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Russia signals its response to the missile defense system (bombers in Cuba)

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usregimechange Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-14-09 10:13 AM
Original message
Russia signals its response to the missile defense system (bombers in Cuba)
Russian strategic bombers could use Cuba airfields

MOSCOW, Russia (CNN) -- Russia expressed interest in using Cuban airfields during patrol missions of its strategic bombers, Russia's Interfax news agency reported

"There are four or five airfields in Cuba with 4,000-meter-long runways, which absolutely suit us," Maj. Gen. Anatoly Zhikharev told Interfax.

Zhikharev, who is the chief of staff of the Russian Air Force's long-range aviation, said, "If the two chiefs of state display such a political will, we are ready to fly there."

Zhikharev also told Interfax that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has offered a military airfield on La Orchila island as a temporary base for Russian strategic bombers.

"If a relevant political decision is made, this is possible," he said, according to Interfax. Zhikharev said he visited La Orchila in 2008 and can confirm that with minor reconstruction, the airfield owned by a local naval base can accept fully-loaded Russian strategic bombers.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/03/14/russia.cuba....


New Cuban Missile Crisis?
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RC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-14-09 10:31 AM
Response to Original message
1. How can you blame them.
Edited on Sat Mar-14-09 10:32 AM by RC
How would we feel if Russia had missiles aimed to over fly this country for any reason? At the beginning of bu$h's first term, Russia was our friend. With the criminals out of office, they can be again. So, no missiles needed anywhere.
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drm604 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-14-09 10:42 AM
Response to Original message
2. Some interesting parallels to the Cuban missile crisis.
Edited on Sat Mar-14-09 10:42 AM by drm604
The Soviets began building the missile bases in Cuba partly in response to us placing missiles in Turkey. (It was also possibly in response to the possibility of us invading Cuba.) This time it may be a response to our plans for a European missile defense system.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuban_Missile_Crisis

I do question if it will escalate to the level of the 60's crisis. For one thing we're not in the middle of a cold war.

I'm not sure what the lesson from history tells us about the current situation. Wikipedia says that after the crisis was resolved Khrushchev's request that the Jupiter and Thor missiles in Turkey be removed was ignored by the Kennedy administration and not pressed by the Soviet Union. However, I clearly remember my college history 101 professor stating unambiguously that we agreed to the removal of the missiles from Turkey as part of the agreement that ended the crisis.
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Hippo_Tron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-14-09 09:04 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. The Jupiters were removed from Turkey but done so secretly
Edited on Sat Mar-14-09 09:05 PM by Hippo_Tron
In reality the Jupiters had no strategic usage anymore because they could fire better missiles off of submarines. Kennedy was going to have them removed anyway at some point. The key thing was that it remained secret so that Kennedy could look like he wasn't conceding anything to Khrushchev. That's why it appeared that Kennedy had won the standoff.
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cbc5g Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-14-09 11:05 AM
Response to Original message
3. Heh they are testing Obama
I guess they didn't get the hint from the Chinese incident that Obama isn't weak.
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FrenchieCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-14-09 09:09 PM
Response to Original message
5. Good thing that President Obama has publicly signaled his intent
on reproaching Cuban relations.
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Bread and Circus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-14-09 09:39 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. That's probably why they are doing this. If Obama warms things up w/ Cuba
that's not good for the Russians. So, their tactic is to try to scare us back to a hardline stance.
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rug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-14-09 10:32 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. Rapproche is better than reproach.
The only thing he should reproach is his campaign rhetoric on Cuba.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/05/23/obama.cuban.amer...
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FrenchieCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-14-09 11:46 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. I'm French. I thought Reproach meant in English what Rapproche means in French!
Edited on Sat Mar-14-09 11:54 PM by FrenchieCat
But I just looked up Reproach, and I see that it doesn't.

Sorry!


Rapproche:
http://dictionary.reverso.net/french-english/rapprocher
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cooolandrew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-14-09 09:33 PM
Response to Original message
6. I think the message here is they are still skeptical of America's intentions. The plans sound like >
Edited on Sat Mar-14-09 09:35 PM by cooolandrew
an option not a firm decision. I think if you place yourself in their shoes they are playing cautious. It all depends how carefully the President handles them form here.
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rockymountaindem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-14-09 10:11 PM
Response to Original message
8. I hope everybody realizes this all amounts to nothing
Edited on Sat Mar-14-09 10:11 PM by rockymountaindem
The US ABM battery that we propose to put in Poland would only have about 20 missiles. It is designed to stop a "rogue" (who could that be?) power in the mideast from attacking Europe. Even if it were to function with a 100% success rate against a Russian attack, the Russians would still have plenty of ICBMs with which to devastate the entire world. Not to mention that an ABM battery in Poland would be of no use against Russian submarine nukes. This proposal does nothing to thwart the Russians' nuclear capability. They're upset about the idea that US troops and equipment would be stationed in Poland, a country which they consider to be in their rightful orbit called the "near abroad". The main issue here is a geopolitical slap in Moscow's face, not a potential nuclear exchange between the US and Russia.

Likewise, Russian TU-95 bombers based in Cuba or flying around in the Atlantic would be cannon fodder for American interceptors based in Virginia, Pensacola and elsewhere. It would be next to impossible for them to mount an attack with them. It's just a way for Russia to respond to the proposed ABM base by resurrecting the nightmare of the Cuban Missile Crisis, IMHO. The biggest threat with such an idea is the possibility that one might crash which, given the age of the TU-95s, is a real possibility.
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AZCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-15-09 11:28 PM
Response to Reply #8
15. That's not entirely true.
The various anti-missile schemes promoted over the years have had two purposes: the first is as you suggest - defense against a small number of missiles from a rogue nuclear power; the second is much more alarming - defense against a Russian response to a U.S. first strike. The theory was/is the Russians would only have a small number of working missiles following a first strike, and we would be able to shoot down most of those with an anti-missile system. The danger is two-fold: first, since an anti-missile system might neutralize any possibility of a Russian response to a U.S. first strike, they might decide to be proactive; second, because some U.S. cowboy might decide that since Russia isn't capable of harming us very much that it's worth the risk to go ahead and push the button.

Very frightening - more so because of how close we were to this during the Saint Ronnie years. I'm right in the middle of Arsenals of Folly by Richard Rhodes. It's an excellent book about this very topic.
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anonymous171 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-15-09 01:11 AM
Response to Original message
11. Why are we still fighting the cold war?
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amandabeech Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-15-09 04:00 AM
Response to Reply #11
13. You might want to ask Putin that same question.
He seems to be having hard time getting used to the fact that former Warsaw Pact members and Soviet Republics really don't like Russia very much.
And who can blame them?

We're not universally loved in Latin America, either, but right now, most of the countries will talk to us, either directly or through intermediators like Lula.

Russia has to get used to the new reality, just like we do.
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cbc5g Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-15-09 01:14 AM
Response to Original message
12. It's like t-rex testing the fence to see if that shits still buzzing
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AnnieBW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-15-09 10:43 PM
Response to Original message
14. Looks like Putin's rearing his head over Florida
Sorry, Sarah.
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