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The Power Vertical

The Daily Vertical: A Spoiler Not A Superpower

The Daily Vertical: A Spoiler Not A Superpoweri
March 18, 2016
The Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that appears Monday through Friday.
By Brian Whitmore

The Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that appears Monday through Friday. Viewers can suggest topics via Twitter @PowerVertical or on the Power Vertical Facebook page. 

A transcript of today's Daily Vertical can be found here.

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Comment Sorting
by: Mykola Banderachuk from: Toronto
March 18, 2016 13:04
lets be honest, the reason Putin is leaving Syria is because he got scared of the Turks - who incidentally shot one of the Russian planes down - and the huge American air force bombing campaign against ISIS. Putin's bluff has been called and took off like a silly rabbit.
In Response

by: Nadir from: Germany
March 18, 2016 14:37
A one must be insane if he does not see that, thanks to Russia more than 400 towns and villages of Syria have been cleared from the terrorists of Al-Nusra and ISIS. And if the author thinks that this is not a positive result at all, then he, rather, grieving for such a result.
In Response

by: Alan Black from: UK
March 18, 2016 15:39
Last I heard, ISIS are still very active. But Putin's work is apparently finished. Either he's not up to the task, or that was never part of the plan in the first place.
In Response

by: Mykola Bandera
March 19, 2016 02:48
The Russian terrorists are experts at killing wholesale civilian populations and destroying countries. Look what they did in Chechnya and now in Ukraine.
In Response

by: elmer
March 19, 2016 14:06
To be more accurate, due to Putler's indiscriminate bombing, more than 400 towns and villages have been cleared and eliminated.

Sort of a variation of Sralin -

no towns and villages, no problem

by: Erica from: It's a secret
March 18, 2016 13:23
Another great story! Yes, Putin is quite the chest-pounder as he left Syria bombing the innocent and hospitals.

by: William from: USA
March 18, 2016 14:58
Brian Whitmore, seems, confused... This week the US House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to declare that Islamic State is committing genocide. But, on the other hand, the US have created and funded the terrorist regime in Syria that would be used to destabilize the region and create a specific advantage for American interests over China and Russia. Prior to 2012, ISIS, as we know them, did not exist. So how did this unknown group of psychopathic killers gain such notoriety so quickly?

A plan to create and arm an active resistance to the Assad regime was put in place four years ago, and the result was a radical group of jihadists who, in turn, morphed into ISIS, all thanks to the United States.

It's the fact the United States have created and aided ISIS. Just last year, renowned journalist Seymor Hersh interviewed members of the DoD who confirmed that the US establishment knew about the monster they were creating but chose to conveniently ignore it. So, nowadays whole world knows who is the real spoiler and real demon.

by: James from: USA
March 18, 2016 15:20
Last week the head of U.S. armed forces in the Middle East, General Lloyd Austin told Congress that an increase in the number of U.S. troops on the ground (in Iraq and Syria) could "improve" the situation. Gen. Austin said he has recommended restarting a program to train and equip Syrian rebels.

This is the same General Austin who just a few weeks ago said the "US plan to train Foreign Troops to fight in Syria" was a TOTAL FAILURE and that after spending $500 million, with a billion thrown in from Saudi and all the training from Western-coalition forces, ONLY 4-5 foreign fighters were NOT fighting for ISIS, and all others were with terrorist groups. Yet a couple of weeks later he advocates restarting the program which was a total failure; UNLESS the US coalition's intentions were and are, to fund, train and supply the terrorists! Isn't it blatantly obvious???
In Response

by: Alan Black from: UK
March 18, 2016 15:40
The Western Allies are still active in the field against ISIS. Russia isn't for the moment.

by: AnnMarie from: Virginia, US
March 18, 2016 15:31
The US has been spending billions of taxpayers money just for war-making and trouble-making around the world. I have a better idea: instead of funding military lets send an army of builders and train all the rebels in building instead of destroying Syria and Iraq! If US spend the same money they do on war those countries will be brand new very quickly, and the rebels will have new skill to take home. Then all Syrians and Iraqis can return from Europe, and the West can try a different approach to getting oil like negotiate and purchase.

by: Stuart
March 18, 2016 15:36
US-NATO have revealed themselves as belligerent, bloodthirsty monsters feeding on the carcasses of demolished nations - in the name of "democracy" of course! This hypocrisy & war-profiteering have guaranteed they are bereft of ANY credibility among watchful people in the world, yet they shamelessly accuse Russia & Iran of 'war crimes'!
In Response

by: Alan Black from: UK
March 18, 2016 20:43
During the last six months, Moscow apologists have been proudly boasting it's effectiveness ( which presumably means bombing things and killing people ).. By contrast the West has been declared ineffective. Now, we're back to Western Belligerence, again??
In the face of these kind of Metronome arguements, Western Credibility doesn't look so bad. It's nice to know these things.

by: RM Jones from: London
March 20, 2016 07:23
This video is so one sided, so anti-Putin and so arbitrary that it devalues itself second by second. Can we take seriously?

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The Power Vertical is a blog written especially for Russia wonks and obsessive Kremlin watchers by Brian Whitmore. It offers Brian's personal take on emerging and developing trends in Russian politics, shining a spotlight on the high-stakes power struggles, machinations, and clashing interests that shape Kremlin policy today. Check out The Power Vertical Facebook page or