Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The shift in Russian strategy that they won't acknowledge

It looks like the Russians have concluded that the Metrojet plane that exploded over Sinai was brought down by a bomb and that the bomb was planted by ISIS. As a result, they are starting to actually bomb ISIS.

This is a bit different from their practice prior to now in which they claimed to be attacking ISIS while their bombers instead attacked other anti-Assad groups that were not ISIS. Because those other groups are rivals to ISIS and because the Islamic State has largely grown in Syria by seizing territory held by other rebels groups rather than the Assad-led government, the Russian strategy before now actually benefited ISIS.

We shall see whether this new Russian strategy will hold up. Because the U.S., France, and other NATO countries are now bombing the same territory that Russia is, this means that Russia and NATO will have to coordinate more closely to make sure they don't step on each other's toes.