Monday, 21 July 2014

Arming rebels with ground to air missiles. Who thought of that one first?

Putin is a fascist, no doubt. But arming favoured rebels with surface to air missiles is not exactly a new thing.

From wiki

"In late 1985, several groups, such as Free the Eagle, began arguing the CIA was not doing enough to support the Mujahideen in the Russian-Afghan war. Michael Pillsbury, Vincent Cannistraro, and others put enormous bureaucratic pressure on the CIA to begin providing the Stinger to the rebels. The idea was controversial because up to that point, the CIA had been operating with the pretense that the United States was not involved in the war directly, for various reasons. "

" Charlie Wilson, the congressman behind the United States' Operation Cyclone, described the first Stinger Mi-24 shootdowns in 1986 as one of the three crucial moments of his experience in the war, saying "we never really won a set piece battle before September 26, and then we never lost one afterwards".[18][19] He was given the first spent Stinger tube as a gift and kept it on his office wall."

"Wilson later told CBS he "lived in terror" that a civilian airliner would be shot down by a Stinger, but he did not have misgivings about having provided Stingers to defeat the Soviets.[19]"

"Russian officials claimed several times the presence of US-made Stinger missiles in the hands of the Chechen militia and insurgents. They attributed few of their aerial losses to the American MANPADS. The presence of such missiles was confirmed by photo evidence even if it is not clear their actual number nor their origin.[28]

It is believed one Sukhoi Su-24 was shot down by a Stinger missile during the Second Chechen War."


paulc156 said...

Yes there's been a whole lot of hand wringing amongst the UK and US in particular over the latest tragic events in Ukraine. It does seem that both the said countries have a long and inglorious record of providing either sophisticated weaponry or merely toxic materials to rogue regimes and despots that have eventually come to be used against US and UK soldiers at some later date. There have been a few civilian airliners blown out of the sky by many of the current protagonists including the old Soviet Union and the US. Now when the US did it 'by mistake' in Iran they had a quiet investigation to establish fault [not guilt] paid some paltry compensation to relatives but point blank refused to apologise to this day!
Perhaps the Russians could be offered the same deal if found to have been complicit?

DBC Reed said...

I can't see why the Ukrainian Government troops have got BUK missile launchers when the rebels don't have any planes.

paulc156 said...

@DBC Reed. The same reason any state possesses anti aircraft weapons. They don't know who is liable to attack them at any time in the future. In Ukraine's case, plausibly to shoot down Russian planes if they attack Western Ukraine?

DBC Reed said...

Why "plausibly?" There have n't been any Russian planes in the War Zone just Ukrainian planes zapping targets on ground.

paulc156 said...

Well it's at least as plausible that
Ukraine might be subject to attack by Russian Air Force jets as the UK, arguably more plausible and the UK has these weapons. As do most European states, I imagine.