There is something new on the Western front - NEDRET ERSANEL

There is something new on the Western front

There are two questions that prepossess my mind…

While the US-Russia conflict, which is being tensed up by Ukraine, Iran, Yemen, crude oil and economic crises, is obvious, why did Barack Obama tolerate Putin, as he overrode him, and looked aside at Moscow's decision on sending S-300 missiles to Tehran, at the risk of enraging Israel?... While knowing that they will be coming down on them in domestic politics, why did he trivialize it by saying “to be frank, I was actually surprised that Russian waited this long”? Why? ('Wait for the final agreement', 18/04, Al Jazeera.)

Two… Why did Vladimir Putin, while the same crises and conditions were also valid for Russia, say “We are prepared to work together with the U.S.”? ('Putin says ready to work with United States', 18/04, Reuters and 'Putin's message to US: We can work together', 18/04, Hürriyet.)

Besides, all of this is happening, there are some developments happening in the middle of Europe, which even the European Union and NATO attempt to stay away from….

It's clear that the answer is hidden in the sum of the above three paragraphs.

United Containers: Iran-Ukraine

It's not so surprising for US soldiers to be placed in Ukraine nowadays, when we think about “every kind of” U.S. existence in Kiev, even before the beginning of the crisis. However, this should be regarded as surprising; together with the US troops, British and Canadian troops are also entering the country. In other words, after long years, the two allies closest to US and Europe-Atlantic line are taking place in the military conflict on the Europe-Russia border. (It's quite weird; the U.S. states, “There are many Russian soldiers in Ukraine but we cannot identify them”!)

This should have the meaning; we are progressing through a new phase in the Ukraine war!

After all, Russia has given a stern warning-reply to this development and in meaning, and said, “There will be bloodshed after this; Russian representatives in Ukraine will be killed”. Of course, as these developments were being experienced, there are no words from either EU or NATO. Together, they are only observing.

We can only say that Germany, which is the country that is concerned about the high tension between Russia and the West the most, is seeing this risky development. This is the meaning behind Minister of Foreign Affairs Steinmeir's request to Russia by saying, “Don't recognize Donetsk (which declared their republic in Donbas, the Eastern region of Ukraine) and Luhansk”. After all, this shows the seriousness of the matter.

'S-300 missiles are not a wall over the sky'

In relation to the S-300 missiles, which Russia stated to give to Iran by planning/ “declaring” that the regional military balances will be re-written, let me share with you the comments of an expert military analyst, from the infamous American CFR (Council of Foreign Relations – Foreign Relations Council), over these missiles….

“The S-300 is not a wall in the sky. If we (the U.S.) are forced to, we can attack and win. However, such a thing will require a bigger, riskier and costly attempt. Recently, we have witnessed arguments over a potential attack on Iran's nuclear plants. There are no arguments over the discovery of S-300. In order to overcome such a system, a great deployment (could be enacted), which is formed about all our competent, expensive planes and missile and our air, naval and land forces. Our people and equipment will be under a bigger risk and actualizing this mission will require a more difficult and time-consuming process.”

In short, the S-300s are not forming a threat for the U.S. and the military technology US possesses. If they need to, they will shoot them. There “expensive and competent” technologies over above S-300s! Besides, let us “combine” this with the news that was reflected on the media yesterday; “Russian made S-300 missiles, which are accepted to be the strongest mid-ranged air defense systems in the world, shot itself during a military drill.” ('S-300 carried out a Harakiri', 24/04, DHA.) Moreover, it's already known that Russia desires to produce the upper model of S-300s, S-300PMU1s with Turkey. Is it to please Iran, or, is it a message for missile tender? It's polemical.

Who will be making the provocation in Kiev?

Washington overlooked the matter of S-300, or underestimated it, because there will be something in exchange for this in Ukraine. We can also say that the American domestic political dynamics are cornering the President at this point. Thus, beware, the White House might refuse Russia's “we can work together” offer backhandedly.

The Kremlin knows that they are not equivalents with the U.S. “like the old days”; however, they know this as well: many countries are standing on the side of Russia, not because of their sympathy for Moscow, but rather, for disliking Washington. Thus, this paves the way for developments in countenance of Russia in international relations. However, those countries also have priorities; their own national interests and securities. Thus, it's uncertain who will do what at the moment of preference.

However, we can say this; in Ukraine, neither the U.S. nor Russia has more fields to regress. Besides, the U.S. is at the verge of election period, and Obama will not be showing a “flexibility” that will have his party pay for the prices at the ballot box. The equivalent of this in the U.S. domestic politics will be “cowardice”.

Thus, we can say that “there is a new situation in the Western front and it's dangerous”. We are in an environment, where important articles based on “Will the U.S.'s reaction towards Russia's activities in Ukraine cause a provocation that will pave the way for a U.S.-Russia war?” are being written in important foreign policy publications. ('Russia and America: Stumbling to War', 20/04, National Interest.)

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