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Russia and China take note.

From the article:
A Navy missile soaring 130 miles above the Pacific smashed a dying and potentially deadly U.S. spy satellite Wednesday and probably destroyed a tank carrying 1,000 pounds of toxic fuel, officials said.

Officials had expressed cautious optimism that the missile would hit the satellite, which was the size of a school bus. But they were less certain of hitting the smaller, more problematic fuel tank, whose contents posed what Bush administration officials deemed a potential health hazard to humans if it landed intact.

In a statement announcing that the Navy missile struck the satellite, the Pentagon said, “Confirmation that the fuel tank has been fragmented should be available within 24 hours.” It made no mention of early indications, but a defense official close to the situation said later that officials monitoring the collision saw what appeared to be an explosion, indicating that the fuel tank was hit.

The USS Lake Erie, armed with an SM-3 missile designed to knock down incoming missiles—not orbiting satellites—launched the attack at 10:26 p.m. EST, according to the Pentagon. It hit the satellite about three minutes later as the spacecraft traveled in polar orbit at more than 17,000 mph.

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Video of the news report here.


The former KGB lieutenant colonel appeared to lash out at U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton — a leading Democratic candidate for president — when one reporter quoted her as saying that former KGB officers have no soul:
“At a minimum, a head of state should have a head,” Putin said.

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From the article:
As Yogi Berra once said, “This is déjà vu all over again.” On May 9, heavy military equipment will once again roll down Moscow’s Red Square for the Victory Day military parade. Tanks, missiles, and 6,000 troops will be joined overhead by Su-27 and MiG-29 fighter aircraft and military helicopters. The last time Moscow saw such a display of military hardware on Red Square was in November 1990, before the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The world should take notice of Russia’s increasing militarism. The parade is designed to generate nostalgia among the Russian people and to signal to the U.S., NATO, and Russia’s neighbors that Russia’s power is back. Most importantly, it illustrates President Vladimir Putin’s emphasis on the military and security services at the expense of modern, democratic institutions.

Putin justified Russia’s revived military muscle in his recent speech to the State Council, claiming that the new arms race has been triggered “by the world’s most developed countries”—a clear reference to the U.S. and the West. Russia’s rearmament, said Putin, is not caused by Russia but forced upon it by its adversaries. In response to this alleged challenge to Russia’s security, the Kremlin plans to produce and deploy in the next years new weapons claimed to match or best their Western equivalents. Russia will continue to research and develop revolutionary biological, nano, and information technologies with military applications. Putin also wants a new defense strategy for the Russian Armed Forces and the formation of an “innovative army” based on more professional and better trained servicemen.

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From the article:
U.S. fighter planes intercepted two Russian bombers, including one that buzzed an American aircraft carrier in the western Pacific during the weekend, The Associated Press has learned.

A U.S. military official says that one Russian Tupolev 95 flew directly over the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz twice, at a low altitude of about 2,000 feet, while another bomber circled about 58 miles out. The official was speaking on condition of anonymity because the reports on the flights were classified as secret.

The Saturday incident, which never escalated beyond the flyover, comes amid heightened tensions between the United States and Russia over U.S. plans for a missile defense system based in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Such Russian bomber flights were common during the Cold War, but have been rare since.

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From the article:
Russia is steadily “unravelling” the historic arms control treaties that ended the Cold War and became cornerstones of European security, the most comprehensive survey of global military trends said yesterday.

The Military Balance 2008 portrays Russia as breaking out of the constraints imposed by treaties once considered inviolable.

John Chipman, the head of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, which published the survey, said the “next target of Moscow’s assertive revisionism” could be the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty of 1987.

This crucial agreement, signed by President Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, eliminated medium-range nuclear missiles in Europe.

President Vladimir Putin has already stopped adhering to the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE), which came into force in 1992 and restricts the deployment of troops and tanks near sensitive European frontiers.

Later this year, Russia is expected to formally withdraw from the CFE treaty.

Taken together, these steps would allow Russia to build a new generation of medium-range nuclear missiles capable of striking Western Europe.

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From the article:
The United States is worried that Russia, China and OPEC oil-producing countries could use their growing financial clout to advance political goals, the top U.S. spy chief told Congress on Tuesday.

Such economic matters joined terrorism, nuclear proliferation and computer-network vulnerabilities as top U.S. security threats described by National Director of Intelligence Michael McConnell in an annual assessment.

McConnell said U.S. intelligence agencies had “concerns about the financial capabilities of Russia, China and OPEC countries and the potential use of their market access to exert financial leverage to political ends.”

Russia, bolstered in part by oil revenues, was positioning itself to control an energy supply and transportation network from Europe to East Asia, and the Russian military had begun to reverse a long decline, he told the Senate Intelligence Committee.

China has pursued a policy of global engagement out of a desire to expand its growing economy and obtain access markets, resources, technology and expertise, McConnell said.

It seeks a constructive relationship with the United States and other countries, but as its influence grows “Beijing probably will increasingly expect its interests to be respected by other countries,” he said.

Russia and China have long been able to target U.S. computer systems to collect intelligence, he said. “The worrisome part is, today, they also could target information infrastructure systems for degradation or destruction.”

In the energy sector, a weak U.S. dollar had prompted some oil suppliers, including Iran, Syria and Libya, to ask for payment in other currencies, or to delink their currencies from the dollar, McConnell said. “Continued concerns about dollar depreciation could tempt other producers to follow suit.”

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Diplomacide Mothballed

Diplomacide has been mothballed.
February 2008
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