Archive for the ‘Castro’ Category

Pressuring Obama: International Actors Take Risks Amid Uncertainty

March 14, 2009

An international series of moves on the strategic map or chessborad is ongoing in an apparent effort to get the first move from America’s new president, Barack Obama.

Russia has orchestrated the closing of a key U.S. air base at Manas in Kyrgyzstan, China has seen fit to harass a U.S. naval vessel in the South China Sea and now Russia has failed to deny the possibility that Russian bombers could be based in Venezuela and or Cuba.

The problem with these moves is that it puts the president into a reactive rather than a proactive position and the incidents themselves lend themselves to escalation unintended and accidental.

When China wanted to send the “back-off” message to President George W. Bush early in his administration by harassing a U.S. Navy surveillance  aircrft using a Chinese PLA (Air Force) fighter, the aircaft collided, killing the Chinese pilot and leading to “detention” of the American aircrew.

One has to hope that the Obama Administration has made it perfectly clear to China and Russia that this kind of conduct is not helpful at the least and potentially very dangerous.

But no public mention of that effort has been made publically, which could mean other like Hugi Chavez in Venezuela get the wrong idea and take additional unnecassary risks and miscalcualtions we don’t need….
“Mark my words,” Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden warned last October. “It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking.”

“Remember I said it standing here if you don’t remember anything else I said. Watch, we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.”


By DAVID NOWAK, Asssociated Press
MOSCOW – A Russian Air Force chief said Saturday that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has offered an island as a temporary base for strategic Russian bombers, the Interfax news agency reported.

The chief of staff of Russia‘s long range aviation, Maj. Gen. Anatoly Zhikharev, also said Cuba could be used to base the aircraft, Interfax reported.

The Kremlin, however, said the situation was hypothetical.

“The military is speaking about technical possibilities, that’s all,” Alexei Pavlov, a Kremlin official, told The Associated Press. “If there will be a development of the situation, then we can comment,” he said.

Zhikharev said Chavez had offered “a whole island with an airdrome, which we can use as a temporary base for strategic bombers,” the agency reported. “If there is a corresponding political decision, then the use of the island … by the Russian Air Force is possible.”

Interfax reported he said earlier that Cuba has air bases with four or five runways long enough for the huge bombers and could be used to host the long-range planes.

Two Russian bombers landed in Venezuela last year in what experts said was the first Western Hemisphere touchdown of Russian military craft since the end of the Cold War.

Cuba has never permanently hosted Russian or Soviet strategic aircraft. But Soviet short-range bombers often made stopovers there during the Cold War.

Russia resumed long-range bomber patrols in 2007 after a 15-year hiatus.

Independent military analyst Alexander Golts said from a strategic point of view there was nothing for Russia to gain from basing long-range craft within relatively short range of U.S. shores.

“It has no military sense. The bombers don’t need any base. This is just a retaliatory gesture,” Golts said, saying Russia wanted to hit back after U.S. ships patrolled Black Sea waters.

Read the rest:

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Analysts: Russia outmaneuvered U.S. over air base

 Obama Could Lose Afghanistan, Pakistan

 Obama bans term “enemy combatant,” joins “terrorist” in unusable list

Obama Policy On Gitmo, Taliban, Afghanistan, Intel: As Stupid as It Gets

 Obama Backs Off, Japan Ready To Shoot Down North Korean Missile

Obama: Troop move to Mexican border under consideration

 Obama Backs-Off On Human Rights Issues: Economy is That Important

In this photo released by the U.S. Navy, one of two Russian ... 
In this photo released by the U.S. Navy, one of two Russian Tupolev 95 Bear long rang bomber aircraft is seen near the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Nimitz on Feb. 9, 2008, south of Japan. The Interfax news agency reported Saturday March 14, 2009 that a Russian Air Force chief says Russian strategic bombers may be based in Cuba. Russia resumed long-range bomber patrols in 2007 after a 15-year hiatus. (AP Photo/U.S. Navy)

Some global adversaries ready to give Obama chance

January 25, 2009

In his inaugural address, President Barack Obama signaled conciliation to America’s foes by using the metaphor of an outstretched hand to an unclenched fist.

By Paul Haven, Associated Press Writer

Already, there are signs that some of those foes were listening, sensing an opening for improved relations after eight combative years under President George W. Bush. Fidel Castro is said to like the new American leader, and North Korea and Iran both sounded open to new ideas to defuse nuclear-tinged tensions.

Unclear is what they will demand in return from the untested American statesman, and whether they will agree to the compromises the U.S. is likely to insist on in exchange for warmer relations.

Read the rest:

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks at the Natanz uranium ... 
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility.(AFP/File/Atta Kenare)