THE RUSSIAN OFFENSIVE – AT 10:45 A.M. ET: When Obama came to office he promised to "reset" relations with Russia. He pressed the reset button, but the button keeps popping out.
The reason, of course, is that Obama is an international leftist, and hard-line Russian President Vladimir Putin, formerly of the KGB, must see him as one of the Kremlin's "useful idiots," a guy who just doesn't resist too much, or even notice what Moscow is doing. From Business Week:
Russia is in talks to set up naval bases in former Cold War allies Cuba and Vietnam as President Vladimir Putin undertakes the country’s biggest military overhaul since the Soviet era.
“We are working on establishing navy bases outside Russia,” Vice-Admiral Viktor Chirkov, the navy’s commander-in- chief since May, said in an interview with the state-run RIA Novosti news service and confirmed by the navy. “We aim to set up resupply bases in Cuba, the Seychelles and Vietnam.”
Russia’s intentions for overseas military expansion threaten to further strain relations with the U.S. when the former superpower rivals are at loggerheads over American missile-shield plans and how to respond to the fighting in Syria. Putin’s government plans to spend 23 trillion rubles ($712 billion) this decade on defense spending, including 4.4 trillion rubles next year, an increase of 19 percent.
“There’s a lot of tension between Washington and Moscow right now as Syria is creating a lot of bad feeling between them,” said Pavel Felgenhauer, an independent defense analyst in Moscow. “This will be seen by some in the U.S. as the Russian bear growling in its lair.”
The problem is, the "tensions" always seem to resolve themselves, at least since Obama took office, in the Kremlin's favor. Russia stiffs us at every turn, has been largely uncooperative, but there are never any consequences. Get this:
Pentagon spokesman George Little said Russia has “a right to enter into military agreements and relationships” with other nations, just as the U.S. does. He didn’t raise concern about Russia seeking military access to Cuba, which lies near the mouth of the Gulf of Mexico and is 145 kilometers (90 miles) south of the Florida Keys.
“I’m aware of the reports, but I don’t know that an agreement has been reached between the Russians and Cubans on a base,” Little told reporters at the Pentagon today.
COMMENT: Isn't that kind? What a challenge to Moscow. The caviar must be flowing, or whatever caviar does, in the Kremlin's dining rooms.
I was in Washington for the Cuban Missile Crisis. Not a fun time. I don't want to see that happen again.
July 28, 2012