Thursday, August 13, 2009

Who Lost Russia?-3

"Vice President Joe Biden said in an interview that Russia's economy is 'withering,' and suggested the trend will force the country to make accommodations to the West on a wide range of issues, including loosening its grip on former Soviet republics and shrinking its vast nuclear arsenal. ... The geographical proximity of the emerging nuclear programs in Iran and North Korea is also likely to make Russia more cooperative with the US in blocking their growth, he said. ... 'Russia has to make some very difficult, calculated decisions,' Mr. Biden said. 'They have a shrinking population base, they have a withering economy, they have a banking sector and structure that is not likely to be able to withstand the next 15 years, they're in a situation where the world is changing before them and they're clinging to something in the past that is not sustainable.' ... Despite Russia's economic and geopolitical difficulties, Mr. Biden said, Moscow could become more belligerent in the short term unless the US continues to treat Russia as a major player on the international stage. He said Russian leaders are beginning to grasp their diminshed global role, but that the US should be cautious not to overplay its advantage. ... Mr. Biden's remarks illustrate the extent to which the Obama adminstration believes the balance of power is shifting toward Washington, giving the White House a new opening to leverage its strategic advantages to pursuade Moscow to reduce Russia's nuclear arsenal, loosen its grip on emerging democracies on its border, and cooperate on Iran and North Korea", Peter Spiegel at the WSJ, 25 July 2009, link:

"US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the Obama administration considered Russia a 'great power' and wanted it to be a strong and properous country, in an apparent effort to reassure Moscow that the White House remains committed to efforts to 'reset' bilateral relations. ... 'We view Russia as a great power,' Mrs. Clinton said on NBC News's 'Meet the Press' on Sunday. 'Every country faces challenges. We have our challenges, Russia has their challenmges. There are certain issues that Russia has to deal with on its own.' ... On Sunday, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev criticized the US over its continued support of membership in [NATO] for the former Soviet republics of Ukraine and Georgia, saying the alliance 'is not ready' to absorb them", Peter Spiegel and Alan Cullison at the WSJ, 27 July 2009, link:

Biden and I live in different worlds. Biden wants Russia to reduce its nuclear arsenal then tells Russia to worry about Iran and North Korea. Biden thinks Russia's banking system is in sorry shape. Look at ours Joe. Absent illegal immigration, the US population base is shrinking. The US does not want to modernize its conventional or strategic forces. Why should anyone take us seriously? Biden has a promising career ahead as a stand-up comic. Alternatively, he can ghost write material for Peggy Noonan, my 2 August 2009 post:

Shades of Chamberlain's 1939 Polish guarantee, my 30 August 2008 post: I agree with Medvedev, we should not admit any state bordering Russia into NATO. Will NATO go to war for Georgia? In Russia's backyard?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yup -- VP Biden is describing his own country.

I thought he was smarter than that on foreign policy.

My bad.