The PJ Tatler

US vs. Russia in Syria chess game

An article by M. K. Bhadrakumar in the Asia Times details the power struggle between the US and Russia as the Assad regime in Syria continues to lose legitimacy. The US Navy, on maneuvers with the Ukrainians, sailed into those traditional Russian waters the Black Sea over the weekend.

In sum, the US is slowly but steadily getting the upper hand over its agenda of a regime change in Syria. Whether Moscow will buckle under this immense pressure and accept a rollback of its influence in Syria is the big question. Moscow has threatened to cooperate with Beijing and adopt a common stance over Syria. But Moscow’s ability to counter the American juggernaut over Syria is weakening by the day.

The course of events over Syria will certainly impact profoundly on the US-Russia reset. The Obama administration seems to have done its homework and concluded that it is worth taking that risk for the sake of ensuring Israel’s security. The warship that sailed into the Black Sea carries a blunt message to Russia to accept that it is a mere pale shadow of the former Soviet Union.

What does this mean? From the hawkish Debka:

This huge concentration of naval missile interceptor units looks like preparations by Washington for the contingency of Iran, Syria and Hizballah letting loose with surface missiles against US and Israeli targets in the event of US military intervention to stop the anti-opposition slaughter underway in Syria.

Moscow, Tehran and Damascus, in particular, are taking this exceptional spate of American military movements in and around the Mediterranean as realistically portending American intervention in Syria.

More at the links. It’s fascinating – particularly if you’re a spy novelist.