Russia’s Longterm Strategic Ambition for the Middle East
Back in 2015 the Syrian Civil War and President Obama’s policy of disengagement from the Middle East presented Putin’s Russia with an undreamt-of opportunity to regain its presence in Syria not seen since the 1970s. President Putin immediately grasped the chance to establish Russia as a pivotal strategic element in the region of the Eastern Mediterranean. Since then the Russian military presence in Syria has continued to grow and establish itself on the Syria – Israel border coupled with their maritime strategy for the Black Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean with its Naval facility at Tartus, while at the same time beefing up their airbase in Latakia.
If not checked Russia will continue to expand its regional foothold with the intention of becoming the regions major powerbroker.
Urgent measures are required by the West if they are to maintain their existing status in the Eastern Mediterranean before it’s too late, they need to develop and implement a new containment policy towards Russia and it’s partners Iran and Turkey.
Should they fail to do this the effect on Europe and the Middle East would be catastrophic. Leaving Israel virtually alone to oppose the Triads ambitions to overthrow the West’s hegemony of the Levant.
Be in no doubt the cause of much of Russia’s expansionist policy is to be found in the resentment that Putin feels towards a strident West that gave succour to the dismemberment of the old soviet union and treated Russia with disdain. He and others like him are convinced Mother Russia’s interests have been grievously damaged by the actions of America and her allies and they will not stop till they have regained Russian prestige and resurrected their historic borders while removing obstacles to further Russian expansion. There is nothing new in this bold strategy its all Russian history.
If Russia, Turkey and Iran are allowed to control the Eastern Mediterranean they will not only threaten the Jewish State but also undermine Egypt and the Near East as well as the underbelly of Europe. The key to Russia’s relationship with Syria is access to the Mediterranean that Syria offers Russia that underlines the political and strategic relationship that Putin so covets.
It may well be time for some old fashioned Gunboat diplomacy!