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April 06, 2016


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The Russian intervention has happened. You're not seeing Putin's actions for what they are:

The Russian 'Mercs' in Syria:


The 'withdrawal:'


Russian planes: super handy for the government, sure. But nobody has yet defeated an insurgency with air strikes alone, and that's not for lack of trying.

Russian mercenaries: interesting development! But (1) the numbers are, so far, too small to make any difference; and (2) the track record of mercenaries in Iraq does not inspire confidence.

Syrian army, Alawite militias, Hezbollah, Iranians, now two different flavors of Russian... the government side of the Syrian war is becoming what the donor industry calls a multi-stakeholder activity.

Doug M.

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