05:17 GMT +328 September 2016
President Barack Obama, accompanied by, from left, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford, Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Vice President Joe Biden, speaks about Afghanistan.

US-Russian Deal: 'DoD Openly Saying It May or May Not Obey Obama'

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It is a little hard to believe that the US Air Force's attack on the Syrian Arab Army was a mere accident, Professor Stephen F. Cohen noted, warning the US party of war, which is adamantly opposed to any cooperation with Russia, is growing more and more influential in Washington.

The US party of war is "adamantly opposed" to any cooperation with Russia, Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies at Princeton University and New York University, remarked commenting on the recent developments in Syria on The John Batchelor Show.

"[What's important to be said is that] the attack on the Syrian forces [in Deir ez-Zor], which the US Air Force admitted that it did do by accident, it said, the attack on the humanitarian convoy headed for the destitute people of Aleppo and in that region (was attacked we don't know about whom)… — these pieces are linked to the [Syrian ceasefire] agreement," Professor Cohen emphasized.

"The agreement specified that if for seven days the conditions agreed upon were met — and they included a ceasefire in various areas and humanitarian relief to Aleppo — that at the end of seven days something if not historic but exceedingly important would happen: the United States and Russia would join military arms and together wage air war against various terrorists in Syria. The importance of that cannot be overstated," the American academic stressed.

He called attention to the fact that it would be the first real military cooperation between Moscow and Washington since a New Cold War began several years ago. Cohen underscored that it could lead to cooperation elsewhere, including the troubled Baltic region, where NATO is beefing up its military presence, and Ukraine.

However, the US scholar noted, there are forces in Washington which seek to disrupt the US-Russian détente.

Given the fact that US warplanes knew the Deir ez-Zor region very well and that the US Department of Defense (DOD) had openly expressed its skepticism regarding the US-Russian plan on Syria, it is "a little hard to believe" that the attack on the Syrian Arab Army  was an "accident," Professor Cohen suggested.

He quoted the New York Times editorial, which read that "at the Pentagon, officials would not even agree that if a cessation of violence in Syria held for seven days — the initial part of the deal — the Defense Department would put in place its part of the agreement on the eighth day."

The editorial also referred to Carter, "who has deep reservations about the plan for American and Russian forces to jointly target terrorist groups."

"In other words," Cohen noted, "Pentagon officials refused to say whether they would obey President Obama."

The US academic stressed that in a Constitutional democracy where the military is clearly subordinated to the civilian leadership that is extraordinary.

"We've come to a point in this craziness, in this New Cold War with Russia where DOD is openly saying it may or may not obey President Obama. If DOD will say that publicly you can imagine the opposition in Washington against the Syrian deal, [US Secretary of State John] Kerry brokered with Russian Foreign Minister [Sergei] Lavrov," Professor Cohen highlighted.

The professor remarked that the opposition comprises very influential figures from the Pentagon, the US State Department, both Democratic and Republican parties and the US' mainstream media.

The US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power
© AP Photo/ Virginia Mayo
The US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power

He recalled that such a situation is not new: during the previous 40-year Cold War the US party of war had repeatedly thrown a wrench in the Russo-American détente.

Cohen drew historical parallels between the Deir ez-Zor attack and the 1960 U-2 incident, when a US U-2 spy plane was shot down in Soviet airspace. What is remarkable about this historical episode is that it occurred while Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev and Dwight D. Eisenhower were seeking a détente. The CIA-led incursion ruined the possibility of the US-Soviet rapprochement, the US professor explained.

Today, while Russia opposes the US neocons' idea of a US-led unipolar world order, the American party of war is determined to do whatever it takes to isolate Russia.

Russian analysts echo Professor Cohen: according to Stanislav Tarasov, Russian expert and head of the Middle East-Caucasus think tank the Deir ez-Zor attack as well as the assault on the UN humanitarian convoy could be the two links in one and the same chain.

Tarasov, the Pentagon could have deliberately tried to undermine the US-Russian deal on Syria.

For his part, Yevgeny Satanovsky, head of the Moscow-based Middle East Institute, expressed doubts regarding the fact that the US-led coalition's airstrike was just an accident. The expert stressed that the attack is likely a reflection of the ongoing struggle between the US military and diplomatic establishments and an attempt by the Pentagon to "show the State Department who's boss."

RIA Novosti political analyst Alexander Khrolenko suggested that some forces are obviously trying to throw the US-Russian Geneva initiative into question and swing the balance in their own favor. He referred to the fact that the US' Middle Eastern partners have recently intensified their activity in the region.

"It seems that a new division of spheres of influence is on the cards, and a diplomatic solution [to the Syrian crisis] is becoming more and more unlikely," Khrolenko assumed.

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Syrian ceasefire, detente, The Syrian war, NATO, Syrian Arab Army, US Air Force, Ashton Carter, Vladimir Putin, Barack Obama, Deir Ez-Zor, Baltic Region, Syria, United States, Ukraine, Russia, Middle East, Aleppo
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  • Jammy
    Kill a few americans like they are doing to people all over the world and see if they are still so keen to pick a fight and save the "MAD" WWIII reaction because that record has been played to death. Meet force with force or bend over and obey.
  • STOP killary !!
    Watch jubeirs lips thats where the truth in this whole matter lies.
  • happy1
    As time goes by, it's looking more and more like the vice presidents are the ones with the control, Cheney and Bush and now Biden and Obama. I think the majority of the people around the world will be glad to see the end of the Obama tyranny even though the choice of Trump or Clinton becoming the next POTUS scares the life out of everybody.
  • jas
    Obama's shills trying to protect his legacy. It is categorically absurd to suggest that the Pentagon would commit mutiny and not be punished or confronted by Obama. Not even fire Ashton Carter, to do NOTHING. Obama can't have it both ways. Either he and the DNC have lost control of the government of Obama is a filthy killing machine.

    So how does the Obama media balance this talking point, that it's not a military coup? If Obama has lost control of the US military, he'd better declare a state of emergency and do something about it.
  • jas
    And Cohen should know better. They can't say the Pentagon has gone rogue, but it's no big deal, just part of politics as usual. lol Military coup, US generals ignoring Obama's commands, but it's not that much of a problem. *sarcasm*
  • sophm0e38
    The US 'presidency' is an illusion, a front for the U.S. military and others, with the traditional separation of powers, irrelevant. The real power in the US has already achieved full spectrum dominance over their fellow citizens.
  • jasin reply tosophm0e38(Show commentHide comment)
    sophm0e38, Oh bullshit, lol Defeatist talk. An excuse to flip on back like a turtle with feet in air.
  • jas
    More info about Stephen Cohen. See lower right corner, The Nation: and the connections:
    Foundations Fund Phony 'Left' Media Gatekeepers


    I've tolerated Cohen's subtle deceptions for long enough. He's always pulled back, and now he's just outright shilling for Obama, following the current MSM talking point.
  • giorgoskaz11
    Today I noticed that none of the western media said anything about the open disobedience of the Chief of staff and Mr Carter!!!!!!!!! Don't look farther why the cease fire failed. Obama is a lime duck
  • jas
    Obama selected vile neocons throughout his administration. Rice, Nuland, Carter, Dunsford, Samantha Power, Clinton, etc. Obama doesn't seek peace as the first solution.

    And Obama's VP, Biden is the grim reaper, death follows him.
  • l.
    The ones who want war in the USA or Russia, the politicians and others should be sent in Alepo for a few months. Just to see their positions afterwards.
  • michael
    does it matter at this stage of his occupation of the wh?
  • ivanwa88
    jammy....that's what a prisoner does not a combatant! with better than equal chance of success.
    Your posts are senseless tripe!
  • questfortruth
    So, this is our coward in chief! Well, it's obvious that the sitting president has no power whatsoever, here's the proof.
    Hey, how's that "change we can believe in" working for ya?
    I'm sorry, I missed the changes. Could you please point them out?
  • Jetsin reply tohappy1(Show commentHide comment)
    happy1, Bill Maher called Killary and Trump "the evil" and "the scary" .....
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