How Russia controls American policy
by Frederick W. Kagan,Kimberly Kagan
We’ve seen this movie—now playing in Syria– before.
The Russians have developed a way of getting the US formally to permit offensive Russian military operations against American partners on the ground, all the while calling it a ceasefire.
What the Russians are proposing in Syria—a “cessation of hostilities” on terms they get to define– is exactly what they have been doing in Eastern Ukraine for more than a year.
The Minsk II accords, signed in February 2015 between Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany, with the US in support, supposedly established a “cessation of hostilities” across all of Ukraine. But Russian proxies on the ground, with active Russian support, have continued to attack Ukrainian positions while loudly blaming the Ukrainians for violating the ceasefire.
Then as now, humanitarian concerns were a prime motive. The West thought the Ukraine ceasefire would keep pro-Russian forces from seizing the town of Debal’tseve, then under siege. But Russian proxies took Debal’tseve three days after the ceasefire came into effect.
Putin will use exactly the same techniques in Syria to achieve a similar objective—the weakening or destruction of opposition forces the US has been supporting.
Read more: www.aei.org