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NATO Shocked: 'Russia Began Sophisticated Military Campaign' in a Heartbeat

© Sputnik / Dmitriy Vinogradov / Go to the photo bankRussian military aircraft at Syria's Hmeimim airfield
Russian military aircraft at Syria's Hmeimim airfield - Sputnik International
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The West has been visibly annoyed with Russia for managing to launch an efficient military operation in Syria so fast since it takes NATO years to provide assistance following a request from an ally, former MI6 agent Alastair Crooke observed.

"What probably irks the West most is that Russia has unfolded – and begun – a sophisticated military campaign in the flash of an eye. NATO bumbles along much more slowly with its complicated structures. Iraqis have long complained that in military terms, assistance promised by the NATO powers takes (literally) years to materialize, whereas requests to Russia and Iran are expeditiously met," he noted in an article titled "Russia's Aim in Syria Is to Strategically Defeat ISIS and Al Qaeda."

But speed is not the only thing bothering the North Atlantic Alliance.

For years NATO was the only organization effectively making decisions regarding war and peace within as well as beyond its own borders. Outside opinion was not taken into account. "Those on the receiving end simply had to endure it. But whilst its destructive powers were evident, its strategic benefits have been far from evident – especially across the Middle East," Crooke pointed out.

© AP Photo / Dmitry Steshin, Komsomolskaya Pravda, Photo via APIn this photo taken on Monday, Oct. 5, 2015, a Russian pilot fixes an air-to-air missile at his Su-30 jet fighter before a take off at Hmeimim airbase in Syria
In this photo taken on Monday, Oct. 5, 2015, a Russian pilot fixes an air-to-air missile at his Su-30 jet fighter before a take off at Hmeimim airbase in Syria - Sputnik International
In this photo taken on Monday, Oct. 5, 2015, a Russian pilot fixes an air-to-air missile at his Su-30 jet fighter before a take off at Hmeimim airbase in Syria

The Russian campaign aimed at assisting the Syrian forces in their fight against the Islamic State and other terrorist groups operating in the country has put an end to this state of affairs and offered a glimpse into what the future might look like.

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Russia's current engagement in the Middle East, according to the analyst, "could mark the coming into birth of something more serious – of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as a putative military alliance."

True, the current coalition, comprising Russia, Iran, Syria, Iraq and Hezbollah, is not a SCO venture. But the group, sometimes branded as 4+1, could well become what Crooke referred to as "a 'pilot' in non-Western, successful coalition-operating."

The SCO and the coalition fighting ISIL in Syria have a lot in common. The latter aims at preempting "NATO-style regime change projects — a prime SCO concern," the expert explained.

Therefore, the West has unleashed a massive negative campaign to discredit the Russian airstrike campaign in Syria.

"It might be seen in some Western quarters as hugely important to set a narrative of failure for the 4+1 alliance, and to denigrate any sense that its military example might have strategic importance for the non-Western world," Crooke concluded.

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