Vladimir Putin is a master strategist, but his end game may be putting the world in checkmate, writes Gerry Sont.
THEY SAY THAT if you want to win in life, invent a game and don’t tell any other players the rules.
Ex-spy Sergei Skripal survived being poisoned by Novichok, a highly toxic nerve agent extremely difficult and expensive to make. Only a State-sponsored program would have the resources to manufacture it. Novichok, along with its derivatives, was developed originally by the USSR /Russia between 1971 and 1993 and is claimed to be their most lethal creation.
There are about a dozen theories floating around as to the villain in this story, but why is it that former Russian spies are always being poisoned?
- Georgi Markov in September 1978;
- Alexander Litvinenko in November 2006;
- German Gorbuntsov in March 2012;
- Alexander Perepilichny in November 2012;
- Boris Berezovsky in March 2013 and
- Scot Young in December 2014.
Now we also have Skripal.
Great Britain has finally said enough is enough. If the Kremlin is not behind Skripal's poisoning then someone brilliantly clever and formidable is playing an extremely dangerous game with all our lives. Although there can never be any DNA pinpointing Vladimir Putin, there does appear to be a tremendous amount of circumstantial evidence that makes him a frontrunner.
We know that many grand masters of chess are Russian — it’s been a state-sponsored pastime since 1917. The game is highly strategic, requiring tactics like attack, forks, skewers, sacrifice, pinning, overloading and, Putin’s recent favourites, undermining and interference. Tactics should not be confused with strategy. Tactics are your short-term maneuvers that allow you to achieve your long-term strategy.
We are told by Skripal's good friend, Vladimir Timoshkov, that Skripal wrote to Putin asking for a pardon. He needed this for two reasons; he missed his family back home and he was only ever freed on a spy swap, where the USA released 10 spies in exchange for four held in Russia. Skripal knew he was still deemed an enemy of the state and that Putin would have to make an example of him. Putin, the strategist, would wait, as too soon and the U.S. would go into meltdown. The spy swap deal had to look like a deal.
Putin’s political ideology (or strategy) has always been to return Mother Russia to her former glory. Russia First. (Gee, that sounds familiar).
The global leader in the space race and the most feared and powerful nation on the planet, Russia is still putting the Cold War behind her as well as the terrible war in Chechnya. The country was on the verge of bankruptcy in 1998. Since then, Putin has created a groundswell that drives Russia’s nationalist renaissance. His re-election slogan was "Strong President – Strong Russia".
Similarly, Hitler was able to garner great momentum from the fact that Germans desperately wanted to regain their status and identity after losing WWI. When I say momentum, I am referring to the notion that the people of your country need to believe in what their government is doing. They need to be convinced that there is a moral and ethical reason why you annexed Crimea and need to invade the Ukraine or Iraq.
The report puts beyond doubt that it was highly likely Russia carried out the attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter, using a nerve agent “of high purity” https://t.co/XroOmQpjum— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) April 12, 2018
The Russian people see Xi Jinping jumping into the South China Sea, picking up the Spratly Islands and building military bases. China is doing what she wants and so should we. The West cannot stop China, so they certainly have no chance of stopping Mother Russia from expanding and doing whatever the hell she pleases with no fear of reparation. If a Russian Colonel uses a BUK missile to shoot down domestic aircraft MH17 with 298 souls on board, so be it.
Might is right, some would argue.
I would not be the first to say that Putin is one of the smartest political leaders today. He is up there with Jinping. Together, I believe they intend to parcel up the globe. They believe it is their time and that the USA has been the global police force for far too long. Putin feels he is free to commit international assassinations anywhere, anytime, without retribution. A bit like the CIA.—
Putin is in complete control of his country, its media and its people. He won re-election with 75 per cent of the vote. They love him. He doesn’t care if Novichok points back to him. He is always one move ahead because it’s his game and we don’t know the rules. Of course Great Britain would expel diplomats and he will do the same. Of course sanctions are on the table. Putin is unfazed. He has a master plan. Do you think it’s just coincidence that Russia recently announced its latest military strategic weapons that make the West's defenses defunct? They even had a national online “Name that Weapon” competition. Clever.
If we cast our minds back to the 1914 assignation of Franz Ferdinand of Austria that led directly to WWI, or Germany’s invasion of Poland in 1939, we can start to see a bigger picture. In both cases, a government-sanctioned act that required retaliation. However, today, no response to Crimea, or Ukraine, or Spratly Islands, or, indeed, and other Kremlin-sanctioned killings on Western soil. And that’s because Putin knows that his actions are bulwarked using the MAD principle. This is the doctrine of military strategy stating that a full-scale nuclear war by two opposing sides will end in total destruction of both entities.
In the global game of world dominance called Blink, Putin is the Grand Master.
You can follow Gerry Sont on Twitter @GerrySont.
The summary to the OPCW’s report into Salisbury spy poisoning is brief but to the point. It confirms UK finding that Skripals were poisoned by Novichok & says it was of ‘high purity’ - significant as British scientists say it could only have been made by a state actor pic.twitter.com/OPJJXwxAnx— Steven Swinford (@Steven_Swinford) April 12, 2018
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