For the last several decades the United States could do whatever it wanted in the Middle East.
The United States had complete domination of the skies. Whether it was in Iraq, or Afghanistan, or Pakistan, or Libya, or Syria….. Nobody could challenge the United States in the air.
That all changed last week when the Russians showed up. Not only did they show up but they brought their fancy air defense.
The Russians say they are there to fight terrorists but none of the terrorists have an air force. So the fact that they brought their air defense tells you they are really trying to control the situation.
Having complete domination of the skies did not provide many victories for the United States. Iraq is still a mess. Syria is still a mess. Afghanistan is still a mess. Libya is still a mess. The Taliban is still around. Al Qaeda is still around. Now ISIS has been created and armed with American weapons.
The entire Middle East is a disaster and that was when America had no challengers.
Now Putin has shown up and the complications have increased dramatically. No longer can the United States go and do whatever they want without risking a military conflict with the Russians.
If the United States can’t beat the Taliban they certainly don’t want any part of fighting the Russians.
Not only do the Russians complicate what the United States is fumbling around to do, but it is also a huge blow to Israel.
Israel has always enjoyed complete control over the area but now they will be reined in as well.
This is why Netanyahu raced over to Russia to meet with Putin last week. Netanyahu understands the implications of what Putin is doing.
To make matters worse Iran is sending in hundreds of Hezbollah fighters to join the Syrian fight. In the past if Hezbollah stepped out of line Israel would think nothing of dropping some bombs.
But with Russia standing guard the Israelis will think long and hard before taking action. This is a huge change to the balance of power in the region.
Putin is looking strong. Obama is looking incompetent. Netanyahu is looking worried.
The region isn’t any more stable now (with this new power player in the mix) then it was before.