I reported last week that the Taliban and ISIS appear to be making gains in Afghanistan [stderr] and hypothesized that the Russians might provide subtle covert support to make the US experience there more unpleasant and costly.
I’m not fond of the “Putin is a chessmaster” meme.
I am, however, willing to say he’s nobody to piss off; it’s just not a good idea to mess with someone whose idea of subtle revenge is to poison an enemy with Polonium-209. Putin doesn’t just say “fuck you” – he says “fuck you” and he means it.
It’s really sad to see that the US military is so desperate and stupid that they had to try showing how capable they are, by showing how capable they aren’t.
Adam Curtis’ video “Bitter Lake” has an interesting little aside about some unexpected effects of geo-engineering in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. It raised the water table, which raised salinity closer to the surface of farmlands, which had the result of killing certain crops, but not others.