The advances of the R+6 in Syria are remarkable. Yet it is unlikely that the ‘Assad must go!’ Coalition will accept defeat. In their view, too much is at stake. In fact, US allied and proxy forces are still fighting and the US has set-up a situation where a severe bombing of Syrian forces is virtually certain if Jihadi extremists conduct a false flag chemical weapons attack.
Although it is widely recognized that Russia and Iran have saved Assad and Syria from a Jihadist victory, the war is not yet over.
This is the backdrop to the up-coming talks between Putin and Trump on the sidelines of the G-20. Yes, they will discuss many trouble-spots in the world, but none rise to the level of Syria.
Yet there is little discussion in US media about the Trump’s goals in the up-coming talks. Americans have largely been kept in the dark or (deliberately?) fed false narratives, or mis-directed so that difficult questions are not asked. The talks are depicted in US media like a sporting match. Will Team Trump best Team Putin?
Trump Demands Sunnistan
The logical goal for Trump is the establishment of Sunnistan. This would ‘bank’ the gains of the jihadi proxy army supported by the ‘Assad must go!’ Coalition. The combination of NATO Turkey plus Kurdistan and Sunnistan would effectively sever the “land bridge” between Iran and Syria.
Will Putin allow this – knowing that Sunnistan is likely to be run by jihadis and become a terrorist haven? And over the objections of his Syrian and Iranian allies who are probably opposed to such a state?
Yes. He probably will. Simply because he doesn’t want war. Putin and Xi are playing a long game where ‘winning’ is a matter of time to build alliances and capabilities. Instead of opposing Sunnistan by force, Putin will likely try to hobble it by keeping important resources out of its control.
Turkey & Qatar
Another thing weighing on Putin’s mind is the possibility of bringing Turkey & Qatar ‘on side’. This may be unlikely if there is a wider war. He must first determine if this possibility is real or an inducement (see Gambit du Roi for further analysis)? It is difficult for any outsider to know with any degree of certainty. While I remain skeptical, ‘long game’ thinking might argue for patient diplomacy.
Risk of Miscalculation
A risk of miscalculation exists because Putin will oppose Sunnistan until war is imminent. This would logically come AFTER a Jihadi false-flag and just prior to massive US bombing (in which Assad is a likely target as per our: The Plot to Kill Assad).
Putin can wrest concessions (such as weaking Sunnistan, accepting Russian sovereignty over Crimea, etc.) only as a last-ditch attempt to avoid war. Any agreement to allow Sunnistan will bring charges of appeasement. But ‘appeasement’ is what you do when you believe that you will win the long game.
Cover Photo: Simplistic Western depiction of Trump-Putin match-up.