Thursday, November 6, 2008

Russia In A Missile Snit

(Maxim Shipenkov/European Pressphoto Agency)
Putin prodigy, President Medvedev read his prepared script to test America's resolve with perfect aplomb in front of invited guests and press at the Kremlin. It was really intended for an audience of one, President-elect Barack Obama. From St George's Hall the State of the Nation extravaganza delivered tough talk and threats of radio jamming as the ABM or antiballistic missile system encroaches on Russian military power. The Putinites remain ticked off about the long standing issue of the Unites States placing interceptor missiles in Eastern Europe, remember Poland, which they consider their back yard. Except, the countries involved have full fledged members ship in US-led NATO, which is the chicken bone really stuck in their craw. (Guneev Sergey/Bloomberg News)

That Russian threat came dripping with honey:
Medvedev made similar comments in his address: "Let me stress that we don't have problems with the American people. We don't have an inborn anti-Americanism. And we hope that our partners, the new U.S. administration, will make a choice in favor of full-fledged relationswith Russia."
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev walks to lay flowers at the statue of Minin and Pozharsky, the leaders of a struggle against foreign invaders in 1612, to mark the National Unity Day, in the Red Square, Moscow, Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008. The new holiday was created in 2005 to replace the traditional Nov. 7 celebration of the 1917 Bolshevik rise to power. The Kremlin has tried to give it historical significance by tying it to the 1612 expulsion of Polish and Cossack troops who briefly seized Moscow at a time of political disarray. But it has been seized upon by extreme nationalists. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)This is the first salvo less than 24 hours after Barack Obama's historic election as the 44th president of United States that also goes by the nickname, Leader of the Free World. Dimitry, showing no diplomacy skills, sent Barack Obama an old fashioned telegraph acknowledging his accomplishment by saying he looked forward to a constructive dialogue. How quaint. No mention of the new realities in America's political landscape made the cut into the final draft of his speech after scheduling it twice before. Kind of interesting the stinging speech actually gets delivered the day after the US election. President Medvedev, a tender 43 year old rookie and his swinging Svengali, Vladimir, threw the first mud pie by baldly stated their belief that America is responsible for the global financial decimation while crassly calling America selfish in its foreign policy aims. Obama's historic election win was major league downplayed in a tightly state controlled Russian media.

Ministers of much lower rank spoke a tad more cordially of solving problems together. But the ominous utterances of the Russian president did not focus on cash but weapons of war. A Iskander-M surface to surface ballistic missile deployment to the Baltic area of Kaliningrad is a direct counter to the interceptor missiles the US places in Poland and the Czech Republic. Good thing Barack President-elect Obama got his first super double secret spies are here doing this in the dark meeting today. Kaliningrad had a starring role in the Cold War saga as a containment zone on the foremost outer ring of defending Russia with ample amounts of military matériel and personnel.
It is unclear whether the Iskanders to be deployed in Kaliningrad will have a nuclear payload.

Analysts say the Iskanders will probably be positioned with Russia's 152nd missile brigade, near Chernyakhovsk. Medvedev said on Wednesday that radio jamming from Kaliningrad would also be used to disrupt the US anti-missile system.

The president said plans to disband, by 2010, three missile regiments based in Russia's Kaluga region near Moscow had been cancelled in respond to Washington's anti-missile scheme.

While American pols have been immersed in The Obama Epic, former president Vladimir has stealthily moved to position himself to legally retake the Russian presidency. Instead of Barack Obama staring down Dimitry Medevedev, who gave an aggressive tough Russian national security speech, he could find himself face to face with the steely-eyed jdo chopping Putin, whose soul a junior George W. Bush completely misread, in less than a year in a Kremlin power play to gain Putin approval of two thirds of the State Duma. Prime Minister Putin, the former KB spymaster, looks at the missiles in his back yard as an act of war. He's also on the move making nice with Italy's three time peacock Premier, Silvio Berlusconi, getting a head start on an Obama Administration as Medvedev travels to the South Caucasus to follow up on Putin's leadoff discussions with him as well. Russia was not on the list of 9 world leaders Obama spoke with today to thank for their congratulatory calls.

Marshall L. Goldman writes an account of Russia's mounting economic and energy power in Petrostate: Putin, Power, and the New Russia. Putin systematically acquires the power under state control while leveraging its oil for more cachet around the world in a series of intrigues and political knife fights to control the remaining Russian oligarchs.

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