posted on Jul, 27 2004 @ 10:06 AM
When Grozny comes to Fallujah
Do not be surprised to see three or four divisions of the Russian army in the Sunni triangle before year-end, with an announcement just prior to the
US presidential election in November. Long rumored (or under negotiation), a Russian deployment of 40,000 soldiers was predicted on July 16 by the US
intelligence site www.stratfor.com, and denied by the Russian Foreign Ministry on July 20. Nonetheless, the logic is compelling. Russian support for
US occupation forces would make scorched earth of Senator John Kerry's attack on the Bush administration's foreign policy, namely its failure to
form effective alliances. For Russian President Vladimir Putin, the chance to make scorched earth of Fallujah is even more tempting.
In exchange for a troop presence in Iraq, Russia would obtain a free hand in dealings with the countries of the former Soviet Union. It would gain
leverage against a weakening Turkey in the Caucasus and Central Asia. And it would vastly enhance its leverage in negotiations over the placement of
oil pipelines. Most important, perhaps, it would assert its old status as a global military power against the feckless Europeans. In short, the
arrangement would benefit everyone, except of course the population of Fallujah.
Russia can ill afford this, so I think we would have to pay substatially more. Specifiaclly, I think they would want our active support in Chechnya
(not with troops but with intelligence) and they will probably want us to foot most of the bill for their operations in Iraq.
Still, I think this is a price the Bush administration might be willing to pay, especially since it sticks a dagger in the charge that Iraq is a