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Russia: Trying To Start A Revolution
   Next Article → LEADERSHIP: The Unofficial B-2 Downtime Blues
April 2, 2008: The increasing use of police raids against government officials is interpreted as an effort to crack down on corruption. But some of these "clean up" operations appear to have more to do with intimidation than clean government. A common tactic is to accuse foreign businessmen with espionage, in order to get a better deal for Russian businesses. Or, in the case of a deal between Russians, the intimidation is to encourage a win for the pro-government player. The intimidation is part of a policy that has the government talking democracy and practicing police state. Public opinion is paid attention to, but much effort is also made to control what people think. Newly elected president Dmitry Medvedev recognizes the problem, and says he wants to persuade Russians to accept rule of law, rather than rule by fear and intimidation. This is part of a struggle to make some fundamental changes in Russian culture. Many Russians recognize that Russia cannot really compete with the industrialized nations unless there is an environment that tolerates entrepreneurs and innovation. For centuries, Russians were conditioned to look over their shoulder for approval. This included creative and scientific issues. Eastern Europe and China were not ruled by the communists as long as Russia, and retained more of their tradition of working without being smothered by tyrants and a police state. China is still a police state, but has found a way to let the entrepreneurs do their thing. Russians are jealous, and are trying to figure out how they can do that.

Russia remains hostile to neighbors (like Georgia and Ukraine) joining NATO, and to an American anti-missile system in Eastern Europe (for protection against Iranian ballistic missiles.) The U.S. is trying to placate Russia by discouraging Georgia and Ukraine from joining, and offering to keep the anti-missile system turned off unless Iran gets close to activating missiles that could reach Europe. Despite the media playing up differences between the U.S. and Russia, diplomats from the two nations have been in constant touch on several key issues. This includes the 1991 START-1 nuclear disarmament treaty. Negotiations are under way to work out a new version of START-1, after the current one expires in 2012. The diplomats are also trying to dissuade Russia from getting involved in Balkans politics (where Russia supports Serb ownership of Kosovo, where the majority Albanians recently declared it an independent nation.)

Next Article → LEADERSHIP: The Unofficial B-2 Downtime Blues
  
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kerravon       4/2/2008 7:35:26 AM
"The U.S. is trying to placate Russia by discouraging Georgia and Ukraine from joining"
 
Someone better let Bush know that he's going against US policy ...
 
 
"We must make clear that Nato welcomes the aspirations of Georgia and Ukraine for membership and offers them a clear path forward toward that goal," he said.
 
Or did you confuse the US with the EU?
 
"He also pressed the alliance to support Membership Action Plans for both Ukraine and Georgia - a move opposed by France and Germany"
 
They are both 2 characters with the letter "U" in them.  I get them mixed up all the time too.
 
 
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Lance Blade       4/2/2008 1:23:38 PM
EU is an economic alliance, independant of the US, and Ukraine and Georgia will not see EU membership for at least another decade because of the state of their economies. Heck, if they don't take Turkey on what chance have those 2 nations got? Georgia maybe, with its relatively small size, but not Ukraine. At least, not any time soon. Politics have little to do with it, it's more the fact that EU states don't want to lose their money.

Also, does NATO really need Ukraine and Georgia that much? What will they contribute to the alliance? It would seem like NATO lost its original purpose - to counter Warsaw Pact nations - and is now getting bigger by inertia.

 
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ker       4/2/2008 2:39:26 PM


Also, does NATO really need Ukraine and Georgia that much? What will they contribute to the alliance? It would seem like NATO lost its original purpose - to counter Warsaw Pact nations - and is now getting bigger by inertia.

I think the American government might want them in NATO for the new blood.  That is more "new Europe" to further watter down the "old Europe" mind set.  That is to keep Europe in the business of transforming the world.  Maybe NATOs mission was to remove Warsaw Pact country from Soviet/Russian domination and some of them aren't all the way out yet. Never leave a brother behind.  NATO's function changed from deterring a Fulga Gap scenario to dealing with Yugoslavia and to a lesser extent Afghanistan.  In both cases they are defending Europe from the harsh consequences of war and less directly doing the same for the U.S. 

 
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Lance Blade    on NATO MAPs   4/3/2008 5:04:17 AM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/7327747.stm

There it is. The US wants Georgia and Ukraine to join NATO, but France and Germany oppose. Now the reason being, I believe, is precisely that stated in the article. During talks between US and Russia, I believe in the 1990s, the US made a number of promises to Russia, one of them being that they will not expand NATO up to Russia's borders. They then continued to do just that, which means most Russians now consider NATO an enemy. Hence there are plenty of anti-NATO feelings in both Ukraine, which has a massive Russian population, and, I believe, Georgia. So France and Germany probably do oppose the move for Russia's sake.
 
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