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Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

No Reset with Russia

Timothy Birdnow

Barack Hussein Obama promised a "reset" of diplomatic ties with Russia, and he has taken concrete steps to accomplish this. He signed a major arms-control agreement with them, severely reducing the number and capabilities of our nuclear arsenal, and he has promised even more after the elections when he would have "more flexibility". Mr. Obama has allowed our satellite capabilities to degrade which effects both our ability to study natural phonomenon on Earth but also likely effects our national security capabilities. In 2009 Obama caved to Russian demands on missile defense in Poland. and as of today we have yet to fully construct such a system.

But none of that matters to the Russian Bear. The Russian military is threatening to deploy Iskander theater ballistic missiles at Kaliningrad, to threaten Europe.

they are also working to develop new liquid fuel ICBM's capable of beating a missile defense system.

With Detente one sets certain boundaries and offers tit for tat. The difference between Detente` and Appeasement is over what you actually get in return for concessions. Mr. Obama has gotten nothing from the Russians, and as such his policy is purely Appeasement. Mr. Obama came out of the nuclear freeze movement during the 1980's and he's trying to unilaterally impose a freeze. He dreams of a nuclear free world, as if the weapons were somehow the problem and not the evil men who would use those weapons to subjugate their weaker neighbors. (Actually, I suspect he understands this point quite well, but he thinks that America is the oppressor, and he would love a return to the good old days of communist ascendency.)

One thing is certain; if Mr. Obama is trying to "reset" relations with Russia it is clearly not working.

Appeasement leads to war. That point cannot be stressed enough; when a belligerent power sees itself unopposed by weak neighbors the demands and actions grow more bellicose. Eventually the belligerent sees itself as having a right to act with impunity, and war is the end result. History is full of such cases. Mr. Obama is putting us on the path to war.

How, you may ask?  Russia is furious that her game of energy monopoly has failed. The Russians had a brilliant plan whereby they would control the flow of oil and gas (and sources of electricity such as nuclear) to Europe. The Europeans would have to pay what they were told, and they would have to kowtow to Russia or shiver through the winter. The Russians were mad about the BTK pipeline and other efforts to bypass Russia and her strategic partner Iran, and the Georgian war was launched to stop Georgia from providing a pipeline thoroughfare.

But the Shale revolution has completely thwarted the Russian plans, and gas and oil fields are popping up all over Europe. Gasprom's services will no longer be so vital, and Europe will not be subject to energy blackmail as the Russian authorities had planned.

Plutarchy has failed; time to go back to the tried-and-true method of military coercion.  Missile defense is more dangerous to Russia than ever, because the Poles are sitting on a nice gas field waiting to be frakked. Remember, the Russians cut off the gas supply to Ukraine back in 2006. Should they try that in the future the Poles could supply all of Ukraine's needs. This cannot be allowed.

So Russian missiles must form a Sword of Damoclese over the Polish (and other European) heads. Perhaps they can even be intimidated into not developing their newly discovered gas and oil fields? 

But such a situation is unstable, and should war break out with Iran or in Turkey with Kurds those dandy Iskander missiles could fly, and if they do we will have nothing to stop them, thanks to Barack Obamas weakness. Right now the threat of building a missile defense shield has the Russians terrified; they cannot project power if we do. They know this.

Does Barack Obama?

In international relations, as in parenting, consistency is the most important thing; if you do this we will do that. It has to be firm. Turning the other cheek is a policy for interpersonal relations, but it makes terrible foreign policy. A nation that turns the other cheek will have that cheek on the floor in supplication to the new masters in short order. You can never give something up to make the other guy feel comfortable. If we are to make the Russians feel comfortable Obama should buy Putin a new mattress or an easy chair, but keep the missile defense system in play. Unfortunately this man is either completely pig-ignorant or he hopes to rebuilt the bipolar world. Remember, Bill Clinton's Secretary of State Madelyn Albreit let the cat out of the bag on that score, saying America should not be the world's lone superpower. Her thinking represents a sizable blog of liberal thought, too. She is certainly to the right of Mr. Obama. Why wouldn't Obama want to empower the Russians? 

For fifty years America fought a cold war against the former Soviet Union. Now, standing triumphant in what was a titanic struggle, many on the Left seek to restore the worst of that cold war period.

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