Tag Archives: Russian Leadership

Chinese and Russian global leadership ‘undesirable’, poll finds – FT.com

According to the survey, 65 per cent of Europeans and 47 per cent of Americans view Chinese leadership in world affairs as undesirable. Some 42 per cent of Americans and 26 per cent of Europeans think it desirable.

The survey found similarly low levels of support for Russian leadership in world affairs. Some 65 per cent of Europeans and 46 per cent of Americans described it as undesirable. Most opposed were Spain and Poland, at 81 and 75 per cent respectively.

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Negative views of Russia have risen in Europe over the past year, with 62 per cent expressing unfavourable feelings about the country, …

Chinese and Russian global leadership ‘undesirable’, poll finds – FT.com

Bar Nunn – By Jeffrey Lewis | Foreign Policy

It is a funny sort of paranoid fantasy, the notion that the United States might place nuclear weapons on missile defense interceptors and use them to decapitate the Russian leadership in Moscow. But I suspect this is the rub. The simplest explanation for Russia’s overwhelming concern with missile defense is that the General Staff fears that Russia is much, much more vulnerable to an attack against the country’s command-and-control infrastructure — what used to be called decapitation — than we realize.  Part of this is a fear missile defense interceptors could be armed as offensive missiles, part of it is that missile defenses could mop up a disorganized Russian retaliation.  Most of it, however, is probably sheer terror at the persistent technological advantage held by the United States in light of Russian vulnerabilities.

This is what makes our failure to extend arms control beyond mere reductions so dangerous. The Russians are, I suspect, convinced that they cannot count on being able to command their forces following an attack  They believe they are dangerously, provocatively vulnerable. And, as a result, they make strange, dangerous, and seemingly irrational decisions. Which brings us to Perimeter.

Bar Nunn – By Jeffrey Lewis | Foreign Policy

With Russia’s military industrial complex effectively falling apart, I think Russian leaders are very worried about persistant and probably expanding technological lead of the Americans. Regardless of its plans, it appears that Russia is having a harder time keeping up. And the future may bring a time where Russia becomes vulnerable to an America first strike.

Putin’s New ‘Fortress Russia’ – NYTimes.com

AS members of the Russian punk-rock band Pussy Riot appeal their two-year prison sentence for a political protest in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, a pale of repression is settling over their country. This crackdown is wrapped in legislative garb, but the iron grip of authoritarianism is unmistakable.

Vladimir Putin’s tightening of the screws is a part of a broader pattern, which includes a return to confrontation with the United States and NATO. The United States must specifically recognize that its “reset” policy of see no evil, hear no evil has contributed to the trampling of human rights in Russia.

Moscow is cozying up to China, supporting the Assad regime in Syria and ignoring the Iranian nuclear race. The Kremlin is hard at work to create a sphere of influence along its periphery and a “pole” in the multipolar world that would stand up to Washington.

Recent developments have an unmistakably flavor of the 1920s and 1930s, …

Putin’s New ‘Fortress Russia’ – NYTimes.com

Some call Russia a fascist state. I prefer to call it a mafia state with Don Corleone Putin as its leader. In Bible prophecy circles some people are suggesting that Putin just might be Gog. I think they are on to something. Putin is an evil leader who is capable of doing anything – even initiating nuclear war. I have already documented on this website several threats and hints of nuclear war coming out of Russian leadership since the Russia-Georgia war.

Another way to look at Putin is as the arrival of a modern day Stalin.

20 years after Russia kissed Communism goodbye, Mikhail Gorbachev has called out Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as more “Stalin” than savior.

As The Daily Beast outlines in “Gorbachev Lashes Out at Putin,” Gorbachev has very publicly accused Putin of “’dragging the country into the past, when it is on fire with modernization.’

Gorbachev Calls Putin ‘Stalin’

Joseph Stalin

Joseph Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 until his death in 5 March 1953. Among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the Russian Revolution in 1917, Stalin held the position of General Secretary of the party’s Central Committee from 1922 until his death. While the office was initially not highly regarded, Stalin used it to consolidate more power after the death of Vladimir Lenin in 1924, gradually putting down all opposition. This included Leon Trotsky, the principal critic of Stalin among the early Soviet leaders. Whereas Trotsky advocated world permanent revolution, Stalin’s concept of socialism in one country became primary policy as he emerged the leader of the Soviet Union.

Joseph Stalin – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

NATO activates missile shield despite Russian anger

NATO leaders launched Sunday the first phase of a US-led missile shield for Europe, risking the wrath of Russia which has threatened to deploy rockets to EU borders in response.

A NATO official told AFP that US President Barack Obama and his allies “just decided” at a Chicago summit to put a US warship armed with interceptors in the Mediterranean and a Turkey-based radar system under NATO command in a German base.

AFP: NATO activates missile shield despite Russian anger

Everybody is worried about Russia’s reaction – how mad will it get, or what will it do? Does this sound like a friend? Doesn’t it sound more like Russia views NATO as an enemy and a threat? Does that sound like the Cold War is over?

Russian experts agree that the missile defense system poses little threat to Russia. Russian leadership is making such a big deal over the missile defense system because it views NATO as an enemy and a threat in general. The missile defense system represents a symbol of this threat, even if not a real threat.

NATO and the West needs to start mirroring Russia. It needs to view Russia as an enemy and a threat, and it needs to act accordingly.

Why does the West need missile defense?

Who helped North Korea and Iran develop their missile and nuclear programs?

Clearly, both Russia and China secretly helped (directly or indirectly) both North Korea and Iran with their missile program and nuclear weapons program. It is outrageous for Russia to then start complaining about the West’s reaction.

How did North Korea get its missiles?

Now, Robert H. Schmucker and Markus Schiller of Germany have come up with an answer: the North Koreans didn’t do it on their own. In a draft paper just posted at the missile proliferation blog Capabilities times Intentions, the two experts argue that North Korea managed to procure the technology from the former Soviet Union and Russia.

 They don’t offer proof, but their paper is likely to raise questions once again about how much know-how and how many rocket scientists leaked to Pyonyang as the Soviet Union imploded. In The Dead Hand, I described how the Russian authorities stopped a group of designers:

How did North Korea get its missiles?

Who helped North Korea develop a modern nuclear program?

Pyongyang’s nuclear program would have been impossible without Beijing.

The North Koreans told Mr. Hecker they had developed all of this indigenously. I asked Thomas Reed and Danny Stillman, both former nuclear-weapons designers and authors of “The Nuclear Express,” an excellent history of nuclear proliferation, what they thought were the chances of that. Answer: “Zero.”

[Who helped North Korea develop a modern nuclear program?]

Which leaves China, the “most likely” provider of the North’s new toys, according to the authors. “There is no possibility,” they say, “of North Korea achieving what nuclear capability it has without Chinese help.”

Stephens: China Joins the Axis of Evil – WSJ.com

Did you think the Cold War was over with the fall of the Soviet Union. Look at Russia’s behavior in 1997 which was before Putin was elected president.

Russia was helping Iran with its missile development program in 1997

By providing advanced missile technology to the radical Islamic regime in Tehran, Russia is threatening vital U.S. interests and violating an international arms control agreement. Its assistance to Iran, the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism, threatens to alter the long-term balance of power in the oil-rich Persian Gulf region and endangers such key U.S. allies as Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey and other NATO members. In just three to four years, these countries and U.S. military forces in Europe and the Middle East could be vulnerable to attack by Iranian medium-range missiles developed with Russian aid.

Russias Dangerous Missile Game

More work from our friends – Russia and China – in the 90s. Clearly, the Cold War never ended but only went undercover.

Iran’s nuclear program helped by China, Russia in the 1990s

The foundation of Iran’s nuclear program can be traced to extensive Chinese and Russian cooperation in the 1990s, according to a former U.S. intelligence official who specialized on Tehran’s program.

“Russian and Chinese cooperation in the 1990s with Iran created the foundation of the Iranian nuclear program today,” said Susan Voss, a former nuclear engineering analyst with Los Alamos National Laboratory who has worked closely with the U.S. intelligence community.

Iran’s nuclear program helped by China, Russia – Washington Times

After reading about the help provided to North Korea and Iran by Russia and China, one has to wonder – at least I wonder – why the West is not preparing for nuclear war with Russia and China? Why is the West gutting its nuclear arsenal given this past behavior?

Michelle Van Cleave: Russian Spies Haven’t Gone Away – WSJ.com

‘He acts like he thinks the Cold War’s still on,” Vice President Joe Biden said when Mitt Romney recently called Russia America’s No. 1 geopolitical foe. “I don’t know where he’s been.” Actually, he’s been right here—paying attention.

The vice president may be surprised to learn that there are as many Russian intelligence officers operating in the U.S. today as during the height of the Cold War—it is arrests and criminal proceedings that have fallen off.

We had nine full-blown Russian espionage cases in the 1980s, seven in the ’90s, one in 2001 and then . . . nothing. It’s been 11 years since the last Russian spy was arrested inside the U.S. government. But if you think that’s good news, think again.

Michelle Van Cleave: Russian Spies Haven’t Gone Away – WSJ.com

Mitt has been paying attention about Russia. Most of the rest of our leaders have been sleeping. Russia is our No. 1 enemy, and we should treat it that way. Calling Russia just a geopolitical foe is being polite.

Some call Russia a fascist state. I prefer to call it a mafia state with Don Corleone Putin as its leader. In Bible prophecy circles some people are suggesting that Putin just might be Gog. I think they are on to something. Putin is an evil leader who is capable of doing anything – even initiating nuclear war. I have already documented on this website several threats and hints of nuclear war coming out of Russian leadership since the Russia-Georgia war.

Russia: Rebuilding an Empire While It Can | STRATFOR

This could set the stage for a new version of the Cold War, though it would not be as long-lived as the previous one. Putin’s other reason for re-establishing some kind of Russian empire is that he knows the next crisis to affect Russia most likely will keep the country from ever resurging again: Russia is dying. The country’s demographics are among some of the world’s worst, having declined steadily since World War I. Its birth rates are well below death rates, and it already has more citizens in their 50s than in their teens. Russia could be a major power without a solid economy, but no country can be a global power without people. This is why Putin is attempting to strengthen and secure Russia now, before demographics weaken it. However, even taking its demographics into account, Russia will be able to sustain its current growth in power for at least another generation. This means that the next few years likely are Russia’s last great moment — one that will be marked by the country’s return as a regional empire and a new confrontation with its previous adversary, the United States.

Russia: Rebuilding an Empire While It Can | STRATFOR

If the next few years represent the last of a great Russia, then America is living in the most danger period in all its history.

The Russian leadership surely knows that the country is dying, and it may be hundreds of years before it rises again. Will it be tempted to take America down with it? 

Moscow to Annex South Ossetia as U.S.-Russia “Reset” Crumbles? | The Enterprise Blog

While events in the Middle East continue to dominate headlines, one of the cornerstones of the Obama administration’s foreign policy is coming loose—and few are paying attention.

U.S.-Russia relations have witnessed a flurry of activity in recent weeks that threatens to undermine one of President Obama’s central foreign policy initiatives—the “reset.” The administration claims that its reset—or fresh start—with Russia has boosted cooperation with Moscow on a number of issues, including Iran’s nuclear program, the stabilization of Afghanistan, and even Libya. But the reset seems to be unraveling.

Moscow to Annex South Ossetia as U.S.-Russia “Reset” Crumbles? « The Enterprise Blog

Let’s not forget the sneering “parasite” comment by Putin:

2011-08-01 | US a ‘parasite’ on world economy, says Putin

Russia is going to do what it wants in its neighborhood. In the past Russian leadership has implied that if America interferes, then prepare for war.

The Kremlin’s Dance in Japan’s Ring of Fire | Opinion | The Moscow Times

Why is the Russian leadership taking such a strong and sudden interest in the Kurils, which had never been visited by any high-ranking officials in the past? And why are the Japanese so intent on regaining the four southernmost Kuril Islands while laying no claim to any of the 52 others? Finally, why is the squabble occurring in a context of generally improving economic relations, with trade rising to about $30 billion in 2009?

The Kremlin’s Dance in Japan’s Ring of Fire | Opinion | The Moscow Times

The Case for Nuclear War

The article below shows a Russia very much thinking about nuclear war with the West. Here is the thinking of Russian leadership: Stay out of our backyard, or prepare for an all-out nuclear war.

Russia challenges west with nuclear overhaul | World news | The Guardian [Published Sept., 2008]

“This is very significant. Right now the present Russian leadership believes that a war with Nato is very much possible,” Pavel Felgenhauer, a Moscow-based defence analyst, told the Guardian. “This is the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union that the Russian military is actually preparing for an all-out nuclear war with America.”

He added: “I believe we [the Russians] are sending the west a serious message. The message is treat us with respect, and if you don’t go into our backyard we won’t go into yours. Russia wants to divide the world into spheres of influence. If not, we will prepare for nuclear war.”

Felgenhauer said Russia’s military was old but still effective. “Our military is backward in its development. But we still have a sizeable nuclear potential. It can kill a hell of a lot of people,” he said.

Russia challenges west with nuclear overhaul | World news | The Guardian

Let’s fast forward to November 8, 2010. A mystery missile is launched off the coast of California. The US government or military did not launch a missile at that time. There was no plane in the area at that time. There was no navy ship in the area at that time. However, several experts viewing a video of the launch believe that the mystery missile was in fact a submarine launched ballistic missile.

There can be only one logical explanation for the submarine launch of a ballistic missile off of our coast: It is a warning. While this particular missile was never a danger to America, it was never intended to be. The only logical explanation is that it was intended to be a warning from China.

Here is the thinking of the Chinese leadership: Stay out of our backyard, or prepare for an all-out nuclear war. The backyard that China is referring to is the South China Sea.

China Throws Strategic Challenge At US In South China Sea

China placing South China Sea under the category of “core national interest” along with Taiwan, Tibet, and Xingjian clearly indicates that China has placed this issue in the category of “non-negotiable issues” and that China would use force if necessary against any nation disturbing its sovereignty over the South China Sea. This is an assertion which provides a strategic challenge to the United States and of concern to China’s neighbors.

Read More…

China Threats Merit Shifting of U.S. Defense Dollars, House’s McKeon Says | Boomberg News

“While China today may not intend to attack our carriers, neutralize our bases in Japan and Guam, or push back our naval presence out of the South China Sea, they are without question making the investments and developing capabilities to do just that,” California Representative Howard McKeon says in remarks prepared for delivery today at a meeting sponsored by the Washington-based Foreign Policy Initiative research group.

China Threats Merit Shifting of U.S. Defense Dollars, House’s McKeon Says | Boomberg News

Historically, when a new power challenges an existing one, war has occurred six out of seven times. Will the rise of China lead to conflict with the US?

Great power rivalries in history:

1. Spain versus Holland in the 16th century.
2. Holland versus England in the 17th century.
3. Britain versus France in both the 18th and 19th centuries.
4. France and Britain versus Germany in the 20th century.
5. Germany versus Russia in 1914.
6. Germany versus Russia (Soviet Union) in 1941.
7. Soviet Union versus the US and its allies in the Cold War after 1945. Obviously this did not lead to war.

Is China gearing up to start World War III?

So, put it all together. China has four times our population. They have an economy going gangbusters, but will likely need more oil than exists on the planet, and they have an irrational anger at us for our role in keeping Taiwan out of their clutches. Plus, we owe them trillions of dollars.

It makes for a potent and volatile cocktail, doesn’t it?

Read More…

The Big Picture

Historian Niall Ferguson has identified the decline of an empire as one of the three signs that are present before a major war starts – the three Es: Empires in decline, economic volatility and ethnic conflict: The Axis of Upheaval. With the global economic crisis starting in 2008, the “age of upheaval” has started.

Ethnic conflict serves as a catalyst to start a much larger war. The ethnic conflict that we need to worry about is in the Middle East. Should a conflict involving Israel and its neighbors escalate to the point that a lot of deaths occur, then the potential for further escalation involving other powers is real.

The conditions present right before World War I are present today: Sinking Globalization. In Sinking Globalization the author points out great power rivalry is one cause of war. This is particularly true when one power is in decline or overstretched. Historically, when one power is challenged by another then this leads to war six out of seven times: America-China Rivalry: Six out of seven times war has occurred.

Empires very often collapse quickly: Complexity and Collapse. You can watch highlights of a speech given by Niall Fergusion: Niall Ferguson: Empires on the Edge of Chaos [Length: 3:55 min]. The full version of the talk is available too and lasts over an hour. Niall implies that the US may be on the edge of collapse due to excessive debt. Another article by historian Niall Ferguson argues that America is at risk: An Empire at Risk.

How to think about the future

Imagine a forest that was just obliterated by a very large forest fire that wiped out everything. Would you be worrying about a large fire a couple of years later? How about 10 or 20 years later? You might be worried 65 years later. Over time the forest has time to build up and fill in gaps. Thus the forest positions itself for the next collapse.

That’s nice, but what do forests have to do with anything?

It turns out that forests, sandpiles, earthquakes, financial markets, wars and more have a lot in common. They all experience collapses for a similar reason and follow a power law distribution. If you plot the size of collapse by number of collapses at that size, then you get a straight line which is a power law distribution. For example, the distribution of wars and attacks within wars follow a power law distribution giving a straight line with slope of about -2.5.

The reason that societies collapse into war, financial markets collapse, forests collapse through fire, is due to system feedback. System feedback causes herding in financial markets, forces new trees to grow in open land, causes new grains of sand to land on top of prior grains and changes the thinking in society that make it susceptible to war. When you make decisions that at least partially include historical information, then that is system feedback. For example, do you consult a chart of historical prices before you buy a stock or mutual fund?

When a society experiences a major crisis, like World War II, it profoundly affects the people alive at that time. However, gradually over time as new generations are born the crisis has less and less of an effect. Over about 80 to 100 years the new generations become susceptible to another crisis. If the start of the last crisis was around 1925, then 80 years later is 2005. The next crisis period is from 2005 to 2025: Winter is Coming for Boomers

Russia’s Economic Crisis and U.S.-Russia Relations: Troubled Times Ahead

Rising Unemployment and Growing Social Unrest

The crisis has also exacerbated social tensions in Russia. So far, no serious threat to the regime has materialized, despite a wave of spontaneous strikes and the use of SWAT teams to put down a demonstration in Vladivostok. Notably, the Russian leadership showed the limits to its tolerance of public displays of dissatisfaction and its willingness to use force when it flew in riot police to put down the protest in Vladivostok.[14] Since this widely reported event, there have been additional protests and spontaneous strikes.

According to the World Bank, the number of people in Russia below the poverty line increased by 1.1 million in 2008 and will increase by 4.7 million in 2009.[15] Thus, according to official measurements, 15.5 percent of the population will be poor by the end of 2009.[16]

Putin and other politicians understand that the crisis could threaten regime stability, thus providing a social safety net has become the top Kremlin priority. Nevertheless, the regime is simultaneously increasing defense spending and procurement.[17]

Russia’s Economic Crisis and U.S.-Russia Relations: Troubled Times Ahead