U.S. to Russia: How does a missile defense system in Poland sound?

posted at 8:08 pm on August 14, 2008 by Allahpundit

A modest system — just 10 missiles in all — and the Poles appear to get more from it than we do, but the message is clear. Flag this story, because the left will surely be pointing back to it as a provocation that simply impelled Russia to act when Putin finally gets around to making his move on Ukraine or Latvia or whoever’s next on the list.

Prime Minister Donald Tusk said the United States had agreed to help augment Poland’s defenses with Patriot missiles in exchange for placing 10 missile defense interceptors in the eastern European country…

While Washington says the defense system is meant to guard Europe against missile-armed states like Iran, the Kremlin feels it is aimed at Russia’s missile force, and [parliamentary foreign affairs committe chairman Konstantin] Kosachev told the Interfax news agency the deal will spark “a real rise in tensions in Russian-American relations.”…

Talking about the “mutual commitment” part of the agreement, Tusk said that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization would be too slow in coming to Poland’s defense if Poland were threatened and that the bloc would take “days, weeks to start that machinery.”

“Poland and the Poles do not want to be in alliances in which assistance comes at some point later – it is no good when assistance comes to dead people. Poland wants to be in alliances where assistance comes in the very first hours of – knock on wood – any possible conflict,” Tusk said.

That’s a brutal vote of no confidence in NATO, although I wonder if its target audience isn’t actually Bush and Rice. The U.S. hasn’t done, and likely won’t do, anything more for Georgia than provide humanitarian aid in the short term despite the military cooperation between the two countries over the past few years. This sounds like Poland’s way of saying that they expect more than that if their turn comes on the chopping block, particularly given the fact that the missile deal also includes a U.S. promise to help modernize their military. Is Bush prepared to unilaterally guarantee Poland’s security? Or rather, are the Democrats? The deal’s already gotten some static in Congress and the interceptors won’t be deployed for a few years yet, so whether Obama and Congress choose to follow through will signal the whole region about Hopenchange America’s willingness to stand up to Russia, needless to say.

Austin Bay has the nuts and bolts of the possible defense systems involved, none of which appear to pose any great obstacle to Russia beyond their having to fire off a few extra missiles to swamp the shield. Doubtless it’ll be used as a pretext, though, for Russia to build up its own “defenses,” which it certainly wouldn’t have done if not for this exceedingly menacing empty gesture.

Update: Ah, I missed this from the AP piece. Indeed, this deal is not about the missiles:

He said the deal also includes a “mutual commitment” between the two nations to come to each other’s assistance “in case of trouble.”


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The Clinton administration really screwed us. They reneged on initial pledges not to expand NATO into former Warsaw Pact countries. Then they compounded that error by using NATO (which had always been a defensive alliance) against the Serbs in Kosovo

And don’t forget about downsizing our military.

carbon_footprint on August 14, 2008 at 11:14 PM

To plays devils Advocate…from their perspective

Thanks, it was a rhetorical question.

Yes, they’re playing great power politics and trying to tie us down in the Middle East while they go traipsing through Eastern Europe/Asia and reacquire their empire.

Which is why we need to provide some support for the republics to prevent them from being swallowed up or Finlandized.

I think you’re approach would, unfortunately, lead to the latter. These smaller republics – seeing the US abandoning them – would make deals with Russia. To our detriment.

Yes, we need to be careful and critics may be right that the White House is acting precipitately.

But the Russians, to me, have clearly made their bets that we are weak or preoccupied with our elections and Iraq, et cetera and they’re going to move now.

SteveMG on August 14, 2008 at 11:16 PM

coldwarrior on August 14, 2008 at 11:04 PM

Once again, from an American perspective? you are correct…

From the Russian Paranoia perspective… he must be an American Sleeper agent… after all, we in Russia created Arafat and look how well that worked… kept the Middle East in turmoil for 2 generations…

My point is, that based on THEIR worldview, we pushed their buttons at a REALLY bad time.

Romeo13 on August 14, 2008 at 11:17 PM

Have been pushing them for quite a while. But…hate to use that…but, if you look at it all across the board, ANYTHING we do to promote our own national interests can be construed from a Russian point of view as a threat. They have always since the time of Rurik, viewed anything done outside their fiefdom, kingdom, empire, Soviet Union, and now revanchist Russia, as a threat to them.

We have only a few options.

1) Design all our national policies around getting Russia’s approval first.

2) Cozy up to the Russians and allow our form of government and our economy to become part and parcel to Russia’s, dependent on Russia.

3) Determine what is best for the long term maintainence of the American body politic, our economy and our ability to trade freely unmolested across the globe and tap down threats as they happen.

Right now we have a threat to us. Russian perspective or no. A demonstrated threat that we appear unwilling to challenge save for the most token of means.

From the Russian perspective does this tokenism inspire us, Russia, to fall back behind the Rurik ramparts, or does it inspire us, the Russians, to seek and obtain yet another chunk of what we view as “ours?”

coldwarrior on August 14, 2008 at 11:25 PM

freevillage on August 14, 2008 at 10:17 PM

You seem a bit defensive on the subject. I didn’t mention drinking specifically, but I see you did in your later post. I suppose that and the snipers shooting at civilians is a bit embarrassing. Have you heard anything about rapes of Georgian women or looting?

a capella on August 14, 2008 at 11:25 PM

We’re already blowing $700+ billion a year on “defense” BryonS.

There’s no way we can even afford to keep up that much in pork payments…much less increase it.

Bush and the neocons raising the price of oil sixfold has made Russia and Putin rich…he can outspend us this time around.

alphie on August 14, 2008 at 11:25 PM

Bush and the neocons raising the price of oil sixfold has made Russia and Putin rich…he can outspend us this time around.

This is good.

Can I quote you?

I’ll be sure to accredit it to you.

SteveMG on August 14, 2008 at 11:28 PM

A reasonable approach for Russia is to stop listening to the US’ threats. The US never did anything good for Russia. They never will.

Pray tell freevillage, when has Russia in its long and sordid history ever done anything good for anyone else?

Mike Honcho on August 14, 2008 at 11:31 PM

Yup. What power that teh boosh and his evil gang of neocons for raising the price …

wait. this is too easy. Please come up with something that has more depth and texture to it than that.

wise_man on August 14, 2008 at 11:32 PM

We should ask Quebec if THEY want Vermont. We could offer it to them at a very attractive price.

My collie says:

Very clever, CC. You KNOW they’d be beggin’ us to take them back in no time at all.

Then, we could make Vermont pay us to take them back.

My collie says:

What if Quebec decides to fight?

We offer to make them the 58th state. That’ll put the fear of God in them.

CyberCipher on August 14, 2008 at 11:34 PM

1) Design all our national policies around getting Russia’s approval first.

2coldwarrior on August 14, 2008 at 11:25 PM

You are creating false choices. Do we need their approval?? heck no…

But we should understand what they believe is in their best interests… especially the ones that they are serious about.

Do your really think that our government, at this time, would have antagonized Russia to this extent knowingly?

One of the greatest problems we have in the intelligence community is that we HAVE people who can expalin WHY other cultures act as they do, but they are NOT in decision making position…

Face it, to get to a decision making position in the US government you have to play American politics, which is basicly a popularity contest… it has nothing to do with knowledge or expertise of other cultures…. but we then put them in charge of decision making in regards to those other cultures.

It is not until Proffesionals get put in charge, like now in Iraq, that progress gets made because they have a CLUE about the culture they are dealing with…

American politcians are not able to deal effectivly with Russia because they don’t understand what buttons to push, or more importantly, not to push… the Cold War Generation is now out of power, in America… but not there…

Romeo13 on August 14, 2008 at 11:41 PM

I don’t know if any other comments have mentioned this but Danger Room Reports:

Has Russia sent ballistic missile launchers into Georgia? According Deputy National Security Advisor Jim Jeffrey, the answer is yes.

“The President was informed immediately on Friday, when we received news of the first two SS-21 Russian missile launchers into Georgian territory,” Jeffrey said at a recent news briefing.

Also via the Huff Post (it’s at the very bottom), the U.S. has struck a deal with the Czech Republic pending their parliments approval.

PresidenToor on August 14, 2008 at 11:46 PM

wise_man,

Using US purchases of oil to bid up its price is rather simple.

Everybody who sells on ebay does the same thing.

alphie on August 14, 2008 at 11:48 PM

Hmm! I must have mis-counted. I thought it would be 57.

jeanie on August 14, 2008 at 11:54 PM

Using US purchases of oil to bid up its price is rather simple.

Everybody who sells on ebay does the same thing.

alphie on August 14, 2008 at 11:48 PM

Put on a very heavy hat and walk over a cattle grid.

MadisonConservative on August 14, 2008 at 11:58 PM

Romeo13 on August 14, 2008 at 11:41 PM –

Do we “need” their approval? Well, in order to not feed their paranoia, we do. Or at least consultations with them, which, if one views consultations from recent Soviet/Russian experience, from a Russian perspective, essentially means getting approval.

As for your insightful comments on intel and professionalism…

Since the creation of the ODNI, a kneejerk response to the 9-11 Commission, we have added multiple layers between the guys on the ground (my old job) and the reports officers and designated first line analysts, and product is filtered, refined, often re-written, so much so that by the time it hits the National Intelligence Officer (for whatever region or target) is bears little resemblence to the primary source information. Then the politics kick in. No NIO is going to want to brief the DNI nor the White House unless he is confident that the product he is delivering is in compliance with the current rubric. If he presents something so out there, though, while true, tilts the rubric, it generates a lot of paper, meetings, follow-up meetings, new operational objectives to be written and sent to the field, downward through the same multi-levels of bureacucract till it gets to the case officer on the street who will react “WTF? I already told them this stuff, and sourced it and validated it with my reports officer. And they want me to ask my source, my asset, someone with access who is putting his life on the line to meet with me the same stupid questioon again? Screw that.”

[The old KGB rarely went through this exercise. Most of their "case officers" spent a lot of time reading the American or European press to find "gems" which they reported back to Center as obtained from one of their sources. Real assets, the Walkers, the Hanson's, my old colleague Aldrich, were handled by special KGB officers and their info went straight by special channel to Dzerzhinsky Place or later to the new headquarters on the south outer ring road in Moscow's suburbs.]

It is that additonal bureaucracy, and the concomittant robbing of the operations community of line ops officers to man desks up and down the new ODNI bureaucracy that has a big role in why we did or why we did not detect the HUMINT out there and have it put in the hands of policy makers sooner with validation. Icannot speak to national collection means…but they have their hands full on well over a hundred or so primary targets of vital interest…and the Georgian thing, up till Wednesday last, there was very l;ittle change on the ground from last years summer “exeercises” across the Russian lines from Georgia.

Then, of course we have the former used car dealer from Duluth, for example, now chairman of the House Intel or Armed Services Committee, or his former neighborhood organizer Senate counterpart, making decisions as to budget and focus of the intelligence or defense policy merely because he enjoys seniority…an accident waiting to happen, an accident that has happened too often…and add to that slavish partisanship…

Yeah, we got troubles, right here in River City…

I’ve enjoyed this…learned a good bit, hope I offered something of value. Have to get up early. Got a phone call. My youngest, my Marine, is coming home for the weekend for his birthday and I have to pick him up at zero-dark-thirty.

BZ

coldwarrior on August 15, 2008 at 12:04 AM

PresidenToor on August 14, 2008 at 11:46 PM –

The SS-21 SCARAB (9K79 Tochka) single-stage, short-range, tactical-ballistic missile. Not a strategic missile, but a battlefield missile. Think SCUD with better guidance.

coldwarrior on August 15, 2008 at 12:06 AM

coldwarrior on August 15, 2008 at 12:04 AM

Yep, thanks, been a good “discussion”…

And no one even called me an idiot tonight!!! LOL…

Romeo13 on August 15, 2008 at 12:08 AM

Obama or McCain for CWII?

- The Cat

P.S. Maybe we do need Schwarzenegger in the Whitehouse after all.

MirCat on August 15, 2008 at 12:09 AM

alphie on August 14, 2008 at 11:48 PM

……. once again, alphie et al, comfortable in knowledge of school yard politics misses the bigger picture.

…….. yesterday, tonight, tomorrow and until something is done, innocent civilians are being purposely targeted by military guns and aircraft……….. not so much like islamofascist who use civilians as human shields and hide among them in civilian clothes, you have a mechanized army targeting, loading, and firing, with purpose on civilians, who a month ago might have been planning weddings and looking forward to the coming school year and Olympics.

Free people…… families……. children…. with hopes and dreams as real as any of ours, looking for a brighter future from the stories of the past….

Then….. the sound of rolling thunder…. closer, closer it gets… no time to grab anything but the child next to you… and as you run out the door, unarmed, you are cut in half by a chain gun, your dying image of a Russian tank popping the skull of your child’s skull with eyes wide open.

Where are the defenders of the weak? Where are the guardians of free people?

For all the protests, marches, Code-Pinks, and “Bush-Hitlers” signs……. where are the brave people of Europe?

Where is the world looking to………… the United States of America……… that is who.

….. and for all the second guessers? You make the call, we have a very dangerous situation, but a stand has to made.

I trust President George W. Bush to do the right thing…. but his time is limited.

Seven Percent Solution on August 15, 2008 at 12:20 AM

And don’t forget about downsizing our military.

carbon_footprint on August 14, 2008 at 11:14 PM

Of course, in fairness, Bush has had plenty of time to upsize it. Of course with a war going on, that’s harder to do than it is in peacetime.

MB4 on August 15, 2008 at 12:21 AM

alphie on August 14, 2008 at 11:25 PM

Hahaha, yeah a country on a war footing can never prosper.

- The Cat

MirCat on August 15, 2008 at 12:25 AM

Doesn’t Russia have a chunk of turf that used to be part of East Prussia? I think it is time that they lost that.

Leopold Stotch on August 15, 2008 at 12:31 AM

Leopold Stotch on August 15, 2008 at 12:31 AM –

That’d be Konigsberg…will remain Konigsberg…Kaliningrad is something the Russians forced upon us Germans.

coldwarrior on August 15, 2008 at 12:35 AM

Teddy Roosevelt handed Korea over to the Japanese because he knew America couldn’t afford to defend it, seven.

Grow up.

alphie on August 15, 2008 at 2:00 AM

Bush and the neocons raising the price of oil sixfold has made Russia and Putin rich…he can outspend us this time around.

alphie on August 14, 2008 at 11:25 PM

Do you know anything about economics?

Johan Klaus on August 15, 2008 at 2:30 AM

Teddy Roosevelt handed Korea over to the Japanese because he knew America couldn’t afford to defend it, seven.

Grow up.

alphie on August 15, 2008 at 2:00 AM

Who do you think has been defending South Korea for the last fifty + years.

Johan Klaus on August 15, 2008 at 2:32 AM

The same folks who created North Korea, Johan?

alphie on August 15, 2008 at 2:33 AM

Do you know anything about economics?

Johan Klaus on August 15, 2008 at 2:30 AM

Buy low, sell high.

MB4 on August 15, 2008 at 3:50 AM

Do you know anything about economics?

Johan Klaus on August 15, 2008 at 2:30 AM

If you are losing on each item you sell you can always make it up on volume.

MB4 on August 15, 2008 at 3:51 AM

Do you know anything about economics?

Johan Klaus on August 15, 2008 at 2:30 AM

If you have bought a piece of real estate that only an idiot would buy find a bigger idiot to sell it to.

MB4 on August 15, 2008 at 3:53 AM

Do you know anything about economics?

Johan Klaus on August 15, 2008 at 2:30 AM

If Jim Cramer says to sell a stock, you should have sold it 2 months ago.

MB4 on August 15, 2008 at 4:02 AM

The modernizing of Poland’s military is a major threat to Soviet Russian Soviet forces attacking Poland. The US has conventional munitions that take out dozens of tanks… Just the thing to take out the next army of uninvited Russians.

Since Russian invaded Georgia without consulting the US, it is appropriate to assist their neighbors in ways they do not approve.

Right_of_Attila on August 15, 2008 at 7:02 AM

alphie:

Not really, the real run up in oil prices came after Nancy Pelos {the lady who just wants to save the planet} became Speaker of the House. When the Democrats took control of the Senate, the deficit was half what it is, the price of oil was half what it is, and the retail price of gas was very nearly half what it is.

So if one wanted to look at the chronology of events one could easily see which party prefers higher prices of just about everything.

Terrye on August 15, 2008 at 7:04 AM

BMD followed up with a brigade moved from Germany to Poland. I suppose they wouldn’t want to announce this before the election, otherwise the troops would vote for Barry.

davod on August 15, 2008 at 7:51 AM

“Teddy Roosevelt handed Korea over to the Japanese because he knew America couldn’t afford to defend it,”

Where did you read this?

davod on August 15, 2008 at 7:59 AM

Outstanding. We need Poland. Where else would our pro-union Democrat Illinois Governor get scab carpenters to put a second floor on his house?

LtE126 on August 15, 2008 at 8:05 AM

OBAMA will DOWNSIZE THE MILITARAYY. Prrrrobably not a good time to do that.

marklmail on August 15, 2008 at 8:47 AM

Condi Rice to Georgia: How do Russian tanks patrolling your Streets Sound?

Russia — Our “Strategic Partner” on Nukes … and Iran [Andy McCarthy]

Secretary of State Rice is in Tblisi finalizing a French-brokered ceasefire agreement that lays the groundwork for legitimizing the Russian annexation of Georgia’s two breakaway territories. She insists that Georgia’s interests and territorial integrity are being upheld, but the agreement not only permits invading Russian forces to remain in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, it further permits them to conduct protective operations outside South Ossetia. Meanwhile, Secretary of Defense Gates tells the Washington Post that, as late as last week, “he was in direct contact with his Russian counterpart, Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, who assured him that Russia had no intention of sending its troops south into Georgia.”

Gates acknowledges that the fundamentals of our relationship with Russia must be reexamined in light of what has occurred in the last two weeks. That is the subject of my article this morning, which argues it has been extreme folly to regard the Russians as “strategic partners” as President Bush most recently did in April, in a joint announcement with Putin, and in May when he submitted the U.S.-Russia Civil-Nuclear Agreement to Congress.

In addition to the measures that have been announced over the last couple of days — our military’s humanitarian mission to Georgia, a missile-defense agreement with Poland, etc. — the administration should immediately withdraw its submission of the nuclear cooperation pact and make clear that a mafia family dressed up as a regime cannot be a strategic partner of the United States. We must also acknowledge that what passes for our Iran policy — which depends critically on the fantasy that Russia is a cooperative friend rather than a sneaky, proliferating enemy — is a failure and must be rethought.

Secretary Rice is leaving quite a legacy: a nuclear Iran and a resurgent Russia. Heckuva job, Condi!

james23 on August 15, 2008 at 9:33 AM

Secretary Rice is leaving quite a legacy: a nuclear Iran and a resurgent Russia. Heckuva job, Condi!

james23 on August 15, 2008 at 9:33 AM

Yeah and the Dems are doing SOOOO much for the United States as a whole.

If you don’t like it, find another country!

upinak on August 15, 2008 at 10:40 AM

All our bases should be moved out of Old Europe and placed in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Georgia, and Ukraine.

pseudonominus on August 15, 2008 at 10:40 AM

pseudonominus on August 15, 2008 at 10:40 AM

I got a MUCH better idea…

All our bases should be moved to defend OUR borders, not those of every country in the entire world…

You know, our borders that have had 12-20 million illegals cross?

I’m not an isolationist, but we are so busy worrying about the rest of the world, that we are not dealing with problems at home.

Romeo13 on August 15, 2008 at 10:49 AM

If you don’t like it, find another country!

upinak on August 15, 2008 at 10:40 AM

So says the last remaining member of the Condi Rice fan club. Up yers, pal.

james23 on August 15, 2008 at 10:59 AM

Romeo13 on August 15, 2008 at 10:49 AM

How about we
1. take all of our National Guard bring them home. They can all do 1 month increments on the border.

2. close down the posts and bases that are all over the world who OWE us money. I can think of a few and i am sure you can as well.

3. Those that want us to be IN their country… pay us to be there.

4. Anyone who threatens us with Nukes.. screw them and see what they do and then if it comes down to it.. Nuke them.

I have had it.. to much whining and not enough of Country liability.

upinak on August 15, 2008 at 10:59 AM

So says the last remaining member of the Condi Rice fan club. Up yers, pal.

james23 on August 15, 2008 at 10:59 AM

Ahhh a move-on.freak I see.

Is there a reason why you say it is ALL Condi’s fault? LMFAO Maybe you realized Bush isn’t going to be president again and now you are finding a new person to blame! Priceless, you are utterly the ignorant aspect in a game you seriously can not comprehend.

upinak on August 15, 2008 at 11:03 AM

upinak on August 15, 2008 at 10:59 AM

Yeah, we are going bankrupt as a country, while defending those who then do not have to pay to defend themselves…

Folks, we are 9.5 TRILLION in debt… thats over 30K per man woman and child in America… the INTEREST on the debt will be over 500 MILLION this year…

Sorry, but we just plain can’t afford to defend the entire world… no single country could.

Romeo13 on August 15, 2008 at 11:04 AM

Oh, and for those interested, the REAL reason the Soviet Union failed was because it went into too much debt trying to keep up with us on military spending… they bankrupted themselves, just as we are dong now.

Romeo13 on August 15, 2008 at 11:05 AM

Secretary Rice is leaving quite a legacy: a nuclear Iran and a resurgent Russia. Heckuva job, Condi!

james23 on August 15, 2008 at 9:33 AM

Legacy….if The One ends up POTUS, Condi will stay right where she is!

Its all about the “O”

dmann on August 15, 2008 at 11:27 AM

Romeo13 on August 15, 2008 at 11:05 AM –

Yes, the USSR bankrupted itself in the final years of the Cold War.

The major reason for the bankruptcy of the USSR had much to do with the Soviet system itself, state planning, and a huge segment of the Soviet industrial base being dependent on the national treasury to provide necessary capital for improvement, innovation and infrastructure. The Soviet system could not respond to “market demands” (the need to provide both guns and butter) since there was no methodology within the Soviet system to actually account for earnings, and losses, or costs of capital, labor, and resources. It became rigid under Stalin, based on false presumptions of Lenin, and became heavily ossified under Breshnev. The kleptocracy of the Soviet leadership did nothing to enable the economy to grow. For them, real growth did not matter. What mattered was the provision of perks to the leadership, billions of dollars a year, perks to the apparatchiki and nomenclatura…further billions of dollars per year, and the provision of spectacular achivements…the biggest rockets, a multi-billion dollar rat hole that was their space program, a huge conscript land army it could not afford, building the biggest bombers, the biggest artillery pieces, and so on down the line, irrespective of their actual utility, irrespective of their efficacy as part of a national defense program…and additional hundreds of billions of dollars per year…wasted.

When the time came, when the West, moreso, the United States, set before the Soviets innovations in lethal weapons and highly accurate systems, and the means to employ them, and a growing vibrant economy, the USSR, because of the kleptocracy and the ossification of its system over decades of rigid state control, the Soviet economy could not react to “market forces” and turn on a dime to respond to these innovations in technology and weaponry and production capability of the West, and could not provide basic consumable needs for the population, and the Soviet economy ground to a halt, bringing in Gorbachev, whose goal was to reform communism, and make the Soviet economy more responsive to “market forces.” But, Gorbachev, by his own admisison, could not improve the Soviet economy wihtout destroying the system on which it was based.

Gorbachev failure opened the way for Russians, within Russia, to see that Communism was going to be totally ineffectual in improving the Russian economy (providing both guns and butter) at the cost of the Communist Party losing its position of leadership within the USSR and losing once and for all the confidence of the Soviet peoples.

Yes, the USSR went bankrupt, trying to provide for its own and provide for a defense against the West.

But, in no way does this indicate that the United States, the West, whose economies are market driven, responsive to “market demands” and more flexible in application of capital, labor and resources than the Soviets could ever hope to be and Putin’s Russia can only dream to be.

No comparison, none at all to “they bankrupted themselves, just as we are doing now.”

Look at the price of Gold this morning. The price of oil. Look at the sectors of the Western stockmarkets, the source of capital for our economies, our innovations. Usually in the face of a global crisis of the magnitude we are facing today, one would see sharp peaks and dips…but the general trends have been, even after the Georgian invasion, steady and toward a strong dollar across the world and a stronger economy here at home.

Is confronting Putin’s regime going to be costly? Yes.

Will not confronting Putin be much more costly across the board? Yes.

The Putinisti are depending on American fear and Western fear to force them to capitulate, and the Russians have indicated clearly they are willing to use fear and intimidation to cow the West should they join up with America over this trifle called Georgia. But fear don’t buy eggs. We know this. The Putinisti apparently do not.

Save for oil…we have all the resources to confront Putin…economically across the board…and not permanently harm our economy in the long run.

We must end our dependence on foreign oil, easy targets of Russia. We must end our dependence on foreign oil (outside of Canada and Mexico) immediately.

Sending Russia a message that we are willing to do without over the short run in order to run Putin’s Russia into the ground over the long run…drill here, drill now…expand and unfetter alternative energy development and production, here at home, and within Europe…is something that if we start, today, if we announce it, today, and remove legislative roadblocks in the way (Nancy, are you listening?) Putin and his minions will see Russia, just as the old Soviet Union, cannot withstand the onslaught to their economy.

It is about money. Putin needs it. Show Putin that his money flow and the means to obtain more are in our hands. Putin’s noose around the neck of the West is broken.

coldwarrior on August 15, 2008 at 11:46 AM

coldwarrior, you should stop Commenting and start Blogging.

pseudonominus on August 15, 2008 at 12:12 PM

Excellent post, coldwarrior!

Vanceone on August 15, 2008 at 12:13 PM

coldwarrior on August 15, 2008 at 11:46 AM

Very nice coldwarrior. And Alaskan admirer of your posts.

upinak on August 15, 2008 at 12:26 PM

Get a blog, if you don’t already. I’d read it!

(Just don’t use Google’s blog engine. WordPress for the win!)

TheUnrepentantGeek on August 15, 2008 at 12:54 PM

coldwarrior on August 15, 2008 at 11:46 AM

Problem is that I don’t think the World’s banks are under the West’s control any longer.

We’ve globalized banking to the point where Russia could use SE Asia, or China, or Middle Eastern Banks to do business… and as they are the worlds Second Largest oil exporter (with more coming online almost daily), they have a tangible asset to sell.

Could our “Leaders” make the correct moves to disrupt their economy? Sure… but we’d have to get our own house in order first.

We’ve managed to devalue the dollar significantly over the past 7 years… by 40% according to some… and that does not count inflation. We’ve had a continuing Trade deficit, and balance of trade problem (ie, we’re exporting wealth). Our government continues to go further in debt, while our politicians continue to make further pie in the sky promises to voters to get elected.

Both current Presidential candidates are for a Global Warming Cap and trade system which will drive energy prices even higher, and create another drag on the American economy… and with Dems in control of both houses of Congress, it will happen…

Both Candidates are for legalizing and giving citizenship to 20-30 million illegals (low estimate IMO), which because they are low wage earners, take more resources from the tax base than they will give to it… especialy in Social Security mandates… which are currently not even figured into the current debt figures… so, even more debt, or raised taxes which will hinder growth…

Other countries see these rather stupid Politicly driven economic situations, and see them for what they are… stupidity… I don’t think the rest of the world will bet on America being the strong horse UNLESS our Leaders can make some pretty dramatic moves very soon.

So, I don’t think America has the juice worldwide to enforce an economic/banking war on Russia… We don’t have the power, and we don’t have enough friends left…

Romeo13 on August 15, 2008 at 1:25 PM

Romeo13 on August 15, 2008 at 1:25 PM –

Global Warming Cap and trade system…must go! It is not based on anything but conjecture and speculation. It makes no sense.

As for our debt? Large, too large. But look at our assets, in terms of GNP, and infrastructure and flexible economy? When I was a bit younger a guy could have gotten elected IF he promised only a 5% unemployment rate.

Energy policy…now a matter of national defense in the most vibrant and clear terms. Would be much much better IF we had a firm hand on stopping the $700 billion sent overseas annually to pay for our crass consumerism and disregard for our resources. Rather have that money used to knock down our debt, provide real jobs and employment here, at home, and actually really stimulate our economy.

Our debt is high, but a lot less as a percentage of what we are really worth than most countries across the globe. As a lifelong Republican (well, I did have my liberal youth and college days…) I am pretty p.o.’d about how the GOP has rolled over too many times when it comes to fiscal restraint and accountability in spending our money.

Dramatic moves? Should have been in the works already…long before the present Georgian thingie smudged our screens. But we have to go to war with what we have, not with what we wished we had.

I understand, Romeo13, where you are coming from {damn, that sounded so 70′s…] and I understand your concern as well as your intent. We are certainly not polar opposites on this issue, that’s for sure. Our’s is a difference in applied methodology. Keep sharpshooting me. Please. I don’t have a handle on just about anything, really. Of all the comments I have encocuntered your’s seem to be the most thought provoking. Guess you can tell by the length of my responses.

The “why?” we know and understand. The “how?” is that tough nut to crack.

Any option short of unleashing a real shooting war with the Russians is what I seek, heck, pray for. Too many want to rush to the revved-up armor, or cut in the afterburners and fly off to “get them commies.” These voices scare me because they might be listened to by those in the decision-making food chain. I fear they might agree. At the same time I fear they might be cowed into indecision if they think that dropping ordnance or popping a nuke is the only option we have.

As for “juice.” IF we act like we really understand the underlying problems and are not just engaged in management by crisis…I believe that others may willingly, some reluctantly, follow our lead.

To the rest of HA…I apologize for the inordinate amount of bandwidth I seem to gobble up. Just haven’t learned how to be pithy.

coldwarrior on August 15, 2008 at 1:49 PM

Both Candidates are for legalizing and giving citizenship to 20-30 million illegals (low estimate IMO), which because they are low wage earners, take more resources from the tax base than they will give to it… especialy in Social Security mandates… which are currently not even figured into the current debt figures… so, even more debt, or raised taxes which will hinder growth…

How anyone can be for the overall reduction in incomes of Americans, working class citizens, to promote and fund illegals fund is beyond me. Just seems so utterly stupid.

legal immigration> Sure. That’s pretty much how my family got here. Illegal? They relinquish their “right” to be here the moment they become illegals. Why reward them? Why even consider rewarding them?

coldwarrior on August 15, 2008 at 1:52 PM

coldwarrior on August 15, 2008 at 1:52 PM

Yep, we think a lot alike, about a lot of subjects… I just don’t see the political will (yet) to make the changes needed we really need, nor any politician out there who is making much sense.

This election is once again about choosing the lesser idiot… and there is NOT a viable conservative candidate…
and even more worrisome, we are not being given ANY real choice on a couple of major issues (cap and trade, immigration)… they are not even being talked about during the election cycle by ANYONE, because both candidates aggree on them… heck, even Tancredo is pretty quiet lately.

Problem is that other countries read our press as well… Putin has a VERY good idea what these policies will lead to, and thus, seized this opportunity to reassert Russian dominance in the area.

Its more a question now of just what are our realistic options…

Romeo13 on August 15, 2008 at 2:06 PM

Global banks…

There is law and the mechanisms in place such that any funds that pass through US banks or US electronic transfer systems can (and have been) seized by the Treasury when the “owners” of those funds are known to be or are reasonably suspected to be enemy nations or persons or concerns that support enemies of the United States. A consultation at the GS-God level with Treasury and Justice and a Presidential Finding can readily initiate this sort of action.

Global banks, given the current value of the dollar…gold is below $800 and looking to go lower)…any legitmate global bank would want to preserve its ability to utilize American banks and global transfer mechanisms without fear of having funds, funds they are responsiuble to their stockholders for, being vacuumed up electronically. Our strength is that nearly all global banks routinely, each and every minute, send funds by means that must, because of technology, pass through US systems. Putin’s weakness is that he depends on that free flow of funds. Play to Russia’s weaknesses.

coldwarrior on August 15, 2008 at 2:12 PM

“Problem is that other countries read our press as well… Putin has a VERY good idea what these policies will lead to, and thus, seized this opportunity to reassert Russian dominance in the area.”

Was discussing this at Detroit Metro airport earlier this morning with a couple international businessmen who were waiting for a flight while I was waiting for my kid’s flight. Putin and his inner circle have been following the MSM very very closely. Another weakness in the Putin column. Inadvertently the MSM has given Putin the understanding that we are all about consumerism, hip-hop and rap, Paris and Britney, and our political processes are completely shut down because of our rampant partisanship. Putin actually gets intel reports basded on the US MSM.

You know, I know, most of the HA readership knows, that the MSM is so far from reality it is no longer funny.

Putin seems to have gauged his decision in part on the belief that America is too fractured, too stupidly tied to the latest Britney escapade, or Edward’s scandal, to want to pay attention to what Putin can do or intends to do to Georgia or any other country…thus he “can” act with impunity.

Unintentional maskirovka on America’s part brought to Putin by the MSM.

coldwarrior on August 15, 2008 at 2:21 PM

How anyone can be for the overall reduction in incomes of Americans, working class citizens, to promote and fund illegals fund is beyond me.

coldwarrior on August 15, 2008 at 1:52 PM

Follow the money.

MB4 on August 15, 2008 at 3:40 PM

coldwarrior on August 15, 2008 at 2:12 PM

Pretty sure that would take more than a DCI finding… more an act of Congress, like we did on the Terrorist funding at the begining of the WOT… Constitution is still in place, and you can’t seize property without due process.

Its one of the reasons they had to find that Iran’s Qud’s forces was a terrorist organization in order to play with their funds.

If I remember, it was the same with Iraq, had to have Congress get involved in order to freeze their funds…

I don’t see Palomino Pelosi being willing to even bring this up for a vote… let alone pass… unless Bush was willing to offer somthing in return, which would be equally bad for the country (like backing off on drilling).

Romeo13 on August 15, 2008 at 3:50 PM

My son, the Marine is sound asleep on the couch. Got time to get in here.

The Finding could serve to get the mechanisms sharpened and up to running speed.

I agree, Congress would have to get involved. (I was involved in something close to this, no where near the potential magnitude, over a decade ago.) In most circumstances, briefing the leaders of both Houses (both parties), and the appropriate leaders and ranking members of the select Committees having cognizance, suffices to cover the Constitutional bases.

But, this is indeed “war.” And Congress, despite the ongoing threat, is pretty much still on vacation. Time. Our weakness.

I have this vision of the French National Assembly debating and arguing how to respond to the German May 1940 invasion right up until the Germans took Paris in June 1940. Debating the fine points of parliamentary procedure, with a healthy dose of surrender mentality, while the enemy moved at will across France.

The current Trading With the Enemy Act sets precedent, though right now, I beleive, only Cuba is currently subject to its provisions. In addition, there is the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, on the books, under Title 50, USC, that allows the President to identify any unusual extraordinary threat that originates outside the United States and to confiscate property and prohibit transactions in response.

Seems we are facing an unusual extraordinary threat, and it does originate outside the United States.

coldwarrior on August 15, 2008 at 8:35 PM

…so whether Obama and Congress choose to follow through…

There’s our Allah, once again putting Big O in the White House. Always nice to have this kind of encouragement. Allah, does it ever occur to you that defactos like this make you Obama’s accessory? For once I’d like to see you add at least a disclaimer to your predictions.

leftnomore on August 15, 2008 at 9:38 PM

“like we did on the Terrorist funding at the begining of the WOT… ”

Romeo13 on August 15, 2008 at 3:50 PM –

Those actions involved US accounts held by US entities registered under US or various state laws, the so-called Islamic Charities. Similar efforts were undertaken regarding Irish Republican Army “charities” [Noraid, in particular] here in the US, and as far as my research finds, there was no Congressional action required. There was Executive branch action taken, in May 1981, the DOJ won a federal court case forcing Noraid to register the Provisional Irish Republican Army as its “foreign principal”, under the Foreign Agents Registration Act 1938. This is far larger than going after Islamist “charities or IRA fund-raising.

Use the laws we have on the books to their greatest extent before trying to get Congress to pass new, most often redundant, legislation.

coldwarrior on August 15, 2008 at 10:26 PM

coldwarrior on August 15, 2008 at 10:26 PM

wow, so under this apparently anyone the Admin declares an enemy can have their assets seized without any other due process???

Sounds a bit fishy to me… but then again… power is taken when it is not opposed….

Romeo13 on August 15, 2008 at 10:36 PM

There are thresholds and requirements under US Code (as approved by Congress) in the use of the US Code to carry out these actions. All paperwork is made a matter of record. The several Findings in which I was involved required an enormous amount of paperwork, legal briefs, authentication and endorsements and approavals up and down the chain of command, and each piece, each page, being a legal document subject to judicial review, had to be 100% letter perfect in wording, style and meaning.

Yes, power is taken when it is not opposed, which is why there is a set of necessary steps leading to the actual Finding and a set of step required before implementation of that Finding.

If we do not oppose the power before us…revanchist Russia…the power we have will indeed be taken.

The leaders in both Houses and, at times, depending on the sensitivity of the Finding, the leaders/ranking members of the appropriate defense or intel committees alone, must sign off.

Further, at times the involvement of the USSC becomes one of the necessary signatories.

There are times, as we have seen with FISA and a few other matters over the years, that public discourse in open forum and Congressional debate running weeks or months on end on matters of national security actually diminishes our ability to protect and defend the Nation, and offers an enemy or potential enemy a clear idea of our plans and intentions.

Plans and intentions…the crown jewel of intelligence collection.

coldwarrior on August 15, 2008 at 10:58 PM

Allah, does it ever occur to you that defactos like this make you Obama’s accessory? For once I’d like to see you add at least a disclaimer to your predictions.

leftnomore on August 15, 2008 at 9:38 PM

Allapundit an Obama accessory?

And I’m the one to set all this gossip quite to rest
I’ve told you all before
Allahpundit is trying to keep this place from going into mental arrest
But no, you say Allahpundit’s an Obama supported in disguise
Rumour has it he’s a New Yorker
That he’s a reckless lawyer but still rather wise
When actually Allahpundit is George the Third
Indeed! And I’m the Queen of Spain!

MB4 on August 16, 2008 at 1:58 AM

I trust President George W. Bush to do the right thing…. but his time is limited.

Seven Percent Solution on August 15, 2008 at 12:20 AM

Unfortunately I don’t trust him to do the right thing. I mean he looked into Putin’s eyes and saw a “friend”. Bush is a “compassionate” conservative. while fine domestically, in foreign affairs (and warfighting) not so much.

You want peace… defeat your enemies (or be so strong they won’t dare cross you). No matter what Alphie says, this has proved true through centuries of existence…

BadBrad on August 16, 2008 at 7:56 AM

Residents of Gori fight drunk unprofessionals till the last drop of blood:

http://s50.radikal.ru/i130/0808/c3/2d20e8ce29bf.jpg

freevillage on August 16, 2008 at 7:43 PM

freevillage on August 16, 2008 at 7:43 PM –

One picture. A thousand words.

Now, wonder what words were spoken?

“Thank you for blowing the hell out of my town so all I have, all my possessions, are in this little plastic shopping bag?”

or,

“You stupid duraks, why are you doing this to us?”

or,

“All hail, the conquering hereoes!” [No, doesn't seem to evoke that, not from the body language, it doesn't.]

coldwarrior on August 16, 2008 at 8:29 PM

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