Negroponte: Russian policy is a threat to US interests.

#1
http://www.mosnews.com/news/2007/01/12/usspyrussianpolicy.shtml

U.S. National Intelligence Director John Negroponte warned Thursday that Russia is becoming a regional energy superpower and increasingly is pursuing foreign policy goals that threaten U.S. and Western interests
...
“A flush economy and perceived policy successes at home and abroad have bolstered Russian confidence, enabled increased defense spending and emboldened the Kremlin to pursue foreign policy goals that are not always consistent with those of Western institutions,”
 
#2
He also said: "Russian assertiveness will continue to inject elements of rivalry and antagonism into US dealings with Moscow...and will dampen our ability to cooperate with Russia on issues ranging from counterterrorism and nonproliferation to energy and democracy promotion in the Middle East. As the recent Litvinenko murder demonstrates, the steady accumulation of problems and irritants threatens to harm Russia’s
relations with the West more broadly."

Meanwhile, where are all the gas profits going? According to the director of Defence Intelligence, "in the general purpose forces, training activity within units of the Permanently Ready Force (PRF), which form the backbone of Russia‘s conventional capability, is at their highest post-Soviet level" while "modernization initiatives are ongoing, with primary emphasis on the SS-27 ICBM and Bulava SLBM strategic systems."

http://intelligence.senate.gov/hearings.cfm?hearingId=2467

Cold War II ?(it will be for central europe if the Russians keep turning the gas/oil off)
 
#3
All that's happening is that Russia is reasserting its true geopolitical weight after the huge retreats of the Yeltsin years.

Russia is never as strong as it thinks it is - or as weak as its enemies think it is.
 
#4
No surprises here at all. Russia is slowly returning to being, well, Russia. Their nuclear forces are unsophisticated but functional and with US combat power tied up in the Middle East I suspect that the US now has very little leverage over Russia.

Indeed, one wonders whether or not it's time for the UK to disengage from the US and cosy up to Russia. We used to have a lot in common with them - wars with France and Germany spring to mind - and they can keep the lights and heating on where the US can't.
 

Nehustan

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On ROPs
#5
What I love is the subtext to this statement, it's truly is hilarious. Russia is a large significant power politically, regarding resources, economically, and in our context geographically. That such a large country might have their own interests and pursue them close to home, to use an Americanism, go figure. It sits between two continents with gateways to the Middle East and by extension Africa. Its not the CIS that has its Fleets positioned around the world far beyond their borders, nor bases again around the world far from its shores. It's telling that this statement can be made so matter of fact; that US Interests are deemed paramount even if they are miles away from home.

The phrase crops up and we are meant to buy the copy...

"threat to US Interests"

"Oh well in that case Washington, do anything you want. We wouldn't want any threats to your interests now would we..."

To the Politicos and/or political pundits US interests stands as synonymous to US national sovereignty. A move against their hegemony is as a literal border incursion and treated similary. Actually if one considers the war against terror they have reacted in rather a less aggressive manner to an actual attack (9/11) than they did to threats against interests say in SE Asia during the cold war (i.e. Korea, Vietnam) or all the nonsense that occured say closer to home (i.e. Latin America).
 
#6
There's an interesting new 4-way 'Great Game' goping on in Central Asia right now, with Russia, USA, China and Iran all vying for influence.
 

Nehustan

On ROPS
On ROPs
#7
AndyPipkin said:
There's an interesting new 4-way 'Great Game' goping on in Central Asia right now, with Russia, USA, China and Iran all vying for influence.

Exactly the point AndyPipkin....

[align=center]
[/align]


Just at a glance one of your mentioned players seems to be absent from this map....
 
#9
Nehustan said:
AndyPipkin said:
There's an interesting new 4-way 'Great Game' goping on in Central Asia right now, with Russia, USA, China and Iran all vying for influence.

Exactly the point AndyPipkin....

[align=center]
[/align]


Just at a glance one of your mentioned players seems to be absent from this map....
Not when you think that they have permanent bases in Turkey, and are wanting the same in Iraq and Afghanistan
 
#10
Nehustan said:
AndyPipkin said:
There's an interesting new 4-way 'Great Game' goping on in Central Asia right now, with Russia, USA, China and Iran all vying for influence.

Exactly the point AndyPipkin....

[align=center]
[/align]


Just at a glance one of your mentioned players seems to be absent from this map....
I see now, it's all just an ellaborate plan to capture Borat.
 

Nehustan

On ROPS
On ROPs
#11
Again exactly the point, and the scarey thing is 'we' buy that as reasonable. Russia's interests in their own backyard (or at least two houses up the road)...somehow sinister. The US has bases all over and support for regimes that are prepared to buy their line, perfectly reasonable.

It's a crazy old world we live in...sometimes I wish we still spoke French.
 
#12
The US has to live with the fact that it is not the only power that has the ability to call shots in other people's backyards. Including in Iraq.
 
#13
AndyPipkin said:
Sergey!

You know that Russian population boom you were on about? You were right:

http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/F8C5F608-FA29-4BB3-A7CA-A6F05B98BE23.htm
You are right Andy and ... quite right.

If the trend continues, the Muslim population could outnumber ethnic Russians within 30 years.
There is a similar trend in the UK, France, Germany and even in Israel.

Recently I visited the city of Ufa (a capital of Bashkortostan). Bashkirs are the 2d largest 'Muslim' people in Russia. I was met in airport by a Bashkir - mr.Gilmutdinov - a tall, blonde, grey eyed lad. As for the largest Russian 'Muslim' people - Tatars, then 10% of them are Orthodox Christians.

I remember a Bashir (a bus driver in the city of Nizhnevartovsk) who drunk a liter of vodka at one minute. So you understand how 'Muslim' he was.

Real Muslim peoples are Chechens, Ingushes, Balkars, Kabardins, Cherkeses, Adygs, Krachay, Avars, Lezgins, Kumyks and other smaller Caucasian peoples. Also there is a lot of foreigners - Muslims in Russia (especially Azeris).
 
#15
AndyPipkin said:
Hi Andy!

The article is old enough (July 2005). There are 4 bases on the map. But 2 of them (in Uzbekistan) have been closed. A base in Tadjikistan is very small and payment for remaining base in Kyrgyzstan is now $150 mln. (instead of $2 mln. previous year).

Moreover

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6218158.stm

US troops in Kyrgyzstan should be stripped of their immunity from prosecution, Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev has said.

A Kyrgyz man was fatally shot by an American soldier at a US airbase near the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek.
...
The ethnic-Russian driver of the fuel lorry, Alexander Ivanov, was shot at the checkpoint after brandishing a homemade knife, a US military spokesman said on Thursday.
 
#16
Nehustan said:
What I love is the subtext to this statement, it's truly is hilarious. Russia is a large significant power politically, regarding resources, economically, and in our context geographically. That such a large country might have their own interests and pursue them close to home, to use an Americanism, go figure. It sits between two continents with gateways to the Middle East and by extension Africa. Its not the CIS that has its Fleets positioned around the world far beyond their borders, nor bases again around the world far from its shores. It's telling that this statement can be made so matter of fact; that US Interests are deemed paramount even if they are miles away from home.

The phrase crops up and we are meant to buy the copy...

"threat to US Interests"

"Oh well in that case Washington, do anything you want. We wouldn't want any threats to your interests now would we..."

To the Politicos and/or political pundits US interests stands as synonymous to US national sovereignty. A move against their hegemony is as a literal border incursion and treated similary. Actually if one considers the war against terror they have reacted in rather a less aggressive manner to an actual attack (9/11) than they did to threats against interests say in SE Asia during the cold war (i.e. Korea, Vietnam) or all the nonsense that occured say closer to home (i.e. Latin America).
Agree with you 100%. The US sees itself as the referee, not another player. Therefore, Iraq invades Kuwait = BAD. US invades Iraq = GOOD. It is their belief that their actions are qulitatively different that seems to lie at the heart of their increasing failure to engage diplomatically and ideologically with large sections of the world.

This self-belief helped sustai them in the Cold War, when tinkering with French and Italian elections and re-building capitalism through Marhall Aid helped cement ideologically compataible political and economic systems in Western Europe. When the Soviets did the same in Eastern Europe (albeit more heavy-handedly) they villified the process of Stalinization.

The difference then was that more people outside the US agreed with their qualitative value judgement of their goals, in Europe if not Indo-China. The problem now is that US self-belief sustains them in actions in areas where large sections of the population most certainly do not share US self-perceptions.

While it is unlikely that US policy-makers will change their minds about themselves, it is to be wished that they would take more account of their need to change others' minds about their actions or be prepared for the consequences of them. Not everyone sees them as the referee because not everyone sees their own interests (quite rightly)as synonomous with those of the US.

The US wants to spread 'freedom' to Iraq and beyond. The problem with freedom? People go and do exactly what they want with it...
 
#17
AndyPipkin said:
Sergey!

You know that Russian population boom you were on about? You were right:

http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/F8C5F608-FA29-4BB3-A7CA-A6F05B98BE23.htm

It may be short lived. From 1 April this year foreigners will not be allowed to trade in Russian markets (where most sellers are from the Caucasus and Central Asia, plus Chinese in the Far East. The same migration law sets a limit of 6m million migrant workers for 2007 when there are already 12m (mostly working illegally) in Russia. It will be interesting to see if the new law really will be enforced - I can't see the Moscow construction boom lasting without cheap (illegal) Tajik labour.
 
#18
bearwoods said:
AndyPipkin said:
Sergey!

You know that Russian population boom you were on about? You were right:

http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/F8C5F608-FA29-4BB3-A7CA-A6F05B98BE23.htm

It may be short lived. From 1 April this year foreigners will not be allowed to trade in Russian markets (where most sellers are from the Caucasus and Central Asia, plus Chinese in the Far East. The same migration law sets a limit of 6m million migrant workers for 2007 when there are already 12m (mostly working illegally) in Russia. It will be interesting to see if the new law really will be enforced - I can't see the Moscow construction boom lasting without cheap (illegal) Tajik labour.
The cynic might see thas law as a tool for keeping migrant workers compliant and disenfranchised rather than a means of actually limiting their numbers. It also gives the Russian state another weapon to use against businesses who annoy them, namely turn up on site and deport their foreign workforce. Play ball and the immigration service mysteriously avoids your factory.
 

Nehustan

On ROPS
On ROPs
#19
LankyPullThrough said:
Nehustan said:
What I love is the subtext to this statement, it's truly is hilarious. Russia is a large significant power politically, regarding resources, economically, and in our context geographically. That such a large country might have their own interests and pursue them close to home, to use an Americanism, go figure. It sits between two continents with gateways to the Middle East and by extension Africa. Its not the CIS that has its Fleets positioned around the world far beyond their borders, nor bases again around the world far from its shores. It's telling that this statement can be made so matter of fact; that US Interests are deemed paramount even if they are miles away from home.

The phrase crops up and we are meant to buy the copy...

"threat to US Interests"

"Oh well in that case Washington, do anything you want. We wouldn't want any threats to your interests now would we..."

To the Politicos and/or political pundits US interests stands as synonymous to US national sovereignty. A move against their hegemony is as a literal border incursion and treated similary. Actually if one considers the war against terror they have reacted in rather a less aggressive manner to an actual attack (9/11) than they did to threats against interests say in SE Asia during the cold war (i.e. Korea, Vietnam) or all the nonsense that occured say closer to home (i.e. Latin America).
Agree with you 100%. The US sees itself as the referee, not another player. Therefore, Iraq invades Kuwait = BAD. US invades Iraq = GOOD. It is their belief that their actions are qulitatively different that seems to lie at the heart of their increasing failure to engage diplomatically and ideologically with large sections of the world.

This self-belief helped sustai them in the Cold War, when tinkering with French and Italian elections and re-building capitalism through Marhall Aid helped cement ideologically compataible political and economic systems in Western Europe. When the Soviets did the same in Eastern Europe (albeit more heavy-handedly) they villified the process of Stalinization.

The difference then was that more people outside the US agreed with their qualitative value judgement of their goals, in Europe if not Indo-China. The problem now is that US self-belief sustains them in actions in areas where large sections of the population most certainly do not share US self-perceptions.

While it is unlikely that US policy-makers will change their minds about themselves, it is to be wished that they would take more account of their need to change others' minds about their actions or be prepared for the consequences of them. Not everyone sees them as the referee because not everyone sees their own interests (quite rightly)as synonomous with those of the US.

The US wants to spread 'freedom' to Iraq and beyond. The problem with freedom? People go and do exactly what they want with it...
Concurrence. I like to term this the Hammas effect.
 
#20
One_of_the_strange said:
bearwoods said:
AndyPipkin said:
Sergey!

You know that Russian population boom you were on about? You were right:

http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/F8C5F608-FA29-4BB3-A7CA-A6F05B98BE23.htm

It may be short lived. From 1 April this year foreigners will not be allowed to trade in Russian markets (where most sellers are from the Caucasus and Central Asia, plus Chinese in the Far East. The same migration law sets a limit of 6m million migrant workers for 2007 when there are already 12m (mostly working illegally) in Russia. It will be interesting to see if the new law really will be enforced - I can't see the Moscow construction boom lasting without cheap (illegal) Tajik labour.
The cynic might see thas law as a tool for keeping migrant workers compliant and disenfranchised rather than a means of actually limiting their numbers. It also gives the Russian state another weapon to use against businesses who annoy them, namely turn up on site and deport their foreign workforce. Play ball and the immigration service mysteriously avoids your factory.
You are right One_of_the_strange. Those in Russia who try to make their business exactly according to the Law would be bankrupts later or sooner.

As for the law then one participant of a popular talk-show asked few very simple questions:

1. Is Japan a democratic state?
2. Are anybody present aware about Japanese laws toward migrants (especially illegal ones)?
3. Has Russia a right to pass laws more softer than Japanese ones?
 

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