Thursday, April 5, 2012

Predicting the Future: The destabilization of Russia

 Keeping in mind, of course, the goal of balkanization.
As laid out by the Heritage Foundation and one Ariel Cohen Ph.D
I am only including excerpts here, it's a big article, linked so you can read it at your leisure

A Threat to the West: The Rise of Islamist Insurgency in the Northern Caucasus and Russia’s Inadequate Response

A threat to the West?  Of course! 
The rise of "Islamist Insurgency"?  Of course!
Russia's Inadequate Response?  Of course!

Well you just know someone is going to have to step up to that plate!
Who might that be?

Abstract: The Islamist insurgency in Russia’s Northern Caucasus threatens to turn the region into a haven for international terrorism and to destabilize the entire region, which is a critical hub of oil and gas pipelines located at Europe’s doorstep. Neither Russia’s excessive use of military force nor its massive economic aid to the region appear to have helped. The U.S. and its friends and allies should keep a close watch on the region. In the meantime, the U.S. should work with neighboring countries to improve their border security. The U.S. should also encourage and work with Middle Eastern countries to stop the flow of cash to the Islamist terrorist organizations.

Russia’s Northern Caucasus is turning into one of the most volatile, lawless regions in the world and a hotbed for international terrorist activity in spite of decades of Russian military operations and repeated assurances from the Russian government that peace has been achieved. As Russia continues to lose control of the region, it is becoming a significant base for Islamist terrorist organizations and organized crime and may ignite an even greater terrorist campaign inside Russia and beyond.

Spreading ungovernability in the Northern Caucasus facilitates the emergence of Islamist safe havens, complete with terrorist training facilities, religious indoctrination centers, and hubs of organized crime. This should be a cause for concern for the United States.

The Dangers of North Caucasian Instability

The danger from North Caucasian instability is threefold.
First, the presence of such an ungovernable enclave in Southeastern Europe compromises the border stability of U.S. friends and allies, such as Georgia and Azerbaijan. Unrest in the North Caucasus increases the security threats to the two countries, where border security is already problematic due to the Georgia–Russia and Azerbaijan–Armenia conflicts. Poorly guarded borders increase the risk of cross-border terrorist activities. For example, Pankisi Gorge in Georgia served as a staging area for Chechen insurgents during the Second Chechen War and provided “a vital link to the outside world which was not under the direct control of Russia.”[3] Porous borders also provide a convenient route for illegal trafficking in drugs, weapons, people, and even nuclear materials. Such activities may negatively influence America’s relations with Russia, the states of the South Caucasus, and Europe, and they could disrupt U.S. logistical support for operations in Afghanistan.

Second, the North Caucasus pose a global threat as a potential terrorist base in close proximity to U.S. European allies. Some terrorists are already operating in the European Union (EU), as the recent discovery and arrest of a Jamaat Shariat cell in the Czech Republic illustrates.[4] For now, such incidents are rare and minor, but the massive North Caucasus diaspora in Russia and Europe will likely become a growing security concern for European authorities. Due to Russian pressure on the North Caucasus insurgency,[5] local terrorist groups are too preoccupied to pose an immediate threat to the U.S. and Europe. Some experts have assessed terrorist activity in the region as a “minor global threat.”[6]

Third, destabilization in the Northern Caucasus threatens not just Russia, but also the security of the whole Caucasus, including Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. The region is a principal north–south and east–west hub. Oil and gas pipelines linking the Caspian Sea to Western Europe pass through Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey. The large oil and natural gas reserves in the Caspian basin supply a significant share of Europe’s energy needs and may provide an even greater share in the near future as projects such as the Nabucco natural gas pipeline come online.[7] The importance of pipelines and their vulnerability to sabotage make them preferred targets of local insurgents.

U.S. policymakers should be concerned that the North Caucasus may devolve into an anarchic haven for Islamist terrorism and criminality. Security of America’s friends and allies, prevention of a terrorist safe haven in the ungovernable North Caucasus, and ensuring the free flow of energy resources are high priorities for the U.S. in this volatile region. Such a threat should not be allowed to develop.
The interests of the United States and its allies could suffer from Russia’s failure to respond appropriately to Islamist extremism. 
You may recall I had an article up some time ago that mentioned this brand of extremist Islam in Russia- And Russia put the blame straight onto Saudi Arabia

If you have the time, you may enjoy a series of articles posted by another blogger Arevordi
I found the article on Turkish Volunteers in Chechnya at Arevordi's blog
There are a series of posts, linked back to original sourcing that are worth reading and considered along with the Heritage Foundations plans.


  1. Ban Ki Moon has already poked his oar into the matter, well reported, of course...UNITED NATIONS (AP) - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Thursday the crisis in Syria is getting worse and claiming more lives every day even though President Bashar Assad's government insists it is withdrawing troops ahead of a U.N. deadline to end the violence......The presidential statement raised the possibility of "further steps" if Syria doesn't implement the six-point peace plan outlined by Annan, which Assad agreed to on March 25...."the violence and assaults in civilian areas have not stopped."

    "The situation on the ground continues to deteriorate," he said.

    so, it looks like the UN has decided on intervention. A bit like Saddam's WMD

    (various sources)

    1. And now the BBC hosted Salman Shaikh* from the Doha Brookings Institute who basically says it is time to arm the rebels and quotes Helicopter attacks in Idlib (surprise surprise). Whatever Assad does, there will be intervention. Shaikh avoided mentioning Libya somehow. I'll add the listen again link in due course. * He focuses on mediation and conflict resolution What a joke! Shaikh preempts failure to justify regime change.

    2. The propaganda in the West has been unrelenting. I feel like our efforts here, and the few other places in the blogosphere questioning the standard story about Syria, are pissing into the wind.

      There are simply too many perps to keep up. They own whole networks, like CNN, and government organs like the New York Times.

      Also, I met an Israeli guy that was a conflict and mediation guy, and I never understood who he worked for or how he got paid. Plus, when we started discussing politics and he got over his initial coyness (after many drinks), he revealed himself to be a rapid right-winger and only pretended to talk in the language of diplomacy. In his defense, I probably riled him up :) Anyway, wonder how many people have jobs like this that are really the NGO tip of the spear for the Western world.

    3. Listen again from 20.00 here ceasefire- will it hold?? "I dont' believe it is... Assad regime in a frenzy...shelling going on right now, even helicopters being used in parts of Idlib...widescale protest in north south east and west of th country...don't see any hope...wages for Free Syrian Army?...why this pressure arm rebels??...Assad will not stop the killing, Russia will not do enough to stop him....guerilla warefare ....we start to provide..non-lethal support...will increasingly see arms go into that theatre...controlled effort...this effort should be organised...Bosnia..need an organised effort to organise the oppostion on the fight back...

  2. Very interesting. Its amusing to see the invective used against Kadyrov:
    "In response, Kadyrov has lambasted the U.S. as an enemy of Russia and Chechnya, accusing it of supporting terrorism in the North Caucasus.[46] In fact, anti-Western rhetoric has become common in Kadyrov’s speeches, providing consistent and intentional disinformation about the conflict in the region. For example, in a September 2009 interview, he ranted:

    All of it [the regional conflict] is handiwork of the West. The Muslim world doesn’t help them [the insurgents].… They are not “freedom fighters,” these are extremely well-trained terrorists. We are at war with American and British Special Forces. They fight neither against Kadyrov, nor against traditional Islam, they fight against the sovereign Russian state.[47]"

    So Kadyrov is a ranting lunatic spreading hate and disinformation, but in the instructive RT interview [46] he seems quite the opposite to me. Note that he mentions the involvement of Salafi agents: Saudi Abu-Valid, Jordanian Khattab, Turks and other mercenaries. I think Kadyrov is too close to the truth for the liking of Ariel Cohen.

  3. Russia needs act NOW to nip this coming trend in the bud and stop the West in its tracks. If Syria goes down that Tehran Road leads to Moscow. China is next in line. The Cabal is going for it all and wont halt until they are halted, or until they score.

    1. This is the main reason I think Russia is in on the plan. It's been obvious to me for a while now that the West is determined to attack Syria, Iran, and Hizbullah. There is no going back now. So as soon as they allowed the UN to come in, and passed the statement, it was certain there would be regime change in Syria and that Syria would be attacked. As well as Iran and Hizubullah.

      As you note, this would ruin any chance of Russia to counter U.S. hegemony in the region. Game over.

      If Russia were serious it would never have:

      1. Approved of the Anan plan
      2. Repudiated it's treaty with Syria
      3. Agreed that both sides are to blame
      4. Allowed NATO to use its bases in Russia and Central Asian bases

      Furthermore, if it were serious, it would be:

      1. Making a strong case to the media and world of Western media fakery and meddling in the affairs of Syria.
      2. Send a lot of troops and war material to Syria, etc. It doesn't have to threaten a counter attack, but enough to keep the West guessing.

      So this tells me that Russia probably has secured some deal with the West, most likely to share the oil and other resources.

      Or, who knows if something more sinister is afoot.

    2. Agreed on Russia.
      I rest my case:

      Russia criticism of Assad hints at calculus change
      By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV | Associated Press

      MOSCOW (AP) — After a year of iron support for its embattled Middle East ally, Russia's recent criticism of Syrian President Bashar Assad suggests that Moscow could be planning for a future without the Arab strongman.

      There is still no indication that Moscow will abandon Syria altogether and back U.N. sanctions against its old friend, even as the estimated body count from Assad's crackdown on a yearlong opposition uprising has surged past 9,000.

      But in recent weeks, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has repeatedly criticized Assad for using excessive force and dragging his feet on reforms. Moscow also has urged Assad to take the first step and pull his troops from cities and towns in line with a peace plan put forth by U.N. envoy Kofi Annan.;_ylt=Ag2vQRBruJcpl4JbMJhLVJpvaA8F;_ylu=X3oDMTNlZzg4aG1zBG1pdAMEcGtnAzU3MjkyZTI4LTZhMGEtM2JmYS1hZWRhLTIzZTEzYjQ3ZTIyMARwb3MDNwRzZWMDbG5fRXVyb3BlX2dhbAR2ZXIDYzc0MzBmMjAtODAwOC0xMWUxLWJmZGItNDU3MDM1ZDVkOTgx;_ylv=3

    3. I think it's checkmate, Walt. The west will plot a few fake ops, fake massacres etc. (and seem to be doing so, as they did with Gaddafi) to put the squeeze on Assad to attend the ICC just in case he doesn't come quietly. Game over.

    4. anonymous:
      what do you think this article says?
      It;s an opinion piece
      The writers notes Lavrov has criticized assad for using excessive force etc
      And he has,
      Lavrov has also said many, many other things very much in support of Assad.
      Most recently about not accepting deadlines wrt to Anan Plan

      THe article you quote from indicates
      "There is still no indication that Moscow will abandon Syria altogether and back U.N. sanctions "

      As of yet, there isn't an indication.

      And the Carnegie endowment talking head?

      I actually am of the opinion this article is laying out what NATO would like to see happen.
      Will it?
      We are all going to have to wait and see.

      Syria's Foreign Minister visits Russia this week. I believe it is tomorrow.

      Adding one last comment, IMO some thought Russia could do way more then they are capable of.Probably way more then was realistic.

      For all intents and purposes this destabilization in Syria has been promoted as an Arab spring- an uprising of Syrians against a tyrannical government.
      Hence the bogus "Free Syria Army" the "friends of Syria"
      and the "Syrian National Council" none of the Syrian in any real aspect. However this was the spin
      Those that thought Russia would go in guns ablazing didn't stop to think that this would be promoted as a Russian invasion of Syria to prop up a tyrant
      (Repeat of Afghanistan)

      In a world where perception is everything, and it is everything, this was never going to happen.

      If you don't believe that perception is everything ask yourself why the Western governments go to such great lengths to create such a .... pretend world for you to believe in. An artificial creation of good vs evil
      right vs wrong
      Where the west is always good and everyone else is bad
      And they all need to be "helped" by the do gooders
      The level of perception management needed to create this unreality is staggering.

  4. Hey Penny, have you heard from A. Peasant lately? She hasn't posted for a month, I haven't even seen her comment anywhere.

    1. Hey Blammo
      No I haven't heard from her at all.
      I been so bogged down her and with life in general I hadn't even noticed that!
      I shall drop her a quick hello, for sure
      Perhaps James knows?