Russia’s naval task force: Power play or just theatre?

Time alone will tell if this Task Force is an operational paper tiger (or should we say 'bear'), but as a political signal it is very significant. Several reports have appeared lately indicating that Russia may be trying to re-establish a network of overseas military bases. So, is this deployment part of such an initiative or just another phase of the complex Russian role in the Syrian War? When viewed alongside the recent Chinese activities in the Horn of Africa (see recent Broadsides post on this subject) it might seem that we are witnessing the dawn of new era of sea power, or to be more accurate, of the political use of naval forces. Or are we seeing the use of naval forces to stake out new Empires? Maybe it is time to dust off the  writings of the great naval thinkers such as Mahan, Corbett and, especially, Sir James Cable. Le plus ca change le plus c'est la meme chose?


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