Putin's Withdrawal

Putin's Withdrawal

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The recent Russian army’s withdrawal from Syria belongs to the most widely discussed events of the international politics today. In fact, both Russian intervention and its withdrawal are to some degree equally unpredictable actions of the President Putin of the Russian Federation, and in this aspect, the state’s participation in the Syrian Civil War deserves a close analysis. One of the brightest articles concerning the issue is “Putin Orders Start of Syria Withdrawal, Saying Goals Are Achieved” by Neil MacFarquhar and Anne Barnard published in the New York Times on the 14th of March, 2016. In the work, the authors positively esteem Mr. Putin’s politics and claim that his decision is the result of the main Russia’s goals’ achievement through the military intervention into the Syrian conflict. It is important that the issue has different aspects and dimensions, and in this way, Mr. Putin’s politics in Syria before the withdrawal could be interpreted through the consequences of the participation in the civil war, such as the escalation of terrorism in Russia, the decreasing of the oil prices, etc. Nevertheless, the recent decision of the Russian Government has changed the analytics’ assumptions and interpretations. The main point of the analyzed article is the general success of the Russian global strategy in Syria as well as the revival of Russia as a serious global political player.

According to MacFarquhar and Barnard, the main goals of Russian participation in the Syrian conflict have been achieved. The authors claim there were five general aims. The first one was the restoration of the country’s international prestige as a step to the revival of the bipolar world. Another objective was to militarily prevent the regime of the President Bashar al-Assad of Syria from the Western influence and change. The third one was to make Syria a part of the Russian sphere of influences. The fourth target was to get rid of the jihadists in Russia involving them in to the Syrian War in order to save the state’s territory from the unstable social elements. At last, Mr. Putin’s aimed at making Mr. Assad’s regime stronger because the current Syrian president is loyal to the Russian course and opposes the Western influence. As a result, MacFarquhar and Barnard consider that the main goals of Mr. Putin were clear from the very beginning of the Russian intervention (MacFarquhar and Barnard).

At the same time, there are no risks for Russia in the recent withdrawal because i still controls the region through some contingent of the Russian army based in Latakia and Tartus as the article’s authors claim (MacFarquhar and Barnard). According to the work under analysis, the Russian influence remains unchanged on the Middle East after the withdrawal because, at any moment, the Russian troops may return and continue bombing of both terrorists and Mr. Assad’s political rivals. In fact, the main point here is that the Syrians support Russia because it has brought them the needed peace through the realization of the huge anti-terrorist military operation against the ISIS. Thus, MacFarquhar and Barnard mention two Syrian average citizens worried by the Russian army’s withdrawal because of possible violence escalation without the its presence in the region. Thus, the researchers claim that Mr. Putin, to some degree, has saved the Syrian people from the military violence of both terrorists from the ISIS and the rebellious political opponents of Mr. Assad. These details allow the authors to describe Mr. Putin and his participation in the Syrian Civil War as the third party that brings peace and justice to the conflictous and contradictory situation. Thus, in any case, according to the article, most of the Russian withdrawal’s results are positive in the context of Mr. Putin’s plans and lead to no important losses.

Through the prism of the political analysis of the Syrian Civil War, it seems that the Russian intervention has played the role of some needed pacifying external power which has prevented the escalation of the military violence within the state. Interestingly, Maja Bhardwaj claimed in 2012 that the Western democracies should prevent the civil conflict in Syria in order to save the oppositionists from the repressions started by Mr. Assad’s Government. The researcher underlined that the difficult situation in Syria that took place in 2012 allows rethinking the right of more powerful states to intervene into other countries’ internal affairs in order to protect stability and the human rights (Bhardwaj 90). At the same time, Professor James Gelvin, in his analysis of the recent Syrian politics in the fall of 2015, states that the Russian participation in the Syrian internal affairs has caused the restoration of the political balance in the region, and in this way, he evaluates Mr. Putin’s decision to participate in the Syrian Civil War as the definitely positive one (Gelvin). According to Gelvin, the result of the Russian troops’ intervention is the setting of the political conditions needed for successful treaties between the generral political Syrian units. In contrast to the Western democratic leaders, the Russian federation has violated the limitations of the international law system and, in this way, brought the peace to Syria. In this aspect, the analyzed article shows the mission of Russia in Syria very illustratively.

On the other hand, the article by MacFarquhar and Barnard looks as too one-sided because it underlines the positive results of the Russian participation in the war instead of showing the full scope of the consequences. Thus, according to Blanchard, Humud and Nikitin, Russia had broken the system of international security through its voluntary influence on one of the Middle East independent states (11). Therefore, the researchers claim that many Middle East countries would reevaluate the possibilities of free realization of their internal politics after such a precedent (Blanchard, Humud, and Nikitin 11). As MacFarquhar and Barnard state, Mr. Assad had no chances to keep the power without the Russian support, and it is clear that after the Russian army has helped the recent Syrian Government, the regime of Assad is much more pro-Russian than it had been before. Furthermore, except the increasing of the Russian influence on the Middle East, this situation shows the Russian Federation as a state that can voluntarily violate the international relations’ system and intervene into another country’s internal affairs. In such a way, along with the restoration of some part of the USSR’ international prestige, Russia has essentially damaged its international image in the context of its respect to the democratic values. It seems that the position of the authors of the article is too pro-Russian or pro-Assad, and in this way, it fully demonstrates only one point of view while leaving another one only slightly mentioned. This detail makes the work by MacFarquhar and Barnard incomplete in the ideological aspect and causes the need of some alternative information that would demonstrate the losses and negative sides of Mr. Putin’s withdrawal without constant accent on those goals he achieved by this.

To sum up, the article under scrutiny provides a persuasive account of the Russian Federation Government’s possible goals of the participation in the Syrian civil war, and in this way, the authors try to show Putin’s withdrawal as the result of these goals’ achievement. However, the one-sided position of the text decreases its general persuasiveness and makes the reader seek for some alternative point of view to conduct the full analysis of the issue.

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