"ALL CAPS IN DEFENSE OF LIBERTY IS NO VICE."

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

SYRIAN-RUSSIAN MISSILE DEAL

Links to dozens of fresh/hot stories HERE at Google News.

The missile deal would upset the current precarious balance of power by giving Syria (and perhaps Hezb'allah) a more powerful and more accurate missile capable of hitting anything in Israel - including Dimona.

IMHO: this is (a) another instance of Putin (who's been increasingly more despotic) screwing us, and (b) another reason why the clock is ticking with regard to Syria: the more hardened are their defenses, the more obstinate they will be - and the likelihood of getting them to be a good neighbor to Iraq and Israel DECLINES DRAMATICALLY.

It really pisses me off that Putin is enabling this. Is Putin trying to protect Assad because that's where Saddam's WMD are (having been transported there in the winter of 2002 - as DEBKA reported in early 2003)?

UPDATE: JANE'S SECURITY NEWS BRIEFS highlight growing concern about Putin's Russia: "The problem of Russia in 2005 - Although the risk of further attacks by international terrorist groups remains the main focus of attention for Western intelligence services, JID's top analysts point to Russia as an increasing cause for concern. In this article, a leading security specialist warns that downplaying the threat the Kremlin poses is no longer an option.[Jane's Intelligence Digest - first posted to http://jid.janes.com - 12 January 2005]"

UPDATE #2 - (HAT-TIP DRUDGE/YAHOO): "The United States warned Russia against selling missiles to Syria amid reports that Moscow was ready to provide Damascus with a sophisticated weapon that could hit any target in Israel. But Russia denied it had any such plans. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said Washington could consider sanctions against Moscow if it went through with reported plans to sell Syria its SS-26 Iskander missile. Secretary of State Colin Powell also raised the reported sale in talks here Wednesday with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov, according to a State Department official speaking on condition of anonymity. "The US policy on this is very clear," Boucher said. "We're against the sale of weaponry to Syria, against the sale of lethal military equipment to Syria, which is a state sponsor of terrorism." He said the United States was aware of reports a deal was brewing and "we think those kinds of sales are not appropriate. ... The Russians know about this policy. They know about our views." The Russian media carried reports of the planned sale as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad prepared to visit Russia on January 24 for talks with President Vladimir Putin."

UPDATE #3 - HERE. These missiles are shoulder-launched and once in Syria (a state-sponsor of terrorism) they could easily "fall into" the hands of Jihadoterrorists. As Roger L. SIMON points out - HERE - this arms deal is a revival of the old KGB/USSR/ASSAD alliance, and represents another HUGE step back for Putin's Russia.

UPDATE #4 - according to HAARETZ: (a) Russian is denying the sale; and (b) the Israeli miltary is claiming the new missile would NOT alter their defenses. (But then, the IAF is second to only one [the USAF], and all EL AL jets have anti-missile defenses.)

UPDATE#5 - The American Thinker weighs in with a round-up and some excellent analysis of the implications of continued arms proliferation by Russia and the EU (with Iran and China).

STAY TUNED! MORE UPDATES TO FOLLOW!

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