MG Paul Vallely, U.S. Army (ret): “President-elect Trump understands need for new vision in Syria – that includes Russia’

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‘President-elect Trump understands need for new vision in Syria – that includes Russia’

There will be no status quo in America after January 20, and then President Trump will be more than willing to work with the Russians to solve the Middle East problems, Paul Vallely, retired US General and Chairman of Stand Up America, told RT.

The Syrian army liberated almost half of Eastern Aleppo from militants, according to the Russian defense ministry. Thousands of civilians can now flee to the safety of government-held areas of the city.

Last ditch effort? Kerry ‘wants to seal deal’ with Russia before Trump becomes US president – Kremlin https://t.co/KFxyfGf1X3

— RT (@RT_com) 28 ноября 2016 г.

US President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump, who will assume office in January, have different approaches to solving the crisis in Syria and the Middle East in general. Trump’s remarks suggest the US doesn’t “know who the rebels are,” while highlighting the importance of cooperation with Russia to bring about some sense of normalcy in Syria. Meanwhile, some Syrian groups that define themselves as ‘moderate’ hope that Trump will be able to separate so-called ‘rebels’ from terrorists.

RT: You’re now working with Trump’s team. Can you shed some light on what could potentially change regarding America’s approach to the Syrian crisis?

Paul Vallely: Well, here’s a number of things that you have to realize, the importance of the transition right now naming new members of the administration is the top priority. But as these individuals are named, like General [Michael] Flynn of National Security, they are starting to form positions so that when Trump takes over as President January 20, they’ll have a firm ground and they will have some vision and strategy particularly as it pertains to the Middle East and Syria.

Much of the advice and recommendations coming from my organization to the Trump organization really deals with a whole new vision for Syria, and it is called ‘The Reconciliation and Reunification of Syria,’ and that is what we would like to work very closely with the Russians, as well as with a lot of the ex-patriots and members of the Syrian population that do not support Assad. So we’re looking for a whole new vision here and a whole new strategy to come after the first year.

Trump Jr. discussed Syria crisis with supporters of cooperation with Russia https://t.co/bU4vQWbpAYpic.twitter.com/bBva9sonX8

— RT (@RT_com) 24 ноября 2016 г.

RT: Do you think the new administration will look to increase cooperation with Russia in Syria?

PV: I’ll guarantee there will be no status quo in America after January 20, and that President Trump at that time will be more than willing to work with the Russians to solve the Middle East problems over there. General Flynn and I both realize that nothing is going to be solved in the Middle East until we can work up some kind of relationship and some kind of a strategy with the Russians. It is very important we do that, just like we did with Gorbachev; just like we did with Stalin in WWII to defeat the Nazis. Trump is very open to work with anyone that can come up with solutions that will solve these problems that we see, particularly in the Middle East.

Syrian govt forces take over 40% of east #Aleppo from rebels – Reconciliation center https://t.co/EpmO9j9oarpic.twitter.com/ndW4JTnJ4e

— RT (@RT_com) 28 ноября 2016 г.

RT: How will Obama’s legacy concerning Iraq and Afghanistan be viewed by Trump and his advisers?

PV: I think very badly, because they have been very unsuccessful as you well know, when you examine what has happened in Afghanistan and Iraq. Basically the frustration and the complexity of understating the dynamics of Syria, and they certainly – in the Obama administration – have never understood that. As you know, I am the only senior officer that has gone into Syria on two occasions. So the credibility I have there in Syria with the opposition and the ex-patriots who would like to see a new government in Syria for this reunification I thoroughly understand it. I am imparting my experience to the Trump organization at this time so that we do have new a vision and a new outlook.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

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Russia Flexes Might – The Fearsome Armata T-14 Tank

Editor’s Note – In the relentless build-up of his military, Putin and Russia are growing as a threat and are filling the leadership vacuum created by President Obama. Putin rolled out a fierce new armored titan, the Armata T-14 tank on their Victory Day Parade.

The Western allies though, stayed away this time, in protest – that will show Putin who is boss!!

Challenging the West in all theaters across the globe, this was another moment for him show off his prowess. The trouble is, during a rehearsal of the parade, one of them stopped moving and they even tried to tow it while its engine was running, but the tank wasn’t moving.

Russian army officers speak a crew member of new a Russian T-14 Armata tank at the Red Square during a preparation for general rehearsal for the Victory Day military parade which will take place at Moscow's Red Square on May 9 to celebrate 70 years after the victory in WWII, in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, May 7, 2015.  One of the tanks moving on Red Square suddenly stopped while others drove away. The engine was still rumbling but it wouldn’t move. After an attempt to tow it away the T-14 rolled away about 15 minutes later. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
Russian army officers speak a crew member of new a Russian T-14 Armata tank at the Red Square during a preparation for general rehearsal for the Victory Day military parade.

A state-of-the-art Russian tank, which was shown to the public for the first time earlier this month, on Thursday ground to a halt during the final Victory Day rehearsal.

The tank, T-14 Armata, is said to surpass all Western versions because of its remotely controlled cannon and the protection it offers to its crew. The T-14, which replaces the T-72 and T-90, is set to undergo trials next year. (Read more at Yahoo.)

The tank did eventually move off under its own power after a tow attempt failed. Despite this setback, the west has much to consider, and we here in America remember that during the 2012 Presidential debates, Mitt Romney did tell the world what is not obvious, Russia is our greatest threat, despite the scoffing he got at the time.

Romney was vindicated many times since then, yet Obama still continues his ‘transformation’ of America. Aren’t you again so happy how 2012 turned out? How weak we have become and continue to watch Putin strengthen.

How are those Jade Helm 15 exercises going to turn that around, or intimidate anyone but our citizenry, or is that even part of the goal?

Russia flexes military might for sparse crowd of dignitaries on Victory Day

LA Times

A western boycott of Russia’s Victory Day parade Saturday did little to chasten the Kremlin as Russian President Vladimir Putin rolled out fearsome new armor and weapons in a thundering message that might makes right.

In the absence of Russia’s World War II allies who stayed away in protest of Moscow’s intervention in Ukraine, Putin was surrounded at the Red Square event largely by leftist foreign leaders for his display of the military power that has made Russians proud and their neighbors nervous.

Russia's new Armata T-14 tanks rolled through Red Square in Moscow on Saturday as part of the observance of the 70th anniversary of the Allied victory over Nazi Germany. (Alexander Aksakov / Getty Images)
Russia’s new Armata T-14 tanks rolled through Red Square in Moscow on Saturday as part of the observance of the 70th anniversary of the Allied victory over Nazi Germany. (Alexander Aksakov / Getty Images)

Under blue skies and sunshine befitting a postcard, the Kremlin marked the 70th anniversary of the Allied victory over Nazi Germany by parading 16,000 troops, nearly 200 tanks and armored vehicles, truck-mounted ballistic missiles and 140-plus aircraft before thousands of Russian dignitaries, Soviet war veterans and about two dozen foreign leaders.

The Russian military unveiled its new Armata T-14 tank, the first major upgrade of its infantry workhorse in decades. With a 125-millimeter cannon, the tank offers better protection for its operators than the T-72 it is designed to succeed.

The Armata and other new weapons displayed ahead of a roaring aircraft flyover are part of a major rearmament program undertaken by the Kremlin with a projected outlay of $500 billion through this decade.

Some defense analysts say the massive modernization effort is imperiled by the financial crisis gripping Russia, where the ruble has lost about 40% of its value over the past year amid Western sanctions and a sharp drop in oil revenue on which the Russian budget depends. Others, though, say defense and security investments have the highest priority in Putin’s Russia and the costly mission to enhance the strategic arsenal will continue unabated.

Putin brushed off the U.S. and Western European boycott of the parade, blaming the concerted censure on White House bullying of leaders who would have preferred to show their respects to fallen heroes in Moscow. He alluded to the no-shows in a brief address from the reviewing stand in front of Lenin’s Tomb and the crenelated red-brick eastern wall of the Kremlin.

Putin praised the courage and sacrifice of Soviet troops in defeating the Nazis at a cost of more than 20 million lives. He also paid tribute to “the people of Great Britain, France and the United States for their contribution to the victory.”

But he suggested the absent allies were neglecting their roles as defenders of world peace.

“In recent decades, the basic principles of international cooperation have been ignored ever more frequently,” he said. “We see how a military bloc mentality is gaining momentum.”

Putin has justified his actions involving Ukraine, including the annexation of the Crimean region, with assertions that Russia needs to defend itself against NATO encroachment and what he contends is a U.S.-led plot to oust him from power. Russian officials have portrayed Ukraine’s new leaders as neo-fascists bent on repressing the Russian minority in the country’s eastern regions, where a separatist rebellion has killed more than 6,100 people.

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During the 2005 celebrations of the 60th anniversary of World War II’s end, 53 heads of state attended the Red Square festivities, including President George W. Bush and nearly all European leaders.

News agencies reported that 20-some heads of state from among the 68 invited took part  Saturday, including those from China, India, Vietnam, Cuba, Venezuela, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

U.N. Secretary Ban Ki-moon was in the official reviewing stand, as were Czech President Milos Zeman and Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic, the only European heads of state known to have broken ranks with the symbolic reprimand.

“Serbia will never damage relations with the Russian Federation, even for the sake of becoming a member of the European Union,” Nikolic told Rossiya-24 television on the eve of the parade, suggesting his country’s prospects for induction into the bloc may be hurt by his renegade attendance.

Chinese President Xi Jinping was the de facto guest of honor, seated with his wife to the right of Putin. Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev, the longest-serving former Soviet republic leader in attendance, was also among the honored guests.

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Xi arrived to Moscow on Friday for meetings with Putin and other Kremlin officials to sign the first of a sheaf of trade and economic cooperation agreements expected during his visit that runs through Sunday.

The 80-minute parade kicked off with the chimes of newly renovated Spassky Tower and a goose-stepping honor guard carried Soviet and Russia flags between ranks of soldiers in sharp formation. Many of the units were dressed in World War II replica uniforms and sported the black-and-orange St. George’s ribbons symbolizing Russian war triumphs from both the Soviet and imperial eras.The ribbons have become a symbol of support for Kremlin policy in Ukraine over the past year and were incorporated into the banners and logos of the Victory Day anniversary decorations that fluttered from lamposts and billboards across the country.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu rode an open limousine around the sprawling cobblestone square, saluting the troops as he made his way to the dignitaries’ reviewing stand to present the armed forces to Putin and his reported 2,300 guests.

Moscow airspace was closed for nearly an hour during the parade, the Tass news agency said, quoting the Federal Air Transport Agency. Security was tight throughout the capital, with major thoroughfares closed to traffic a mile out from the Kremlin. Many Muscovites watched the massive procession as it made its way from an assembly point five miles northwest of Red Square.

Afterward, a people’s parade followed, with thousands carrying small flags hailing “70 years of victory” and placards bearing the portraits of forebearers who gave their lives in a war that brought peace – and longlasting divisions – to Europe.

The breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991 spun the 15 republics into independent nations, some now aligned with the European Union and NATO in a shift of allegiance that is fueling Russia’s quest to reassert its authority over its communist- and imperial-era sphere of influence.