Sunday, August 17, 2008

Confronting the Russian Bear Again

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With Russia's offensive actions last week against former satellite state Georgia, other former liberated states are acknowledging that it may be in their best interest to cozy up to the US regardless of the potential downside:

The proposal, made amid growing outrage among Russia's neighbours over its military campaign in Georgia, could see Ukraine added to Moscow's nuclear hitlist. A Russian general declared Poland a target for its arsenal after Warsaw signed a deal with Washington to host interceptor missiles for America's anti-nuclear shield.

...Ukraine said it was ready to give both Europe and America access to its missile warning systems after Russia earlier annulled a 1992 cooperation agreement involving two satellite tracking stations. Previously, the stations were part of Russia's early-warning system for missiles coming from Europe.

"The fact that Ukraine is no longer a party to the 1992 agreement allows it to launch active cooperation with European countries to integrate its information," a statement from the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said.
Now the question is will they be offered the chance to join NATO. That would be the final step in assuring that they will remain free nations but also will come with economic cost if Russia decides to cut off the natural gas and oil taps.

I would suspect that both Poland and the Ukraine looked at the pros and cons and saw that even if they were now in the targeting plans of Russia, the shield would protect them and a move that drastic by the Soviets Russians would be met with stiff reprisals from NATO regardless.

The next Cold War has started and the US seems ready to tweak Russia at every opportunity. This week has shown the US that Russian forces are suspect at best and would not be able to attain anything close to their previous Cold War status without years of training and major technical upgrades to equipment. Conversely, US forces have been trained to a level not see in decades through battles in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our air power is unmatched and the US military man (and woman) has learned things in the field that could never be taught in a classroom.

Here's to hoping that the bad old days of the 1970's are not revisited with an inept Obama administration that seems more Carteresque than Trumanesque. Obama would gut our military, just as Jimmah did and seem shocked they couldn't produce when called upon.

Update: Prof Glenn has the goods on NATO and the detrimental effect of Vlad Putin's actions.

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