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The Future of U.S. - Russian Relations

United States Russia Vladimir Putin Hillary Clinton International diplomacy

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#621
caltrek

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Russia may have violated the INF Treaty. Here’s how the United States appears to have done the same.

 

https://thebulletin....-done-the-same/

 

Introduction:

(Bulletin of Atomic Scientists) On September 17, 2009 President Obama and his Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, announced a new approach to US missile defense in Europe, the Aegis-based European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA). This approach was to replace the Bush administration’s plan for a Ground-Based Missile Defense (GMD) site in Poland with what Obama described as a “smarter and swifter” defense system. The Polish installation (along with a similar site in Romania) would replace the proposed installation of GMD interceptors with a larger number of much smaller and slower interceptors, guided by Aegis radars normally used on US Navy warships.

 

This political decision to finesse one bad missile defense idea with another has helped create a crisis with Russia over the future of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. The Trump administration announced its suspension of the treaty last week, alleging (as did the Obama administration) that the Russians have violated it by developing a cruise missile that appears to breach the clear limitations on weapons ranges established by the INF. The Russian government responded by also suspending its adherence to the treaty; it has long claimed that United States missile defense installations in Eastern Europe violate the treaty.

 

If no agreement on the INF is reached, both countries could formally withdraw from the pact in six months.

 

The Western press has often treated the Russian claim that US missile defense installations have an offensive capability as rhetorical obfuscation. But publicly available information makes it clear that the US Aegis-based systems in Eastern Europe, if equipped with cruise missiles, would indeed violate the INF. The Obama administration’s internal deliberations on the decision to place Aegis-based missile defenses in Poland and Romania have not been reported in the press. Neither has the precise advice Defense Department advisers gave the president and his policy staff on the capabilities of the Aegis system. I therefore cannot say with certainty whether the Obama administration knew that, with the Aegis-ashore program, it was installing a weapons system in Eastern Europe with offensive capabilities that violated US treaty obligations..

postol-lead-photo.jpg

A cruise missile emerging from a Vertical Launch System box.


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The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#622
caltrek

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Pentagon report: Russian leaders believe they are already at war with the United States—in the gray zone

 

https://thebulletin....-the-gray-zone/

 

Introduction:

 

(Bulletin of Atomic Scientists) A group of governmental, military, and outside experts published a white paper urging the US government to jump fully into the so-called gray zone—the conceptual space in which countries take action that lies somewhere on the continuum between warfare and peaceable relations.  Russia, they say, is exploiting it effectively. It’s in the gray zone that Russia meddles with elections, launches online disinformation campaigns, and uses a host of other means to gain greater leverage in places ranging from the former Soviet states to Latin America.

 

Russian leaders understand warfare differently from people in the United States, Nicole Peterson writes in the report’s executive summary. They already believe they’re at war with the United States and the West, the analyst, who works at consulting-firm NSI Inc., continues. For the Russians, winning this war requires the “integration of all instruments of state power.” To counter this, Peterson writes, the authors of the report believe the United States must use “all instruments of national power.” The gray zone is so important, she suggests, that “once defined, a federal agency dedicated to gray zone activities may be required in order to implement a true whole of government approach to combating Russian influence activities abroad.”

 

The 151-page report, titled Russian Strategic Intentions, was published as part of a Pentagon program called the Strategic Multilayer Assessment. A recent Politico article on the report suggested it hadn’t been widely shared. Some of the approaches the report’s 23 authors recommend the US government undertake share similarities to well-known Russian tactics like using social media to inflame societal divisions.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#623
ralfy

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The U.S. will probably weaken with the petrodollar while BRICS and emerging markets use SDRs.



#624
caltrek

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A path toward renewing arms control

 

https://thebulletin....g-arms-control/

 

Introduction:

 

(Bulletin of Atomic Scientists) At the late June G-20 meeting in Osaka, Japan, US President Trump and Russian President Putin met to discuss a number of issues, including Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Ukraine, and arms control. While all of these are important, none is more urgent at the current time than arms control because we are on the brink of a new arms race that could be an existential threat not only to these two nuclear super powers but to humanity.

 

To deal with the troubled arms control situation before it becomes a catastrophe, Global Priorities—an international network of experts, religious leaders, and non-governmental organization collaborators, all dedicated to reducing nuclear weapons, dangers, and expenditures, in favor of human needs—met in Rome last month to discuss the situation and propose some solutions to avert a disastrous outcome.

 

If the two major nuclear super powers, which between them account for more than 90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons, do not act quickly, the era of arms control—which has lasted for more than 50 years and reduced the combined destructive potential of the two nuclear arsenals from 1.3 million Hiroshima bombs to about 80,000—will end. At that point, a new nuclear arms race, already under way, will accelerate. Unfortunately, the two presidents did not make any progress on this issue at their Osaka meeting. In fact, Putin complained publicly that President Trump did not even want to discuss extending New START (which limits each side to 1,550 deployed strategic nuclear weapons), the only strategic arms reduction treaty currently in place. It went into effect in 2010 and expires in 2021, unless the two nations jointly agree to extend it for another five years, which they can do without approval from the US Senate or the Russian Duma.

arms-control.jpg

Rocket models are stuck in a bucket during a February protest action in Berlin against the imminent withdrawal of the INF disarmament agreement between Russia and the USA.

Photo: Paul Zinken/dpa


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#625
caltrek

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The Senate Intel Committee Just Released a Report Detailing Russia’s “Extensive” Meddling in the 2016 Elections

 

https://www.motherjo...2016-elections/

 

Introduction:

 

(Mother Jones) A new Senate Intelligence Committee report released on Thursday details the “extensive” Russian operation, dating back to at least 2014, to interfere with the 2016 US presidential elections. The bipartisan report says progress has been made in coordinating federal and local efforts to bolster election security. But it also points to ongoing vulnerabilities in elections infrastructure, like voter registration databases, and the need for a stronger message from the government that the country views “an attack on its election infrastructure as a hostile act,” and that it will fight back to “send a clear message and create significant costs for the perpetrator.”


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#626
PhoenixRu

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Very good article from Paul Craig Roberts:

 

The Irresponsibility of Small Nations

 

Key moments:

 

After falsely accusing Russia of violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), Washington unilaterally repudiated the treaty...

 

The INF Treaty was perhaps the most important of all of the arms control agreements... The importance of the treaty is due to its reduction of the chance of accidental nuclear war. Warning systems have a history of false alarms. The problem of US missiles on Russia’s border is that they leave no time for reflection or contact with Washington when Moscow receives a false alarm. Considering the extreme irresponsibility of US governments since the Clinton regime in elevating tensions with Russia, missiles on Russia’s border leaves Russia’s leadership with little choice but to push the button when an alarm sounds.

 

That Washington intends to put missiles on Russia’s border and pulled out of the INF Treaty for this sole purpose is now obvious. Only two weeks after Washington pulled out of the treaty, Washington tested a missile whose research and development, not merely deployment, were banned under the treaty. If you think Washington designed and produced a new missile in two weeks you are not intelligent enough to be reading this column.

 

Military analysts can talk all they want about “rational players,” but if a demonized and threatened country with hostile missiles on its border receives a warning with near zero response time, counting on it to be a false alarm is no longer rational.

 

Little doubt the Romanian and Polish governments have been given bagfulls of money by the US military/security complex, which wants the multi-billion dollar contracts to produce the new missiles. Here we see the extreme irresponsibility of small countries... Even the American puppet state of occupied Germany has refused to host the missiles. But two insignificant states of no importance in the world are subjecting the entire world to the risk of nuclear war so that a few Romanian and Polish politicians can pocket a few million dollars.

 

Why aren’t the Romanian and Polish provocations sufficient justification for Russia to pre-emptively occupy both countries? Is it more provocative for Russia to occupy the two countries than it is for the two countries to host US missiles against Russia? Why only consider the former provocative and not the latter?

 

But he's wrong when attributing this "irresponsibility" to the narrow circle of Polish/Romanian politicians. The truth is that these "two insignificant states of no importance in the world" are sincerely and passionately hating us, despite all the good Russia have done to them.

 

Reminded me the brilliant prophecy of Dostoevsky made in XIX century, when these small states didn't yet existed: "Russia never has had anyone who can hate, envy, slander, and even display open enmity toward her as much as all these Slavic tribes will the moment Russia liberates them".



#627
PhoenixRu

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And another example of Western narcissist madness:

 

The head of the Pentagon called on Russia to behave "like a normal country"

 

Russia should behave “as a more normal country that shares Western values” if it intends to work together with the United States, said Pentagon chief Mark Esper during a speech in Paris.

 

Russia needs to change its behavior and behave in accordance with the rules and norms that we have established. This is the best way to move forward,” said the head of the Pentagon.

 

That's it...

 

“This is hard to comment. The only thing I want to say is that we will rather stay abnormal for now" - Sergei Shoigu, Russian minister of defence.


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#628
caltrek

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I guess on odd numbered days the policy is to be critical of Trump, and on even numbered days to support his presidency.  

 

At any rate, the main reason I came here was to post this:

 

 

House Democrats Are Examining Whether the Middleman in Trump’s Secret Moscow Deal Withheld Information

 

https://www.motherjo...ld-information/

 

 

Introduction:

 

(Mother Jones) When the Democrats took over the House of Representatives, there seemed to be the promise of vigorous investigations and high-profile hearings related to a long array of Donald Trump controversies, including the Trump-Russia scandal and one particular component of that affair: Trump’s secret effort to score a large project in Moscow while he was running for president. Yet the House Dems, as they debated what to do on the impeachment front, have rarely succeeded in mounting probes and holding hearings on Trump that shape the ongoing (and, yes, often crazy) political agenda of the day, week, or month. And the story of Trump’s covert venture in Moscow—like many other tales of Trump corruption—has drifted from public view. The House Intelligence Committee, though, is still on that case, and it is examining whether a key witness in that investigation, a former business associate of Trump, has tried to obstruct its probe—an allegation this onetime Trump ally fiercely denies.

 

First, some background. During the 2016 campaign, Trump repeatedly asserted he had nothing to do with Russia. And when he was asked in December 2015 about his relationship with a man named Felix Sater—a former asset for US intelligence and law enforcement in key terrorism and mafia cases who also has a criminal record—Trump lied and essentially denied knowing the guy: “Felix Sater, boy, I have to even think about it. I’m not that familiar with him.”

 

Yet Trump had worked closely with Sater, a fellow developer, on the Trump Soho, a hotel condominium that opened in 2010 in New York City, and after that Sater had served as a scout for Trump, looking for projects in Russia and elsewhere. Sater even carried a business card identifying him as a Trump Organization consultant. Starting in September 2015, Sater became the middleman in Trump’s latest attempt to develop a tower in Moscow, which had long been a goal for Trump. Collaborating with Michael Cohen, then Trump’s lawyer and fixer, Sater hooked up the Trump Organization with a Russian company for this Moscow deal that could, if successful, reap Trump hundreds of millions of dollars. Trump himself signed a letter of intent for the project in October 2015.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls






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