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  • Russia's Plan to Sideline NATO

    Standing next to Russian President Dmitri Medvedev in November 2008, then-president of the European Union, Nicolas Sarkozy called for a temporary moratorium on the planned U.S. missile defense deployments in Poland and the Czech Republic as well as an EU-Russian summit to discuss European security arrangements. This summit will take place in Eastern Russia next Friday and Saturday.

    When Russians talk about changing Europe’s security architecture, what they really mean is sidelining NATO. However, in the Obama Administration’s haste to reset relations with Russia, and its nonsensical enthusiasm for EU-integration, it has sent neither Moscow nor Brussels the message that NATO’s primacy is non-negotiable. In fact, it has seemingly gone out of its way to send precisely the opposite message, embracing an EU-only defense identity and craftily avoiding seeing through U.S. commitments on missile defense and NATO enlargement.

    Russia’s cozying up to Brussels is a cynical ploy to divide the transatlantic alliance, using close allies such as Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to push a Russia-First agenda across the European Union and against American interests. Moscow’s recently unveiled National Security Strategy identified the United States and NATO as the major threats to global security and to its own military. Considering this context alone, the EU should not be negotiating with Russia on any upgrading of security relations.

    When the EU-Russia summit commences in Khabarovsk next Thursday, Moscow will sit at the table in violation of the EU-negotiated ceasefire to the Russian-Georgia conflict. Moscow has unilaterally recognized the sovereign Georgian territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and has engaged in a massive military build-up in these areas, which it pledged specifically not to do when it signed the Sarkozy-led ceasefire in August 2008. On this basis too, it is unfathomable that the EU would consider engaging Moscow in a new security pact.

    It is painfully obvious that Russia’s plans for this new European Security Treaty amount to seeking endorsement for its “Zone of Privileged Interests” policy. It is equally obvious that the EU lacks the political legitimacy and credibility to stand up to Russian aggression in these sorts of negotiations. It failed to enforce its own ceasefire in Georgia and it has failed miserably on other big security questions such as Afghanistan. The EU works best as a free trading entity, driven by the free movement of peoples, goods and services. It would do better to concentrate on fulfilling its economic potential rather than foray into areas where it will create lasting damage to the transatlantic security alliance. The Obama Administration must wake up to the realities of the European Union, as opposed to its hopelessly idealistic view of ever-closer-union.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to Russia's Plan to Sideline NATO

    1. Andre, Buffalo, Ny says:

      You obviously one of those talking heads that believes that if it is good for Russia, then it must be bad for USA. Whose national interest are you looking out for in Russia's backyard? Why are your Humvees in Georgia?

      Oh, I forgot, Russia does not have and should not have any rights or interests. Right?

    2. Sally McNamara Sally McNamara says:

      I do not believe that this is a zero-sum game. I do however believe that Georgia is entitled to its sovereignty, without intimidation from Moscow. Russia’s illegal and immoral invasion of Georgia last August was very much against Georgia’s national interest.

    3. Dave, Hanover, MD says:

      If you believe that Russia has any nation's interests in mind other than its own and that they are now our friends just because the Cold War is over than you must not pay much attention to what Russia is currently doing and what Vladimir Putin and Dmitrij Medvedev are saying. To get some of this you must of course listen and read Russian news, which if you don't know Russian might be a little hard. Russia's only rival in arms sales is us the USA. Their navy is now progressing towards becoming more of a blue water force than a force focused mostly on defense of the homeland. Russia sees NATO as a very real threat, and they consider things such our increasing Naval visits to Black Sea nations and NATO's closer relations with the Ukraine and Georgia as highly provocative. Russia will not deal with the Georgian government so long Saakashvili is still in power. Russia considers their "invasion" of Georgia as protection of and retaliation for the killing of Russian citizens in South Osetia.

      Bottom line you cannot truly trust the Russians, and you most certainly cannot think of them of as our friends.

    4. Spiritof76, New Hamp says:

      European history is riddled with intrigues and endless conflicts. They can not be reformed.

      I would vote to get us out of NATO, get us out of European bases and strengthen our naval reach, including anti-missile shield deployed from an oil derrick like platforms at strategic locations. Let the Europeans pay for their own security. England can be an exception for now. But eventually, America must only be concerned about its own border security. Our Founding Fathers were right in their outlook to stop interfering in other nations wars and conflicts but trade with every country.

    5. fridzi, CA says:

      What rights should Russia have? It's tyrannical, supressing its citizens, and the regime has murdered dissident journalists, has it not? It keeps meddling in the affairs of its neighboring Eastern European Nations, including Poland, doesn't let Moldova to breath now under socialism again. It must be contained or it could threaten the region. Can't agree with U.S. getting out of EU all together either, neither EU or Russia are democratic, far from it. Remember if US. leaves, it could come back to haunt it, as Islamofanaticism came back to haunt it in a day I shall remember daily for the rest of my life, 9/11/01!

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