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From the news.yahoo.com article:
Russian warships have been plying the waters off Venezuela and Panama in recent weeks and are now heading for Cuba, but U.S. officials are not so much wringing their hands as yawning.

Asked about a Russian warship transiting the Panama Canal earlier this month, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice — who saw the ship while crossing the canal last week — told The Associated Press: “I guess they’re on R&R. It’s fine.”

The Pentagon, while puzzled by the Russians’ actions, also is taking a ho-hum attitude. The U.S. military commander for the region, Adm. James Stavridis, head of the U.S. Southern Command, said that from his vantage point, there is no reason to be concerned about the Russian naval activity.

“They pose no military threat to the U.S.,” Stavridis said in an e-mail to the AP on Tuesday.

Under the gaze of the U.S. Southern Command, Russian ships this fall held joint exercises with the navy of Venezuela, whose president, Hugo Chavez, is a fierce U.S. critic.

Navy Rear Adm. Tom Meek, the deputy director for security and intelligence at Southern Command, said in a telephone interview Tuesday that he sees little chance of Russia teaming up with Venezuela in a militarily meaningful way.

“I don’t think that Russia and Venezuela are really serious about putting together a military coalition that would give them any kind of aggregate military capability to oppose anybody,” Meek said. “Frankly, the maneuvers they conducted down here were so basic and rudimentary that they did not amount to anything, in my opinion.”

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has made no effort to hide his irritation at what he considers American arrogance.

“God forbid from engaging in any kind of controversy in the American continent,” he said, referring to his Blackjack bombers flying to Venezuela for a training exercise. “This is considered the ‘holiest of the holy,'” he said during a meeting with Western political scholars at his Black Sea residence in Sochi. “And they drive ships with weapons to a place just 10 kilometers from where we’re at? Is this normal? Is this an equitable move?”

The joint naval exercises with Venezuela were Russia’s way of “demonstrating to the U.S. that it has a foothold in a region traditionally dominated by the U.S.,” said analyst Anna Gilmour at Jane’s Intelligence Review.

Still, she and many Russian analysts say Moscow’s deployments of warships are largely for show.

Russia’s navy is a shadow of its Soviet-era force, having suffered from a serious lack of investment since the 1991 Soviet collapse. Many ships and submarines have rusted away at their berths, and deadly accidents occur regularly.

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Diplomacide: “I sure hope this is not a display of hubris on the part of the Americans.”

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From the 10/26/05 article:
Russia and China could take a step closer to forming a Eurasian military confederacy to rival NATO at a Moscow meeting of the six-member Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Wednesday, experts say.

The group, which started in 2001 with limited goals of promoting cooperation in former Soviet Central Asia, has evolved rapidly toward a regional security bloc and could soon induct new members such as India, Pakistan, and Iran.

One initiative that core members Russia and China agree on, experts say, is to squeeze US influence – which peaked after 9/11 – out of the SCO’s neighborhood. “Four years ago, when the SCO was formed, official Washington pooh-poohed it and declared it was no cause for concern,” says Ariel Cohen, senior researcher at the Heritage Foundation in Washington. “Now they’re proven wrong.”

Wednesday’s meeting is expected to review security cooperation, including a spate of upcoming joint military exercises between SCO members’ armed forces. It may also sign off on a new “Contact Group” for Afghanistan. That would help Russia and China – both concerned about increased opium flows and the rise of Islamism – develop direct relations between SCO and the Afghan government. While this will be highly controversial given the presence of NATO troops and Afghans’ bitter memories of fighting Russian occupation throughout the 1980s, the Russians have an “in” because they still have longstanding allies in the country.

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From the article:
Russia accused the United States on Wednesday of accelerating attempts to deploy anti-missile defences in central Europe, despite Moscow’s request for a freeze on the project.

Washington’s negotiations with Poland and the Czech Republic over installing the defences “have not only not been suspended, but additional measures are being taken to speed them up,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin. “There is the impression that the United States is trying to make the realisation of its plans irreversible,” Kamynin said in a statement.

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This is like a chess match with multiple players and real consequences.

From the article:
Is the Caspian a sea or a lake?

The answer has immense repercussions for the energy industry. If it is a lake, there are no obligations by countries that flank it to grant permits to foreign vessels or drilling companies. But if it is sea, there are international treaties obliging those countries to an array of permits.

The Caspian, one of the world’s largest enclosed bodies of water, has become the center of a new power game involving the United States and Russia as well as its bordering countries, including Iran, over who should control the vast energy reserves under its depths.

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See the Wikipedia link regarding the Caspian Sea which includes a map showing the borders of all the countries involved in the story.

From the article:
In Washington these days, people talk a lot about the collapse of the bipartisan foreign policy consensus that existed during the Cold War. But however bitter today’s disputes are about Iraq or the prosecution of the so-called global war on terrorism, there is one bedrock assumption about foreign policy that remains truly bipartisan: The United States will remain the sole superpower, and the guarantor of international security and global trade, for the foreseeable future. In other words, whatever else may change in the decades to come, the 21st century will be every bit as much of an American century as the 20th.

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From the article:
Vladimir Putin announced ambitious plans to revive Russia’s military power and restore its role as the world’s leading producer of military aircraft yesterday.

Speaking at the opening of the largest airshow in Russia’s post-Soviet history, the president said he was determined to make aircraft manufacture a national priority after decades of lagging behind the west.

The remarks follow his decision last week to resume long-range missions by strategic bomber aircraft capable of hitting the US with nuclear weapons. Patrols over the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic began last week for the first time since 1992.

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From the article:
Russia is looking at boosting its military presence in the Mediterranean with plans to set up two naval bases in Syria. Together with the production of intercontinental ballistic missiles in the works and an air defense missile system in the Moscow region, this may be one of the first signs of the “asymmetrical” response to the United States that President Vladimir Putin spoke of in February.

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CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) – President Hugo Chavez urged soldiers on Sunday to prepare for a guerrilla-style war against the United States, saying that Washington is using psychological and economic warfare as part of an unconventional campaign aimed at derailing his government.

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From the article:
The history of the Soviet Union had fewer black pages in its history than certain other countries, not least the United States, President Vladimir Putin has said in a speech.

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WASHINGTON (AP) – China’s recent success at destroying a satellite in low-Earth orbit threatens the interests of all space-faring nations and posed dangers to human space flight, the Pentagon said Friday.

In its annual report on Chinese military developments, the Pentagon also said the People’s Liberation Army is building a greater capacity to launch preemptive strikes. It cited as examples China’s acquisition of long-endurance submarines, unmanned combat aircraft and additional precision-guided air-to-ground missiles.

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Diplomacide Mothballed

Diplomacide has been mothballed.
October 2017
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