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2015.12.13 Journal of Wealth & Success Vol 3 Issue 50

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wealth & success Copyright 2015. All Rights Reserved. investment intelligence command & control tactical awareness 8 wealth & success volume 3 issue 50 December 13, 2015 Perhaps Turkey hasn't cooperated in the battle against ISIS to the extent we would like, but that country has been a member of NATO since 1952, and if Russia has a prob- lem with Turkey, it has a problem with the U.S. After the Turkish military obliterated a Russian fighter that "wan- dered" into sovereign airspace, Putin pounded his chest in his best Khrushchev imitation, promising retribution. With respect to this incident, the megalomaniac will ultimately take one of two paths: he will back off, realizing that the United States must come to Turkey's aid; or he will pursue vengeance, doubting the president of the United States will obey his duty under the binding NATO guide- lines. Whether the president understands it or not, there is a battle going on for both control and respect within the Middle East. His response will be very telling for our allies. Background of the incident. To be sure, the fluid events in the region are quite convo- luted. Putin backs Bashar al-Assad, the murderous thug who inherited Syria from his strongman father, Ba'ath party member Hafez al-Assad, who ruled Syria from 1971 until his death in 2000. The United States backs Assad's main opposition force—the National Coalition—but has yet to provide any substantive arms support to the group. Both Saudi Arabia and Turkey are relatively in sync with the United States in recognizing the need for Assad to go, but the moderate Arab world's choice of would-be victors in the country is somewhat at odds with the West's choice. Iran, not surprisingly, is Assad's closest Arab friend, and it has aligned with Putin against the enemies of Assad and his Alawite-dominated government. Putin has a strong desire to regain the control lost when the Soviet Union collapsed, and this is why he has the backing of such a large percentage of the Russian peo- ple. Other than simply taking land, as he did in Ukraine, his second-best strategy for domination is to control wide swaths of Eastern Europe and the Middle East through alliances. The West's weakness has emboldened him mil- itarily, and his psychological disorders have insulated him from international denunciation of his actions. Ironically, it has been the halving of oil prices (that the current administration's policies have resisted) that have proven to be Putin's greatest threat. Despite the dire financial straits most Russians now find themselves in, their leader has embarked on a costly military rebuild- ing program. Like a child that cannot wait to play with a new toy, Putin began carrying out airstrikes in Syria this past September. Turkey shoots down the Su-24 attack aircraft. Turkey had officially complained to Russia several times over the past few months that its aircraft were illegally entering the country's airspace. In the deadly incident, a U.S. military spokesman stationed in Baghdad confirmed that U.S. intelligence agents heard the Turkish pilots, aboard their American-made F-16 Fighting Falcons, issue multiple verbal warnings to the Russian pilot before shooting the jet down near the town of Yayladagi, in the Hatay province of Turkey. A red-faced Putin claims that the attack aircraft was shot down 0.6 miles on the Syrian side of the border, but Russia has a history of abusing the airspace of sovereign countries, making his claims highly suspect. For its part, Turkey immediately notified NATO of the incident. There are conflicting reports as to what ensued after the jet was brought down, both with respect to the pilots' demise and the Russian rescue helicopter sent to the scene. Middle East Turkey vs Russia After Turkey shoots down a Russian fighter, America has no choice but to back the NATO member

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