5 Ways Russia's Ukraine "Boomerang" Could Strike

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Harry Kazianis via The Diplomat,

Last week Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov declared that any sanctions introduced by Washington against Moscow will have a “boomerang” effect. And such a boomerang could have some oomph. What would such a boomerang look like? Here are five ways (beyond the one Ankit Panda pointed out last week) Putin could make life very difficult for America and its allies in Asia if tensions in Eastern Europe were to intensify and Russia sought to retaliate:

1. Russian Arms Sales to China go hog wild – Remember that deal that keeps floating around concerning Russian SU-35s and advanced conventional submarines to China? Even if things don’t get worse in Ukraine, I think we can consider that a done deal now. But, heck, why stop there! If Washington wants to keep upping the ante in Ukraine it might be a great time for Moscow to expand its dealings with China to levels never seen. Remember all that talk about hypersonic weapons in January? Since both nations are pursing such weapons, why not share the costs and the spoils? It seems 5th generation fighters aren’t easy for anyone to craft these days—so why not a joint Russo-Sino development project? If things were to get really nasty, and Russia decided to pull out of the INF treaty, maybe it’s time Moscow and Beijing exchange notes on all those lovely A2/AD weapons systems we like to talk about here on Flashpoints? I could go on and on. The bottom line: If Russia wanted to make things hard for America in Asia at a time when its defense budget is shrinking, here is an easy way to do it.

2. Moscow goes all in on natural resource sales to Beijing – While large deals were announced late last year, China would love to purchase as much Russian oil, natural gas and any other natural resources it could get its hands on. While issues of price have slowed or halted other deals in the past, Russia this time might be a little more flexible, especially if it were to halt or slow sales to Ukraine or Western Europe. China clearly wins in such a deal as it would become less reliant on sea-borne natural resources imports that could be disrupted if things with America were to go really south.

3. Russian Arms Sales to Iran, Rebooted - While any analysis here must factor in P5+1 negotiations over Tehran’s nuclear deal, Moscow could seek to make trouble for Washington and its allies by rebooting arms sales to Iran. With Russia and Iran already trying to work out the aftermath of an aborted sale of the S-300 air defense system, Putin may decide to put the system back on the table for Iran. In fact, he may even suggest selling Tehran the more advanced S-400 system. Consider this: if nuclear negotiations fail and Iran fears an attack by the West over its nuclear facilities, Russia could be in position to supply all the weapons it needs to make such an attack even more complicated than it would already be.

4. Syria: Give Assad all the arms he wants: While Russia may have offered an unlikely solution to the chemical weapons crisis of last summer, the U.S. and its allies should expect nothing from Moscow if Putin’s boomerang comes lunging back at them. Putin could easily begin sending even more arms to his allies in Syria, raising the stakes and a death toll that is already reaching epic if not historic proportions. While it may be hard to envision Russia being able to completely turn the tide with Assad winning a clear victory, Moscow could certainly change the calculus if it decided to go all in and arm Syria to the teeth.

5. The Death of the Pivot/Rebalance: So say tensions in Eastern Europe were to escalate even further with Russia formally annexing Crimea or worse—Russia taking large sections of Eastern Ukraine. It does not seem out of the question that Washington would be forced to consider beefing up its security commitments in Europe. While additional forces could certainly move into the region as a deterrent to further Russia troublemaking, missile defense plans scuttled in the past could be re-crafted, and U.S. naval power could make a strong comeback. All this comes at a price however. Unless the U.S. were to increase its defense spending which, short of a shooting war I consider unlikely, American forces, already stretched thin to begin with, would be even more strained. Washington may simply have no choice but to reconsider its mighty pivot/rebalance to Asia. Add in the fact that a senior defense department official may have put the final coffin in it anyway– stating that “right now, the pivot is being looked at again, because candidly it can’t happen”– one more nail for good measure thanks to Russia would certainly seal its fate.

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Duc888's picture




As long as potty poot rips the dollar from reserve curerency...then everything will wind up just roses.

TruthInSunshine's picture

Important Off Topic -

And so it begins; the "Economic Depression" that so many naive investors had thought Bernanke & his equally incompetent and/or malicious central reserve fractional fiat bankers saved us from gets an official renewal shot across the bow in the form of this warning:


Phillip Inman economics correspondent
The Guardian, Thursday 13 March 2014 16.29 EDT

"China's Li Keqiang warns investors to prepare for wave of bankruptcies
World's second largest economy is facing 'serious challenges' and many companies with high debts are being forced to the wall"

knukles's picture

Invade the Ukraine.
Stop paying on any and all Ukrainian debts (fucking the EU and US, in turn's banks)
Sell all natural resources for Gold and Only Gold.  Or rubles
Stop taking dollars and Euros for AnyThingWhatSoEver
Sign a mutual defense, Nuke'em treaty with China.

Anything else I forgot?

Oh, nobody from the West has access to Russian or Ukrainian Brides by E-Mail, anymore.

PS... John Kohn is Persona Non-Grata in the New USSR


zaphod's picture

I disagree with #5, why should the US beef up their bases in the EU?

The EU has been protesting US military presense for decades (Germany the most), but the second things become difficult everyone changes their tune. If the EU hates the US so much, why should the US come to the rescue yet again? 

kaiserhoff's picture

This is fun to a point, but Putin has nothing to gain and everything to lose by ramping up hostilities.

Russia is stable and some progress is being made.., for the first time since Peter the Great.

angel_of_joy's picture

Your limited Western way of thinking shows off. For them (Russians), Ukraine is all about their own national security. Not allowing NATO encroachment in their soft belly side...

kaiserhoff's picture

Good point, but what could Putin hope to achieve by rolling tanks across the border?

At best he would be buying decades of low grade civil war and terrorism, and a gradual halt to trade with the west.  He might  get a re-armed Germany, well supported by Poland and the rest of the east.

fightthepower's picture

Nope, Germany and the West are emasculated and are more interested in having gays in the military and on all major media than anything else. Not to mention they are bankrupt .

Jack Napier's picture

6. Russia cuts off the Platinum supply - With strikes already occuring in South Africa causing PGM prices to spike, Putin, who commands the other lion's share of Platinum production could help usher in GM 2.0 the world over by hitting automotive companies already sitting on massive inventories with high cost catalytic converters.

Pure Evil's picture

Let's just admit that military spending for all sides is double plus good for all concerned, except of course the taxpayers.

But, it sounded to me, from the article, that this was more of a subliminal advertisement for rearmament than a cautionary tale about facing off the Russians in Ukraine.

Not rooting for either side of the coin, just saying this to satisfy the douche bag BKbroiler, but I wouldn't doubt we'll be pounded by Republitards going into the fall elections about the need to increase defense spending, and just look how the Demofarts hate the military, blah, blah, blah, look how they dropped the ball on Putin and Russian and China, blah, blah, blah, ad infinitum.

So far, if the gullible plebeians fall for the scheme once again, we'll see the defense budget once again being doubled over the next decade, especially if the Russians go ahead with what was outlined in the post with the US and NATO having an excuse to increase their defense budgets. A win-win, wink-wink, so to speak, for all sides concerned.

Jack Napier's picture

The primary aim of modern warfare is to use up the products of the machine without raising the general standard of living. To that end I say, whether republic-rat or democan't, whether USSA or USSR; left wing, right wing, same bird of prey.

Occident Mortal's picture

Russia could always atomise Lower Manhattan or raise the ground temperature of the District of Columbia to a couple of million degrees.

But that would probably just make the US stronger and more productive.

old naughty's picture

Ok, so RussPut bearhug both EUR and Asia, fxxk Asia has been in the conceived...

Cold-Hot war(s) back on (we never learn).

What about MH370?

Twist gets twist-er...

BlindMonkey's picture

No, no, no.   Ockam's razor suggests thAt the simplest MH370 explanation is that it was taken by Fox in full cooperation with governments Boeing and the airlines.  It is sitting on a deserted island that is loaded up with HD cameras and mics for Fox's next level reality TV series.  Lost meets survivor and all of that.  Doesn't anybody ever learn around here?

StychoKiller's picture

No need to roll tanks across the border(s).  Ukraine needs munny.  Who's gonna loan it to them?  The EU? USA?  Putin has Europe over a (oil) barrel, and IF the USA thinks they can loan funbux to Ukraine, while China stands idly by, all I can say to that is WTF are these idjuts smoking?

Anusocracy's picture

Damn, some people are stupid.

The US started this mess, idiot.

FlyingDutchman's picture

It's not so much a question of coming to the rescue - the US surely did that and much appreciated thx from the bottom-, it's more like we never asked for all the conflicts and violence that came afterwards.

zaphod's picture

Fair enough, agreed. I find the US's behavior driven through our military industrial complex disgusting. But the EU does have the habit of leaving many difficult situations to the US and then attacking the US when things don't go perfectly...

Anusocracy's picture

"why should the US come to the rescue yet again"

How so? The US should have stayed out of WWI which was the cause of WWII.

The Soviets fought 80% of German forces.

The only good the US is capable of is leaving others alone which it can't seem to do.

cossack55's picture

Outright purchase of the entire silver market, pushing JPM in the grave it so richly deserves.   $2-3 billion should do it.  Oh, delivery only.

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

+1. Then follow up with... "Gas for Gold" to the EU.

Should really mess with the Euro, and the fiat-QE/USD that's propping it up. NY would shit.

Both our suggestions would have fundamental and IMMEDIATE effects. The author's obvious and linear-thinking effects would be DUMB, because they take way too long to matter: It is imperative to front-run the US intentions to sell LNG to the EU by 2015.

If that happens, the Petro-Dollar becomes the Energy-Dollar, and then it's Check Matt, Vlad.

If Russia and China outflank and outpace this US move (LNG to EU --> Energy-Dollar), then the Fed and Obama are 'toast'. The GOP would hopefully impeach Obama. If they have ANY brains or balls left.

It all comes down to who can implement their plans faster and execute them better.

flapdoodle's picture

oil/gas for gold OR YUAN. would actually work... I doubt there is enough gold available for just gold (this move would make the price of gold skyrocket anyway, as everyone plus dog tries to manipulate the price UP to get more oil for their precious ingots)

chubbar's picture

OK Knuckles, stop right the fuck there. No more Ukrainian or Russian brides by email? I don't want to live in a world like that!

e_goldstein's picture

Anything else I forgot?

Dump US treasuries.

acetinker's picture

Mr. Heinz-Kerry is persona-non-grata in the house of acetinker, as well.  The haircut in search of a brain (credit; JHK) is still a very dangerous individual.  A cornered animal is a dangerous animal, even if it's only a rat.

XAU XAG's picture



Sell all natural resources for Gold and Only Gold.  Or rubles




There is less available silver..............and china needs silver for solar

That would be my move...........corner the market in silver...............

The Alarmist's picture

The Russkies probably learned from the cold war that trying to outspend the US on military crap is counterproductive, so I could see them doing none of the above.  OTOH, dumping US treasuries and selling oil for anything other than dollars is a potent threat, either of which will no doubt trigger tire burning and regime change in Moscow.  BTW, I suspect the only reason Vlad has not financed tire burning and regime change in Washington is the fact that BHO is doing more to destablise the US than the Russkies could hope to accomplish with regime change.

kaiserhoff's picture

Yes, who could be worse than Barry?

My only candidate would be the Wookie.

The Alarmist's picture

The correct order would be Wookie/Cankles.  Some stati trump others.

lotsoffun's picture

kaiser - don't kid yourself.  clinton's wanted to keep running (even if they weren't really still the 'clintons' and monica was a third wheel), and big bad bama's may do so also.  they could run the wookie, and they will try.  now!  think about it.  we have 100% black, born in the usa, female, mom, big first. wants you to eat your peas and grow a victory garden.  she WILL run.  and on the other side,   hahaha.  jeb bush.  the first family to have THREE presidents. 

that's our choice.  i think hillary is going to step down to wookie, but it will be ugly.

watch.  jeb wins.


Pure Evil's picture

Ok, why don't we just take some body parts from some of the most evil men in history like Stalin, Hitler, Obama and Evil Lincoln and create a new Frankenstein's monster to scare all the little chullren.

Now that I think about, not a bad idea.

Joenobody12's picture

Obama is not evil, he is just stupid and so, easily manipulated by the neocons around him. 

drdolittle's picture


The worst part is you'e right. One of those three assholes will win.

acetinker's picture

Never disturb your enemy when he is busy destroying himself.

caconhma's picture

Just keep in mind that the Russia ruling oligarchy keeps most of their money and their families in EU and the USA. The Russia Foreign Minister Lavrov family lives in the USA. Putin's surrounding does not want a war. They would rather see Putin dead.

Putin was too busy with the Sochi Olympics and lost Ukraine and now he is trying to save his face and reputation. So, he is looking for a good negotiation solution. 

Freddie's picture

The funniest part is the F-35 and even the F-22 are a piece of shit.  Total junk and American taxpayers have been screwed agiant by the MIC-zio-contractors.

If China gets the Su-35 and the S-400 then it is game over.  Russia is already onto the S-500.




A 1950s Mig-21 could kill an F-35.  Fire and forget air to air missiles are fantasy.


nightshiftsucks's picture

Hey stupid fuck,how many F35 operational squadrons are there.Let me answer that for you dumb fuck,that would be a great big ZERO. If Russia's tech is so great how come they haven't comercialized it and sold it to the sheep ?

Freddie's picture


Oh who is that? Adm. Mike Mullen sitting in a Chinese Su-27 that the Chinese bought from Russia.  Russia is wary of selling them the more advanced Su-35.


India Air Force Su-30



America is Obama/Trayvon-ville country.

Even the Gripen is better than the crappy F-35


The Gripen is not built by American union monkeys.

Urban Redneck's picture

I hate YouTube for anything more sophisticated than small arms, but given your dislike of the f-35 you might enjoy this interview...


Urban Redneck's picture

Sales of advanced weapons to advanced nations are counterproductive in terms of ROI due to intellectual property theft.  Previous experience with China proves this, and hence the current hangup with the French-Russian naval deal.  The existing Russian-Indian collaboration on missile technology is the only viable model going forward.  

Sales of advanced weapons to less advanced nations are another matter.  But there are 2 concerns when it comes to advanced weapons.  Losing the moral high ground with non-proliferation and the ability to get the weapons back if need be.  The Cuban Missile Crisis is an apt example.  The had relatively no difficulties getting its nukes out of Turkey, whereas Russian extraction of nukes was more difficult with the Castro regime.  So in regards to Syria and Iran, Russian overseas bases are a far more practical solution- as the nukes can be recalled if the desired concessions are achieved, there is actual proliferation of WMD, and (somewhat) less of a threat of an arms race being kicked off among banana republics, and there is an added benefit for the banana republic itself, in that their adversaries are likely to strike against a Russian military facility given the increased threat of severe and existential repercussions.  

Why the Diplo-dipshits are still given a voice on ZH eludes me, as they really don't seem to have even a basic understanding or underlying subjects about which they continue to write.

Crash Overide's picture

Wait until they roll out the 2000 SUX.



BigJim's picture

Nonsense! The F22's great... in a rain-free climate.

silvermail's picture

Method No. 6:

I certainly do not Putin. But I would just shut the border of Russia, which is now allowed to use to exit U.S. Army from Afghanistan. In addition, I would do the supply of weapons, for Afghan Taliban: Latest Russian RPG - 3000 pcs and the latest Russian MANPADS - 1000 pcs. Checkmate.

mrblah's picture

Russia isnt just the desired route to exit Afghanistan.

Its also the preferred route currently to transport goods in, including foods/supplies and most crucially fuel which the troops rely on.

There is no viable alternative either. Pakistans border is uncontrollable, and to use Iraq requires passing across Iranian land, which they would cut off in a second with Russians blessing if it came to it.

ShrNfr's picture

"Tensions in Eastern Europe escalated even further with Russia formally annexing Crimea" - fixed it for ya. That is the headline for tuesday of next week.

remain calm's picture

6) Nuke Washington DC (1600 Pensylvania Ave NW) and be the most popular man in USA