Foreign Policy quotes Brent Scowcroft Center Senior Fellow and NATOSource Director Jorge Benitez on Russian air strikes in Syria:

Russia’s use of these precision weapons in actual combat has been minimal, however, and some analysts believe Moscow has different motives in trying to convince the world otherwise. “Using precision-guided munitions are more expensive than traditional gravity bombs, and Moscow may prefer to lose some precision in its airstrikes to save money on what is an already expensive military intervention in the Middle East,” said Jorge Benitez of the Atlantic Council.

Putin, Benitez added, may also believe that exaggerating how often Russia is using precision weapons makes it easier to deflect Western criticism about civilian deaths on the ground, regardless of whether he’s making any serious effort to cause them.

Moscow has “greater willingness to be indiscriminate in the use of force,” he said, adding that “the Russians do not care as much about collateral damage.”

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Related Experts: Jorge Benitez