Author: Matthew Larson
Missile Matchup, Troop Buildup, Media Shakeup, Propaganda Pick-Me-Up, Putin Wake-Up
The news in this issue of the Digest is full of "ups" more deservedly considered "downs." Most depressing are the hypothetical Russian and US strike/counterstrike scenarios being bandied about that are eerily reminiscent of the doomsday scenarios of the cold war era. On May 12, the US Aegis Ashore missile defense system based in Romania came under NATO control, further ratcheting up tension between Moscow and the alliance. The US maintains that the systems are not directed against Russia, while Moscow insists that they are a threat that must be mitigated. Boris Sokolov contends that the US’s missile defense systems in Romania and Poland would be unable to counter Russia’s thermonuclear arsenal, and therefore represent only a marginal threat to Russia. Vladimir Mukhin, however, takes a more skeptical view, saying that the missile systems could be converted to deliver offensive missile strikes against strategic locations in western and central Russia. At any rate, Moscow is not going to let these new US missile systems stand unchallenged and has said it will target the countries hosting them.
Adding to the controversy, Russia’s Defense Ministry has announced plans to create two new military divisions on its southern and eastern borders to counter NATO’s recently announced plans to build up troops in Eastern Europe. The move reinforces NATO leaders’ general mistrust of Russia. For example, Gen. Philip Breedlove, commander for the US Armed Forces’ European Command, commented that "Russia has not accepted the hand of partnership but has chosen a path of belligerence." That assessment is not unanimously supported in the West, however. Pat Buchanan, a former White House adviser to the Nixon and Ford administrations, offers this stinging indictment of that opinion: "Did we not ourselves slap aside the hand of Russian friendship, when proffered, when we chose to embrace our unipolar moment, to play the great ...
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|Article Title||Letter From the Editors: May 2 - 15, 2016|
|Source||Current Digest of the Russian Press, The , No.18, Vol.68, May 02, 2016, page(s):2|
|Place of Publication||Minneapolis, USA|