-- Twitter Summary card images must be at least 120x120px -->
We have seen some impressive display of Russian military might in the last couple of days. Contrary to all expectations by the Western intelligence, Russia escalated its military campaign in Syria from the Caspian Sea.
The western intelligence and military experts expected Russia to intensify its bombing campaign in Syria from the sea, however, from the eastern Mediterranean though. The surprise cameyesterday, when Russian naval forces launched a missile attack on IS targets from its naval ships in the Caspian Sea.
“Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.” –Sun Tzu, The Art of War
The pictures were impressive, the precision was impressive, the surprise was great and it certainly impressed everyone in the West. Most western media preferred not cover it at all or gave it very little attention. Now, no one thinks that 26 missiles fired from the Caspian sea will have a decisive impact on the Russian military campaign in Syria.
However, it was a message to those who not only claim that Russia is a regional power but also behave towards Russia as if it was a regional power. The display of the military might from the Caspian Sea was just a reminder to the US that Russia doesn’t really need Super Aircraft Carriers to project military power in the region. It can do so from its ‘home lake’. According to military experts the western radar systems either didn’t detect the missiles at all or they did, however, very very late.
This is insofar remarkable since the missiles had to pass an area where NATO and the US have been deploying powerful radar and surveillance systems for some years now: Iran that has been under intense US ‘observation’ in the last two decades, Iraq, where the US and UK still have military bases and there is Turkey a NATO member that has been controlling Syria's air space for the last four years.
The message from the Caspian Sea to Russia’s Western partners is clear:
- Russia is capable and willing to project military power in the region
- Russia can and will defend its forces deployed in Syria
- Russia may be a ‘regional power’ but it is one that sits on 15% of world’s land mass and it can project military power from within its borders in order to protect its interests in the world
- Western partners need from now on to consider Russian interests when trying to solve internationals issues