COMING: JOINT RUSSIAN-ISRAELI WARGAMES?
As the reader might have gathered from the previous two-days' blogs, the world is an increasingly strange place. And as I pointed out in last Thursday's News and Views from the Nefarium, nothing signals how strange it is becoming other than the growing ties between Russia and Israel, with the latter country's Prime Minister Netanyahu's recent visit to Moscow, and signs of growing Russian-Israeli cooperation, not the least in Syria. But there's more looming on the horizon, and again, it's huge news, as exemplified in this article shared by Mr. G.K.:
In this article a great deal more information is offered about those recent talks between Mr. Putin and Mr. Netanyahu, and about their expanding ties; consider only the geopolitical earthquakes of the opening paragraphs:
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu decided at their June 7 meeting in Moscow to deepen the military ties between the Russian and Israeli armed forces, debkafile reports exclusively from is military and intelligence sources. It was a historic decision that spells the end of the IDF’s unique relationship with the US military.
The head of the IDF’s military intelligence branch, Maj. Gen. Hertzi Halevi, and Mossad chief Yossi Cohen also participated in the meeting.
Our sources report that Putin and Netanyahu decided that a joint exercise by the Israeli and Russian naval and air forces will be held this summer as part of the first stage of expanded ties.
It will mark the first time in modern Middle East military history that Russian military planes take off from an Arab country, Syria’s Hmeymim airbase, and Russian warships sail out of their bases in Tartus and Latakia, for joint maneuvers with the Israeli air force and navy.
debkafile’s military sources add that, ahead of the exercise, the joint mechanism that coordinates Russian and Israeli air flights in Syrian airspace will be expanded.
According to those sources, the bilateral decision for the joint war game was tied to an agreement to allow Russian gas companies to compete for contracts to develop Israel’s Leviathan and Tamar offshore gas fields.
Netanyahu said June 7 in Moscow, “Our doors are open now to all companies from all countries that have substantial experience in developing gas fields, including Russia of course.”
Putin had tried repeatedly to win a foothold for Russian companies, especially energy giant Gazprom, in the development of Israel’s offshore gas fields and export industry. The Russian leader tried to convince Netanyahu by saying that the presence of the Russian navy and air force in the area would guarantee that no Arab or Muslim military force, such as those of Iran, Syria and Hizballah, would attack the gas fields. (Emphasis added)
There's a great deal here that invites some high octane speculation, but I want to focus on the presence of IDF military and Mossad intelligence chiefs during the Putin-Netanyahu summit, and of Mr. Putin's alleged remarks to Netanyahu concerning Russian military guarantees of Israeli oil and gas fields against potential threats. It is to be noted that in his list of potential threats, Mr. Putin mentions Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah(Hizbollah), but it does not take much imagination to see that behind the carefully couched diplomatic language, he might as well have mentioned the government of Ottomaniac Tayyip Erdogan, ISIS, and Saudi Arabia, all of which, as others have noted, have their own unique ties to the USA.
So what's going on here? I suspect that if one puts oneself into Israeli shoes for a moment, that Mr. Netanyahu's government has taken a difficult but necessary long-term decision to cultivate ties with Russia, given the USA sponsorship of radical Islamic groups, and its connivance with Mr. Erdogan and others. Similarly, Israel was not happy with the recent US-Iran nuclear deal, and as Russia has proven a worthy diplomatic adversary, and demonstrated that its military capabiltiies are anything but the pushover that the West would want them to be in its recent intervention in Syria. To put it "country simple", American foreign policy in the region since 9/11 has been a disaster, and Israel's reliance on American unipolarism, and its own "special relationship" in the light of the debacle of the last fifteen years, have forced a strategic reassessment. And fortunately, the Soviet regime is no more, allowing both Tel Aviv and Moscow maneuvering room with each other which they previously lacked. On Mr. Putin's side, we've noted in previous blogs that he has increasingly challenged the globalist dogma of the obsolescence of the nation state, invoking the UN charter on the right of sovereign nations to determine their internal politics. And by the logic of his own commitments, this would perforce include Israel, which, under Netanyahu, is under pressure from the West for a "two state" solution to the "Palestinian problem."
Where all this will go remains to be seen, but in the light of other recent stories - the CIA "subsumption" of the German BND for example - one cannot expect a diminishment of Israel-Russian cooperation, particularly in the terrorism-intelligence fields. This will deepen, and I suspect dramatically so. The real question remains how Iran will respond to these developments, and how Russia will handle it. One should not expect Russia to abandon Iran, but by the same token, if Mr. Putin continues to play the very clever dipolmacy he has been playing, expect China to assume more of the role of dealing with Iran.
As for Israel, it's clear the US is in the process of alienating yet another long-standing ally. And the trend won't change any time soon.
But this is a case where your guess is as good as mine(as most cases here are), so this is also a case of you tell me.
See you on the flip side...
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