2017年05月13日

ロシアがシリアへの対応を中止することが出来ない理由

May 4, 2017 | 01:21 GMT
Why Russia Can't Quit Syria
YURI KOCHETKOV   AFP May 4, 2017

ロシアがシリアへの対応を中止することが出来ない理由

It can be difficult to separate the important from unimportant on any given day. Reflections mean to do exactly that — by thinking about what happened today, we can consider what might happen tomorrow. In the resort town of Sochi, on the Black Sea coast, Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed a possible exit strategy from Syria with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Today's meeting reinforces the urgency with which Russia is trying to extricate itself from the situation it has become mired in.

given:いつ何時でも
Reflections:熟慮
reinforces:より強固にする
extricate:抜け出す
mired:窮地に陥る

One of the topics up for discussion was the implementation of de-escalation zones — or so-called safe zones — in Syria, part of a proposal to advance the political negotiations on ending the ongoing conflict. Elsewhere in the region, however, Syrian rebels walked out of peace talks in the Kazakh capital of Astana on May 3, spoiling efforts to get Syrian belligerents to discuss a potential solution to the conflict. The move highlights the difficulties Russia is facing — and just how unlikely the Kremlin is to succeed in its plan of making a smooth departure.

belligerents:交戦相手

Russia's intervention in Syria, operating alongside Iran in support of Syrian loyalist forces, has succeeded in several ways. For one, Russia's involvement stabilized the battlefield and restored the advantage to Syrian troops. Furthermore, its entry into the conflict not only secured basing in the country but also provided a proving ground in which to season personnel and showcase Russian military hardware. Finally, the intervention has elevated Moscow's geopolitical heft, marking the Kremlin as a key player in the region.

basing:拠点とする
proving:はっきり示す
season:鍛える・適応させる
heft:影響力

Nevertheless, having played a major part in the conflict, Russia is now seeking to remove itself from the battlefield in a timely manner. For all the gains reaped from its involvement in the Syrian crisis, Moscow also understands the considerable costs — and, more important, that the advantages it has accrued thus far could easily be squandered over time, especially if the war drags on with no end in sight.

reaped:得る
accrued:生じる
thus far:これまでのところ
squandered:無駄にする

Moscow's relations with important rebel backers such as Turkey and the Gulf Cooperation Council have also been shaken, especially as Russia has intensified its support for Damascus. That support, moreover, has come at a price paid in blood and treasure. The rate of Russian military casualties has risen in recent months, largely as a result of its troops' increased involvement on the ground.

shaken:落ち着きを失う

Perhaps more important, though, Moscow is well aware that the longer it remains stuck in Syria, the less able it will be to reach a favorable and self-serving agreement. Russia has long tried to use its position in the conflict as a means to exact larger concessions from the United States and Europe, forcing them to the negotiating table. Yet as the Khan Sheikhoun chemical weapons attack carried out by Syrian aircraft illustrates, events can quickly expose the limits of Russia's influence in the country. Meanwhile, Russian troops continue to find themselves facing determined opposition forces, and Moscow has been beset by the same dilemmas the United States has faced in the past decade in Iraq and Afghanistan.

self-serving:私欲に走る
exact:要求する
determined:意志の強い
beset:悩まされる
Khan Sheikhoun chemical weapons attack:The Khan Shaykhun chemical attack took place on 4 April 2017 on the town of Khan Shaykhun in the Idlib Governorate of Syria. At the time of the attack, the town was under the control of Tahrir al-Sham, formerly known as the al-Nusra Front. The town was reported to have been struck by a heavy airstrike by government forces followed by massive civilian chemical poisoning. The release of the toxic gas, which included sarin, or a similar substance, killed at least 74 people and injured more than 557, according to the Idlib health authority. The attack was the deadliest use of chemical weapons in the Syrian civil war since the Ghouta chemical attack in 2013.

The attack was conducted by the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad according to international human rights organizations and governments of the United States, United Kingdom, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, France, and Israel. The Assad government denied using any chemical weapons in the air strike. The Russian Defense Ministry said Syrian aircraft bombed a warehouse belonging to rebels which "may have contained a rebel chemical arms stockpile". In response, on 7 April, the United States launched 59 cruise missiles at Shayrat Air Base, which U.S. intelligence believed was the source of the attack.

In an attempt to avoid the quagmire scenario, Russia shifted its position late last year. Evidence of this emerged first during talks with the United States, and again as Moscow sought to take advantage of a detente with Turkey, edging toward a negotiated political solution buttressed by cease-fire initiatives. But Turkey was unwilling and unable to persuade an increasingly radicalized rebel landscape into making the concessions Russia sought. And all the while, Russia's intensifying involvement in the conflict served to undermine Ankara's mediation attempts. Moreover, the Syrian government, along with Iran, remained skeptical of Russian initiatives and motives, proving more willing to pursue a military solution to a conflict that is far more critical to Damascus' and Tehran's core interests.

quagmire:窮地
detente:緊張緩和
edging:少しずつ動かす
buttressed:強化する
mediation:調停

The reality is that a negotiated political solution to the Syrian conflict is more unlikely now than when Russia first began taking tentative steps toward an exit. Continued violence has undermined any faith left in the effectiveness of numerous declared cease-fires — truces that would have been a critical foundation to further negotiations. Meanwhile, rebel factions have grown more hard-line over time, displaying a remarkable resilience amid overwhelming firepower from the loyalists and their allies. It is increasingly apparent that even if the rebels were pushed back militarily, they would more likely resort to insurgent and guerilla tactics en masse than lay down their arms. At the same time, Russia’s ability to play a mediating role has been thoroughly weakened by its heavy air campaigns against rebel towns and villages — something the rebels prominently highlighted as they walked away from the Astana talks today.

faith:信頼
truces:休戦協定
factions:派閥争い
resilience:回復力
resort:に訴える
insurgent:反乱者
en masse:集団全員で
prominently:目立つように

Russia, along with Iran, has found itself stuck in an enduring conflict with no easy exit. Even as Moscow continues to ponder its escape, any negotiated settlement must ultimately serve the Kremlin's best interests, an objective that is proving increasingly difficult to achieve. Unable to entirely abandon Damascus and equally unwilling to give up its interests in Syria, Moscow's role in the dispute could hurt rather than help its attempts to improve critical relationships with nations such as the United States, Germany and Turkey. Just as the tides of war can turn on the battlefield, Russia's fortunes have changed in Syria, and not for the better. And as the Russian and Turkish presidents conclude their meeting in Sochi today, one question surely remains for the Kremlin: What is the viable endgame?

viable:実現可能な

ロシアがかってのアメリカのように、シリアの泥沼に嵌っている。抜け出ようとしているのだが、出来ない。今のままのシリアから手を引くことも、反乱軍の攻勢を抑えることも、アメリカ、ヨーロッパ、トルコとの関係を維持することもままならない。このままではロシアの今までの成果がなくなってしまう。

中東は米ソがどうあがいても、まとまらない。中東は中東に任せるしかないのだろう。トルコとイランとのバランスが気になるが、そうした外交での関与が一番いいのかもしれない。アメリカがイランとの関係を変化させようとしているが、それは危険だ。敵対してはいけない。トルコに対しても同様だ。エルドアンの専制体制を非難してはいけない。

日曜日。今日は本書きだ。ではまた明日。






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海野 恵一
1948年1月14日生

学歴:東京大学経済学部卒業

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アクセンチュア株式会社代表取締役(2001-2002)
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