The news of Syria shooting down a Russian plane is not getting the attention it deserves. Think about this, for a minute. 1/
Russia, America, Syria, Iran, Israel and non-state actors are all at war in Syria. Three of the powers have long-range missiles and strategic weapons. All are heavily armed and operating under uncertain rules of engagement. 2/
There are at least three ongoing and systemic conflicts (Israel/Syria, Israel/Iran, US-Russia) where loss of life or conflict could escalate quickly, particularly by commanders on the ground. 3/
Uncertain communication, radar and early warning networks, and the risk of computer hacking, glitches, third party action could lead any one of the parties to believe an escalation is underway with no way to verify or discount. 4/
Russia and US (and NATO) spent decades building up guardrails and rules of the road to de-escalate these kinds of conflicts, but none exist in the ME among key actors and US-Russian systems are not designed for these regions, have been neglected. 5/
Russia's blaming Israel tactics is an example of how the fog of war can intervene at anytime. The lack of strategic communication between US-Russia, Israel and Iran (to say nothing or Turkey who shot down a Russian jet a few years back) all creates tinder for escalation.
In addition to cease-fire by all sides, US-Russia, Israel-Iran, and other parties need to establish proven, reliable strategic communication systems and comms to ensure we can de-escalate in a crisis. When you re in a crisis, there is no time to create these on the fly.
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