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  1. #1 Exclusive: Russia on the Move – Putin Comes Up with an Alternative to NATO 
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    February 25, 2009
    Exclusive: Russia on the Move – Putin Comes Up with an Alternative to NATO

    Dr. Robin McFe
    e

    “All warfare is based on deception” – Sun Tzu
    THE “CSTO”
    Last week, Russia and six ex-satellite nations – former Soviet States – agreed to jointly (translation – Mother Russia rules) create a special military force designed to challenge the influence of NATO. The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) members Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyztan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan have also pledged to deploy their “special forces” units as well as collaboratively contribute to this new military alliance. According to several sources, the scope of the military presence will be significant – the name “rapid reaction unit” notwithstanding. In typical Russia-speak, language designed to deceive, this will not be a SWAT team or even a SEAL team in the U.S. definition of “rapid reaction” force, to handle small insurgent attacks, but a force to be reckoned with.
    Russia, increasingly sensitive of .U.S and Western influences with their border nations, has expended significant effort and various forms of persuasion – economic, military, energy and political – to rein in or reestablish relations with the “Stan” nations and others critical to creating a buffer zone. Moreover, the members of the CSTO have valuable transit routes for United States interests – supply lines and military bases to support the war effort in Afghanistan, and Russia – pipeline routes for oil and gas.
    Though publicly billed to be able to suppress “terrorist” aggression, Dmitry Medvedev let there be no room to miss the Sicilian message “the military alliance would allow operational reaction to threats and would not be less powerful than NATO forces.” The Armenian president Serzh Sarkisian tried to put a more temporizing tone – “the rapid reaction force is aimed at strengthening the military capacity of our organization.” Uh huh – sounds good, but Medvedev (here to fore considered “Putin lite”) was letting the world know….”we’re baaaaack!”
    The “Stan” nations are critical to US interests. Russia is turning the screws on us at every opportunity. Putin has a map; where is global AAA when we need them? U.S. foreign policy is lost and leaderless, if you exclude the military. Consider we have just lost a key military supply base in Uzbekistan; Putin may, repeat may allow us to use it for non military supplies. Big deal! That base was important for our Afghanistan (MILITARY) efforts. But “Putin, Inc” has been tossing money, military and probably a few babes towards the “Stans” and wooing them back, much more than the CSTO of the past would have revealed. These nations are important for our war on terrorists. But, they are essential in Russia’s romp to the sea – giving a virtually uninterrupted region of states from the Motherland to Iran, Iraq and surrounding Turkey.
    Which brings me to the question – how many “friends” can we afford to lose? You don’t have military bases in countries without some friendship developing. We are letting Uzbekistan slip through our fingers.
    Turkey is perhaps one of the most critically important nations to U.S. interests abroad, and we are losing hold on and influence with it. Last week, the president of Turkey and his Russian counterpart (dare I name him again?) met. I don’t think it was over the price of beluga caviar or sturgeon fishing rights… do you? Hold your friends close and your enemies closer. Historically, the U.S. and Turkey have had reason for common ground and cooperation. Our military bases have been there for years and are strategically a key to our influence in the region. Turkey is geographic cross roads for commerce, military operations and another key energy transit nation. They are a moderate voice in a volatile Islamic region. Turkey is one of the few Muslim nations – secular or not – to recognize Israel.
    We cannot afford to lose our closeness with such an important friend. Mr. Obama – make nice to Istanbul. Don’t take Turkey for granted.
    Russia is reestablishing an umbilical relationship with Syria. Missiles, a navy presence, commercial ties in technology and energy, and the realization that such an alliance can significantly alter the balance in the Middle East. In the process of sending the Russian Navy to the Mediterranean, docking several ships at the Syrian port of Tartus – Putin visibly demonstrated his rejection of the 1992 Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE) which sought to limit Russian military presence along its European borders. It is likely Iranian Kilo class submarines could join the party. It is well known much of Iran’s armaments are Russian made. And Obama thinks Russia will be an ally? There are too many reasons to discount that likelihood without some “audacity” and courage that doesn’t include “hope” (it isn’t a strategy).

    CONTINUED
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  2. #2  
    CU's Tallest Midget! PoliCon's Avatar
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    I know that given the date on this - it's technically not completely new - but since I have not seen it anywhere else and it is such a damn important topic - I posted it here. if it needs to be moved so be it . . . .
    Stand up for what is right, even if you have to stand alone.
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  3. #3  
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    The internationalists hate the new Russia because it's strong and nationalistic. Boo-hoo.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoliCon View Post
    I know that given the date on this - it's technically not completely new
    What? The CSTO has been around for several years!! What do you mean new?
    "Because we're a great nation, our challenges seem complex; it will always be this way. But as long as we remember our first principals and believe in ourselves, the future will always be ours." -Reagan
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  5. #5  
    CU's Tallest Midget! PoliCon's Avatar
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    I'm talking about the DATE on the article. GAH
    Stand up for what is right, even if you have to stand alone.
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  6. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Lincoln View Post
    The internationalists hate the new Russia because it's strong and nationalistic. Boo-hoo.
    Hate? Try don't trust. Never trust a totalitarian regime.
    Stand up for what is right, even if you have to stand alone.
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    Didn't they already try this?
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    Quote Originally Posted by biccat View Post
    Didn't they already try this?
    I believe it was called the Warsaw Pact.
    Solve a man's problem with violence and help him for a day. Teach a man how to solve his problems with violence, help him for a lifetime - Belkar Bitterleaf
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Lincoln View Post
    The internationalists hate the new Russia because it's strong and nationalistic. Boo-hoo.
    And let's not forget completely amoral and violent.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zathras View Post
    I believe it was called the Warsaw Pact.
    This is scarier than the Warsaw Pact. The Warsaw Pact wasn't a treaty so much as an edict from Moscow to its conquered provinces, ordering them to pretend to be independent states long enough to sign a document that none of them would have been a part of had they not been Soviet satellites. This is a group of states which, for their own reasons, and many of those involve similar Russian bullying, have chosen to sign on with Russia, and some of them have significant US security interests.
    --Odysseus
    Sic Hacer Pace, Para Bellum.

    Before you can do things for people, you must be the kind of man who can get things done. But to get things done, you must love the doing, not the people!
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