A 'new start in the relationship between NATO and Russia'

Phil Boehmke
When NATO leaders meet in Lisbon on November 19th for a two day summit there will be a new chair at the table reserved for Dmitry Medvedev. The UK Guardian reports that the Russian president has accepted an invitation to join the summit in Portugal.
The officials said several joint Nato-Russian initiatives on Afghanistan were on the table. They include the contribution of Russian helicopters and crews to train Afghan pilots, possible Russian assistance in training Afghan national security forces, increased co-operation on counter-narcotics and border security, and improved transit and supply routes for Nato forces.
“The summit can mark a new start in the relationship between Nato and Russia,” said Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the Nato secretary-general.
[…]
Western diplomats said it was quite likely that agreements with Moscow on enhanced co-operation in Afghanistan on a range of fronts would be reached in time for the Lisbon Nato summit on 19-20 November.
[…]
The Russian president is also expected to hold a separate, two-hour meeting with the US president, Barack Obama, Rasmussen and other top Nato leaders. Officials said a separate agreement on limited Russian co-operation with Nato’s European missile defense plans was also in prospect.
Medvedev’s decision to go to Lisbon, and the raft of new agreements with Moscow, will be seen as the fruit of Obama’s policy to “reset” relations with Russia.
For many Afghans (friend and foe alike) the image of Russian Mi-17 helicopters in the skies over their country is one of the most enduring images of their decade long war with the former Soviet Union. The return of the Russians to Afghanistan is bound to have implications well beyond mere short-term political considerations.
Mr. Obama and Secretary of State Clinton are desperate to create the illusion of foreign policy success (no matter the cost) as a means of reversing their political fortunes. The “restart” of relations with Russia is reminiscent of Neville Chamberlain’s pre-World War II policy of appeasement. In the face of U.S. weakness and British military cutbacks, Vladimir Putin can see a clear path in the Russian quest to regain their super-power status. The recent re-appearance of statues and images of Stalin are far more than a mere nostalgic expression for the era of Soviet might on the world stage.
The Obama-Clinton foreign policy combined with necessary cutbacks in military spending in the United Kingdom have already shown us a glimpse of things to come. The UK Daily Mail reports.
RAF fighter jets have been scrambled to intercept Russian nuclear bombers near British airspace twice in the last week, it emerged today.
The alarm was raised after the huge Tupolev Tu95 ‘Bears’ were spotted on Monday and Tuesday, flying in a Nato-policed zone close to the UK.
Tornados from RAF Leuchars in Fife were dispatched to identify and escort the bombers back to international air space.
The incident is the latest in a long line of cat-and-mouse engagements between RAF fighters and Russian aircraft, as the Kremlin seeks to test Western response times.
Mr. Obama, Mrs. Clinton and NATO may seek the warm embrace of the Russian Bear for short term political gain, but as with any other predator the bear that is lurking in the international forest can smell fear and sense weakness.
Reports of the latest engagements emerged as Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond hit out at the ‘lack of clarity’ from the Coalition Government over the future of two RAF bases threatened with closure.
The Russians long-term plan for expansion and the return to international prominence seems an ideal match for the troubled economic times and the vacuum of American leadership.
October 29th 2010
paboehmke@yahoo.com
When NATO leaders meet in Lisbon on November 19th for a two day summit there will be a new chair at the table reserved for Dmitry Medvedev. The UK Guardian reports that the Russian president has accepted an invitation to join the summit in Portugal.
The officials said several joint Nato-Russian initiatives on Afghanistan were on the table. They include the contribution of Russian helicopters and crews to train Afghan pilots, possible Russian assistance in training Afghan national security forces, increased co-operation on counter-narcotics and border security, and improved transit and supply routes for Nato forces.
“The summit can mark a new start in the relationship between Nato and Russia,” said Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the Nato secretary-general.
[…]
Western diplomats said it was quite likely that agreements with Moscow on enhanced co-operation in Afghanistan on a range of fronts would be reached in time for the Lisbon Nato summit on 19-20 November.
[…]
The Russian president is also expected to hold a separate, two-hour meeting with the US president, Barack Obama, Rasmussen and other top Nato leaders. Officials said a separate agreement on limited Russian co-operation with Nato’s European missile defense plans was also in prospect.
Medvedev’s decision to go to Lisbon, and the raft of new agreements with Moscow, will be seen as the fruit of Obama’s policy to “reset” relations with Russia.
For many Afghans (friend and foe alike) the image of Russian Mi-17 helicopters in the skies over their country is one of the most enduring images of their decade long war with the former Soviet Union. The return of the Russians to Afghanistan is bound to have implications well beyond mere short-term political considerations.
Mr. Obama and Secretary of State Clinton are desperate to create the illusion of foreign policy success (no matter the cost) as a means of reversing their political fortunes. The “restart” of relations with Russia is reminiscent of Neville Chamberlain’s pre-World War II policy of appeasement. In the face of U.S. weakness and British military cutbacks, Vladimir Putin can see a clear path in the Russian quest to regain their super-power status. The recent re-appearance of statues and images of Stalin are far more than a mere nostalgic expression for the era of Soviet might on the world stage.
The Obama-Clinton foreign policy combined with necessary cutbacks in military spending in the United Kingdom have already shown us a glimpse of things to come. The UK Daily Mail reports.
RAF fighter jets have been scrambled to intercept Russian nuclear bombers near British airspace twice in the last week, it emerged today.
The alarm was raised after the huge Tupolev Tu95 ‘Bears’ were spotted on Monday and Tuesday, flying in a Nato-policed zone close to the UK.
Tornados from RAF Leuchars in Fife were dispatched to identify and escort the bombers back to international air space.
The incident is the latest in a long line of cat-and-mouse engagements between RAF fighters and Russian aircraft, as the Kremlin seeks to test Western response times.
Mr. Obama, Mrs. Clinton and NATO may seek the warm embrace of the Russian Bear for short term political gain, but as with any other predator the bear that is lurking in the international forest can smell fear and sense weakness.
Reports of the latest engagements emerged as Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond hit out at the ‘lack of clarity’ from the Coalition Government over the future of two RAF bases threatened with closure.
The Russians long-term plan for expansion and the return to international prominence seems an ideal match for the troubled economic times and the vacuum of American leadership.
October 29th 2010
paboehmke@yahoo.com