Archive for the ‘Rood’ Category

Russia, Obama and the Strategic Chess Tournament

December 19, 2008

Within hours of Barack Obama’s election as President of the United States a kind of Slavic chess tournament opened in the Kremlin to defeat the new American president.  Whether it is because he is Black or for whatever reason (and we might not know the Russian reason exactly for some time) Russian President Dmitry Medvev and his predecessor, mentor and Foreign Minister Vladimir Putin, began to pressure, cajole and coerce Mr. Obama.

The chess pieces include the U.S. missile defense plan for Europe, which includes ten or so interceptor missiles and a radar site, both in Poland and the Czech Republic.  Russia wants to checkmate these and get them off the European (and Kremlin) chessboard.

Putin and Medvev have as kings nuclear weapons of their own.  The day after Obama’s election, in an opening move, Medvedev offered to really provide a geographic move of short range nuclear-tipped Iskander missiles closer to Eastern Europe.

The U.S. yawned.

Medvedev backed off this idea largely due to world-wide condemnation at his dangerous bluster.

Today Russia says it will stop developing “some” strategic nuclear weapons if the U.S. halts it European missile shield plan.

This seems to us at Peace and Freedom to be a play by Russia to guarantee future Russian superpower status.  Eastern European (and former Soviet) nations like the Czech Republic and Georgia are gravitating toward the West and NATO, and Russia cannot accept their loss.  That’s why Russia invaded Georgia and South Ossetia last summer….

Related:
Russians Say Medvedev, Obama to Meet “Soon After Jan 20 Inauguration”

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Vladimir Putin is a world-class chess master at getting what he wants.  The former KGB man now  seems poised to return to the presidency of Russia for another term in a few years and he seems to have convinced many, by deception, that missile defenses in Europe are a threat to Russia.

What Putin wants is control of Russia — and a Russia of long term dominance on the world stage.

Conceived way back during the Ronald Reagan presidency and often derisively called “Star Wars” or the missile shield, U.S. missile defense is no threat to Russia or anyone else.  Like a defensive basketball or football player, missile defense is designed and used to block destructive attacking missiles from reaching their goals.

Russia has manipulated the world media for almost two decades to create the illusion that missile defense is some threat to Russians.  In fact, no missile defense missile has the capability of harming Russia or Russians: the “kill mechanism” of a missile defense interceptor is the kinetic energy or crashing into the attacking missile.  The missile defense missile has no warhead — unlike intercontinental ballistic missiles that can carry 10 or so nuclear warheads, each capable of annihilating millions of people and entire cities.

The U.S. missile defense effort for Europe has been a long and painstaking discussion going back two decades.  Along with thousands of others, I participated myself in these discussions, forums and conferences, in the early 1990s, on two levels: first as co-chairman of a NATO study (one of several) to determine the efficacy and implications of a European missile defense to stop missiles like those being developed by Iran targeted on Europe; and then on U.S. government missions to Moscow to show with credible evidence that a U.S. missile defense was no threat to Russia — or anybody.

By the middle 1990s, the Russians seemed to agree that U.S. missile defenses, even in Europe, were no threat to Russia or Russians.

In 2002, the United States, after years of notification to Russia and discussions with Russia, withdrew from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty which had been made with the Soviet Union.  This action was necessary to permit testing of U.S. missile defenses — which had targets and interceptors that could have posed an international legal discussion vis-a-vis the treaty.

Then an interesting thing happened.  Vladimir Putin in Russia decided that he wanted a resurgent Russia with renewed superpower status, like that enjoyed during the Cold War Soviet era.  As Russia developed its oil reserves, exports gave him the financial clout he needed despite an aging and creaky military machine.  But an expert at media and public manipulation, Putin went to work to achieve his goals and to stifle U.S. objectives on many fronts.

Putin Medvedev
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Above: Vladimir Putin speaks with his presidential successor, Dmitry Medvedev, in parliament May 8, 2008. Putin brought Medvedev from the post of Charman of Gazprom, Russia’s oil giant, to become his chief of staff and later preident.  Now Medvedev has proposed a longer term for Russia’s president and it is no secret that Putin wants to come back as President of Russia.  Photo: Sergei Chirikov AFP/Getty Images

The suave, handsome and articulate Mr. Putin and Mr. Medvedev are also quick to reveal clumsy bluster and intimidation — which is what the recent threat to move Iskander missiles closer to Poland seems to have been.

Russia also attacked neighbors in Georgia and South Ossetia — quickly turning ignored intimidation into acts of war.

Russia continues a very aggressive trade relationship with Iran, which continues to develop more capable ballistic missiles, nuclear technology (with Russian help) and sends verbal assaults at least weekly at Israel and the U.S. (”Israel should be wiped from the map,” said Iran’s President Ahmadinejad).

Efforts to slow or stop Iran’s nuclear development in the United Nations are routinely thwarted by Russia and China.

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

Now a global media tired of George W. Bush and enamored by Barack Obama has absolutely no time for the truth of the missile defense situation.  This weekend Agence France-Presse (AFP) wrote a photograph caption on a picture of French President Sarkozy and Russian President Medvedev which read, “Sarkozy urged Russia and the United States to stop threatening each other with missiles and missile shields.” (see below)

The fact is that U.S. missile defense threatens nobody — with missiles incabale of landing on Russian targets and without warheads.  The U.S. has even offered Russia the opportunity to place Russian inspectors at U.S. missile defense sites, 24 hours a day and 365 days a year to ensure no sneaky bad guys alter these defensive systems for attack.  The difficulty of converting a missile defense system for attack is, well, like secretly and quickly rerouting the Space Shuttle from a mission to the International Space Station and then attempting a manned landing on Mars.  Russia knows this is a crazy notion — but many in the media and others have swallowed this brainless Russian borscht.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy (L) speaks with President of ... 
French President Nicolas Sarkozy (L) speaks with President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev, before the Europe-Russia finance reform summit in Nice southern France. Sarkozy urged Russia and the United States to stop threatening each other with missiles and missile shields Friday and called for talks on Europe’s future security. (AFP/Valery Hache)
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NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer called the Russian remarks on moving missiles in Europe unsolicited, unnecessary and unhelpful.

Russia has also said that a missile defense system in Europe will “negate” its thousands of nuclear armed missiles.  But the European missile defense system is only intended to have 10 interceptors — which would be easily and quickly overwhelmed by a Russian attack.

Russia's "Iskander" missile system on display ... 
Russia’s “Iskander” missile system on display at a military exhibition in the Siberian town of Nizhny Tagil in 2005. President Dmitry Medvedev has said Russia will place short-range missile systems on the EU’s eastern border to counter planned US missile defence installations in Eastern Europe.(AFP/VEDOMOSTI/File/Evgeny Stetsko)

Threating people in Europe with nuclear destruction is a gossly over the top Russian act of instigation and intimidation — and it makes no sense in the post-Cold War world.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ribert Gates said the threat from Russia, made just after the U.S. election of President-elect Barack Obama, was “hardly the welcome a new American administration deserves. Such provocative remarks are unnecessary and misguided.”

“Quite frankly I’m not clear what the missiles would be for in Kaliningrad, after all the only real emerging threat on Russia’s periphery is in Iran and I don’t think the Iskander missile has the range to get there from Kaliningrad,” Gates added. “Why they would threaten to point missiles at European nations seems quite puzzling to me.”
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Medevev and supposedly Putin have now backed away from their threat to move Iskander missiles but they have created an incredible fog of lies in the air — which many in the international media and elsewhere have swollowed.

U.S. missile defense, and the European effort with Poland and the Czech Republic, is no threat to Russia or anybody else.  It is a system to bat down incoming nuclear warheads from long-range missiles, like those Iran continues to test.

By John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia

Russia Testing Obama: Says No To U.S. Missile Defense & Offers To Stop “Some” Rus Weapons

December 19, 2008

Russia has again made an offer, a kind of coercion really in true Slavic style, that would agree to certain Russian weapons moves in exchange for the U.S. to shelve its missile defense system in Europe.

Within hours of Barack Obama’s election last November, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said unless the U.S. stopped its missile defense program that includes Poland and the Czech Repulic, he’d move nuclear tipped Iskander missiles into Eastern Europe.  Now the Kremlin says when the U.S. halts missile defense, Russia will stop building ‘some’ of its new class of intercontinental strategic nuclear missiles….

This looks to us at Peace and Freedom to be more “testing” of Barack Obama from Russia, just as John Rood of the State Department predicted earlier this week…

A Russian Topol-M ICBM intercontinental ballistic missile is ... 
A Russian Topol-M ICBM intercontinental ballistic missile is driven across Red Square in a Victory Day Parade in Moscow, May 2008. Russia’s armed forces will be equipped with new nuclear-capable missiles by 2020 that can overcome defensive measures like the controversial US missile shield, a top military official said on Wednesday.(AFP/File/Yuri Kadobnov)

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Related:
 Russia’s Putin Warns Foes: Don’t Mess With Russia

Russia, Obama and the Slavic Chess Tournament

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia will stop developing some strategic weapons if the United States drops plans for a missile shield in Europe, Interfax news agency quoted the commander of Russia’s strategic missile forces as saying on Friday.

“If Americans give up plans to deploy the third positioning region and other elements of the strategic missile defense system then certainly we will adequately respond to it,” said Colonel-General Nikolai Solovtsov.

“We will simply not need a number of expensive programs,” he added. The U.S. missile shield plan includes interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar in the Czech Republic.

(Writing by James Kilner)

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visits a ballistic missile ...
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visits a ballistic missile site in Russia in October. Russia is developing missiles designed to avoid being hit by space-based missile defence systems that could be deployed by the United States, a top Russian general was quoted as saying Monday.
(AFP/Pool/File/Dmitry Astakhov)

US, Russia discuss missile shield, arms control

December 15, 2008

U.S. officials are holding talks with Russia on the divisive subject of missile defense and on other arms and security issues.

The U.S. says its plans for missile shield installations in Poland and the Czech Republic would counter a potential threat from Iran. Russia claims the real aim is to weaken its nuclear deterrent.

Russia is already pressuring the incoming administration of President-elect Barack Obama to scrap the plans and has threatened to deploy missiles near the Polish border.

Monday’s talks were also to address efforts to negotiate a follow-on deal to the 1991 START nuclear arms agreement, which expires in a year.

The U.S. delegation is led by John Rood, the acting undersecretary of state for arms control and international security.

US, Russia to discuss missile shield in Moscow next week

December 11, 2008

The United States and Russia will hold next talks in Moscow next week on a planned US missile defence shield in Eastern Europe, Itar-Tass agency reported Thursday quoting a junior Russian foreign minister.

“It is too early to forecast the results of this meeting… Everything depends on the new US administration’s assessment of the subject,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov.

A Russian foreign ministry source told Interfax news agency the talks will be held on December 15.

“A new round of talks on political and military questions including the misile defence shield and the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) will take place on December 15 behind closed doors,” said the source.

AFP

John Rood, US under secretary of state for arms control and international security, will meet Ryabkov in the Moscow talks.

US Under Secretary of State John Rood answers a journalist's ... 
US Under Secretary of State John Rood answers a journalist’s question in Budapest in February 2008 during his press conference after talks on missile defence with his Russian counterparts. The United States and Russia will hold next talks in Moscow next week on a planned US missile defence shield in Eastern Europe, Itar-Tass agency reported Thursday quoting a junior Russian foreign minister.(AFP/File/Attila Kisbenedek)

Moscow has sharply criticised the US plans to put an anti-missile radar in the Czech Republic and interceptor missiles in Poland, despite US assurances that the system is not directed against Russia.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin urged US president-elect Barack Obama last month to drop the planned missile shield.

Obama, who takes office on January 20, has yet to say whether he intends to continue the plan created by the outgoing administration of Republican president George W. Bush.