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Friday, February 16, 2018

The state Department was more “Pro” than the Pentagon

On Friday, the press finally got the details of an agreement on the Syrian truce made by the state Department and the foreign Ministry. Before his imprisonment was prevented by the Pentagon, shlestnuvshimisya with the state Department in a departmental battle. The military has already admitted defeat, but the game is not over yet – the Pentagon has a way to cancel agreements of the Russian Federation and the United States in the scrap.

As previously reported the newspaper VIEW, last Saturday in Geneva, an agreement was signed between Russia and the USA on settlement of the situation in Syria. This is a package of five documents, which were not disclosed. On the subject side of the case can be judged solely on the meager review of the official and numerous unofficial “plums” on both sides. Moreover, the secret nature of the deal insisted the Americans.

“According to the military Department, any agreement with the Russians increase the role of Moscow in the middle East and nullify all attempts at isolation of Moscow”

In the result, to date, little is known. First, since September 12 came into force a truce between government forces and groups, supported by the United States. Second, the median us should “divorce” so-called moderate opposition from Islamic radicals, after which Moscow and Washington will have to concentrate their actions on the latter. Third, in Aleppo will begin shipping humanitarian supplies. Fourth, cooperation between Russia and the United States in Syria will be strengthened. In particular, as have informed on Friday Agency Associated Press, citing senior military officials, the United States will transfer to Syria of military equipment from other regions and to increase the number of specialists in intelligence analysis in the overall coordination with Russia in the fight against terrorism, which is now critically lacking. But if a seven-day truce would be observed, and in areas surrounded by the Syrian army, will come the humanitarian aid that Moscow and Washington will create the so-called Center for collaborative planning. Here it is necessary to emphasise the fact that nearly a week after the Geneva meeting, the world’s leading media feed bits of details and use the services of unnamed sources, best characterizes the degree of secrecy surrounding the negotiations of the two powers.

And finally, fifth, this secret Treaty gave rise to serious and very public confrontation between the two main “external” agencies of the US State Department and the Pentagon, that is, between the ministries of foreign Affairs and defense. And, actually exacerbated the conflict, which existed for a long time. Current differences between the heads of two ministries – John Kerry and Ashton Carter was hotly debated leading American publications. Moreover, according to some experts, the cause of the conflict lies in the further career plans of two Ministers: if Kerry resigns with Obama and would like to do it on a pleasant note, Carter can still keep his job, and determines that his hard stance against an agreement with Russia. In any case, the diplomats only make deals, but their implementation have already engaged the Pentagon and the war Department does not feel the slightest desire to do so.

So, in may, when the official speaker of the us Ministry of foreign Affairs mark Toner said that the United States hold consultations with Moscow on joint strikes against Islamic state* not less Pentagon spokesman Michel Balkans the possibility of such cooperation has strongly denied. The next notable episode of the same kind occurred in July, when Secretary of state Kerry held another round of talks with his Russian counterpart, and in a Washington Post was the peace plan of the state Department, proposed by Moscow. It included a “disengagement” of terrorist groups and the US-backed “rebels” and, apparently, was the basis for the prisoners in September of the agreements. At the same time is not named, but a senior official of the Pentagon via Reuters collapsed on the concept of the state Department sharply criticized: “it is Unclear why the Secretary believes that can attract Russians to support the goals of the administration in Syria. He ignores the fact that Russian and Syrian allies, there were no differences between the bombing of ISIS* and the murder of members of the moderate opposition, among which were the people who trained us. Why should we share intelligence and operational information with the people who did it?”

In recent days, officials of both departments were weighed every word, trying not to sink to the altercation. The state Department expressed cautious optimism about the agreements, the Pentagon – not less than cautious pessimism. So far seems to be winning diplomacy: first, the head of the Pentagon, Carter was forced to admit that “the truce is generally followed, and then resignedly said: “We in the Ministry of defence will play any role that we play, the usual for us the highest level”. Thus he actually admitted his defeat in the current round of interagency war.

The basis for this war is that the Pentagon is in principle unacceptable rejection rate on the removal from power of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Also, according to the military Department, any agreement with the Russians increase the role of Moscow in the middle East and nullify all attempts to isolate Moscow, taken after beginning of the Ukrainian crisis. This position American generals never really hide, so any “conciliatory” initiative of our colleagues from the state Department called the military a painful reaction.

The state Department, as you might guess, follows a much more diplomatic position and expresses its readiness to cooperate with Moscow on a number of fronts, including the fight against Islamic radicals. Moreover, ready to make concessions on some issues. This, of course, does not negate the presence of a galaxy of influential diplomats, who hold far more radical positions. For example, in mid-June, more than fifty diplomats signed a proclamation to Barack Obama with the requirement as soon as possible to start strikes on government positions.

Somewhere nearby is another powerful Agency, the CIA with his dissenting opinion. Foreign intelligence offers not support all of the rebels EN masse, as does the Pentagon, and focus on helping the Kurds. This situation, when the key us officials like a Swan, cancer and pike from famous fables are pulling America in different directions, greatly complicated the negotiation process with Russia. However, after joining the Syrian conflict in Turkey, whose actions are directed mainly against the Kurds, the proposal, the CIA finally turned into wither.

By the way, it is likely that the acute reluctance of the Pentagon to make concessions to do with the career plans of Carter, but with the practical impossibility of execution of agreements with the American side. In particular, Sergey Lavrov has accused the American colleagues that they can not “delimit” the terrorist group and trained by the Americans rebels and even suggested that the delay is due to the desire to withdraw from the blow of the terrorist organization “dzhebhat an-Nusra”, since technically she already distanced themselves from al-Qaida, a branch of which was informed.

In any case, we emphasize again that in practical terms, to implement agreements to be right for the Pentagon, not the state Department. And the military Ministry has many opportunities to nullify all the efforts of diplomats. Secretary of state Kerry in the coming months – prior to retirement – will have to make great efforts to finally impose a military designed his participation in the peace plan. Or – to reject it.

Moreover, the candidate in presidents from Democrats Hillary Clinton, according to many political scientists, takes a more assertive position on both Syria and Russia – in contrast to the current President and his fellow party member Barack Obama. At least, surrounded by many of those diplomats who belong to the hawks, including Victoria Nuland. On the eve of Clinton has already said that all the responsibility for the implementation of the peace plan she lays solely on Russia.

* Organization in respect of which the court accepted entered into legal force decision on liquidation or ban the activities on the grounds stipulated by the Federal law “On countering extremist activity”


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