Taiwan, Samantha It, NPR discussed on Weekend Edition Sunday


Lose freedoms and Samantha it's not easy to get it back I'm only saying NPR news Taipei Taiwan the killing of a run in Major General Qassem so the money has stirred up the geo political and military dynamics of the region one of the major players of course is Russia Anna bush of sky a is a senior fellow at the Washington institute and she's here to tell us how Russia a US adversary is viewing these developments welcome to the program thanks so much for having me you wrote a post after the U. S. killed for the money quoting a journalist to describe the Kremlin's reaction to it as a quote mixture of satisfaction envy and admiration can you explain that why was there a glee and envy so according to this journalist the N. B. comes from the fact that this act of killing silly money is interpreted as the fact that the United States still has primacy in world affairs and then the complexity comes from the fact that there's so many other issues to talk about here Russia and Iran have a very complicated partnership in the Middle East and on the one hand a weakened Iran could be an advantage for Russia but at the same time if it runs two week that also presents a problem because then Russia cannot rely on Iran to do a lot of the heavy lifting in Syria that has been doing up until this point so explain why a slightly weakened Iran would be a good thing for Russia because their allies aren't they they don't have a formal treaty but as far as their behavior goes absolutely Prussia always leaned closer on the run a solid block in the Middle East and the complexity of comes from the fact that ultimately Russia doesn't want anyone stronger than itself and in the Middle East specifically putting cultivated an image of somebody that can be a power broker in SO in Iran that's too strong could theoretically undermine that narrative but at the same time in around that's too we can also be a problem in the Iraqi parliament voted to work towards removing foreign troops from the country after that US strike the trump administration insists that US troops aren't yet planning to leave but what would it mean for Russian influence in a rock specifically if they did yeah that's a really important issue Russia has been working very hard to return to Iraq for soul of Russia opposed the US led intervention in ever since pressure has been working to return to rock first will through three energy deals both to with Baghdad and with Iraqi Kurdistan through arms sales also through soft power projection so Russia has been trying to fill that space increasingly so you would have been more and more steps in what I would also predict as another possibility you could see Russian PMCs private military contractors coming to Iraq as well so maybe even having a presence in Iraq themselves a taking over that space militarily that that's right we've certainly seen that in Libya and under Putin Russia increasingly relies on this PMC model in its foreign policy let's talk about Syria of briefly Putin visited aside shortly after so the money's assassination Russia has a big presence in Syria where along with Iran it's been supporting the Syrian regime in the civil war there what you see happening in the wake of this assassination in terms of that relationship yeah so I think the Kremlin's first worry with the killing of selling money was because the United States coming after next up Kremlin thinking is colored by a very paranoid fear that the U. S. sponsors regime change throughout the world and that ultimately other themselves maybe next so I think Putin wanted to project strength wanted to project power at a time when he's worried in specifically sure this goes back to the issue of how stable is a side will Russia have to commit more resources the necessary if Iran is too weak those are the issues that may be worrying him and do you think the US is acting to sort of stop Russia from its own ambitions I mean Russia is trying to stop the U. S. is the U. S. actively trying to stop Russia in the Middle East from its ambitions do you see that as a counterpoint counterpoint no unfortunately not and this is frankly this is not new at all this began under the Obama administration and we're seeing a continuation of that under trump the United States has been very ambivalent about its position in the Middle East and it's been a great opportunity for Russia to take advantage of so we've named Russia as an adversary no national security strategy but we're not really competing with Russia in the Middle East an ambush of sky a senior fellow at the Washington institute thank you so much thank you I'll start Austria is a small village that looks like it belongs in a fairy tale I'll kind Wellings of stone church with a towering steeple nestled in the mountains on a large lake it's picture perfect to picture perfect go to the.

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