|One of the lesser-noticed aspects of the Russia/Georgia conflict is how it highlights differences between John McCain and Barack Obama on missile defense. My CQ colleague Josh Rogin broke it down amid a piece he did on how the conflict would affect the congressional debate on the United States' attempts to place missile sites in Europe.
McCain appears to believe his more hawkish, pro-missile defense stance could benefit him, because he put out a statement recently praising the U.S.-Poland pact. Since that pact is very related to the Russia/Georgia struggle, it allows McCain to keep his position on the conflict -- which has generated positive coverage for him -- at the forefront. Per CQ, speaking of congressional advocates of the sites: "Leading those advocates is presumptive Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain , R-Ariz., who sees the sites as a badly needed component of the American strategic presence in the region. He is quick to link their necessity to Russia’s increasingly aggressive posture. 'Russia’s objections (to the sites) have never been based on anything more than trying to define a sphere of influence in Europe and on the territory of existing NATO members,' said McCain’s top foreign policy advisor Randy Scheunemann, 'Senator McCain believes that is unacceptable — especially in the aftermath of Russia’s brutal invasion of Georgia.'" (Interestingly, here's what McCain said in his Poland statement about Russia: "Threatening attacks against Poland, a NATO ally, is a wholly inappropriate response to an agreement that is not aimed at countering Russia.")
Obama's office has, in recent days, remained more skeptical, which is consistent of Obama's record. “Congress will not and should not fund a system until testing has proven that it works, and that testing will not be completed until 2010 at the earliest,” said Wendy Morigi, an Obama spokeswoman.
For more on the differences between the candidates on these and related issues, read on here.
|Most likely today Russia was selected to play a role of a "new axis of evil" by conservatives in their political campain for the president chair. Look at the facts: Condoleezza Rice visits Georgia in July where the question of Ossetia clearly been discussed. Here is what news said back then:
"With this visit the American side clearly shows its support of Georgia's peaceful plans to resolve the conflicts with both [breakaway] regions...". After getting peaceful Condoleezza support Mr Saakashvili kicks Russian bear in the balls provoking the conflict and quickly retreat. Western media run their cameras on the evil bear crushing innocent little Georgia. Not even two days passed and Russia gets missiles stick in their ribs, which forces them to make another violent moves or at least threatening statements toward the West. The western citizens start feeling scary. At this point conservatives should come forward with a patriotic face "we will protect you" and win the sweet chair. America waiving flags, The Third World War was prevented by McCain. Russia gets forgotten with their swallen balls. Life goes on. Would be funny if not 2000 corpses along the show...
Here is the time Bush/McCain party
|Alex | Homepage | E-Mail | 19.08.2008, 16:23|
|The proposed missile shield has nothing to do with rouge states or Russian missiles.If you were going to defend against Iranian missiles would it not make more sense to put the shield in Greece?as for the Russian missile force,it is way to sophisticated to be stopped by the proposed system.
This is the deal here,we want to put ground troops in Poland,and Chezoslovakia as a tripwire against the Russians attempting to restore the Warsaw pact.
|Bernie | Homepage | E-Mail | 19.08.2008, 04:04|
|To understand who missiles in Poland/Chech are aimed against, one just has to look at the globe.
Then you would understand that the sysetm in Poland is much handier to early track missiles going from Russia over the North Pole to USA, than missiles travelling from Iran to, say, Germany. The early warning systems installed in Turkey or Azerbajan would do a much better job in tracking Iranian missiles. That's what Russians are saying. It's called being realistic (compared to brainwashed).
BTW, anyone remembers when Europe asked US for protection against Iranian missiles.
Or US is just being so "altruistic", so they are willing to spend billions to protect Europe?
|Alex | Homepage | E-Mail | 19.08.2008, 02:55|
|Russia's military victory over Georgia is not the victory that it appears as on the surface. Russia has been prodding it's former possessions on the Western front (Ukraine, Poland, Georgia, Lithuanina, etc.) because they have never let them go completely. In their mind they are still part of Russian domain. They issue passports to people within these countries to create future conflicts over ethnic "mistreatment" of the now Russian citizens that never have lived in Russia. It is pure bullying. Russia's actions over the past few years will continue and will escalate. They are trying as we speak making plans to convince the world that the Ukraine's Criminea ports is historically Russian and that the Ukraine should peacefully give up their rights to the Crimea's port region. Russia has zero interest in negotiating. The issue here is that Russia is not the powerhouse that they once were. Their tanks are 1980's relics, their planes are old, they are in all essence a lot more mouth than warrior. Once we install the U.S. installs a missile shield Russia will have no other threat to Nato or it's neighbors. In a conventional war against a modern military they do not match up at all. Russia has blown a great opportunity because of their ignorant leadership.|
|Dave Waug | Homepage | E-Mail | 19.08.2008, 00:54|
|Hi. Let me try to show you the other side. Cold War has beed bulletproof stable because of nuke balance. Both knew nobody can win. This interceptors ARE screwing this balance. If a responce action can be diminished or stopped, balance has gone. Gome hot heads in US could decide "we have a chance to win". Believe me, lot of people in US and Russia's HQ are busy with this chess - just a routine everyday job. Now think. Is a balance good or not? Why disturb it by placing NATO everywhere. For ex. Ukraine people itself do NOT want NATO, opposed to its leaders, put there by US.|
|Max | Homepage | E-Mail | 19.08.2008, 00:41|
|Russia is full of poopie. Why can't we all just get along!|
|BabyTiffany4ever | Homepage | E-Mail | 18.08.2008, 22:21|
|Russia and Georgia are both to blame for this, but for Russia to still be occupying Georgia and actually furthering its advance despite an agreed upon peace accord only displays Russias true intentions. Russia has already beaten the Georgians, why do they need to further destroy military equipment and installations. I say we give Russia an ultimatum. "Pull your military out of Georgia within 48 hours or the F-22s and the bombers are headed in your direction." I know this sounds harsh and hasty, but Putin has lost his mind and Medvedev doesn't have the stones to be the leader of Russia. They need an ultimatum to let them know that this is completely unacceptable behavior otherwise, I fear that the Iron Curtain may be rising again.|
|Jeremy | Homepage | E-Mail | 18.08.2008, 22:15|
|There is a significant difference between defensive and offensive missiles. They are as different as the Sun is from the Moon.
The fact that Russia is responding to defensive missiles with offensive systems clearly shows the mindset of the Russian leaders to be as paranoid and as dysfunctional as was Stalin's. The fact they will possibly include nuclear devices is proof Putin is insane. Even when Bush tried to explain to him that the defensive missiles had nothing to do with Russia, he still wouldn't believe it. It wasn't as if Bush was trying to place Pershing II missiles in Poland. How Russia could feel threatened by anti-missile missiles is hard to understand, unless its leader were truly paranoid.
Putin has displayed extreme paranoia since he made it clear he would not go away after his term of president ended, unlike Gorbachev and Yeltsin. Unfortunately for the free world, Russia is now led by an ex-KGB nutcase, and instead of joining the free world which Russia was fully welcome to do, Putin has maniacally decided to oppose it.
It is very unfortunate so many must pay a price due to the poor mental health of one man, but such is the history of mankind. If we look into his childhood (assuming it were possible to get accurate information), we would probably discover Putin's family was very dysfunctional. Like Hitler and Stalin before him, Putin was probably repeatedly abused by his father. Why else would you ally yourself with murderers such as Syria and Iran? Unless you were just plain crazy.
|Daniel | E-Mail | 18.08.2008, 21:20|
The Ruskies alone, let alone everybody else can deploy more missiles than any shield can handle...whats the point? Answer: money for boing, lockheed etc etc...thats what its all about...little more.
|gary perris | Homepage | E-Mail | 18.08.2008, 20:48|
|Wendy Morigi the spokes person for Obama is a traitor in the first degree...how dare you put out a statement that casts doubt on the utility of the Patriot Missles thereby inviting potential enemies to believe they don't work and reduce the very useful deterant value. If you love the enemy so much leave America and g...just go you..
you discust me. By the way try telling the Isrealis they don't work. They have seen that they do.
|Nate | Homepage | E-Mail | 18.08.2008, 20:01|
|Only problem with the Cuban scenario is that Soviet missiles in Cuba were designed to destroy US cities, while the missiles in Poland are designed to destroy ICBM's launched by Iran towards Europe. The Russians know this and so does everyone who really pays attention to world events!!|
|Enrique Colon | Homepage | E-Mail | 18.08.2008, 19:53|
|I disagree, Russians invasion of a sovereign nation that doesn't pose any threat to them, while that nation is in a civil war illustrates their aggressive posture.
Russia now has money, which is something that the Soviet Union didn’t.
Then to say that Poland will be “nuked” because of their decision is another illustration of their aggressiveness. What about Alexander Litvinenko and completely denting it? Russia is quickly sliding back to the Soviet Union and the free world should be weary, not accepting.
Lastly, the comparison of The Cuban missile crisis is a red herring fallacy.
|ClubbieTim | Homepage | 18.08.2008, 19:27|
|O PLEASE!! "The US 'promised' not to move NATO past Germany" they should have gotten a signed legal document and not rely on words that are just that, WORDS. Im not going to vouch for Russia's stupidity. The difference between the Cuban missile crisis and the situation in Poland is that the missiles in Cuba could have only been directed at the US or Canada (NATO members) since there was no other nation in the region that Russia had the most minimal interest in. In poland however, there is legitimate reasons to station those missiles there to protect from rogue states such as Iran and/or Al Quada. Additionaly, the US has been open and very cooperative with Russians whereas the Russians where VERY sneaky and had to be discovered by the US spying over Cuba. The US has even offered to not make the shield operational until the have proof that Iranian missiles can reach Europe/US. So PLEASE don't make empty statements without looking at fine details that DO! make a difference.|
|LawrenceNy | Homepage | E-Mail | 18.08.2008, 19:16|
|McCain correctly sees this as the previous communist regime reasserting itself. It highlights the stark difference in their approach--addressing the problem head on versus equivocation and retreat. There are several other actions the US and Europe that could pursue that will pay great dividends over time. 1) we should immediately admit the Ukraine to NATO, and provide foreign military assistance (2 billion will double its defense budget, and go much further there then in the west). Second, pursue all alternative energy sources to end reliance on Russian/mid-east oil fuels. 3) Give Japan the green light to build one or two full sized (75-90,000 ton) aircraft carriers. They have been wanting to do so for quite some time, and have proved themselves reliable allies for the last 60 years. Two Japanese carriers would go a long way to freeing US assets to address Russian expansionism in Europe, and would provide a valuable counterweight to both Russian and Chinese imperial ambitions in the Pacific.|
|James Refalo PhD | Homepage | E-Mail | 18.08.2008, 18:56|
After the fall of the USSR the US promised to not move NATO past Germany. Bush reneged on our promise and now wants to put missiles into Russia's back yard. How would we respond if Russia moved missiles into our backyard? Remember the Cuban missile crisis! We are behaving like the old soviet empire, not Russia.
|Perspective | Homepage | E-Mail | 18.08.2008, 17:54|