, well-armed Arab military at her borders.”

    You forgot to mention “well equipped”, point is there’s no one in Syria capable of designing and building such systems… yes they can operate them, but they need a supplier.
    In the short term Russia remains loyal to their long term agreements with the Assad family, and certainly Assad has no choice but to remain loyal to Russia (and useful to Russia as well). In the longer term China always clones technology and they will no doubt be bringing their own version to market at some stage… so there will be at least two suppliers.

  35. David E. Solomon says:

    Of course he is not alone, just more obvious a moron than the others.
    Simply my opinion.

  36. SmoothieX12 says:

    to their Nebo-M stations,
    I am not sure there are any Nebo-M in Syria. I know there is one in Crimea and Iran, allegedly, has one system. What Russia has there in terms of cohesive radar coverage (field) does not require Nebo-M. S-400 at Khmeimim alone covers much of Israel, plus there are other space and AWACS (A-50) assets employed for early warning and real time situational awareness. Plus, there are ships off the shore which provide additional coverage.

  37. Larry Kart says:

    Wasn’t that post about the S125 being legislated against in Israel as anti-semitic an attempt at satire?

  38. turcopolier says:

    David E. Solomon
    My comment was not directed at you, but, what evidence is there of Trump’s supposed stupidity? He doesn’t agree with you? pl

  39. turcopolier says:

    Larry Kart
    Yes, I should have realized that but my animus for Bibi is as blinding as TDS is for others. pl

  40. turcopolier says:

    All OK I am persuaded that the S-400 was not involved. pl

  41. SmoothieX12 says:

    My point was not in S-400, my point was that it was Syrian, not Russian, response. It is a good chance, though, that early warning and targeting was provided by Russian forces but this is a grey zone.

  42. FkDahl says:

    Smoothie, I see no way for S-400 radar to cover Israel at lower altitude :it may be a fantastic system but there is no way it can see through mountains. Not coincidentally I just saw a picture posted of two SAA soliders with MANPADS

  43. SmoothieX12 says:

    China always clones technology
    Their clones are not as good as originals, to put it mildly, that is why China remains even today a major buyer of Russian technology, as recent deliveries of 2.5 billion worth of SU-35 and this very S-400, plus other goodies, demonstrated. Quality, especially in aerospace, will remain Chinese weakness for a while.

  44. SmoothieX12 says:

    Smoothie, I see no way for S-400 radar to cover Israel at lower altitude :it may be a fantastic system but there is no way it can see through mountains.
    Read attentively the list of assets I mentioned. The formula of radio-horizon is widely available:
    Planes DO NOT fly through the mountains, they have to fly above them and that makes their elevation larger than that of he mountain. Obviously, using crevices helps and is standard tactical procedure for most advanced air forces, but radar coverage involves both passive, active, space and other optronic means are there to monitor.In simpler language–any aircraft takes off in Israel, it becomes known and is tracked. If A-50 is in the air, it doesn’t matter altogether.

  45. Willybilly says:

    Correct, it was a SAM5 Gammon.

  46. Peter AU says:

    Yet in other tech areas China are world leaders. Hypersonic glide missiles and quantum communications to name two. In cloning and copying, China are building a huge scientific database that combined with their emphasis on maths and science education will soon bear fruit.

  47. confusedponderer says:

    Russia didn’t take the loss of that Su-24 lightly.
    And why should they? They probably also don’t take the murder of their ambassador to Turkey by some jihadi/ex-cop lightly.
    Anyway, the Russians likely told Israel, calmly, “Look, don’t do it ever again, and stop this air space violations of Syria and this and that also“.
    Alas, the Israelis didn’t listen. It fits is my old hunch about Russia: You kid them once, the second time they consider it negligent and the third time they’ll consider it full intent and will kick back hard.
    So a good advise would likely be to to not play such power games with Russians. Sooner rather than later it’ll hurt.
    The latter part, the need to have to accept limits of the own power and the loss of impunity, is what likely hurts Israel most – in their ego – more than the loss of that aircraft (which is just ‘damaged property’).

  48. Tel says:

    “Their clones are not as good as originals, to put it mildly.”

    I agree, but the Chinese have enormous human resources and great determination so there’s nothing stopping them closing that gap. Also, it’s easier to play technological catch-up than it is to break new ground, but only one generation ago they were pushing mud around on socialist collective farms and mostly starving in the process … so give them a bit of breathing room.
    Remember the time when the Japanese had a reputation for producing cheap transistor junk? Not so long ago but they got better and now they produce some of the best electronic gear in the world.
    Then there were the Koreans, came along after the Japanese, but now they lead the world in mobile phones and they are producing legitimate licensed F-16 clones, and also their own “5th generation” fighter aircraft (which just happens to look a lot like an F-22, but then again most of the so called “5th generation” fighters around the world look a lot like an F-22, hmmm).

  49. Karel says:

    What are the Beirut Leaks? Was there something I missed?
    The IDF’s large parachute drill and Beirut’s leaks to various media outlets about its Iranian-financed underground rocket factories both create a feeling that there is serious potential for escalation along the Blue Line.
    Do you have a little time at hand to dig below the surface?

  50. Harry says:

    From Elijah Magnier’s blog
    “A Commander of the allied forces in Syria revealed to me that allied forces led by the Syrian Army Command agreed to ambush the Israeli Air Force, putting the Syrian air defence on high alert, ready to fire. Then, a drone was sent to the Syrian-Israeli borders, violating Israeli air space to attract an Israeli response. As expected, Israel sent its F-16 to down the drone and was hit on the border. According to the source, it is impossible for an F-16 to be hit over the Sukhna (the Israeli version) – clearly a lie according to the source – and was in fact downed near Kiryat Ata, east of Haifa, over 150 km away from al-Sukhna. This debunks the Israeli story as fake, an attempt to camouflage the fact that the Israeli jet was hit in Israeli air space, a direct challenge to Israel’s authority and a clear message to say: “we can shoot you down over your own air space if you violate ours”, said the source.
    “If a SAM-5 missile hit the F-16, it would explode in the air and nothing would remain of it. It was hit with a smaller but more modern and precise missile, capable of manoeuvring like the F-16s”, confirmed the source, who refused to give further information.”

  51. Harry says:

    Makes sense. Elijah Magnier claims to have spoken to Syrian military sources who suggest something very much in line with this.

  52. Harry says:

    A common failing of mine sir.

  53. Bill Smith says:

    Really? AD systems are a standard part of the brief.

  54. David E. Solomon says:

    As previously mentioned two short prior meetings with him in the mid-seventies. My opinion was formed at that time.

  55. turcopolier says:

    David E. Solomon
    OK. What as the evidence of his stupidity as exhibited at that time? PL

  56. David E. Solomon says:

    As I said “simply my opinion”. I cannot quote evidence, I can only say that my impression was that he was a simple minded individual with a very short attention span.
    At the time, his father was still alive and he seemed very much to be under his thumb.
    Of course, this is simply conjecture.
    I wonder if you have ever met him?
    I think if you met him, your opinion would match mine.
    I have not met you either, but my opinion of you is very high (even if your opinion of me is very low).
    Nevertheless, I think I have common ground with you (based on your writings).

  57. Fred says:

    It looks like confirmation that there is not effective drone defense and no effective thought as to what a response to recon drones should be. Just what does “drone” mean. It certainly can’t be an off-the-shelf thing like we saw at the opening of the Olympics.

  58. turcopolier says:

    Those who wish to get rid of Trump are, IMO, looking in the wrong places. From my decade long experience with international business at that level I would say that it is likely that he and Kushner are vulnerable in the area of what might be called sharp practice in business. Failure to execute lawful contracts, embezzlement, bribery of foreign officials, money laundering, etc. These are the kinds of things that the Trump crowd are afraid of with regard to disclosure, not putative softness on Russia or whether or not Trump and company are not sufficiently moved over every accusation of sexual or domestic abuse. pl

  59. Vic says:

    At the root level we have the old cold war potential war in Europe dynamic of state of the art AC going up against a modern integrated layered AD system. This could be ugly for both sides. Look for high attrition as both the AC and the AD systems work as advertised (think the air war over North Viet Nam). Both sides have the potential for unlimited reconstitution from outside allies.
    Just wondering, do heavy MRL systems in Syria range Israeli airfields? If they do look for Israel to further expand their borders to put them out of range. This conflict could get real ugly, real quick.

  60. turcopolier says:

    And then there is the business of many WH or other administration officials not having final security clearance for the level at which they are exposed to classified material. Well, Clinton was in a similar position for a couple of years. In his case many of his preferred associates had long records of drug abuse. In the end Clinton exercised his prerogative as the proprietor of the classification system. I know this because I was asked to provide briefings on the ME and S Asia for WH officials who were not in possessions of final clearances. I questioned whether or not they should be briefed at the SCI level and their status was explained to me. In this case the problem with a lot of these present people is more likely business related but the investigations are in the hands of the FBI. They are supposed to finalize their investigation and submit the result to the agency concerned. In this case this is the WH personnel office and ultimately the president for a personnel decision. The question that should be asked is whether or not the FBI has finalized these investigations, and if not, why have they not? pl

  61. turcopolier says:

    David E Solomon
    I have not met him and do not wish to. I have an aversion to such people from long exposure to them in the entrepreneurial business world. I actually have a high regard for you but it is my habit to ask how people know things that they assert. pl

  62. Sid_finster says:

    Trump has proven to be either easily led or a cuck.

  63. David E. Solomon says:

    Thank You Colonel,
    I might add that my first exposure to you was when my wife and I watched your interchanges with the NPR fools in the run up to the last round of absurd wars.
    We stopped watching NPR at about the same time you stopped appearing on it.

  64. turcopolier says:

    David E Solomon
    I stopped appearing because they stopped asking me to appear. pl

  65. Sid_finster says:

    An aggressive prosecutor can always find an excuse to bring charges against anyone, especially if the target is involved in high level business or politics.

  66. kooshy says:

    “I would say that it is likely that he and Kushner are vulnerable in the area of what might be called sharp practice in business.”
    Colonel I assure you every businessman in the world is vulnerable in “Sharp Practice(ing)” business. IMO there are not enough authority/will or laws to catch this type of business practitioners in this country. Simply, there are too many lawyers waiting in line to help the plea bergners.

  67. outthere says:

    Remember when Toyota was a small warehouse, and the workers lived in a dorm, and when they woke up in the morning they looked out the window and if there was smoke coming from the warehouse then they knew they would actually get to work today.
    Remember less than 20 years ago, when MIT economist explained that in USA there were 2 factories making fluorescent lights, and in China there were 36 factories.
    Remember when cars made in USA were unreliable, and Dr. Edward Deming was ignored by USA manufacturers. Then Japanese automakers hired him, and he taught them quality control using statistics, and Japanese cars became more reliable than USA cars. And only then did USA automakers attempt to hire Deming.
    Most of USA believes the Tesla/Musk hype that the batteries they use are “Made in USA”. In fact Musk chose to use batteries made in ROK for the big installation in Australia. In fact the Tesla factory in Nevada contains a Korean factory that makes batteries for Tesla.

  68. turcopolier says:

    i made it clear that I agree with you, but Trump and company would be tried in the court of public opinion and possibly in the US Senate where the result would be political. This is very different from being subject to the legal procedure in criminal courts. pl

  69. turcopolier says:

    Have I not said that many times. I have watched the process play out many times. pl

  70. kooshy says:

    Colonel, I Understood your point and fully agree with your assessment, that Mr. Trump is most vulnerable on taxes and his past business practices (like all other businessmen) and IMO, surly for money laundering (foreign financing). But IMO that is a tougher avenue to walk on due to internal US laws, than proving (in court of public opinion) he is putin stooge.

  71. jpb says:

    What was the context of those meetings 40 years ago? IMO..the conclusion reached on the stated basis says more about you, than DJT’s intelligence or competence.

  72. kooshy says:

    is easier to get the business people for sex offence than for money. best case on that is Harvey Weinstein.
    in entertainment business here in LA everyone knew how shroud of businessmen he was never paying people/vendors unless one pulled the bastards teeth, and everybody knew how he treated women. at the end they could get him on women and not the millions he cheated on people money.

  73. Charles says:

    How many times have you met or talked with President Trump?
    Your knowledge of his psychological wants and needs is interesting, but how well informed is it?

  74. SmoothieX12 says:

    Yet in other tech areas China are world leaders. Hypersonic glide missiles and quantum communications to name two
    China has some successes in SOME fields and NO, China is not a leaser in hypersonic gliders. She claims to be a leader but she is not, the same as J-20 is not 5th generation aircraft, despite being claimed as such. Overall, Chinese military was improving but a lot of it is also a propaganda. Everyone is involved in propaganda: Russia, USA, Israel (especially Israel) etc. of their armed forces, but China dominated military-technological propaganda field for the last decade. There is a reason why majority of tactical-technical parameters of Chinese weapon systems are highly classified, when in the rest of the world they are matter-of-factly print in any arms exhibition booklet.

  75. SmoothieX12 says:

    but now they lead the world in mobile phones
    There is a gigantic abyss in technological complexity between mobile [hone and state-of-the-art commercial, let alone military aircraft. Just an example. In fact, two things are from different universe in terms of demand for scientific, technological and industrial expertise.

  76. Sid_finster says:

    If this is to be taken at face value, deescalde-esc didn’t last long.

  77. Sid_finster says:

    I do not know if you have said it many times, but I have encountered it.
    If nothing else, all the prosecutor need do is ask enough questions. Sooner or later, anyone will “perjure” themselves.

  78. turcopolier says:

    He is a public person. His thoughts, words and actions are everywhere. Good try. pl

  79. Ex 11B says:

    This piece is outdated. The pilot died so events have moved on. Isreal went bat shit crazy for a bit after the shoot-down but I suspect they got informed to calm down. I suspect that Dread Pirate Putin showed Bibi the target maps and reassured Bibi that Hez had the proper equipment for the job (wink wink).

  80. More details on alleged Iranian missile factories in Lebanon and Syria from today.
    Lebanon’s potential missile plants threaten renewed conflict with Israel
    I don’t see these missile factories as game changers – Iran has always sent missiles to Hizballah and Hizballah has always allegedly manufactured at least some of its own rockets, however crude.
    So I don’t see this as the Israelis claim to do as a strategic problem that “has to be” confronted. Hizballah can already drop an estimated 1,600 missiles per day on Israel in the event of a conflict. The only advantage new factories might provide would be upgraded targeting and range modifications done in country at less cost and risk than importing them.
    So I see this more as Israel’s attempt to once again ramp up reasons for attacking Hizballah, with an eye toward getting the US involved due to Iran being allegedly involved. The real reason remains the same: Hizballah has to be degraded in order for Israel to start a war with Iran.
    I believe Israel will get the US to join it in attacking Lebanon again – and I expect that war to extend into Syria, since it remains a US goal to overthrow Assad and Israel’s goal to degrade Syria’s military also as a precursor to war with Iran.
    When this will happen is anyone’s guess. We first have to see how Trump will resolve the North Korean crisis in the next few months before the US is ready to deal with an expanded Middle East war.

  81. Peter AU says:

    Something like to hypersonic glide missile cannot be tested in total secrecy. In saying that China currently leads the world in this field is based on what I have read on US monitoring of the tests rather than Chinese or Russian media claims.
    A far as military aircraft go, China has not as yet developed or put into practice the metallurgy required for cutting edge turbine engines, but this will come soon.
    As others have said, China is going the same way as Japan and SK, only difference is, China is an unoccupied sovereign country.
    In buying in product from China from one factory, I find their product is equal in quality to all brand names, and quality control second to none.
    Quality and quality control can be hit and miss at times depending on factory, but this will change.
    I have noticed many Russians tend to look down on China?

  82. David E. Solomon says:

    Ah yes, because you refused to toe the line on the war.

  83. Christian Chuba says:

    Is a surveillance drone an attack?
    Netanyahu went on a rampage (paraphrasing, don’t remember exact words), ‘I told you that Iran was leading up to an attack on Israel’ and of course the U.S. Administration is lending him full support.
    Now cable news is reporting that the Iranian surveillance drone was a copy of a U.S. drone that they managed to ‘seize’ 6yrs ago. Funny how no one caught the irony in that. Our drone was ‘seized’ while flying over Iranian air space, was this an act of war that would merit a missile attack on one of our own numerous bases? No, of course not, as Mattis puts is, we are the good guys.
    If they do it it’s an act of war if we do it, we are preserving the rules based world order.
    Everyone engages in hypocrisy from time to time but I think we really believe our alternate reality.

  84. Bill Herschel says:

    The response of the U.S. mainstream media to the downing of the Israeli jet is crucial. After all, we are talking about the greatest propaganda machine in the history of the world. Are we not?
    Well, that response essentially would range from an hysterical McCain, photographed and miked to the max, screaming, “We are all Israeli’s now” to, one could imagine, cricket cricket.
    It’s been cricket cricket. Why? I don’t know. Perhaps, the machine does not want to give Trump the slightest chance of becoming a “wartime President”, which certainly doesn’t bode well for his future.
    Whatever anyone else thinks of him, I increasingly suspect the machers in the Republican Party wish he would go away.

  85. Walrus says:

    Images appearing of mobile iron dome battery deployment in Israel “guarded by soldiers” was in the image caption. If this is the case, I don’t think we have long to wait for Israeli retaliation.
    The alleged Russian/Lebanese defence agreement, the freeing up of Syrian army forces in Idlib and Netanyahus corruption troubles suggest to me that now might be the time Israel thinks is opportune to attack to the North.

  86. SmoothieX12 says:

    this field is based on what I have read on US monitoring of the tests rather than Chinese or Russian media claims.
    Threat inflation is a defining characteristic of most Western “monitors”. Having said all that:
    I have noticed many Russians tend to look down on China?
    No, it is not true at all, where appropriate the praise is bestowed, Chinese military technology in many crucial technological fields is not impressive. As I said–China improves, but in aerospace and, as an example, advanced submarine designs she is not a competitor yet.

  87. Thirdeye says:

    “Cheap transistorized junk” was actually a conceptual breakthrough in the use of solid state electronics, discounted by the West using that very same phrase. By the time the western consumer electronics industry caught on the Japanese were too far ahead and they couldn’t compete.
    The analogy between China and Japan only goes as far as their both being east Asian countries yanked into the industrial age. They had fundamentally different approaches that are IMO distinguished by the cohesiveness of Japan relative to China’s recent dog-eat-dog history. Japan’s industrial culture was always imbued with an emphasis on quality inherited from their craft industries. It’s an honor thing. They first demonstrated that to the world when they began to export cameras and watches years before Sony portable radio. China, not so much. It’s more a culture of making the best appearance to cover good-enough-to-get-by. China’s status as the world’s biggest supplier of counterfeit goods is a testament to that. Importers of Chinese goods have to watch QC standards like a hawk or they’re likely to get burned. The Chinese have tended to measure their progress in terms of grand edifices of high symbolic value, including symbols of military might, that don’t really measure up with what they aspire to. China has some grand buildings, but also lots of buildings that are functionally impaired or even unusable for their intended purpose. Haier is no Samsung or Sony. The Chinese electronics industry is still centered on spec manufacturing with the main development work, value-added components, and QC standards produced elsewhere (e.g. iPhones).

  88. Yeah, Right says:

    The most likely reason is that the Israelis were stunned, utterly stunned, by this Syrian punch to the nose.
    So until the Israelis can manage to shake themselves out of their stupor that propaganda machine simply doesn’t know which way to jump.
    Hence, crickets.

  89. Yeah, Right says:

    Examples abound.
    The Turks sent an RF-4E into Syrian airspace, and the Syrians shot it down.
    The Syrians didn’t regard that intrusion as an excuse to launch missiles at Ankara, and the Turks didn’t see that shootdown as an excuse to bomb the shit out of Syrian airfields.
    The USA sent U-2 planes over the USSR, and the Soviets shot one down.
    Diplomatic uproar, of course, but the Soviets didn’t see that overflight as an excuse to rain missiles on the USA, and the Americans didn’t regard the downing of that plane as an excuse to attack SAM sites.
    If you send something into someone else’s airspace then sometimes you just aren’t going to get it back. That’s the rules of the game.
    If you do get it back then Hurrah! you’re smart and they’re dumb.
    If you don’t then, gosh, that’s a bummer: these things cost money.

  90. FB Ali says:

    It is clear that the Syrians could not have downed the Israeli jet (and damaged others) without Russian assistance (both in equipment and advisers).
    The probable reason the Russians provided this assistance at this time is that they wanted to send a message. But the Russians don’t need this method to send Israel a message. So, who were they sending the message to?
    My opinion is that the message the Russians sent by assisting in the downing of the F-16 was to the US. If so, it probably relates to the US bombing carried out near Deir el Zour the other day (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-42986089).
    The Russian defence ministry, soon after the US bombing, said that the Syrian tribesmen who were bombed had “failed to co-ordinate their action with the Russian military”. It left unsaid what such coordination would have entailed. Perhaps they are clarifying this point now.
    If the above assessment is correct, we should see a cessation of US air action over Syria in the future. If it does occur, we should see the Russian military respond. That would lead to a dangerous confrontation.

  91. Jony Kanuck says:

    From my morning twitter feed: The Syrians used salvo fire; 5-7 old SA3 & SA5. Apparently after 4 incoming missiles Is. fighters run out of close in defenses. And yes, the Syrians laid a trap. In addition, the Syrians are making sure to fire all these missiles in the direction of Israel. Getting the Israelis warmed up for the next round. As well, the Russians have told the Syrians that Israeli air raids are being enabled by overflying US controlled territory.
    The latest Israeli idea is a land invasion of Lebanon to overrun the missile sites. They know that Hezb/SAA/Hajd al Shaabi(Shia)/Afgani Shia are intending to take the Golan Hts back next year. It appears the Israelis may be having second thoughts now that they’ve had their air force beaten up & they will be reading the same rumors that Russia will offer Lebanon a defense pact.

  92. Tom says:

    Smoothie and other Russians are whistling in the dark. Western sanctions have forced Russia to the side of China. China is getting her pound of flesh.
    Unnoticed by all but the most attentive observers China is increasing her influence in Mongolia to an extent that soon will amount to domination.
    I spent there on business every year four month and I can just tell you that people are already afraid to talk on the phone. Things started to shift in 2014 with the Ukraine crisis and are consecutively getting worse.
    Mongolia was the most important buffer for Siberia. It won´t be much longer…

  93. SmoothieX12 says:

    Mongolia was the most important buffer for Siberia. It won´t be much longer…
    I understand that business in Mongolia is great for you but Mongolia is not counted as any “buffer” for Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union and withdrawal of all military assets from there. The reason being–well, read Russia’s Military Doctrine. You may also try this:
    “While not stated explicitly, the author seems to imply that China’s continuing military weakness is an obstacle to a China-Russia alliance, perhaps because China is not seen as a sufficiently capable partner. However, the author nonetheless is surprisingly explicit in stating that China would be the more senior partner in a hypothetical alliance, largely due to its economic heft”.
    I may not really know how to issue the Letter of Credit or how to do a payroll, but I have an idea or two about how real military might is calculated and what goes into it, including this ever important technological factor. In fact, I wrote a book on it which should come out fairly soon–the manuscript is in final publisher editing phase–when it comes out I’ll tell you.

  94. SmoothieX12 says:

    The Syrians used salvo fire
    Any AD complex in the world uses salvo. Traditionally, the target is shot at with minimum two missiles in actual combat situation. It doesn’t mean that one missile cannot hit the target, but usually the minimum is two.
    intending to take the Golan Hts back next year.
    I may be critical of Israel and IDF but I don’t think any combination of Arabs in the area has enough military-technological wherewithal to do such thing yet. If your twitter feed is from Arab sources then it may explain some things.

  95. J says:

    Here is a real game changer — the New Russian PRS-1M. The new ABM interceptor missile reportedly has a speed up to 4km per second. It’s designed to resist countermeasures of incoming ICBMs.
    It’s size is the same as the 53T6 and will be replacing the 53T6. The new PRS-1M will be deployed around Moscow.
    The new PRS-1M is in it’s final trial phase and fixing to enter service.

  96. J says:

    Here’s video of the new Russian ABM Shield PRS-1M interceptor missile
    Пуск модернизированной ракеты российской системы противоракетной обороны

  97. Barbara Ann says:

    TTG (comment #35)
    Re Trump being a war President: It looks like he will shortly receive a bump in popularity without the need to start an external war. The whole Steele affair & Russiagate soft coup appears to be on the point of being exposed. As the coup plot is laid bare, he should benefit from the same sort of boost that Erdogan experienced after the July 15th coup was foiled. The Mueller investigation may not be directly linked to these goings on, but I think exposure of the plot will make Trump damn near indestructible (outside of the electoral process). If he wants to make Mueller go away, he will soon be able to do so. After this, the calculus re the cost/benefit of being an actual war President should change markedly. This may be last chance saloon for the Izzies.

  98. Tom says:

    Look you are whistling in the dark. The Russian Far East belonged to China until the middle of the 19th century. The Chinese have not forgotten that.
    Mongolia is the first morsel. Then they will slowly but surely encroach upon the far east. That is the meaning of what is happening in Mongolia. I am sure people in Moscow know all that. But they feel they have no choice. Ukraine is more important than Siberia.
    Things will not proceed along the military plain. It will be binational marriages, undermining of Moscow local control by bribery, economic penetration. I know you are Russian and I am not. But I have been in Siberia every year at least two times for ten years and I speak fluently Russian. How often have you been there? Are you aware that all the vegetables for cities like Kransoyarsk are grown by Chinese farmers in Siberia? If you don´t know about that it is not surprising. It doesn´t make the national news for good reason. The authorities are doing their best to keep people quiet.
    As to how long China will take to acquire the requisite knowledge in aviation? Not to long I am afraid.The Japanese took twenty years to master the most difficult process in civil aviation. That is wing construction. Thanks to greedy CEO´s of Boeing they are now technology leaders.
    Finally let me state that I truly hate this development and I wish the West had never intervened in Ukraine. I am just being realistic.

  99. Arioch The says:

    > Russtikh President which produces the S400 says that they might sell the system to the USA….
    Not Putin himself, a factory representative.
    (Sergey Chemezov of RosTech export company)

  100. Arioch The says:

    Imagine GazProm sets their oil drill towers in Golans, after authorized by Damascus.
    And Russian Army also builds a base in Golans.
    There is no war, there is no any aggression, Russians just move in and start building, at the permission of the legitimate government.
    What’s then?

  101. Arioch The says:

    > sanctions have forced Russia to the side of China.
    like tens years ago, but still no one noticed.
    > Mongolia was the most important buffer for Siberia
    LOL. Allmighty Mongolia contained Chinese invasion just like Ukraine contains Russian one today.
    May you open a map and see China and Russia do share borderline west and east form Mongolia? Mongolia is no buffer in no military sense.

  102. Arioch The says:

    > that China’s continuing military weakness is an obstacle to a China-Russia alliance
    ….and Russian economic weakness.
    It renders Sino-Russian alliance totally impossible, or does it?
    December 2014: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article40548.htm
    Few years before it: enigmachronicle.com/2013/06/beijing-2008-a-painting-by-liu-yi

  103. Arioch The says:

    you have to remember though, China bought off technologies that remained in Ukraine: Antonov and Motor-Sich.
    While Antonov can hardly add anything of break-through value to China, reliability of helicopter/jet engines is what China is currently bad at, and the said Motor-Sich was the primary engine supplier of RuAF before 2013.
    So in this particular area of military jet engines I expect China to catch-up (at least mostly catch up) in next 3 years at max.

  104. Jony Kanuck says:

    The twitter feed I followed had many ‘players’, some of who checked Is. sources – who agree that what got the F16 was a salvo of 5-8 missiles.
    The Arab intention to attack the Golan Hts is mostly from Magnier. I think Is. ground forces are not very good anymore but I think they will be able to hold a line against the arabs. That said, positional warfare is an Israeli nightmare: Body bags by the gross. At the same time Hezbollah will probably be rocketing Tel Aviv. Israel will be in an existential crisis. A lot of Israelis will be deciding that a trip to New York would be nice. I fear though, that if Israel starts to lose, it will reach for a nuke.

  105. SmoothieX12 says:

    …and Russian economic weakness.
    Chinese definition of “weakness” is very much along the same lines as the, totally discredited in the last 4 years, Wall Street definition of economic “strengths” and “weaknesses”–that is mostly monetarist virtual economy. It is a wrong view. Per enclosed technological cycles and GDP structure in key sectors which Joseph Nye (in Huntington’s seminal work) correctly identifies–China is a newcomer and she is not Japan. You can read some of my pieces at UNZ precisely on this issue:
    and here:
    There are some fields where I agree with Saker, Russo-Chinese economic interplay is not one of them. The interplay, especially geopolitically, between China and Russia is extremely complex precisely for the reasons of China’s very serious military-technological deficiencies. Then, of course, there is operational and strategic factor here. People also continuously forget that Chinese OBOR is not a charity, far from it. Russia is keenly aware of that, the same as she is aware of China’s desire to become the US 2.0–this is not going to seat well with Russians. The trade between Russia and China will continue to grow and it is a natural process but without resolution in the American geopolitical stance and clarity on the scale of US ongoing weakening it is very difficult to discuss any double-helix concepts. In other words, the so called Alliance is largely situational and both Putin and Lavrov made it patently clear that Russia is primarily Christian White European civilization first, the rest follows.

  106. SmoothieX12 says:

    and the said Motor-Sich was the primary engine supplier of RuAF before 2013.
    Hm, and what happened to Saturn? Klimov?
    So in this particular area of military jet engines I expect China to catch-up (at least mostly catch up) in next 3 years at max.
    Not gonna happen. Chinese jet-engines problems are deep and several “deadlines” for WS-20 have been missed already. In the end, even for CR-929 it will be PD-35. The purchase of SU-35s was inspired primarily because of engine and, to a lesser degree, Irbis radar and avionics. When will China reach world-class engines is a question? At some point she should but there are other indicators, not just aerospace, which testify to a serious struggle Chinese face whenever dealing with high-end technology– a more manifest example is PLAN’s submarine force, it is nowhere near the same in Russia or the United States.

  107. SmoothieX12 says:

    The Arab intention to attack the Golan Hts is mostly from Magnier
    This sounds as very typical local bravado, of course.
    I think Is. ground forces are not very good anymore but I think they will be able to hold a line against the arabs.
    That is my estimate too.
    That said, positional warfare is an Israeli nightmare: Body bags by the gross. At the same time Hezbollah will probably be rocketing Tel Aviv. Israel will be in an existential crisis.
    Most likely but I don’t see them doing this:
    I fear though, that if Israel starts to lose, it will reach for a nuke.
    And here where this whole thing becomes interesting since, unlike S-300 at Tartus, which is still very capable system, S-400 at Khmeimim and the other S-400, in Masyaf, are specifically anti-missile complexes capable of intercepting just about any type of ballistic missile not only on terminal but on the boost and, probably, initial post-boost phase and 40N6 is now operational. This missile is also fully beyond-horizon capable. So, I think Putin and Bibi discussed this issue during their numerous friendly meetings. I guess it was clearly stated to Israel that any use of nukes is verboten.

  108. SmoothieX12 says:

    Ukraine is more important than Siberia.
    Evidently your knowledge of Russia and her Siberia and Far East (I lived and served there) originate in the same “quality” sources as any in Newsweek or NYT.
    Are you aware that all the vegetables for cities like Kransoyarsk are grown by Chinese farmers in Siberia? If you don´t know about that it is not surprising. It doesn´t make the national news for good reason. The authorities are doing their best to keep people quiet.
    Yes, I even know the GULAG camp where those who do not want to “keep quiet” are sent;)) Here is one source for you:
    But I can tell you even more–Chinese diaspora in Russia is much smaller than, say, Azeri one.
    Not to long I am afraid.The Japanese took twenty years to master the most difficult process in civil aviation. That is wing construction. Thanks to greedy CEO´s of Boeing they are now technology leaders.
    You know, it is difficult to counter such broad and highly non-knowledgeable statements, since even for B-787 huge part of the wing was developed in Boeing’s Moscow engineering office–the largest Boeing establishment abroad. I will reiterate–there could be NO sensible parallels drawn between Japanese and Chinese. If you want to see the best wings in the world–take a look at SU-35 or SU-57 and see what they can do. I also am not aware of Japan producing in commercial aviation anything comparable to B-737, 787 or A-320 or 330. What Japan makes is Mitsubishi’s Regional Jet, something akin to Russian SSJ-100 or Bombardier or Embraer RJs.

  109. DH says:

    Brig Ali:
    “It left unsaid what such coordination would have entailed. Perhaps they are clarifying this point now.”
    Message received:
    ““The Syrians and the Iranians, from our point of view, are playing with fire. The Syrians are playing with fire when they allow the Iranians to attack Israel from their soil. We are willing, prepared, and capable to exact a heavy price on anyone that attacks us. However, we are not looking to escalate the situation,” Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, Head of the International Media Desk of the Israeli Defense Forces, said.”

  110. Alexander Mercouris analyses the Israel jet shoot down and Israeli response (which Netanyahu is in my opinion absurdly claiming that Israel took out half of Syria’s air defenses).
    He concludes that Russia and Israel have no interest in conflict with each other as long as Israel doesn’t directly threaten the survival of the Assad government.
    Vladimir Putin warns Netanyahu over Syria
    Russian President warns Israeli leader against ‘steps that could lead to a new round of confrontation’
    The problem, as I bring up in the comments, is that is exactly what Israel intended with the Syria crisis from Day One, and that Israel intends both Syria and Hizballah ability to be actors in an Iran war to be degraded.
    I don’t think Russia wants to see that scenario play out. I think that is the reason they are looking for a military agreement with Lebanon – to aid Lebanon’s ability to resist Israeli aggression, and by extension, Hizballah’s, without having to be seen to directly support Hizballah – and also as a warning to Israel over its intentions.
    In my view, Israel and Russia are headed for a direct conflict at some point in the relatively near future. If Israel starts a new war with Lebanon – possibly with US support – and then tries to extend that war into Syria – possibly over the Golan Heights and Hizballah’s and Iran’s presence in Syria – I don’t see how Russia can stay out of it entirely. Not that Russia will necessarily try to confront either the US or Israel militarily, but Russia will have to come down in support of the Syrian/Hizballah side somehow. Otherwise, Russia will just be kicking the can down the road to the Iran war.

  111. outthere says:

    Thanks for those links to your articles, also for telling us your “real” name.
    I appreciate writers who speak the languages of the subject matter, and have real experience in it. Reading about the historical importance of navies reminds me of Bucky Fuller, who referred to pioneers of naval warfare as “the great pirates”.

  112. Tom says:

    @Smoothie Russia withdrew from Mongolia with the understanding that nobody would move in. Should things continue as they are in the foreseeable future a corrupt goverment will ask for Chinese troups to be stationed. It will happen when there are disagreements between Russia and China. Or when China will have learned enough from Russia. It´s still a long way but the path is being laid. Then Chinese troups will be not 1100 K from Lake Baikal but 300k. Russia has sold her 49% share of Mongolia´s most important foreign exchange owner Erdenet Mining to a shady character with Chinese connection last year. That is no coincidence. The Mongolian goverment frantically tries to get this under state control but there is no chance. “International jurisdiction”. This sidn´t happen by chance. It is part of Chinas reconquista.

  113. VietnamVet says:

    I haven’t had this much fun in a long time reading these comments. Where is Dick Nixon when you need him? Instead, Western Oligarchs drooled over Ukraine’s resources and drove China and Russia together. If looting peripheral EU states wasn’t enough, regime change from Libya to Syria forced millions to migrate into Europe. Today, the American infrastructure rebuilding plan was released; 80% local and 20% federal. What a joke on the Heartland. The West is in a fast rockslide downward. This forces China and Russia to get along in order to survive. The question is how to convince the idiots in Israel and the USA that a nuclear war is a extremely bad idea. Perpetual war is dangerous. Not to mention the transformation of the USA into Brazil. But, no American Administration dares to sign a Peace Treaty. There is no way out.

  114. outthere says:

    Exactly right, Nixon’s wisdom was to make it a 3 way game
    instead of USA v. Russia AND China.
    Now USA has pushed China and Russia together by being hostile adversary to both.
    And for what? Advantage within USA politics, following in the folly of Joe McCarthy.
    Reminds of of George Wallace: “I will never be outniggered again.”

  115. The Beaver says:

    @ DH
    and yet
    “A furious phone call on Saturday morning from President Vladimir Putin…was enough to make PM Benjamin Netanyahu…cancel the plans.”

  116. SmoothieX12 says:

    Thanks for those links to your articles, also for telling us your “real” name.
    My pleasure. Per my name–it became a necessity in 2014 with the events unfolding in Ukraine and me starting the blog.

  117. SmoothieX12 says:

    It will happen when there are disagreements between Russia and China. Or when China will have learned enough from Russia. It´s still a long way but the path is being laid.
    We’ll see. A lot also depends on how successful Trump is in dealing with Russiagate–there are some signs that he is doing all right–and WHAT, if anything, will be worked out between Russia and US. Unlike China, Russia is categorically NOT interested in a radical American decline. Count Gorchakov’s position in his message to Lincoln is still as valid today as it was during American Civil War:
    “You know the sentiments of Russia. We desire above all things the maintenance of the American Union as one indivisible nation. We cannot take any part, more than we have done. We have no hostility to the Southern people. Russia has declared her position and will maintain it. There will be proposals of intervention [by Britain]. We believe that intervention could do no good at present. Proposals will be made to Russia to join some plan of interference. She will refuse any intervention of the kind. Russia will occupy the same ground as at the beginning of the struggle. You may rely upon it, she will not change. But we entreat you to settle the difficulty. I cannot express to you how profound an anxiety we feel–how serious are our fears (emphasis in original).” (c)

  118. JamesT says:

    I am fascinated by China’s quality control issues. I recently watched this video blog by two westerners who live in China talking about it:
    What seems under discussed to me is that Foxconn (famous for making iphones) is actually Taiwanese – run by Taiwanese nationals all the way down to the shop floor supervisors. I’ve read that Taiwan was heavily influenced by Japan during its long occupation, and that if you walk the streets of Taipai it feels like Japan.

  119. JamesT says:

    China is behind in jet engines and submarine designs, but she has the J-20 now in combat service. A few years ago a Thales employee told me that Thales had 10,000 contractors doing radar R&D for the Chinese. Just as Britain had to take a back seat to the US after WWII, I think Russia needs to come to grip with where it is in the world (and I don’t buy into the anti-Russian propaganda the MSM is pushing).

  120. SmoothieX12 says:

    China is behind in jet engines and submarine designs, but she has the J-20 now in combat service
    No she doesn’t because she has no genuine 5th gen. fighter. J-20 is not 5th gen. fighter and Chinese announcements of having it in service are slightly more than PR. J-20 doesn’t have engine which is required for real 5th gen. fighters, not did it exhibit even rudimentary super-maneuverability which now became a must for real 5th generation. So, we may go back and forth with this, but making carbon-fiber angled shapes does not make one a 5th generation fighter. It is a cold hard fact of life.
    A few years ago a Thales employee told me that Thales had 10,000 contractors doing radar R&D for the Chinese.
    I don’t know if you know my background, but people from Russian aerospace who actually work with Chinese told me too about a rather unimpressive state of Chinese aerospace. That is why China is in JV for CR-929, which will have Russian wing, empennage and engine, plus continues to buy billions worth of state-of-the-art military hardware from Russia.
    I think Russia needs to come to grip with where it is in the world
    I think that it is you who have to study subject matter a bit better in order to pass judgements on a very serious technological, especially military, issues. Unlike you, I have a damn good understanding of what goes, as an example, into designing and building a state-of-the-art nuclear submarine and its weapons, so I can compare and pass judgements on that. Again, when China will have anything comparable to Pr. 885 SSGN, Virginia-class SSN, or when her over-hyped COMAC C919 will even reach 20% of tests flight tempo compared to MC-21, including its revolutionary for this class black wing, then we may talk. I will omit here, back to fighter-jets, what it is to have avionics and software required for all-aspect (360) Thrust Vectoring. That is why China paid 2+ billion for 24 SU-35 just recently and already flies 14 of them. Have you heard of Russians buying Chinese military hardware? Never heard of that.That pretty much answers you question on who have to get a grip, and I am not even going here to compare Russia’s military history and operational-strategic school and experience with that of China.

  121. DH says:

    Thanks, TB, seems the NYT is getting the memo, too.

  122. Anna says:

    Daesh is in troubles — CENTCOM to the rescue: “The illusion of the eradication of Daesh”by Thierry Meyssan: http://www.voltairenet.org/article199706.html
    “Most of Daesh’s jihadists have split into two groups. The United States (via the Kurdish anarchists) and Turkey treat them as professional combatants and offer them a future as mercenaries.
    a) The first group was recuperated by Brett McGurk and General Joseph Votel to form half of a Frontier Protection Force stationed in Syria. But since this project was censored by General Jim Mattis, the Force has not been constituted. These men are camped in Kasham, at the exit from the US military base.”
    — The Israelis should be satisfied with the US care for the “professional combatants: of Daesh pedigree, which are stationed at the exit from the US military base. But they are not satisfied; the supremacists want a greater activity and more “infusions” from the US.

  123. turcopolier says:

    How many times must I tell you not tp post things more than once. I will post comments when I get around to it. pl

  124. Charles says:

    Did not realize you had responded to my question. Indeed Mr. Trump’s words and actions have been visible since at least the mid 70’s. In reading his words and looking at what he has done since 1970, I have not found any indication that he lusts to be a “war-president, or that he has some deep seated need for approbation and love from various vacuous talking heads. I remember Kennedy getting killed and then Johnson and then Nixon playing war president and selecting the B-52 targets for the next day, Clinton micro managing Serbia and failing to ever find Bin Laden, Bush with his codpiece strutting on the deck of that AC with the Mission Accomplished sign. I think Mr. Trump has seen “war presidents” and might just be unimpressed with the title and the title holders.

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