Russia warns of US missile shield retaliationAt a presser, no less. Another way to get the message to the Yanks.
Article from: Agence France-Presse
From correspondents in Moscow
December 15, 2007 10:27pm
THE planned deployment of US interceptor missiles in Poland could trigger a missile strike by Russia if those missiles are ever used, the Russian army's chief of staff has warned.
"We are talking about the possibility of a retaliatory strike being triggered by the mistaken classification of an interceptor missile," Yury Baluyevsky said at a press conference broadcast on state television.
It's a clear reminder that some things remain on a hair trigger.
Russian Mediterranean Naval Build-Up Challenges NATO Sixth Fleet DominationOur front and flanks are now going to have some firepower on our 6.
David Eshel December 12, 2007
This week witnessed a great thrust by Russia to demonstrate its military strength, when Russian President Vladimir Putin alarmed Europe by finally declaring Russia's official rejection of the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE), (the treaty entered into force on July 17, 1992 limiting the number of combat elements that Russia could deploy along its borders with Europe). Immediately following this declaration, Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov announced sending a sortie of six Russian warships to the Mediterranean, led by the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier. Other vessels escorting the carrier as part of the task force are Admiral Levchenko and Admiral Chabanenko anti-submarine ships, and the Sergei Osipov and Nikolai Chiker support ships. The group is expected to be joined by the flagship Moskva a guided missile cruiser and four additional ships as it arrives in the Mediterranean.
This presents an especially difficult problem if Israel decides to take action against the Iranian nuke facilities and we're called in to defend Israel against retaliation by Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas.
The Russians obviously want to stay in this game and they equally obviously believe their interests will gain in any US or Allied action.The latest published NIE has the Israelis alarmed:
DEBKAfile: Israeli minister warns “flawed” US intelligence on Iran nuke will lead to “Yom Kippur”Olmert is going to concession himself right out of office. The Israelis know that the only Land of Israel acceptable to the Palis is going to exist in history books.
December 15, 2007, 9:37 PM (GMT+02:00)
Internal security minister and former Shin Bet head Avi Dichter was the first government member to publicly and harshly question the US National Intelligence Estimate which says Tehran no longer develops nuclear weapons. “We know the threat to be ongoing and palpable” for Israel and a whole region within the range of Iran’s ballistic missiles, i.e. Europe and North Africa.
The great question is who gains from a true conflagration in the ME?
As has been long noted "Russia plays chess while we play poker". Russia has no need to project naval power in the Med unless it is to threaten or thwart possible US and Israeli actions there.
Russia's fingerprints in the Jihad war extend to pre 9/11 days. Russians actually tipped UBL that we were listening to his sat phone calls in early 2001 and he promptly went ultra-low tech with literally horse and foot messaging.
There doesn't seem to be a limit on Putin's quest for power, either.
The Perils of PutinismBack to this NIE that is generating so much ink and controversy. Some of the conspiracy theorizing and reaction makes sense.
A non-transfer of power that makes Russia less stable.
Saturday, December 15, 2007 12:01 a.m. EST
Plans for a transition of power were unveiled this week in Russia. The news is that there won't be one.
Many Russians and foreign investors alike were cheered by Vladimir Putin's clearest signal yet of his intention to stay in charge beyond March's presidential elections. Shares soared on his endorsement Monday of longtime aide Dmitry Medvedev to nominally take his spot in the Kremlin. Shares jumped again a day later when the heir apparent returned the favor and pledged to name Mr. Putin as the next Prime Minister with, so everyone presumes, stronger powers than the next President.
This choreographed switcheroo is Putinism to a tee. The President and his men trample on civic freedoms and concentrate power in the name of "order" and "stability." With the economy growing on the back of oil approaching $100 a barrel, up from $15 when Mr. Putin took office in 2000, complaints are muted--sometimes by force. But of all people, Russians ought to have learned from history that personalizing and centralizing so much authority brings trouble down the road.
What may not make sense are agenda driven bureaucrats in sensitive positions.
December 15, 2007How cogent can advice be from a diversity advocate? Winning or losing doesn't matter as long as everybody can play in the game.
Author of NIE believes CIA's Priority should be 'Diversity'
The folly of relying on the "experts" who are responsible for the National Intelligence Estimate regarding Iran and its nuclear program is again on view. The Principle Deputy Director of National Intelligence, who was integral to the findings of that report and its publication and who has been defending it from criticism across the political spectrum and from around the world (save for Iran, Russia, and China-which reveals a lot about the shoddiness of the NIE report), last week addressed the need to reform our intelligence agencies. Commentary has a priceless quote:On December 6, Donald Kerr, the PDDNI, that is, the Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence, laid out his agency’s 500-day plan to set things right. “What is required, first and foremost,” he said in congressional testimony, “is integrating the foundational elements and removing the barriers — in the areas of policy, management/budgeting, technology and acquisition, information, collection and analysis, and culture.” To this end, we need “to promote and build an intelligence community (IC) identity or sense of ‘jointness’ by creating programs that provide for cross-agency work assignments and training.”I won’t bore you with the rest, but it is an astonishing compendium of bureaucratic gibberish guaranteed either to put you to sleep if you simply read it, or to give you nightmares if you pause to think about its implications.
The 500-day plan enters almost immediately into a discussion of the vital importance of “Equal Opportunity and Diversity.” It offers high praise for the intelligence community’s Diversity Strategy Implementation Workshop, an event held this past October that was an “an important step in the accomplishment of the IC-wide EEO and Diversity Cross-Cutting Emphasis Area Plan (CCEAP) by providing each of the IC Agencies with the mechanisms and direction. . . .”
I think it is time for the Texas oil man to sit face to face with the former KGB man and look him in the eye again and say something Reaganesque. Or Churchillian. Something to indicate that a coming theater war need not go global and nuclear.
Holding a royal flush beats the word 'check' every time.