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United States and Poland Agree on Missile Defense Deal

From the New York Times:
The United States and Poland reached a long-stalled deal on Thursday to place an American missile defense base on Polish territory, in the strongest reaction so far to Russia’s military operation in Georgia.

Russia reacted angrily, saying that the move would worsen relations with the United States that have already been strained severely in the week since Russian troops entered separatist enclaves in Georgia, a close American ally.
I wonder how far Russia-West relations will spiral?  We may continue to see a tit-for-tat exchange that has real consequences on the institutions and defense postures that govern these delicate relations.  From EU Observer:
The US missile deal had an instant impact on already fragile Polish-Russian relations, with Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, cancelling a scheduled trip to Warsaw in September as soon as media reported the initialling ceremony would take place.

"It is this kind of agreement, not the differences between the US and Russia over South Ossetia, which could lead to a real rise in the tension in Russian-American relations," the Russian parliament's foreign affairs committee chairman, Konstantin Kosachev, told Interfax.

The US-Russia deal "cannot go unpunished" Russian general, Anatoly Nogovitsyn, said. "Poland, by deploying [the missiles] is exposing itself to a strike - 100 percent."
See also from Atlantic Review:
* Georgia Conflict Gives Boost to European Missile Defense Talks
Euro-Missile Talks Are Back, Leaving "New Europe" Behind


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Don S on :

What do the Russians expect? The Georgian war worsened US-Russian and Polish-Russian relations a great deal. When faced with an iron-fisted act of ntimidation what do you do? Stay intimidated? Or close ranks? There were big differences betwen the US and Poland on the missle deal - until the Russians dwarfed those differences by crushing Georgia (imlicitly promising the same to all uppity ex-satellites like Poland).

SC on :

The problem with a threat like this "The US-Poland deal 'cannot go unpunished' Russian general, Anatoly Nogovitsyn, said. 'Poland, by deploying [the missiles] is exposing itself to a strike - 100 percent.'" is that it comes off as bluster. Does anyone believe that Poland was not already operating under the assumption that it would be targeted in any war gamed, or actual, confrontation between NATO and Russia: Remember, confrontation between the US and Russia is a confrontation between Russia and NATO. So is our Russian general threatening an immanent invasion in defense of the beleaguered Kaliningrad? I doubt it. Is he threatening airstrikes to remove the missile system? I doubt it. There are times when it is better to say little or nothing.

SC on :

Postscript: I'm not sure that Georgia should feel all that comforted by this development. I doubt that it has escaped the attention of Washington that Russian could respond by gobbling up Georgia.

Don S on :

The threats made the headlines in Saturday editions of the British papers. Lech Walensa was quoted in the Telegraph: "Russia's behavior is enforcing a new solidarity between European countries" "We need to stick together more. If we stick together then any agression won't pay off. With the conflict between Georgia and Russia everyone has lost. Everyone needs to wake up." The Russian reaction is enormously out of proportion with the situation in Europe. The only way it can be justified at all is if one assumes that Russia has an absolute right to dominate all the former satellites and the former membership of the Warsaw Pact. That is the rights of the Russian government absolutely trump the rights of democratically-elected governments in ALL it's former satelite countries! This will not play well in France, which actually believes in 'Libertie, Egalite, Fraternitie'. I don't even think most Germans can go along with Putin - even though the observed German tolerance for tyranny elsewhere is far higher than in almost any other western nation. I hink Putin has massively miscalculated in this crisis. The threarts impress nobody outside the Russian Federation to the degree he appears to believe. Does he really think this will impress the Americans or the Chinese? It's the Chinese who are the real threat to imperial Russia. Let's not forget that Czarist Russia ripped an enormous swathe of territory from a Manchu dynasty weakened by the Taiping rebellion. Does Putin think the Chinese don't remember that? They do. But the Chinese play a long game. Should Russia weaken in future Putin (or his successor) may find that two can play at this kind of game, Russia can be the victime of a destabilizing campaign as well as the perpetrator. And Putin's strategy the past 3 years have forfeited most western sympathy for Russia.

Marie-Claude on :

Don, the "Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité" are galvauded nowadays, the "real policy" based on interest and opportunism replaced them as so for the moral principles of your country.

Don S on :

Franchie, right? I won't claim that the French aren't a bit hypoctitical about "Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité" any more than I will try to claim that we in the US always always live up to our ideals. We slip plenty of times - and so do you. But many years of observing the French with mixed like and dislike have lead me to a certain respect for French idealism. One of the things Mon General was talking about when he spoke of "A certain idea of France" was "Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité" - and I think it is very real, if not always controlling....

Marie-Claude on :

yes, but the modern world doesn't breed these kind of persons any more, nowhere !!! except, may-be, still by the Native south Americans ????

Don S on :

Men like DeGaulle are always rare. I see him as the greatest Gaulle since Charlemagne, certainly one of the top 5 Frenchmen of all time. So we probably won't see his like again in our lifetimes. But - there are others worthy of admiration, even in this century. Clemenceau, Jaures, Monnet, Delors, even Mitterand, no? Sarko has potential. I see him as a unique character, a man of some strength as well as flawed. Sometimes the circumstances make the man; France, Germany, and Italy were in desperate crisis post-war. So Audenauer, DeGaulle, and De Gasperi were found, or rather made themselves. The latter two only started their careers at an age after most politicians retire, and DeGaulle wasn't young either.

Zyme on :

It is this kind of deals that not only worsen Russian-American relations. They also contribute to alienating the EU from the US and isolating Poland in Europe. It is the EU's ambition to become responsible for a common foreign and defense policy in Europe. When the Polish disregard French and German position by directly confronting Russia, this is not going to please Brussels either. So it is ever more urgent that the Treaty of Lisbon is enacted, so that reason may prevail against these aberrations. Clearly a united stance would prevent similar runaways.

Marie-Claude on :

Zyme, seems we have no more choice left the Georgia crisis made it evident, apparently, Frau Merkel, opted for the western (american) vision of the geopolicies : Georgia will likely become a Nato member. Now, is Nato sufficient to conter a super-powerful bationalism like Russian's ? I doubt, we still need to get that EU army some are already on the project :

quo vadis on :

The Russians will not face off in open military confrontation with NATO, that's too risky. They will organize a brutal insurgency in Georgia making life for ordinary Georgians difficult. You heard it here first.

Zyme on :

I would not overestimate Merkel's statement about Georgia into the Nato now - it is just a comforting statement meaning nothing else than that this country is "on the road" to Nato. You know, like Turkey into the EU ;) It is probably accompanied by additional plans of trading treaties with the EU - although I hope the European leadership remains reasonable and keeps Georgia out of any kind of alliance.

Joerg on :

[i]country is "on the road" to Nato.[/i] That road is of Caucasian quality...

Marie Claude on :

the response to the Poland missiles seems they were used for Grosnt

John in Michigan, USA on :

Marie-Claude, Good links, interesting interpretation. It think you have captured the new Russian position: A country Russia in Russia's sphere of influence, Poland, takes defensive measures; therefore Russia may place offensive missiles in another country it its sphere, thus creating "linkage" between the two issues. The missiles in S. Ossetia will stay there until the missiles in Poland leave. All this could be justified as a sort of real politique...up to a point. One of the problems with real politique and "national interests" is, this idea of "linkage" can be stretched to cover any issue, anyplace in the world. To maintain this linkage, Russia is hoping we (US and Europe) ignore the fact that Georgia doesn't threaten Russia's nukes, and in fact poses no threat to Russia itself, and hasn't for 100's of years. We must also ignore that the Polish missiles are no threat to Russia unless Russia plans to nuke Poland or elsewhere in Europe. Also we must ignore the fact that the Poles want our help, but the Georgians do not want Russian help. The S. Ossetians probably do want Russian help...but we didn't interfere in the affairs of the [url=]Kaliningrad Oblast[/url], did we? With the right propaganda, one can create linkage between just about anything. For example, suppose Russia announced that American unmanned exploration of Mars is in fact prelude to an occupation and an American monopoly of the rich Martian natural resources...and Russia will therefore occupy every country bordering the Black Sea and claim their resources until we agree to get off Mars. It makes it all seem like it is just competition over resources and interests, when the real reason is psychological: Russia is embarrassed that its space program, which used to be the equal of ours, is in fact limited to military and to the mostly useless ISS (International Space Station). Of course it is nonsense, but given the things we've heard from Russia of late, I am certain they could convince themselves if they tried. So, is it reasonable to "link" Poland and Georgia in this way? How far can "linkage" be stretched? What are the limits to a country's sphere of influence, and more importantly, who decides? What are the rules of real politique? I ask these questions to everyone.

Marie Claude on :

I dunno if you'd like this link : seems he has a few points Well, I was joking somewhere else about who will claim for the Moon, Mars, Uranus... I launched the bets also that France doesn't take part in the race, being awarded of Venus', kinda an initiated behavioural habit :lol:

Marie Claude on : the century error of the neo-cons ???

John in Michigan, USA on :

Thanks for the additional links. The article itself provides additional links, which is good. However, it most repeats arguments that have already been addressed (with links) by other people in the comments here at Atlantic Review. All I can add is, one would think that an article that is on an anti-war site would take a position blaming both sides, yet the article seems to defend Putin and fails give him any responsibility for the conflict. So many anti-war sites aren't really against war... As to the US News article, it is too soon to say who has come out the winner in Georgia. If it turns out to be Russia, then clearly the neo-cons will have some explaining to do; but if the winner turns out to be Georgia, France will take the credit, and the neo-cons will (mostly...) go along with this and be happy because at least there is one more proto-Democracy in the world :-) And finally, the I suspected all along, the French have a secret deal with Putin concerning certainly would explain Eurovision, wouldn't it? :-)

Marie Claude on :

well, as far the neocons are concerned we are seen as "appeasers", they still stand for fighting against Russia, though I can't see that any of your big military chiefs are backing this idea, so Bush and Condi are most likely the forced appeasers, and Condi speaks russian, Putin speaks german, Sarko neither speak english or russian nor german, the venusian part is difficult to decern :lol: that should have been Condi, though, can't see she likes bears

Pamela on :

via EU Referendum, I came across this piece. I don't know anything of the author J.R. Nyquist, but the piece is provocative. ------------------------- The Kremlin strategists believe that the United States is on the brink of a crippling dislocation. According to a July 29 Pravda article, an anonymous Russian diplomat revealed that the “Russian administration believes the United States may soon suffer from a serious political crisis.” The sequence begins with a financial crash, advances to political unrest and finally to the dissolution of American military power. As the Russian diplomat warned, “America is standing on the verge of a large-scale crisis of its own existence.” [] ….” The Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) agreement is unfair because it forbids Russia from positioning large tank armies in Europe. This sort of thing won’t do, said Medvedev. What we need is “a truly open and collective security system.” What Moscow must demand, in fact, is the reform of international institutions. The old Soviet republics must be reintegrated through a strengthening of the Commonwealth of Independent States. According to Medvedev, “A strategic partnership between Russia and the EU could act as the so-called cornerstone of a Greater Europe without dividing lines….” [] Today the European Union confronts Russia in the same way Neville Chamberlain confronted Hitler in 1938; being outwitted and tricked in the ceasefire negotiations, there is no possible outcome other than appeasement. [] President Medvedev said, “I am convinced that with the end of the Cold war … bloc discipline simply disappeared.” The Russian president is right. ----------------------------- About the impending American financial crisis he refers to: he's not the only one thinking that way. Nouriel Roubini, an econ prof at NYU is also on it. Medvedev's problem is that he doesn't seem to understand that if the U.S. economy really does crash, it will go global. Anyway, I thought it was an interesting piece you all might enjoy chewing over. p.s. Molly the Beagle is home from the hospital. Still on meds, but she'll be ok. Thanks for the good wishes.

John in Michigan, USA on :

Interesting article, makes some good points. Wikipedia [url=]claims[/url] that "Jeffrey R. Nyquist is a criminally insane author of an out of print 1998 book called Origins of the Fourth World War". I think this Wikipedia entry needs more work! We are, of course, facing a financial crisis, but we've faced them before and recovered from them. It will take much, much more than today's worst case scenario to make us too weak to oppose Russia in places like Poland or other neo-NATO countries. It isn't clear if Nyquist is only attributing the view that the US is on the verge of collapse to the Russians, or if he believes it himself. Even if he does, that doesn't make Nyquist insane (criminally or otherwise), but perhaps he is overstating the danger of wholesale US collapse. To a certain type of person on the far-left and far-right, the US is always on the verge of collapse. The problem as I see it is that Russia may miscalculate and think that we are weaker than we are. Just as Western intelligence consistently overstated the strength of the Soviet Union, I suspect Soviet (and hence, Russian intelligence today, they are the same people with fewer resources) consistently overstate the weakness of the West. Or, they fail to understand that many things that appear as weaknesses, such as our open airing of grievances, are in fact strengths. One can only speculate what Russia would think about Sen. Obama's inexperience; it seems to me they would be very tempted to test him, severely. On the other hand, Soviet propaganda invested a great deal of resources into the idea that African Americans were Marx's exploited masses who would rise up and overturn Western capitalism. So, seeing an African-American President would be a welcome (in my opinion) blow to Russians of a certain generation, currently in power in Moscow, that was raised on this doctrine as if it were their mother's milk. They would probably respond by suddenly "discovering" that Sen. Obama's ancestors were not slaves, and would try to suggest that he is the exception that proves the rule; in other words, they would try to suggest he is inauthentic. Or, they would simply retreat into traditional Russian xenophobia and racism. How soon before Russia's actions are blamed on a Bush-McCain conspiracy to distract US voters from domestic issues? I don't even have to research this, I am so certain the accusation has already been made, someplace :-)

Pat Patterson on :

This idea, sometimes referred to Collapse Theory, is still confined generally to a small group but much like articles devoted to the CIA smuggling crack into cities the belief in an imminent collapse of the US is widespread. It has settled in that wing of the conservative movement best typified by Whittaker Chambers who spilt the beans on Communist subversion in the US but also argued that the US was doomed anyway. Much of this current thought has come to center around the blog Cluborlov and the writings of [url=]Dimitry Orlof[/url]. I can't believe it, maybe I'm beginning to get the hang of links, the BBCode worked.

Anonymous on :

It didn't give as much information as I thought it would...

Elian on :

All these political perturbations only make me wonder what kind of issues are the participants of this very collaboration hope to achieve. It’s just a kind of provocation on the highest level and a molding of public opinion of some sort. And this is what we do now, harking to the medium.

John in Michigan, USA on :

Sorry I have to ask -- are you a advertising robot?

Elian on :

If I am considered to be a robot, why are you talking to me then?) No, I'm just a human being with an opinion, maybe quite hazy one.

Dontae on :

This entire subject is sounding like a threat. What are they expecting to achieve by this kind of manipulations? I’m totally agree with the last citation – it’s only exposing people to the strike, an artificially done one.

Quincy on :

The entire intonation of this very post is quite bellicose. So I guess more neutrality will not be superfluous here. "...Shall we bury the hatchet and make it a loving-cup?" – another cliché of extremity, but a classical one.

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