I’m not at all trained in the so-called art of warfare. I missed out on the various gulf adventures that the Bush Crime Family inflicted on us, and so I know nothing of strategy except what I gleaned from watching Top Gun in my jaded golden youth. I know less about tactics.
Lt. Col. Robert Bateman, who blogs with Brother Pierce at Esquire, however does know a great deal about strategy and tactics.
I bring this up only because today Turkey shot down a Russian fighter plane after warning them multiple times that the plane was in Turkey’s airspace.
“Investigative reporters are repeatedly reminded three words: “Follow the money.” Always good advice. But military strategists also have a similar saying: “Tactics wins battles, but logistics wins wars.” So how does this apply to Putin and his efforts in a place that does not immediately adjoin his own borders?
“Well, yeah, he can provide food and armaments to those bases he has in Syria via airlift. That is possible, given the fairly small amount required to support Russia’s really limited forces in Syria, and even what they bring in to support Assad. But there is one immutable thing about Putin’s Russian forces in Syria, one that they can’t avoid. They need fuel.
“This is an issue, why? Because to supply the amount of fuel needed by an air campaign requires more than just an airlift. It has to come via sea. Getting fuel from Russia itself to the Russian bases on the coast of Syria involves getting from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean. Bit of a problem that, since that means going through the Dardanelles. Turkey, in short, owns Russia on that count. Unless Russia wants to start a shooting war with all of NATO.”
I believe in Bateman’s analysis, you know, based upon my extensive playing of Stratego (and never once winning).
The thing that gets lost in all of this is that Russia is supporting the brutal dictator Assad in a civil war there. Russia is not fighting ISIS, and if anything their actions might be empowering them (“the enemies of my enemies…”). They are certainly creating the refugee crisis. Not that reality matters to Wingnuttia, because it is easier to blame Obama than understand what is actually going on.