THE RUSSIAN BEAR & CHOPPED LIVER
Last Thursday 2nd of August saw the Russian defence ministry announce its intention to establish eight Russian military police posts on the Israel / Syrian border in order to “prevent provocations”
Russian Military Police
Given the acute strategic implications this announcement raises, I thought it pertinent to duplicate part of an email I sent to Tamar Yona, of Israel News Talk Radio on the 10th of April this year.
” I would like to flesh out some ideas I have on the Middle East debacle that is threatening our Jewish State.
We are witnessing something very different and unique happening in Syria today. Never before have we had so many competing nations and conflicting interests, come together with the potential to threaten the existence of Israel.
The Golan is a powder keg ready to explode should a miscalculation on the part of one or more of the interested parties take place.
The Golan is a Powder Keg
As Israel lies at the heart of the Geo-strategic conflict its hard to foresee a peaceful resolution to the on-going crisis that hangs over the region.
To find a situation comparable to the Middle East today, with so many countries involved, and so many interrelationships between internal and external political issues. One has to go back to WWI. As then the complex situation sits on a knife edge with the potential for a chain reaction to turn self-interest into a tragic disaster.
No Man’s Land 1914/1918
The U.S., Russia, Iran and Turkey have invested their political and military capital in Syria with a view to the future status of Israels Northern border.
Importantly keep the following in mind when assessing the Israel/Russia relationship, it’s important you understand Putin’s Israel policy is a testament to his connivance, not his intention.
As to Trump he has been careful not to disrupt the expansionist policies of the Russo – Iranian coalition.
Trump has virtually kept all of former President Obama’s Middle East policy with two exceptions the reinstatement of Saudi Arabia to its historical privileged status as number one Arab ally and a return to Iran’s Economic/strategic isolation.
Peas in a Pod
As a consequence of Trump’s policy mirroring that of the Obama years we find Putin’s Russia and Xi Jinping’s China scrambling to fill the leadership void as a consequence of a confused American foreign policy.
Trumps, ‘maybe, could be, then again’, Middle East policy has forced regional leaders to look elsewhere for strong leadership and have hedged their bets by looking to Russia and China as a necessary alternative, while America continues to indulge its inconsistencies.
China’s Xi Jinping Middle East Player
President Trump will have to reassert the United States hegemony in the Middle East if he is not to surrender the Region to Putin and his lackeys.
If he should fail to do so, grave consequences will confront the ‘Jewish State of Israel’ and eventually the security of Europe.
Inevitably, American political and diplomatic influence will decline and eventually become irrelevant to countries of the region.
The consequences for Israel are immense and we can see how seriously Israel takes the dramatic changes in U.S. policy as Prime Minister Netanyahu has made some ten trips to meet with Putin since 2015 proving the old adage ‘Keep your friends close and your enemy’s even closer’.
However, the reality is that Russia will play ‘honest broker’ between Israel and Iran for as long as it serves Putin’s ambitions for the Middle East.
Should there be an escalation of engagement between Israel and Iran, Russia will find it increasingly difficult to remain neutral.
Putin Wild Card
Therefore Russia is not a reliable partner for Israel in the long term. In fact, Russia’s next move is highly likely to promote a Peace Initiative between Israel and Syria…with the Golan Heights taking centre stage.
Before this can come about Putin needs to defeat the Syrian opposition and reassert Assad’s control of his southern borders.
How would Israel most likely react to the new reality on their Northern border and a Russian sponsored peace plan with the Golan as the bargaining chip?
Firstly Israel would accept that Russia is the sole arbiter of what takes place in southern Syria and may succumb to Russian guarantees of a complete with-drawl by Iranian forces from Syria, and seriously contemplate negotiating the status of the Golan.
This would be a mistake of vast proportions, the consequences leading to all-out war sometime in the future.
Unfortunately, the Iran issue has distorted Israel’s judgement of Russia’s long-term interests and Israel may well be blindsided by the more serious threat that Russia poses to the Jewish States existence.
Chopped Liver For The Russian Bear
The Golan should never be put on the negotiating table unless we want to become ‘chopped liver’ for the ‘Russian Bear’ in the future.