Anti-War.com & Russia Today & ZeroHedge & Zimbabwe Metro – 2011-12-08 00:09:31
Russia Warns of Nuclear Arms Race
As Missile Defense Talks Deadlock
Jason Ditz / Anti-War.com
(December 7, 2011) — Reports from French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe caution that the ongoing talks with Russia regarding the NATO missile defense shield have virtually deadlocked, saying that the talks will continue and that he hopes Russia will eventually be convinced of the need for the shield.
Russian officials, for their part, insist they don’t buy the NATO claims that the shield is aimed at Iran or some other hypothetical threat, particularly when most of the missiles are on the Russian frontier and outside the range of Iran’s best missiles.
Military chief General Nikolai Makarov expressed concern that the dispute over the shield would lead to a Cold War-style nuclear arms race, saying that Russia had plans to deploy new weapons in the exclave of Kaliningrad to keep the relative balance in the region.
NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen mocked the idea, saying that Russia was “wasting their money” by trying to develop counter-measures to the missile shield, saying Russia would be better off spending the money on “job creation.” For NATO, job creation appears not to be a major concern.
Armed Forces Chief Says Russia Being Pushed into Arms Race
MOSCOW (December 7, 2011) — Russia’s Chief of General Staff says Moscow is being pushed into a new arms race, although it has repeatedly stressed that it does not want this.
In his speech at an annual meeting with foreign military representatives on Wednesday, General Nikolai Makarov noted that at last year’s NATO-Russia summit in Lisbon, President Dmitry Medvedev said Russia could take part in Europe’s own missile defense system, but this suggestion was rejected.
Moscow then offered another option — if NATO countries wanted to build their own defense system, they could simply ensure that Russia falls outside its effective radius, and the effective radius of similar Russian weapons would then remain within the countryâ€™s borders. The second plan was also rejected, Russiaâ€™s military chief said at the Moscow meeting.
“We are ready for other options, but no one is suggesting anything. We hear nothing but empty statements that the missile defense systems in Europe are of no danger to Russiaâ€™s strategic nuclear forces,” Makarov stressed.
The general noted that a number of analysts in the US and Europe have proved that the existing components of European missile defense are already affecting Russiaâ€™s nuclear potential. He also stressed that European countries must be more active in discussing the problem.
“Missile defense creation in Europe can complicate our relations. The Russian President, Defense Minister and myself, as Chief of General Staff have held talks with our colleagues in most European countries. Many of them said that we should decide this issue with the US, but we are talking about Europe. Why are they separating Europe and Russia? Who needs that? We are ready to cooperate, to build missile defense together. Why are they not answering our requests? Someone must be benefitting from this,” Makarov said.
The chief of staff also noted that his country has had to act in response to the foreign moves on missile defense. “The actions defined by the Presidentâ€™s statements are already being realized,” Makarov said.
“But we do not need this, and we are saying it again. Instead of trust, we are getting suspicion and mistrust in return. Europe will not benefit from this,” he added.
The Russian general also said that the assurances that the defense shield is just a remote prospect for 2018 â€“ 2020 do not stand up to criticism. “We see at what rate the missile defense is being introduced in Europe and we see that the directions are different — not against the Southern threat, as it had been declared. It puts us on alert. Naturally, we must take measures now and not in 2018 in order not to find ourselves in a losing situation,” General Makarov said.
Mark Avrum Gubrud, a social activist from the University of North Carolina, believes the US plans may trigger a new arms race that could extend into space, but will still be ineffective at protecting the United States and its allies.
“The system won’t provide any measure of protection against weapons in Iran or North Korea that don’t exist yet,” he told RT. “They might in the future, but if they do theyâ€™ll be able to defeat this system. Russia can defeat it too, but in the meantime it’s raising questions about what the US long-term intentions are and where they may be headed in the future…. If the United States continues to go down this path, the world is headed for trouble.” He believes the system could actually be a precursor to a larger-scale, more robust deployment of weapons — possibly including nuclear — to take out unwanted satellites in space.
“China Will Not Hesitate To Protect Iran
Even With A Third World War”
Tyler Durden / ZeroHedge.com
(November 30, 2011) — Fast forward to 2:08: “It is puzzling to some that Major General Zhang Zhaozhong, a professor from the Chinese National Defense University, said China will not hesitate to protect Iran even with a third World Warâ€¦. Professor Xia Ming: “Zhang Zhaozhong said that not hesitating to fight a third world war would be entirely for domestic political needs….”
And don’t forget Russia, which recently said it is preparing to retaliate against NATO and has put radar stations on combat alert: “Russia is another ally of Iran, with similar policy to that of China. Toward Iran.” Watch, and please forward the entire video, for an explanation of how China is approaching the situation not only in Iran, but a perspective of how they view the western “threat”, as well as what tensions they face domestically.
Russia’s Top Military Commander Warns of Nuclear War with NATO
(November 18, 2011) — Russian General Nikolai Makarov said NATO’s eastward expansion meant the risk of Russia being dragged into conflicts had ‘risen sharply’. General Makarov is the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia, the highest military post of the Russian armed forces.
Many Eastern European countries which used to be part of the Warsaw Pact, a former Soviet sphere of influence, have since joined NATO, an issue which irritated Russia. Russia believes NATO is ganging up with these countries to encircle its western border.
The General said: ‘The possibility of local armed conflicts along nearly the whole border has increased dramatically. In certain conditions, I do not rule out local and regional armed conflicts developing into a large-scale war, including using nuclear weapons.’
Among those countries who have swapped the Warsaw Pact for NATO are Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. Russia is also at odds with the U.S. over plans for an American missile defence shield in Europe.
‘The European missile shield problem is quite serious today,’ General Makarov, 62, said.
Russia also has deeply strained relations with Georgia after a 2008 war over two disputed provinces. Georgia is actively seeking NATO membership. General Makarov specifically referred to NATO’s plans to offer membership to Georgia and Ukraine as potentially threatening to Russia.
The nation’s military doctrine says it may use nuclear weapons to counter a nuclear attack on Russia or an ally, or a large-scale conventional attack that threatens Russia’s existence. Russia sees NATO’s expansion to include former Soviet republics and ex-members of the Soviet bloc in eastern and central Europe as a key threat to Russia’s security.
General Makarov was a former platoon commander for the Communist Soviet Army in East Germany and has served in many posts in strategically sensitive areas for Moscow. During the USSR era, he served with Soviet forces in Siberia, and after the fall of the Red flag was chief of staff of a Russian forces in Tajikistan.
The General is an ally of Vladimir Putin. His strong words yesterday come ahead of political changes in Russia, which are likely to see Putin return to power in the Kremlin as president. Putin, a former Soviet KGB agent, has increasingly grown hostile towards the West.
The collapse of USSR in early 1990s saw Russia emerged as a bankrupted and weak state, and was treated as a defeated power by NATO. Since then NATO not only gobbled up former Russian satellite states in Eastern Europe, but also bombed Yugoslavia, Russia’s closest ally in Europe, in 1998.
Putin Strengthened Russia’s Economy
And Restored its Global Influence
Vladimir Putin became Russia’s president in 2000. Under his reign the Russian economy increased by 6-fold, becoming the 7th largest in the world. Under Putin, Russian industry grew by 76%, investments increased by 125%, real incomes more than doubled and the average monthly salary increased sevenfold from $80 to $640. From 2000 to 2006 the volume of consumer credit increased 45 times and the middle class grew from 8 million to 55 million people. The number of people living below the poverty line decreased from 30% in 2000 to 14% in 2008.
In his 8 years governance, Putin had largely restored Russian military might and influence. He formed alliance with North Korea, China, Mongolia and Kazakhstan, effectively securing Russian eastern and southern borders.
The Russia now and 20 years ago is of stark contrast. The country is no longer poor — it has built up $516 billion in foreign reserves, the world’s third largest; only after China and Japan. Russia has surpassed Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil exporter, given that it is also the world’s largest gas exporter, the Russia today is an energy superpower. Russia, a strong scientific, aerospace and engineering nation, is widely believed to possess the world’s second most advanced military after the USA.
Putin signed the formation of SCO with China and other four Central Asian states in 2001. The SCO is seen as a counterbalance to NATO alliance.
Putin’s â€¦ return to presidency next year would also see a different type of world than it was 10 years ago, with the global balance of power shifted as the EU weakened and drowned in economic disaster and ally China on its way to eclipse U.S. as the world no.1 economic power. It can be interesting how Putin would steer Russian role in a changed world.
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