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View Diary: UPDATED: FSA says it killed Russian General in Syria (43 comments)

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  •  Thank you for that interesting info (1+ / 0-)
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    Claudius Bombarnac

    The Tartus facility is constant referred here on DKos as a "major" naval base but it isn't even a tiny naval base. It is a place Russian Ships can refuel w/o having to go all the way back to Crimea. That is a valuable capability (when Russia manages to get a ship to sea) but it is valuable to Russia only because they have so very little naval capability to begin with.

    Tartus is not a base it is a section of a civilian port. And a rather small section too. That means it is not a HQ facility, as your clip points out. It has no naval stores of note, no barracks, no attached airbase, no drydock, no heavy repair capability, no nothing that makes a true naval base a center of sustained operations.

    I am sure the Russians would like to hold on to it because it is their only trace of a base outside their home waters. But they will not pay just anything for it. And even if Assad falls the Russians should have at worst a 50/50 chance of keeping the lease.

    •  Any new government of Syria would have to (1+ / 0-)
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      deal with Russia. They have hundreds of billions of dollars of major arms, missiles, radar, aircraft, etc. that need to be serviced. They will not be able to dump and replace this stuff overnight. Of course, if there's an intervention, a lot of it will be destroyed as occurred in Libya.

      The US is buying Russian helicopters for use by the new Afghan forces because they have the service facilities and trained pilots for them. Note: that congress voted it down but it will come up again or be done covertly through a third country.

      Libya is going for all new armaments from the west. NATO pretty well cleaned out the old Russian stuff.

      •  Agreed (1+ / 0-)
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        Claudius Bombarnac

        Everything you say makes sense. There is a lot of investment in Soviet/Russian systems and that takes a long time to change even if change is desired.

        I am pretty darn sure the newer members of NATO are still operating substantial amounts of Soviet-built hardware. e.g  The Czech Republic still has hundreds of Soviet APCs. To someone who grew up in the Cold War that's still a bit of a mind warp.

        I hadn't heard about the Libyan purchases so thank you for passing that along. That's not too surprising. I gathered (during the uprising news) that Ghaddafi hadn't really kept his forces too well maintained even before all the fighting broke out. And of course NATO salesmen were probably the first ones putting a foot in the door.

        •  The deals haven't been finalized yet except (1+ / 0-)
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          for a contract to refurbish a dozen Mirage jets that had been grounded due to lack of maintenance. It was a "window shopping" trip by Osama al-Juwali, the ex commander of the Zintan brigades who is now defense minister in Libya. The French tried to sell 14 new Rafales. There's also talks about refurbishing the airbases.

          War is a damn good business model. You get money to destroy then you even more to rebuild. Too bad so many have to lose their lives in the process.

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