U.S.: Putin is a guy GWB does business with
Do not be surprised to see three or four divisions of the Russian army in the Sunni triangle before year-end, with an announcement just prior to the US presidential election in November. Long rumored (or under negotiation), a Russian deployment of 40,000 soldiers was predicted on July 16 by the US intelligence sitewww.stratfor.com, and denied by the Russian Foreign Ministry on July 20. Nonetheless, the logic is compelling. Russian support for US occupation forces would make scorched earth of Senator John Kerry's attack on the Bush administration's foreign policy, namely its failure to form effective alliances. For Russian President Vladimir Putin, the chance to make scorched earth of Fallujah is even more tempting.President Bush on Putin's soul; Putin on Bush's soul; Putin passes intelligence about proposed Iraqi attack on the U.S.; Putin went along with Bush on the ABM treaty, thus spiking Democrats' nascent attempts to fight Bush on it. I wish I could find a transcript of that interview I saw in which President Bush talked about how he and Putin pulled a fast one on the Democrats.
In exchange for a troop presence in Iraq, Russia would obtain a free hand in dealings with the countries of the former Soviet Union. It would gain leverage against a weakening Turkey in the Caucasus and Central Asia. And it would vastly enhance its leverage in negotiations over the placement of oil pipelines. Most important, perhaps, it would assert its old status as a global military power against the feckless Europeans. In short, the arrangement would benefit everyone, except of course the population of Fallujah.
H'tip to Instapundit for the original link.
Now, why do I think this is likely when the Instapundit does not? First, Putin has a track record of helping GWB at critical moments, and his words are taken as gospel truth by the liberals in the media because they are more trusting of communists than their own government.
Second, Bush is a straightforward man that Putin (Blair and others also) has found it easy to do business with. The street slang 'word is bond,' though meaningless in that context -- what with all the brothas killin' out each other -- is apropos with regard to a president who has restored America's credibility in the global arena. States, as well as terrorist thugs, thanks to GWB's tendency to keep his word, know that when the American president speaks he means what he says and he can and will act decisively. There will be no flip-flopping or wishy-washy nuanced dithering a la Bill Clinton and John Kerry.
Third, the Russian military is notoriously different from the American one, especially with regard to the way troops are trained and treated. It is a problem not unique to Russia, either; however, to a country looking to revamp its military and giving it new credibility on the home front, what better way to get an up close and personal look at the way the U.S. military functions than to be in the field with it, not as enemies but as allies. In this way, the Russians get an opportunity to collaborate on training and care of the troops; an opportunity to see up close some of the high tech equipment the U.S. has fielded and which gave China and the Russians such a wake-up call; and, too, a chance to learn from the U.S. and British military how to handle urban warfare without disastrous loss of military and civilian lives. If Russia intends to revamp its military to take its place as a global power and counterweight to Eurabia, then Russia needs a well trained and volunteer military after the U.S. model. Putting Russian troops on the ground will give military officers and men of both countries a chance to talk to each other and learn without the Russians losing face.