Russia is fast replacing the United States as the No. 1 enemy of Al Qaeda, the Islamic State and other Sunni jihadist groups motivated by violent and puritanical Salafist ideology. ...
Russian actions in the Middle East [supporting the Shias in the Alawite-Hezbollah-Iran axis] have antagonized militant jihadists, but its actions closer to home are even more provocative. In addition to Russia's newfound penchant for adventurism in Muslim countries, its military has waged a draconian on-again, off-again counterinsurgency campaign against a patchwork of Sunni militants from Ingushetia to Ossetia in the Caucasus.
I could have sworn that going to war in Iraq was the reason jihadis learned to hate America above all others. That's what our Left argued (until Iraq War 2.0 under Obama made war cool again!).
But apparently the Iraq War was not the reason when you consider that Russia helped Saddam to resist our invasion.
The use of force can defeat an enemy. But as I've long said, ineffective use of force--which includes pretending to be an enemy without actually trying to defeat that enemy--just encourages (or creates) an enemy.
I'm confused. Is this development part of the so-called brilliant Russian "hybrid" warfare?
I know I'm just a simple unfrozen caveman blogger in flyover country, but sometimes I wonder if the experts who describe a brilliant Russian strategy for our new era are simply dressing up stupidity in the latest trendy theory.