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On 5/2/14 7:27 PM, Michael Smith wrote:
There was an earlier Crimean War, you know.
That's true but there was a war between France and Prussia around the
same time, as well as one between Russia and Japan in 1905. Russia only
became a permanent bogeyman after 1917. Under Czardom, it made alliances
on an ad hoc basis depending on which state served its immediate
strategic goals. It aligned itself with Britain in 1914 despite what
took place beforehand in Crimea.
The other thing to keep in mind is that Putin doesn't care about
American bases on his doorstep as long as they are used to keep the
jihadists at bay. It is only when they threaten his control over the
Ukraine, a nationality that never really existed according to Badiou,
that he gets all hot and bothered.
Why Putin Wants U.S. Bases in Afghanistan
By Michael Bohm
On May 9, Afghan President Hamid Karzai announced he would allow the
U.S. to keep nine military bases in Afghanistan after direct U.S.
participation in the Afghan war ends in 2014. How has President Vladimir
Putin responded to the possibility that Afghanistan may turn into “one
giant U.S. aircraft carrier,” as Kremlin-friendly political analyst Yury
Krupnov recently put it?
After Karzai’s announcement, you might have expected the Kremlin to
offer its usual bluster about how the U.S. and NATO are trying to create
a suffocating “Anaconda ring” around Russia — from the Baltic states,
Poland, Romania, Georgia and Turkey to Afghanistan, South Korea and
Japan. You might even have expected a dose of the anti-U.S. demagoguery
about the U.S. government using Afghan bases to run a lucrative
narcotics-export business, including daily flights of U.S. cargo
aircraft filled with heroin destined for Russia and Europe. Or that U.S.
bases in Afghanistan could be used for an attack on Russia. After all,
Yury Krupnov and other conservative, pro-Kremlin analysts are
particularly fond of reminding Russians that a U.S. nuclear missile
could reach Moscow from the U.S. airbase in Bagram, Afghanistan, in
less than 20 minutes.
Yet the Kremlin was conspicuously silent about Karzai’s recent
announcement on U.S. bases. At the same time, however, this restraint
was consistent with Putin’s general position on Afghan security, which
he first articulated in February 2012 during a speech in Ulyanovsk, the
home of a joint U.S.-Russian transit center to transport U.S. war
materiel out of Afghanistan. During his speech — given to a group of
elite Russian paratroopers, no less — Putin offered clear support for
the U.S.-led military campaign in Afghanistan.
“We have a strong interest in our southern borders being calm,” Putin
said. “We need to help them [U.S. and coalition forces]. Let them fight.
… This is in Russia’s national interests.”
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