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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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