IMO there are signs of hope in US/Russian relations


1.  General Dunford, USMC, the uniformed head of the US armed forces, is meeting the week at Baku in Azarbaijan with General Gerasimov, the head of the Russian General Staff. 

2.  My sources tell me that US and Russian air forces are increasingly coordinating and de-conflicting their air actions in Syria and Iraq.  This can clearly be seen in USAF and US Navy air attacks on "moderate" (in fact jihadi forces) in Idlib Province.  these obviously have been coordinated with Russian air defenses.

3.  The CIA has stopped providing assistance to aforesaid "moderate" jihadi and FSA forces in Syria.  They would not have done that without instructions from outside and above CIA. 

All of that tells me that sanity reigns in the Trump Administration no matter what lunatics like Schumer, Waters and McCain may do, think or say.  the agitprop campaign being run by the Clinton and Obama inspired forces is failing. 

Sanctions against Russia can be dealt with by something like  a Russian proposal for a plebiscite under UN to determine the desires of Crimeans as to which country they want to be in.  Poroschenko in Kiev could hardly refuse to participate.  the neocons made him utterly dependent on the US. 

Look for better days.  pl

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45 Responses to IMO there are signs of hope in US/Russian relations

  1. Jack says:

    Good news, Sir.
    A rapprochement with Russia will be the best thing that can happen to the US. If we remove the possibility of nuclear war with a country that can destroy us and focus on collaboration then good can accrue. Defeating the jihadis, space exploration and other areas of mutual interest are all ripe for the picking. We can hopefully move beyond the Cold War past.
    Putin could also provide sage counsel to President Trump on matters relating to the ME and China.

  2. Charles Michael says:

    Good news, thanks
    and that my impression too about Syria.
    Alas, the MSM in Europe don’t seems to even start atuning their propaganda, LeMonde and The Guardian leading the pack.
    If the much talked about meeting in Slovenia is to take place it would be like a cold bucket on these euro-neocons.

  3. Pundita says:

    1. If I recall it was Gen. Dunford who led the U.S. military project to go around Obama and provide intel to the Syrian military via 3 other militaries (German, Israeli, and I forget the third). My hope is that Gen. Mattis puts stock in what Dunford has to say about Syria.
    2. Re #3 — that could be temporary and according to Reuters (which broke the story yesterday in an exclusive), it had nothing to do with the new admin, and there is no indication from the sources that the CIA program has been shut down:
    Rebel officials said that no official explanation had been given for the move this month following the jihadist assault, though several said they believed the main objective was to prevent arms and cash falling into Islamist militant hands. But they said they expected the aid freeze to be temporary.
    The halt in assistance, which has included salaries, training, ammunition and in some cases guided anti-tank missiles, is a response to jihadist attacks and has nothing to do with U.S. President Donald Trump replacing Barack Obama in January, two U.S. officials familiar with the CIA-led program said.
    The freeze reflects the troubles facing Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels in the almost six-year-old revolt against Assad, who now appears militarily unassailable in his core western region largely thanks to direct intervention on his side by Russia and Iran.
    “The reality is that you have changes in the area, and these changes inevitably have repercussions,” said an official with one of the affected FSA rebel groups. He said no military assistance could “enter at present until matters are organized. There is a new arrangement but nothing has crystallized yet.”.
    Before assuming office, Trump suggested he could end support for FSA groups and give priority to the fight against Islamic State (IS), whose well-armed jihadists hold large tracts of eastern and central Syria.
    But Trump’s administration has yet to declare a firm policy towards Syria and Iraq, despite his repeated vows to eradicate IS, so it has been “business as usual” with covert and overt training and military support programs, one U.S. official said.
    Some FSA groups hope Trump’s animosity towards Iran could yet result in enhanced U.S. support.
    I skipped several paragraphs to get to the part about President Trump, and there is much more to the report.
    3. Trump gave Mattis a month to come up with a battle plan for dealing with IS (I assume in Iraq and Syria). So we should know soon how much sanity reigns in the war-fighting part of the Trump admin.

  4. David Lentini says:

    Happily in agreement, Colonel! I’ve been hoping that much of the recent reporting is fake news, noise, and the usual diplomatic dancing needed to bridge a bad policy that has been heavily invested with a sane policy.

  5. turcopolier says:

    No, not Dunford, Martin Dempsey did that and he got away with it. plp

  6. Chris Chuba says:

    Col, along the lines of what you are talking about …
    The gist of the article goes like this, and I hope Gilbert Doctorow’s analysis is correct, that Trump was taken by surprise by what many are calling the ‘deep state’ which in this context just means entrenched bureaucrats married to the status quo. That Trump recognizes his error so now he is sending out overly hawkish signals until he purges the bad guys and regains control of his agencies. Only time will tell but you don’t beat 14 primary opponents, win an election over a favorite, and become a billionaire by being stupid.

  7. Ramojus says:

    Though TTG has shot this proposal down, I will restate…
    … Crimea for Königsberg (er, I mean Kalingrad).
    As a member of the Baltic tribe, I will gladly take credit, if it ever happens.

  8. Outrage Beyond says:

    “The military’s indirect pathway to Assad disappeared with Dempsey’s retirement in September. His replacement as chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Joseph Dunford, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee in July, two months before assuming office. ‘If you want to talk about a nation that could pose an existential threat to the United States, I’d have to point to Russia,’ Dunford said. ‘If you look at their behaviour, it’s nothing short of alarming.’ In October, as chairman, Dunford dismissed the Russian bombing efforts in Syria, telling the same committee that Russia ‘is not fighting’ IS. He added that America must ‘work with Turkish partners to secure the northern border of Syria’ and ‘do all we can to enable vetted Syrian opposition forces’ – i.e. the ‘moderates’ – to fight the extremists.”
    -Seymour Hersh, “Military to Military”

  9. Sylvia D says:

    Kaliningrad probably won’t be given up or traded. It’s the site of the Russian Baltic fleet and the only Russian port on the Baltic that doesn’t freeze in winter. I would say something similar about Crimea. Sevastopol is the home base of the Black Sea fleet, plus a majority of Crimean’s are ethnic Russians. Ukraine is now very nearly a failed state. Why would Crimea want to be part of Ukraine? Plus, Russia has now extended electrical lines and built a bridge to provide land support to Crimea. I doubt Crimea is going back the Ukraine any time soon.

  10. Bandolero says:

    I agree that the stars look good for more US-Russian cooperation. The sanctions are not an important issue for Russia. They have even done a lot of good to the Russian economy, like the development of a powerful Russian agro sector. What is important for the prospect of better US-Russian cooperation is the relation with Iran. And here things look not bad neither under Trump.
    Having better relation with the US on condition that Russia drops the close relationship with Iran would be a complete non-starter for Russia since Iran is besides China Russia’s most important ally in many respects, and especially for the safety of the long and soft southern Russian border. And the most important thing here is to stick to the Iran deal. If Trump would unzip the Iran deal and restart practical hostile behaviour against Iran – like Avigdor Liberman and Adel Al Jubair argued for in Munich – it would spell further disaster for the US-Russian relationship.
    But despite hostile rhetoric like “terrorist state no 1” Trump seems to be sticking to the status quo with Iran. After Iran’s recent ballistic missile test – on which text in the Iran deal has some ambiguity – Trump waged loud rhetoric and a quiet transfer of the issue into a commission by the UN security council, which shall determine whether it was legal under the Iran deal. Russia, China and the EU said it’s legal for Iran under the agreement to test non-nuclear ballistic missiles, while Israel, Nikki Haley and Senate Republicans said it’s not. And then Trump’s spokesman Sean Spicer went on MSNBC, as reported by Reuters, quote begin:
    White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the missile test did not violate the nuclear agreement. “It’s not a direct violation … I think there is no question that it violates the spirit of that,” Spicer said in an interview with MSNBC.
    Quote end. Source:
    I’m sure businessman Trump notes what it means when you legally argue that your opponent didn’t violate the written terms of a tough deal, but just the “spirit” of it. It means you concede the case. I think for the spokesman of a Republican President that was an extraordinary statement paving the way for US-Russian rapprochement. And that Mike Flynn is gone may further help Trump to get the relationship with Iran right, thereby moving the Iranian problem out of the way for better relations with Russia.
    And regarding Syria there was also a very good statement from Tillerson in Bonn, as reported by RFE/RL, quote begin:
    Tillerson Lays Out Condition For Syria Military Cooperation With Russia
    U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said the United States will not agree to cooperate with Russia’s military in Syria until Moscow recognizes that not all Syrian opposition groups are terrorists, European allies say. …
    Quote end. Source:
    Of course, everybody following the conflict in Syria knows that Russia long works with various opposition groups and does not consider all opposition groups, even armed ones, as terrorists, and neither does the Syrian government. Russia has nothing to do to fulfill that except repeating that this is the Russian position. So, the prospects of the US-Russian relationship looks all quite fine on course to me.
    And though I know how hard this is politically in the US, especially among Republicans, I think it would be fine if Trump and McMaster would find a way to get along with Iran. I think US cooperation with Iran in Afghanistan to fight against terrorism and drugs there could well be possible since the Iranian government hates the poppy fields just across the border in Afghanistan like almost nothing else. I think Trump could explain such a move to cooperate with Iran in Afghanistan to his base by saying that it’s needed to win the fight against the drug epedemy in the US, and his voters would understand it, if it’s framed this way.

  11. Razor says:

    Never going to happen.

  12. Thomas101st says:

    In your scenario, who exactly is supposed to end up with Kaliningrad ? Kaliningrad, like Crimea, is populated primarily by Russians. Your exchange would be equivalent to the United States giving Vermont to Canada in exchange for Canada “allowing” the United States to keep New Hampshire.

  13. Eliot says:

    A grand proposal!

  14. Babak Makkinejad says:

    No chance of it.
    Russia will absorb much of Ukraine in the coming years and decades and nothing can be done to stop it.
    The Balts should be happy if Russia leaves them alone; one ethnic incident of violence againt Russians and the President of the Russian Federation, emulating Bulent Ecevit, will be sending Russian troops to “save” the Russians living among the Balts.
    NATO will not go to war in that case.

  15. Sharac says:

    Why trade something that is yours for something that is yours?
    There already was a referendum in Crimea and as previous practices in Kosovo for example show it is the “new international norm” established by the west. I know double standards are common practice but those can only be enforced on weaker enemy not someone who can vaporize you.
    Will Ukies go in force to “return” Crimea, will US?, will EU? It would be hilarious to watch Russian diplomats reactions if such proposal came through official channels. EU is toothless old hag spewing poison, US has some serious internal problems and basically nation split in two with one part fighting for old ways and survival and another part actively destroying what made US great in the first place.

  16. Pundita says:

    Right, right; brain blip brought on by too much hoping. I couldn’t understand how he got away with it. But then in response to the news you told about generals going around FDR during WW2 to share information because it was hard for him to keep a secret, and that this military-to-military comm wasn’t breaking any law.

  17. LeaNder says:

    Triggers the Teutonic Knights. On second thought. A member of the Baltic tribe? Admittedly I wondered if you are Polish.
    Escaped my attention at the time:
    Strictly it reminds me of parallel passport activities the infamous Ukraine related Visa Affair:

  18. Pundita says:

    I don’t know how I got Dunford confused with Dempsey; brain blip, I joked. But I’d also forgotten the passages you quoted from Hersh’s report, which I had read at the time it was published. I seem to be forgetting a lot these days, blanking out statements and events connected to countries where the USA is taking military action.
    Maybe I’m trying to stave off the feeling that prompted Rhett Butler’s final words to Scarlett. I love my country, I benefit from its protection, I don’t want to turn my back on it, I don’t want to get to the point where I don’t care. I got there once, some years into following the Vietnam War. Tuned out. Then terrible guilt after 9/11, and since then I’ve lived and breathed war reporting and tried to take all the war-related propaganda in stride.
    But the lies the United States military and its civilian overlords have told about Russia are not about war. They’re about something else. What are they about? I lose sleep thinking about the question.

  19. Bill Herschel says:

    Additional comment on 3).
    All you need to know about the “refugee crisis”:
    Tass headline–”
    Russia Opposes Sharing Responsibility for Fate of Middle East Refugees
    February 22, 20:36 UTC+3
    The responsibility for providing assistance to refugees should be borne by those who instigated destabilization in the vast region of the Middle East and North Africa, Russia’s Foreign Ministry stated

  20. turcopolier says:

    You don’t think Russia would like to have US sanctions lifted? Don’t outsmart yourself. pl

  21. turcopolier says:

    If you want to comment here you must explain your position and not just make cryptic statements like this. pl

  22. kooshy says:

    IMO, dropping, opting out of the Iran nuclear deal JCPOA is much costlier to US, then it would be to Iran and other signatories of the agreement as well as Europe and Asian trading countries. IMO Trump administration will keep the rhetoric on and going for domestic reasons, but will not take serious steps to dismantle the agreement. This was the best nuclear arms control deal US, Israel, Arabs, European and Russians cold get, without redoing North Korea all over again.

  23. Chris Chuba says:

    Regarding Trump’s future approach with Iran, this remains to be seen. While just about everything out of his mouth has been extremely negative, I read one article that suggested that he might take a more pragmatic approach in the future (sorry I don’t have the link).
    Basically, they speculated that Flynn’s resignation was related to his comments on Iran’s ballistic missile testing because it created a ‘Red Line’ moment for Trump and he didn’t want to get boxed in. Also, that he later realized that it didn’t actually violate any UN resolutions so that eroded some trust that he had with Flynn. I can see that, he pours out a stream of consciousness where facts are more ‘symbolic’ rather than literal, but perhaps he wants his top level staff to be more sharp.
    I don’t know but it was an interesting theory, I am susceptible to wishful thinking although I try not to be.

  24. kooshy says:

    Iran’s problem with regard to western major powers in past couple of centuries is been, that she was used as a buffer zone (a pawn) between West’s eastern power (Russia) and west’ western powers (UK, and later US). Iran revolution put an end to that, the words used to describe Iran’s foreign policy, written above the entrance to Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs is “No eastern, No western” I don’t believe Iran will let to be used as a bargaining chip, between this same old western power arrangements, that was obvious during the 12 years of Iran nuclear issue.

  25. Sam Peralta says:

    It makes no sense for the west to import poverty through third world, mostly economic refugees who hold western culture in contempt. And have no intention to assimilate by learning the language and social mores.
    Legal immigration should be allowed for those that can speak the language and have the ability & willingness to assimilate and can be a contributing member of society right away. That means highly skilled professionals. For the unskilled workforce requirement, legal immigration could be allowed on a temporary guest worker program. Legal immigration for families should be curtailed to only spouse and kids, not parents, uncles, brothers, etc.
    To put pressure on illegal immigration there has to be severe sanctions and penalties on managements of businesses that hire them.
    Additionally, automatic birth citizenship should be revoked for kids where both parents are not citizens.

  26. Lurker says:

    Anyone dreaming that Russia could trade Kaliningrad for Crimea is dreaming or smoking pot laced with opium. Those two plus the Belarusian ally prevent the Intermarum encirclement. It is just not going to happen. The US sanctions do not affect Russia economically but are a political nuisance that signals its hostility. Putin said to Trump, when he floated dropping sanctions for a gran bargain with nuclear weapons, “We didn’t impose sanctions on the Americans so we won’t be the ones negotiating for their removal.” Yet, these are quickly followed up by Europeans intent on the self flagellation of their economies. Lavrov said at recent Security Conference: We will not remove our own sanctions until you (Europeans) force Kiev to abide by the Minsk agreements. The Kremlin has turned East, towards the Chinese OBOR.

  27. Castellio says:

    We’ll let you keep Connecticut, too!

  28. Olga says:

    I am afraid that they are about war – or at least profit from war. There is such thing, I suppose, as escalating tensions just to increase military budgets and send more $$ the way of defense contractors… but how long can one do it before the real thing breaks out – intentionally or accidentally.

  29. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Thank you for your comments.
    I think the time for a neutral Ukraine has come and gone; Western Fortress marched East and with it went the neutral Ukraine.
    I doubt that I will live to see the day that the Prince of Muscovy finally has eliminated the Gospodin of Kiev but I am certain that it will happen.
    Is Fortress West going to march East again and die on the steppe for Kiev? Or Kharkov?
    I do not think so, the die is cast, the horses have left the bran, and the Humpty Dumpty cannot be put back together.

  30. Babak Makkinejad says:

    No, the problem was that the Fortress West could not live that one well alone; just like in Ukraine, they had to try to gain control of Tehran.
    Well, Iranians did not like that.
    Had the Fortress West accepted Iranian neutrality, or had reached a deal with USSR – like in case of Austria and Finland – the situation today would have been very different.
    Iranian have become neutral: Neutral against the United States and the Fortress West.
    And the Fortress West is unwilling or incapable of course correction – just like the case of Ukraine; in a few days, Sweden, whose Prime Minister was in Tehran 2 weeks ago, will introduce another resolution against Iran at UN for alleged Human Rights violations.
    Wonder never ceases – as they cuddle Burma and Aung San Suu Kyi – regardless of what is happening to Rohingya.

  31. Kooshy says:

    Starting a war with NATO, needs to be difined as who realistically will be willing to fight the Russians on behalf of NATO, for what reason and for what end. It’s easy to say we will fight the Russians at there door steps in thier backyard, but is it easy to fight that war? I hope before suggesting a war with Russia someone can tell us what would be the end resaults and what that can achieve. I don’t think Russians intend that start a war with NATO, so far all evidence show the opposite is correct.

  32. Kooshy says:

    Babk, most of 19th century and beginning of 20th century up to Russian revolution, Iran was a pawn a buffer between Russia and England at one point treaty of 1907 she was effectively divided in 3 zones Russian in north, Brits in South and the middle of Iran was a buffer zone between 2 powers. You are right Iranian did not like it at all and will not, in1921 my grandfather published his thesis in Lausanne, rejecting treaties of 1907 and 1919, British did not like his book, they forbid him traveling/ passing through British territories for going back to Yazd, Iran, he was not given permission to stop at any British ports which included Iranian port of Bushehr.

  33. Bandolero says:

    Thank you very much for your thoughtful remarks on my comment.
    Regarding my remark that “the sanctions are not an important issue for Russia” I may have exaggerated a bit. Of course, they are an issue, but I think it’s at least debatable whether the current sanctions do more bad or good to Russia. To put a small foreword on this topic: the effect of the current sanctions alone is hard to measure because the decline of global oil prices work in a similar direction, so looking at effects may mix one with the other. While one may well argue that the increase of Saudi oil production and the corresponding oil price decline is part of the sanction picture I’m not sure that this is completely true.
    However, from what I hear from Russia the real existing situation of oil price decline, sanctions and counter sanctions has had positive effects on the Russian economy which may well outweight the bad. The starkest positive effect is likely that Russia has since become a “grain superpower” as Bloomberg put it.
    This is very different from Medevedev’s Russian Silicon Valley aspirations, but a dream of many millions of poor and simple countryside Russians becoming true, and it surely won’t have become possible without that situation. While one may well argue that oil price decline and “dangerous” climate change plays a positive role here, for Putin it’s clearly a great boon. There’s no question where these many millions of rural people make their mark in the next elections.
    Similar is with Russian dairy counter sanctions. Some urban elites don’t like to see their favorite EU made food brands gone, but for Russian farmers it was a unique chance to prove that their food is as good as EU food. So Russian dairy and meat producers flourish, and with them many million of poor Russian farm workers and voters. Even the Economist understands this:
    Of course, there are downsides to low oil prices and sanctions. While some “easy” oil and gas projects may in return to sanctions rely on higher Russian input, thereby turning the sanctions into positive, others cannot. The halt of the “500 billion Dollar” arctic oil project with ExxonMobil likely the most prominent of that problem.
    AFAIK, other sanction problems in Russia are related to pipeline building to the EU and access to the EU capital markets, for which Hong Kong and Shanghai are not a full substitutive. But generally, as far as sanctions are as of now, they are managable in Russia, and it’s hard to say whether they have in sum a good or bad on Russia.
    Sharpening sanctions on Russia so that they really hurt is hardly impossible because it would mean sanctions on China – which relies on Russian defense technology – and that would mean not only a new total cold war, but all the disruptions it brings with it, possible up to the point that in the West would there would be no more LCD displays anymore.
    I think of the JCPOA more of a tool to get out of a self-created dead end than anything else. As virtually everyone in higher places agreed, Iran did not try to built nuclear weapons. These allegations cooked up by Israel were all a propaganda plot to pressure Iran over it’s conventional power. So, I don’t think of it as a “nuclear arms control deal” but as a way for the western powers to get in a face saving way out of a dead end, while Iran got back relations in return. To keep it is not essential for nuclear amrs control, but to keep a “modus vivendi” with Iran in the middle east. Abondoning it will be a clear sign to be on a global war path again.

  34. Lyttenburgh says:

    “Sanctions against Russia can be dealt with by something like a Russian proposal for a plebiscite under UN to determine the desires of Crimeans as to which country they want to be in. Poroschenko in Kiev could hardly refuse to participate. the neocons made him utterly dependent on the US. ”
    I think that the chief problem of the US establishment is that it took an aberration of Perestroika and Yeltsin’s misrule to be a norm for Russia, and still hopes beyond hope bring back these “glory days” as the chief condition for “normalization” of bilateral relations with Russia.
    Not gonna happen. No, you won’t get another Kozyrev or Schevarnadze at the helm of Russian Foreign policy. Go, dear State Dept officials, and re-educate yourself on Gromyko’s “bulldog tactics”. No, Russia does not playing “hard to get” or is willing to compromise. These are actual, real terms. We do expect the West to recognize Crimea as Russia without having to exchange anything for that. No steps back.
    There won’t be another referendum or plebiscite on Crimea. Period. There are several reasons for that. First of all to have a second one would mean that there is something wrong with the first one. Why do you think Russia will agree to that? Second – no, Poroshenko cannot recognize it. Right now a bunch of TerrBat volunteers are, basically, committing an act of mutiny in the ATO zone, conducting an unsanctioned “trade blockade” of the People Republics – due to which the Ukraine can’t receive enough coal for power stations. There were again clashes on Maidan between various protesters plus NatzGuard troopers “on the leave” and the riot police. Yes, Proroshenko is totally dependant on the West for money and stuff – but he also hugely unpopular within the country and can’t reign in various semi-legal armed groups. For him to go against his words that “Crimea will always be Ukrainian” would be a political suicide.
    How do you imagine this plebiscite actually happening? What if the West will issue some insane demand, like to pull out all Russian troops from Crimea in the name of “transparency”? And then there is the question of how the peninsula would be administered prior to this Referendum 2.0. – because Kiev does not recognize the results of all elections that happened in Crimea since March 2014. What, you think someone UN or not could just waltz back to the Republic and say “You will be administered from Kiev for time being. Don’t worry – it’s temporarily!”?
    Finally, you say it yourself that the current camarilla in Kiev is neocons pets. How can you hope for any rapprochement on Ukraine if the power of neocons is not broken in D.C.?

  35. Sharac says:

    Sure would there is no doubt about it, however i think with current US internal turmoil there is no way to do serious negotiations (just remember the horseface and problems with delivering what was agreed upon and now the situation for Trump is even more dire with 5th column actively torpedoing him every chance they get) – not about Crimea or Kaliningrad this will never ever be a subject of negotiating. Anyways i think US-Russian relations can wait in will be fixed automatically the second Trump brings his house in order (i think no one should underestimate him and the “silent” majority behind him regardless of recent setbacks) and i think Russians know this very well and will give him time most probably they signaled that through unofficial channels already.
    There are forces (also in Russia but to lesser extent than in the west) who are hellbent on driving world into another large conflict as they know their attempt at one world government is crumbling and their shelf life is running out rapidly

  36. kooshy says:

    “I think of the JCPOA more of a tool to get out of a self-created dead end than anything else.”
    Yes, maybe for the Europeans it was a tool to get out of a sanction dead end, and yes Iran was not (and will not) going to make a nuke and use it, so it was easy to make this deal by promising/ restricting not to make a nuke bomb. For US was a minimum guarantee to give to her allies and prevent a nuke race in Arab countries. So it ends up, being a time limited deal not building a nuke bomb, for trade integration, which in some way works for all. IMO Trump is right US got the least, but she couldn’t get any more or any better. What was not in the deal, which would have been the most valuable to US, which it still is the problem between Iran and US, is the Iran’s regional posture/policies and US’ policy for Iran. This (US and Iran’s regional policy with regard to each other) is the original and ongoing problem between this 2 countries, which is of convenience for Russia, a nuance for China and a pinch in butt for the Indians and Europeans. IMO this still is a world problem, and I do not think is a war resolvable problem, it can only be resolved with clear heads in a bilateral talk.

  37. Thomas says:

    “How can you hope for any rapprochement on Ukraine if the power of neocons is not broken in D.C.?”
    It is a process underway. That is why the usual subversives and their followers are having this massive meltdown and collective freakout, which is being broadcast live for the whole world to watch.

  38. J says:

    I look for better days when the Hitler Nazis in the European Ukraine construct will be dealt with in a crushing manner befitting Hitler Nazis.
    Крым is Russian and will remain Russian, and there is nothing the Hitler Nazis can do about it.
    I would love to see a formal alliance between our U.S. and Russia, as both nation’s security runs through the other. Maybe then the nuclear war sword will be removed from hanging over our children and grandchildren’s heads. And a combined operation between our two nations to rid our globe of the growing Hitler Nazi infestation.

  39. Annem says:

    Sanity is beginning to reign supreme in the Administration, at least in those areas run by men still in uniform or who once wore one; adult supervision, one might say. Recall that Gen. Kelly has also weighed in to short circuit the “revised” POTUS ban on people from those Muslim countries. DHS wisely leaked their draft memo to the WH in order to avoid a presidential fact spin and have to deal with a non-Steve Miller world.
    On Russia, POTUS is his one worst enemy. Coordination with Putin will only be achieved if he and the opposition continue to duke it out over his “pet rock.” Once against, those guys in uniform, in conjunction with Tillerson will lead the way.

  40. Bandolero says:

    I fully agree that “the problem between Iran and US, is the Iran’s regional posture/policies and US’ policy for Iran” and that this is not “a war resolvable problem, it can only be resolved with clear heads in a bilateral talk.” Of course, the US is unhappy that it needs lot’s of expensive bases in the middle east to contain Iran, while Iranians are unhappy that the US have so many bases around their country.
    However, I think these problems between Iran and the US would be managable, and not too difficult. In Iraq the US and Iran do not officially cooperate, but they found ways to generally work next to each other solving the same ISIS problem. In Syria the problem is via US/Russian deconflicting solved in a similar way. And in Afghanistan and Yemen, I think it would be possible to get some similar US-Iranian modus vivendi.
    The real US problem with Iran I see as Israel. As long as Iran is opposed to Israel and Israel has huge influence over US foreign policy in the middle east, coming to a sensible US-Iranian modus vivendi is really difficult. But I think, if Trump manages to stick to his America First idea, the problem of Israel and her lobby in the US spoiling any sensible modus vivendi of the US with Iran can be overcome, because that is very much in both countries’ interest.

  41. FB Ali says:

    In a Consortium News piece today, Gareth Porter documents persuasively how the US intelligence community (supported by the military and the MSM) has undertaken an unprecedented campaign to prevent President Trump from changing the present US anti-Russian policy.
    The article is at:
    How far they have succeeded remains to be seen.

  42. J says:

    When the article refers to ‘military’, I hope they’re referring to the ‘military industrial complex’, not uniformed personnel.
    The IC forget their place and think their britches are bigger than they really are, the IC exists solely as ‘consultants’, nothing more. As for black ops, obtaining opposing military related information (i.e. equipment capabilities, strengths and weaknesses), etc. is better left to military personnel if and when the need arises.
    IC prognostication is ‘advice’ nothing more.
    IMO the CIA aka Clandestine Operations needs to be re-tooled for HUMINT only, or shit-canned in its entirety.

  43. J says:

    Colonel, TTG, Larry,
    Take a look at the latest article from Russia Insider:
    The article speculates the CIA has undertaken an Operation Mongoose style op against Russia.
    If this speculation is true on the Russian side of the fence, sooner or later we’ll start seeing body counts on our side of the fence. IMO it’ll be only a matter of time, if in fact there is an op Mongoose part deux at play.

  44. kooshy says:

    Thank you for your response, yes I agree the majority of US problem’ with Iran posture is Iran’s policy toward Israel and her various other client states (Iran’s full FP independence). But IMO to reduce the cost on US, US and US planners need to understand throughout history both the geography and history is been in Iran’s side and I can’t see anything or anybody can change that anytime soon. The fact is Iran can adopt and continue an ongoing low profile proxy war for years to come, that is not the case for US and her allies in Iran’s turf.

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