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US to scrap plans for missile shield in Europe: WSJ

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posted on Sep, 21 2009 @ 05:51 PM
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Originally posted by jerico65
I wonder if it was a coincidence that the administration decided to do this 70 years to the day that the USSR invaded Poland.

Thanks, Obama. US shows that it is a fickle ally.

Czech and Polish governments look like morons for dealing with the US on this issue. I'd be willing to bet they won't let it happen again.


Why should the ABM shield serve as some sort of proof that US is Poland's ally? You do realize that the shield was not supposed to protect Poland from anyone's missiles? All it would have done is protect the countries further on down range from Poland. Poland would not have gained anything in terms of defense from the shield.

The ABM shield was a white elephant project by the US - which was too expensive to bring to full operational effectiveness, and at the same time it has no clear defensive objectives. It would have poured a load of money to defense contractors, and that is about it.

What did Poland and Czech Republic get from the deal? The US promised to subsidize weapons sales to them in return for hosting the shield. As you can see the US defense contractors would score a double win, mostly at the expense of US taxpayers and Poland's and Czech's neutrality.




The people in Poland and Czech Republic are not in any way worse-off from the cancellation of the ABM shield. In fact most of them were against the idea. The only party that got the short end of the stick were the governments of those two countries.

But Czech and Polish governments deserve to look like morons for dealing with the Bush administration. They knew perfectly well that they are making a bet, one that might not pay off. The US does what is best for the US (in particular US defense industry), and not what is best for Poland or Czech Republic. With the Obama administration priorities have changed, and the Czech and Polish governments are idiots for placing too much trust in the previous neocon administration.


So the US owes nothing to either Poland or the Czech Republic. This isn't kindergarten where US must babysit and nourish countries like Poland and Czech Republic. Those countries' governments must accept responsibility for the misguided decisions they have made.

In the end, this is the biggest problems of new Eastern European democracies like Poland and Czech Republic - their governments' inability to accept responsibility. Should a problem arise - they blame Russia, or the US, or the EU, or the Soviets, or the Nazis - anybody but themselves. They were elected to run the country - so start running it and stop making excuses for dumb decisions.

[edit on 21-9-2009 by maloy]




posted on Sep, 21 2009 @ 06:16 PM
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reply to post by maloy
 


You bring up some very good points that the US is only out for itself. No denying that and their track record for the last 60 years validates that claim, however, a deal was brokered by the Bush administration that the shield would be deployed in both countries and now the current administration is doing a bait and switch. So the current administration conceded to Russia, not because the shield is a white elephant or a money pit, but with hopes of Russia toning down Iran and it's nuclear development.

At last tally, no favorable developments with that stalemate have been made. Moreover, the war drum continues to pound. Yet now, Poland is at odds with the Russians again for their acceptance of the US and their defense assurances. They are once again alone facing Russia as they have always been. So the deal was scrapped big deal for the US, but a big deal for Poland and the Czech Republic; because they are in the sphere of Russia and her influence. Now Russia has re-established her leverage on the two nations.

In my humble opinion, the concessions are one-sided and only Russia gains anything from it. They essentially booted the United States out of Eastern Europe and preserved their territorial security and influence. The US gains nothing with the Iranian Crisis. Poland and the Czech Republic get the evil eyes of the Russians for their acceptance of the US and trying hamstring them. So the three nations lose and Russia wins, I guess I will given them credit; because it is political leveraging at it's finest. However, I still feel bad for the two countries involved, because it may be a mistake by the politicians, but it always boils down to the people feeling the brunt of their folly. Now they have a large angry neighbor with a possible vendetta on their hands.

[edit on 21-9-2009 by Jakes51]



posted on Sep, 21 2009 @ 06:32 PM
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Russia General Says Missile Plan Not Shelved

www.nytimes.com...


ZURICH (Reuters) - Russia's top general said on Monday that plans to deploy missiles in an enclave next to Poland had not been shelved, despite a decision by the United States to rethink plans for missile defence in Europe.

But a former Russian diplomatic negotiator indicated he thought the deployments in Kaliningrad region, bordering Poland, unlikely to go a.. Alternative U.S. proposals for sea-based defences appeared less likely to raise Kremlin objections.

President Barack Obama's decision to scrap a land-based missile defence system has been welcomed by Russia, which had threatened to deploy short-range Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad if the United States refused to drop the plans.

The Kremlin always said Russia would only deploy the missiles as a counter-measure if Washington went a. with its missile shield. Moscow said the shield threatened its national security and would upset the strategic balance in Europe.

Saturday Russian deputy defence minister Vladimir Popovkin said in an interview that "naturally we will scrap the measures that Russia planned to take" in response to the shield and specifically named Iskander deployment as one of them.

When asked about the matter Monday, the chief of Russia's general staff, Nikolai Makarov, said: "There has been no such decision. It should be a political decision. It should be made by the president."

"They (the Americans) have not given up the anti-missile shield; they have replaced it with a sea-based component," Makarov told reporters on a plane from Moscow to Zurich.

The general was accompanying President Dmitry Medvedev on a trip to Switzerland.

It is highly unusual in Russia for two senior officials to contradict each other publicly on a sensitive matter of national and international importance.

It was not immediately clear why Makarov had done so, though some sources suggested the general might have wanted to emphasise that such an important decision could only be taken by the president and should not be announced by a deputy minister.

Former Russian diplomatic negotiator Roland Timerbayev of the Centre for Political Studies Russia (PIR) said clarity on Russia's position would come after Medvedev meets U.S. President Barack Obama in New York on September 23.

"There's a diplomatic game going on, the whole thing will be decided when the two leaders meet in a few days time. I don't think this may be a stumbling block," said Timerbayev.

Makarov represents Russia's military, not the government, said Timerbayev, who felt there was little reason for Russia to oppose any sea-based missile shield.

"The sea is open to anyone, this is the right of any country to use the freedom of navigation, even if the U.S. were to send it (shield-carrying vessels) to the Mediterranean or the Baltic. The same is true for Russia of course."

The missile shield was conceived by the administration of former president George W, Bush to guard against any attack by "rogue" states such as Iran and North Korea. Iran has consistently denied Western accusations it is developing nuclear weapons and poses any threat to the region.


Oh yes, and let us get rid of our nukes too, while we are at it.



posted on Sep, 21 2009 @ 06:44 PM
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Well the chess pieces are being moved around in the great game.

Turkey to buy long-range missile defense system

The Turkish announcement came a day after U.S. President Barack Obama canceled a long-planned missile shield for Eastern Europe, replacing a Bush-era project that was opposed by Russia with a plan he contended would better defend against Iranian missiles.

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Turkey's move was aimed at strengthening the country's defense, rejecting media speculation that the system is meant specifically to protect the country from Iranian missiles.

"Turkey's purchase of Patriot (missiles) has nothing to do with Iran or directly with any other country," Davutoglu told CNN-Turk television in an interview on Friday. "There should absolutely be no connection between Patriots and Iran.



posted on Sep, 21 2009 @ 06:50 PM
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Originally posted by Stormdancer777
Russia General Says Missile Plan Not Shelved

www.nytimes.com...


ZURICH (Reuters) - Russia's top general said on Monday that plans to deploy missiles in an enclave next to Poland had not been shelved, despite a decision by the United States to rethink plans for missile defence in Europe.

But a former Russian diplomatic negotiator indicated he thought the deployments in Kaliningrad region, bordering Poland, unlikely to go a.. Alternative U.S. proposals for sea-based defences appeared less likely to raise Kremlin objections.

President Barack Obama's decision to scrap a land-based missile defence system has been welcomed by Russia, which had threatened to deploy short-range Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad if the United States refused to drop the plans.

The Kremlin always said Russia would only deploy the missiles as a counter-measure if Washington went a. with its missile shield. Moscow said the shield threatened its national security and would upset the strategic balance in Europe.

Saturday Russian deputy defence minister Vladimir Popovkin said in an interview that "naturally we will scrap the measures that Russia planned to take" in response to the shield and specifically named Iskander deployment as one of them.

When asked about the matter Monday, the chief of Russia's general staff, Nikolai Makarov, said: "There has been no such decision. It should be a political decision. It should be made by the president."

"They (the Americans) have not given up the anti-missile shield; they have replaced it with a sea-based component," Makarov told reporters on a plane from Moscow to Zurich.

The general was accompanying President Dmitry Medvedev on a trip to Switzerland.

It is highly unusual in Russia for two senior officials to contradict each other publicly on a sensitive matter of national and international importance.

It was not immediately clear why Makarov had done so, though some sources suggested the general might have wanted to emphasise that such an important decision could only be taken by the president and should not be announced by a deputy minister.

Former Russian diplomatic negotiator Roland Timerbayev of the Centre for Political Studies Russia (PIR) said clarity on Russia's position would come after Medvedev meets U.S. President Barack Obama in New York on September 23.

"There's a diplomatic game going on, the whole thing will be decided when the two leaders meet in a few days time. I don't think this may be a stumbling block," said Timerbayev.

Makarov represents Russia's military, not the government, said Timerbayev, who felt there was little reason for Russia to oppose any sea-based missile shield.

"The sea is open to anyone, this is the right of any country to use the freedom of navigation, even if the U.S. were to send it (shield-carrying vessels) to the Mediterranean or the Baltic. The same is true for Russia of course."

The missile shield was conceived by the administration of former president George W, Bush to guard against any attack by "rogue" states such as Iran and North Korea. Iran has consistently denied Western accusations it is developing nuclear weapons and poses any threat to the region.


Oh yes, and let us get rid of our nukes too, while we are at it.


Well, apparently, by the sounds of that article it appears there are some Freudian slips going on among the Russian brass. I may be wrong, but it sounds as though the Russian government is taking the business as usual approach with the redeployment of their Iskander missiles. Again, Russia wins another and the US loses.

Is there anyone left that remembers how to deal with Russia in the State Department or the Pentagon? This trend is getting disturbing and the indecisiveness by the Obama Administration is mind numbing. Whatever happened to the diplomacy of Teddy Roosevelt when he said "Speak softly but carry a big stick."? That is how the Russians are playing ball. Now the President is making plans to scale back the nuclear deterrent while the Russians move their pieces on the chess board. Very strange times.



posted on Sep, 21 2009 @ 06:54 PM
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Originally posted by Jakes51
a deal was brokered by the Bush administration that the shield would be deployed in both countries and now the current administration is doing a bait and switch.


Why should the current administration abide by the deal of the Bush administration? The Bush administration catered to certain interest groups, and these interest groups have perhaps fallen out of favor with the current administration. Tough luck. The leadership of Poland and Czech Republic got played - and should know better when they want to play with superpowers. That's international politics - if it's too rough for poor Poland or Czech - then get out of the game and watch from the sidelines, nobody made them play.



Originally posted by Jakes51
So the current administration conceded to Russia, not because the shield is a white elephant or a money pit, but with hopes of Russia toning down Iran and it's nuclear development.


Not necessarily. No one except for the insideres knows what the true extent of Obama's new strategy, and what Russia may do in return. Russia may have stated that it will not provide any concessions in return for the shield being scrapped, but these statements mean little. Whatever plays out may take many years, and many might never make a connection between this and future actions by Russia - and likely both sides want it to be discrete.

And this might not even be about Russia in the end. As I and many others pointed out - the ABM shield did not serve any defensive purposes and was far too expensive for the level of defense it would theoretically provide. The US has a far better and more efficient alternative - the Aegis ship-based missile/air defense systems.




Originally posted by Jakes51
At last tally, no favorable developments with that stalemate have been made.


Yeah - as far as mass media is concerned. Politicians disclose their strategy when they feel the time is right.




Originally posted by Jakes51
Moreover, the war drum continues to pound. Yet now, Poland is at odds with the Russians again for their acceptance of the US and their defense assurances. They are once again alone facing Russia as they have always been.


Poland has been at odds with the Russians for many centuries. There is a cultural narcissism between the two nations which stretches back to the two nations' origins. It is hardly anything to be concerned about - Poland faces no realistic threat from Russia and everyone knows it. The Polish government chooses to antagonize Russia, because it serves their political interests.



Originally posted by Jakes51
So the deal was scrapped big deal for the US, but a big deal for Poland and the Czech Republic; because they are in the sphere of Russia and her influence. Now Russia has re-established her leverage on the two nations.


How in your opinion did Russia have leverage over Poland or Czech Republic, and how would the ABM shield (operated by the US) would have changed that?

Whatever leverage Russia had over them it would continue to have with or without the shield. And the only type of leverage Russia did have, was as a large importer or Polish and Czech goods, and exporter of energy products - neither of the two countries is in the Russian sphere of influence.




Originally posted by Jakes51
In my humble opinion, the concessions are one sided and only Russia gains anything from it.


Do you believe that the US foreign policy strategists are idiots? Why would the US shelf the ABM shield if there was nothing to gain from it or if there was a possibility to be stood-up by Russia?



Originally posted by Jakes51
However, I still feel bad for the two countries involved, because it may be a mistake by the politicians, but it always boils down to the people feeling the brunt of their folly. Now they have a large angry neighbor with a possible vendetta on their hands.


And what is the brunt that the Polish or the Czech are going to feel? Do you seriously think Russia is going to attack them? How so? Vendetta's are best left for Western films - modern pragmatic politics are about the present.



posted on Sep, 21 2009 @ 06:56 PM
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The US is broke.

We have huge debts.

Who was going to pay for the missile shield? I'm pretty sure that it would have been the US

Perhaps it's just a fact of life that the US doesn't have the deep pockets that it used to have .



posted on Sep, 21 2009 @ 07:07 PM
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Originally posted by Jakes51
Again, Russia wins another and the US loses.


Nothing is black and white in politics. It is all gray. Winners and losers will only be determed over the long-term.



Originally posted by Jakes51
Is there anyone left that remembers how to deal with Russia in the State Department or the Pentagon?


What "Russia" would that be? Are you referring to Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic? Well Russia is not ruled by communists now, and it is very much a capitalist society, so any dealing with Russia today should not be made in the context of the past Soviet era. There is no longer a split in idealogies between Russia and the US that should warrant a Cold War type of approach in dealing with Russia.




Originally posted by Jakes51
Whatever happened to the diplomacy of Teddy Roosevelt when he said "Speak softly but carry a big stick."?


What happened to it? The stick got way too big to carry, and now the stick is carrying the US.



Originally posted by Jakes51
Now the President is making plans to scale back the nuclear deterrent while the Russians move their pieces on the chess board. Very strange times.


The ABM shield is not a nuclear deterrent and was never envisioned as such. The only real nuclear deterrent is the threat of mutually assured destruction. All the ABM shield would have done is spawn new developments of ICBMs meant to overcome its defenses - and would innitiate a new arms race.



posted on Sep, 21 2009 @ 07:10 PM
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reply to post by maloy
 


Thanks for your response and I respect your analysis. You seem to have all angles covered on this one. Your knowledge of Russian affairs is impressive. You made a lot of sense regarding my concerns, and after reading your thoughtful responses; I can see were you are coming from. It is a doggie-dog world out there. I guess we just have to wait and see how this one plays out.



posted on Sep, 21 2009 @ 07:36 PM
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Originally posted by maloy

Originally posted by Jakes51
Again, Russia wins another and the US loses.


Nothing is black and white in politics. It is all gray. Winners and losers will only be determed over the long-term.



Originally posted by Jakes51
Is there anyone left that remembers how to deal with Russia in the State Department or the Pentagon?


What "Russia" would that be? Are you referring to Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic? Well Russia is not ruled by communists now, and it is very much a capitalist society, so any dealing with Russia today should not be made in the context of the past Soviet era. There is no longer a split in idealogies between Russia and the US that should warrant a Cold War type of approach in dealing with Russia.




Originally posted by Jakes51
Whatever happened to the diplomacy of Teddy Roosevelt when he said "Speak softly but carry a big stick."?


What happened to it? The stick got way too big to carry, and now the stick is carrying the US.



Originally posted by Jakes51
Now the President is making plans to scale back the nuclear deterrent while the Russians move their pieces on the chess board. Very strange times.


The ABM shield is not a nuclear deterrent and was never envisioned as such. The only real nuclear deterrent is the threat of mutually assured destruction. All the ABM shield would have done is spawn new developments of ICBMs meant to overcome its defenses - and would innitiate a new arms race.


I don't know if I would go as far to say that Russia is capitalistic on the scale of the United States at present and I am aware that Russia is no longer the USSR. Russian capitalism is like it was in the United States during the early stages of the last century with the robber barons, lax regulations, and monopolies. Maybe it can be categorized as a "Wild West," form of capitalism? However, some of the same people that are in the political arena today started their careers under the Soviet system. Old habits die hard? Throughout their history, as far as I know, they have always been cold and calculating. In addition to their yearning for a strong leader with extra authority.

I saw a show one time about Ivan the Terrible and a Russian academic commented that the Russians would rather have a dictatorship than chaos. That mindset hasn't changed in Russia. But now people have access to Rolex watches and Mercedes as they give their leaders more and more authority. Maybe the Cold War mentality hasn't completely thawed as you say, but is now more subtle than before? I see the Russians posturing against the United States and the West. Business as usual. I'm not condemning them for it, because after suffering during years after the fall of the Soviet Union, their re-emergence is quite an accomplishment. However, there is a game on and leveraging is taking place between Russia and United States. Still, you make very good points and I have learned a lot from our discussion.

[edit on 21-9-2009 by Jakes51]

[edit on 21-9-2009 by Jakes51]



posted on Sep, 21 2009 @ 08:12 PM
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Originally posted by Jakes51
I don't know if I would go as far to say that Russia is capitalistic on the scale of the United States at present and I am aware that Russia is no longer the USSR. Russian capitalism is like it was in the United States during the early stages of the last century with the robber barons, lax regulations, and monopolies. Maybe it can be categorized as a "Wild West," form of capitalism?


It doesn't need to be on the same scale as in the US. What is important is that there is no longer a key idealogical difference between Russia and the US, and as such the context has changed and so must the foreign policy. And you are right - Russian capitalism today can be compared to the older period in the US history to some extent.

Those who try to assess the political situation in Russia today need to understand that Russian democracy and capitalism have been developing for less than two decades - compared with more than two centuries for the US. The US progress was gradual and has major road blocks, and the same is true for Russia. The US and Russian political systems should not be compared yet for this reason.




Originally posted by Jakes51
However, some of the same people that are in the political arena today started their careers under that system. Old habits die hard?


Of course they did - the current ruling generation grew-up during the Soviet era. One could not attend a university for political and economic studies without being a communist party member at that time - so it is only natural that the people fit to take control of the new country had to get their start and gain skills during the previous regime.

However habits are easily abandoned sometimes, when there is an new opportunity arises with change. Look at the very people who deconstructed the Soviet regime - Gorbachev, Kuchma, Yeltsin. They were all true communists at one point, and then decided that change is necessary because they saw fault with the old system.





Originally posted by Jakes51
Throughout their history, as far as I know, they have always been cold and calculating. In addition to their yearning for a strong leader with extra authority.


There is nothing about the traits you mention that would make them attributable solely to communist leaders - they are common to leaders under all political systems. I could name just as many US politicians and Presidents who have been cold, calculating, yearning for more authority, and looking to establish an influential figure . for their respective party.



Originally posted by Jakes51
I saw a show one time about Ivan the Terrible and a Russian academic commented that the Russians would rather have a dictatorship than chaos.


That does not make the Russians unique in any sense. Many ethnicities around the world would choose authoritarian government rather than anarchy as the lesser of the two evils. That does not mean that they do not want democratic progress, and the same goes for Russians. After all - the Russian people did support the Perestroika and dissolution of the USSR dictatorship, even though what resulted in the 90's could be termed as chaos.

Also remember a key political theory - before there can be democracy there needs to be rule of law, under whatever system is able to establish it. Democracy cannot take root in chaos.




Originally posted by Jakes51
Maybe the Cold War mentality hasn't completely thawed as you say, but is now more subtle than before? I see the Russians posturing against the United States and the West.


Of course it hasn't thawed completely. And it won't untill the generation that grew up during that era is gone. Some Russians still view the US/NATO as an enemy of sorts, but in many ways US actions are contributing to that feeling. US supported the Russian oligarchs in the 90's, whom many Russians rightfully view as thieves, and NATO continues rapid expansion. Many US politicians too are Cold War era dinosaurs and continue to behave in such a way.

Whatever empathy there is between the US and Russia must be mutual in order for relations to improve. The US cannot expect Russians to warm up to them without doing the same thing simultaneously. One of the issues that stands in the way of progress for both sides however is that very feeling - that the other side is stubborn and refuses to change and that's why we won't change.


[edit on 21-9-2009 by maloy]



posted on Sep, 21 2009 @ 08:26 PM
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Originally posted by maloy

Originally posted by Jakes51
I don't know if I would go as far to say that Russia is capitalistic on the scale of the United States at present and I am aware that Russia is no longer the USSR. Russian capitalism is like it was in the United States during the early stages of the last century with the robber barons, lax regulations, and monopolies. Maybe it can be categorized as a "Wild West," form of capitalism?


It doesn't need to be on the same scale as in the US. What is important is that there is no longer a key idealogical difference between Russia and the US, and as such the context has changed and so must the foreign policy. And you are right - Russian capitalism today can be compared to the older period in the US history to some extent.

Those who try to assess the political situation in Russia today need to understand that Russian democracy and capitalism have been developing for less than two decades - compared with more than two centuries for the US. The US progress was gradual and has major road blocks, and the same is true for Russia. The US and Russian political systems should not be compared yet for this reason.




Originally posted by Jakes51
However, some of the same people that are in the political arena today started their careers under that system. Old habits die hard?


Of course they did - the current ruling generation grew-up during the Soviet era. One could not attend a university for political and economic studies without being a communist party member at that time - so it is only natural that the people fit to take control of the new country had to get their start and gain skills during the previous regime.

However habits are easily abandoned sometimes, when there is an new opportunity arises with change. Look at the very people who deconstructed the Soviet regime - Gorbachev, Kuchma, Yeltsin. They were all true communists at one point, and then decided that change is necessary because they saw fault with the old system.





Originally posted by Jakes51
Throughout their history, as far as I know, they have always been cold and calculating. In addition to their yearning for a strong leader with extra authority.


There is nothing about the traits you mention that would make them attributable solely to communist leaders - they are common to leaders under all political systems. I could name just as many US politicians and Presidents who have been cold, calculating, yearning for more authority, and looking to establish an influential figure . for their respective party.



Originally posted by Jakes51
I saw a show one time about Ivan the Terrible and a Russian academic commented that the Russians would rather have a dictatorship than chaos.


That does not make the Russians unique in any sense. Many ethnicities around the world would choose authoritarian government rather than anarchy as the lesser of the two evils. That does not mean that they do not want democratic progress, and the same goes for Russians. After all - the Russian people did support the Perestroika and dissolution of the USSR dictatorship, even though what resulted in the 90's could be termed as chaos.

Also remember a key political theory - before there can be democracy there needs to be rule of law, under whatever system is able to establish it. Democracy cannot take root in chaos.




Originally posted by Jakes51
Maybe the Cold War mentality hasn't completely thawed as you say, but is now more subtle than before? I see the Russians posturing against the United States and the West.


Of course it hasn't thawed completely. And it won't untill the generation that grew up during that era is gone. Some Russians still view the US/NATO as an enemy of sorts, but in many ways US actions are contributing to that feeling. US supported the Russian oligarchs in the 90's, whom many Russians rightfully view as thieves, and NATO continues rapid expansion. Many US politicians too are Cold War era dinosaurs and continue to behave in such a way.

Whatever empathy there is between the US and Russia must be mutual in order for relations to improve. The US cannot expect Russians to warm up to them without doing the same thing simultaneously. One of the issues that stands in the way of progress for both sides however is that very feeling - that the other side is stubborn and refuses to change and that's why we won't change.


[edit on 21-9-2009 by maloy]


Very good points, and I particularly agree with your last statement about mutual empathy among the two nations for an improvement in relations. Trust must be reciprocal for any progress in Russian and US affairs. Imagine the two former enemies seeing eye to eye, now wouldn't that be something. It will take time "Rome wasn't built in a day." Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and I would give you an applause if I could, well done my friend.



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