Russia is on the march. Until the 2016 U.S. election outcome is clear, they will go practically unchecked in their military operations around the world. With their full martial prowess on display, solidifying some former glory and strategic strength is their goal. It took calculated risks at first, but now Ivan is all in, passing the point of no return with NATO and in the Middle East. U.S. operations seem at times aligned with them, at times subject to them, and at times aloof to their bold moves against former allies. Unless an American hawk wins the next election, which seems a distant option, Russian gains will be strengthened and in position to be enlarged. Putin is strong at home and on the international stage. What will his next move be? A review of recent moves shows that Ivan is coming, and has little to stop him.
The Crimean and Black Sea Takeover served three purposes:
1. It created huge support for Putin among hardliners and showed a willingness to protect Russian peoples in East Ukraine and elsewhere. This has emboldened Russians in the Caucuses, Moldova and the Baltic States to hope for Moscow’s help in the future. A blanket of Russian cultural confidence has spread south, west and North.
2. It put Turkey’s northern border, and thus it’s NATO alliance, on the front burner of geopolitical discussion. The western military alliance had fallen asleep, and Turkey had just about lost it’s connection with Europe. Turkey’s designs on regional power just got shaken to the core, and so did the west’s willingness to come to it’s aid. Ivan is smiling.
3. It put NATO’s focus onto central European military preparedness and off the Syrian and North African fields of operation. Russia moved in swiftly, silently, but oh so strongly. Their military presence there is now stronger than ever and seems to be permanent.
The Syrian and Latakia coast is the new southern Kalingrad:
1. It provides a crucial Mediterranean naval base. Chinese and Iranian ships are welcome there.
2. It secures and controls Syrian President Bashar Al Assad. Syria’s future is in Russian hands.
3. It enables land and air forces to build up at Putin’s desired pace. Indeed a strong expeditionary force is already present.
4. It inhibits U.S., British, and Israeli strength of operations or freedom of action.
5. It flanks Turkey, and exposes it’s sensitive underbelly. Turks now overwhelming fear Russian intent.
6. It strengthens Russian influence over Cyprus and Greek interests.
The Shiite Alliance is squarely a Russian military satellite and an expanded field of economic influence:
1. From Iran through Iraq across Syria into Lebanon, Russian intelligence and special operations reign supreme.
2. A proxy Islamic “boots on the ground army” are effectively wearing Russian boots.
3. This has put the Saudi’s on their heels. A new Sunni military alliance is forming in the northern Saudi desert. The American alliance is questionable and not trusted. Ivan’s grin is widening.
4. Politically, U.S. conservatives backing Israel are frustrated and set back 10 to 15 years. Netanyahu has had to respond by creating nearly dictatorial powers for himself, infuriating in country friends and foes. Political barriers to Russian designs are faltering.
Egypt and Jordan are on the Bubble:
1. A billion dollars in military arms purchases from Russia put Egypt squarely between loyalties. The Sunni political rift is strongest in Egypt. Some are loyal to Mecca, and some want Jerusalem as the Islamic center. This rift is being played by and is beneficial to the Shiite alliance.
2. Jordan is playing all sides. Israel, the U.S., Saudi Arabia, and Russia all have hotlines to King Hussein. As a direct descendant of Muhammed, ruler over many Palestinians, and protector of Jerusalem’s Mosque, his unspoken leanings might be against Mecca. They are keeping all options open. No doubt he will be on the side of whoever seems to be winning.
Russia’s internal Islamic problems are dissipating:
1. Chechnya is no longer front and center to Russian military operations.
2. Armenia seems to be warming to Russian military occupation.
Lastly, Israel is squarely within the sights of Ivan’s gaze. The S400 anti-aircraft radar and missile defense system is clearly the biggest threat Israel now has. They will be exposed if they move against Iran or Hezbollah. They are sandwiched between huge Jordanian and Egyptian question marks. Question marks seemingly put there by Russia, and a huge Sunni army is also now formed on their southern flank. Turkey is a fair weather friend, as is the Saudi alliance. The nuclear arming of the Saudi’s and Iranians, not to mention the Russian’s makes Israel an uneasy tinderbox waiting to preemptively act. A preemption that will be hard to hide from Ivan’s smiling eyes. Ivan is coming, America is doing little to stop it, the election may not be enough to hold him back. Israel’s alliances are now with sworn enemies, and nuclear deals are being made under Arab tents.
Putin is Ivan, and Putin is coming.
“And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.” -Ezekiel 38:1-6