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«The Danger of Putin Losing in Syria» («Чем опасно поражение Путина в Сирии»)

«The Danger of Putin Losing in Syria» («Чем опасно поражение Путина в Сирии»)
Январь 10
12:45 2016

Предлагаем вниманию наших зарубежных читателей размещённую на сайте американской газеты The Atlantic статью «The Danger of Putin Losing in Syria» («Чем опасно поражение Путина в Сирии»), отражающую точку зрения части американского политического истеблишмента на военную операцию России в Сирийской Арабской Республике.

(русскоязычный вариант — ИНОСМИ.РУ)


Last September, Russia deployed dozens of jets to Syria to rescue the ailing regime of Bashar al-Assad. Vladimir Putin aimed to protect one of Moscow’s few foreign allies and gain leverage for the coming peace negotiations over the Syrian Civil War. Russian media presented the mission as a heroic attempt to save the civilized world from Islamic terrorism. In Washington, however, Putin was widely seen as wading into a quagmire. According to The Economist: “If America’s Syria-watchers agree on anything it is that the Russian campaign, which has enabled Mr Assad’s forces to make only minor gains, will fail, and thereby encourage Russia to give up on its proxy. That would be a huge boost to the UN-backed peace talks John Kerry, the secretary of state, is brokering, with the aim of replacing Mr Assad with a transitional government early next year.”

But would a loss for Putin really be good news? While it’s tempting to take satisfaction in the Russian president’s travails in Syria—what you might call Putinfreude—Syria-watchers should question their assumptions. If Putin’s military adventure unravels, the result may not be peace.

It’s certainly easy to imagine the Russian intervention deteriorating. In recent weeks, Assad’s forces have made some limited gains around the Syrian city of Aleppo. But the overall strategic situation for Damascus remains highly precarious. Last year, the Syrian regime suffered a string of battlefield defeats, and Assad publicly admitted to “fatigue” and “a lack of human resources [in the army].” The regime pulled back to defensible territory and was left in control of a rump coastal strip representing around one-sixth of the country. Russian jets are not enough for victory. It would likely take tens of thousands of troops to recapture and hold cities like Aleppo and Raqqa.

Russia is in a perilous position, internationally isolated and enduring economic turmoil. And now Putin has plunged into the unknown. Moscow doesn’t have experience coordinating military operations with Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah. This is Russia’s first military expedition outside of its immediate sphere of influence since the end of the Cold War. Putin has also pinned his fortunes on a highly incompetent dictator; Assad’s policies of systematic torture and barrel bombing of civilians brewed the hell broth in Syria.

And two can play at the great game of proxy warfare. Patrons of the Syrian insurrection, like Turkey and the Gulf states, may match Russian intervention by stepping up their own assistance to rebels—in the form, for example, of anti-aircraft missiles. During the 1980s, the Soviet Union’s counterinsurgency war in Afghanistan unraveled in part because the CIA provided ground-to-air Stinger missiles to the mujahideen.

To get a sense of what could await Putin, look at Iran’s experience in Syria. When Tehran first chose to aid Assad, it likely didn’t realize that Syria would become a sinkhole that would cost hundreds of Iranian military personnel and tens of billions of dollars. Or consider Iran’s Lebanese proxy Hezbollah, which marched over the border to save Assad and subsequently lost around 1,200 to 1,700 fighters in a seemingly endless morass.

Leaders often respond to defeat with disastrous decisions that only worsen their plight. They rage against the dying of the light.
In other words, Putin’s war may very well fail. But if it does, will he make concessions and abandon his ally? If the Russian president acts rationally, he should cut his losses. Putin, however, may not act rationally. When I researched my book on military disaster, The Right Way to Lose a War, I was struck by how poorly governments tend to handle battlefield reversals. From the United States in Vietnam to the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, leaders often respond to defeat with disastrous decisions that only worsen their plight. Rather than coolly looking for a way out of the predicament, they rage against the dying of the light.

Part of the problem is what psychologists call “loss aversion.” Losing hurts twice as bad as winning feels good—whether in a tennis match or a war. The idea of accepting even a small loss can seem intolerable, and people are tempted to risk greater losses for a shot at the win. The gambler who drops 20 bucks in a casino doesn’t walk away; he doubles his bets. In a similar vein, the president who loses 1,000 soldiers in Vietnam doesn’t end the war; he sends half a million Americans into the mire.


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18 комментариев

    АНТИНАЦИ Январь 10, 13:09


    • стоик
      стоик Январь 11, 14:46

      Ну очень верное зампчание!.))

    • Boccardi
      Boccardi Январь 14, 10:46

      Согласен, хотя читать просто смешно и противно…

    • Ростан, Казань
      Ростан, Казань Январь 14, 12:41

      Главное, чтобы подобные «ознакомительные» публикации не доминировали в общем информационном поле сайта.

  2. Вагнер
    Вагнер Январь 10, 19:22

    Но само название статьи, согласись, носит явно провокационный характер!..(((((

  3. Екатерина
    Екатерина Январь 10, 22:40

    Честно говоря, пакостная статья (прочитала русскоязычный вариант).
    Но действительно — надо знать и подобные точки зрения …

  4. Демиург
    Демиург Январь 11, 13:13

    гнилая отрыжка извечных мечтаний русофобов..((

    • Boccardi
      Boccardi Январь 14, 10:45

      Так пора бы уже и привыкнуть к этому словесному изблеву!

    • Ростан, Казань
      Ростан, Казань Январь 14, 13:01

      Зачастую сам заголовок формирует установку читателя на восприятие текста статьи. Как и в данном случае.

  5. стоик
    стоик Январь 11, 14:45

    Статья полное фуфло, но и такие перепечатывать надо. Вражину неплохо знать в лицо..(((

    • Gricko
      Gricko Январь 17, 19:45

      Так-то оно так, но, один хрен, лошарный материал.

  6. Киевлянин
    Киевлянин Январь 12, 17:50

    Не вижу пока никаких оснований говорить о возможном поражении Путина в Сирии. Пока что российские ВКС работают против террористов очень хорошо. Как часики!

  7. Boccardi
    Boccardi Январь 14, 10:45

    Поражение Пути, в смысле — Росии? Это когда и каким боком???

  8. Gricko
    Gricko Январь 17, 19:44

    Что за идиотский разговор о «поражении»? Что, есть хотя бы малейшие признаки???


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