Russian nuclear bombers in Cuba?

The media has been abuzz today at the prospect of Russian nuclear bombers being stationed in Cuba if the US goes ahead with plans for missile defence bases in Eastern Europe.

The story has riled the US enough that a US general has been wheeled out to tell the world’s press that any Russian attempt to build another nuclear base in Cuba would cross US “red line”.

The story broke earlier this week, when Russian newspaper Izvestia quoted an un-named source from within the Russian military. He told the Russian daily:

“While they are deploying the missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic, our strategic bombers will already be landing in Cuba.”

The quote hasn’t been independently confirmed, but the Russian Defence Ministry added fuel to the fire when they refused to comment on the story.

The prospect of Russian nuclear forces being stationed in Cuba – which is, after all, only 90 miles from the US coast – would bring back some rather unpleasant memories for the US of the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, where the Soviet Union under Nikita Kruschev launched an audacious and foolhardy bid to station nuclear missiles on the Caribbean island.

And so, not surprisingly, the US Air Force has wheeled out a top general to warn Russia off. General Norton Schwartz, who will soon be appointed as the US Air Force’s chief of staff told reporters that:

“If they did I think we should stand strong and indicate that is something that crosses a threshold, crosses a red line for the United States of America.”

So, will Russia actually station nuclear bombers in Cuba?

In all likelihood, this is just another episode in the war of words between Russia and the US over the proposed US missile shield. Russia’s dual leadership of Putin and Medvedev are pragmatic, cautious men, and won’t fancy the chance to repeat the mistakes of the Soviet Union’s most unpredicatble leader.

This is especially true when we consider that the proposed US missile shield doesn’t actually bother Russia all that much – it’s much more important to the Kremlin as an opportunity for Russia to give the US a bit of a verbal bashing every now and then.

Having said that, Russia’s military is in a much more expansive mood these days – witness the first naval patrols in the Arctic since the fall of the Soviet Union, and recent Tu-95 bomber flights near British airspace. It would be no surpise if it is considering how and where on the globe it could place military bases in the longer term.

Russia had a permanent military base in Cuba until quite recently – it was closed in 2002, partly because it was difficult to justify the $200 million per year running costs. But thanks to Russia’s booming economy, the military is much better resourced than it used to be. Perhaps $200 million per year doesn’t seem all that expensive these days for an ambitious country that aspires to global influence but which has fewer international military bases than snaller powers such as France, or the United Kingdon.

One thought that occurs is that, if Cuba’s history makes the prospect of a base there too much of a hot potato, perhaps a base somewhere else in the region would be a better long term bet.

Anyone want to take a bet on a Russian military base being created in Venezuela sometime over the next decade?

UPDATE 25/7: Hugo Chavez is certainly up for it. Asked if Venezuela would host Russian bases, he told reporters:

“Russia has enough resources to secure its presence in different parts of the world. If Russian armed forces would like to be present in Venezuela, they will be welcomed warmly.

“We will raise flags, beat drums and sing songs, because our allies will come, with whom we have a common worldview.”

No comment yet from the slightly embarrassed Russian government, though…

You may also like...

68 Responses

  1. Mister.de says:

    KingDON – that’s funny 🙂

  2. Jim Jones says:

    Cuba is cool. And a beautiful tourist destination. If you havent been, I highly recommend it.

    JT
    http://www.FireME.To/udi

  3. Nick says:

    haha, I get it. Russians are being ironic here to point out the danger of the defense shield to their own country. Our outrage is matched by their outrage.

  4. Briongloid says:

    Recent Russian policy seems to be trying to play a sort of “Cold War Lite” with the West, because it knows it’s a great way to provoke a response.
    And nothing gets America’s nose up like Cuba, this would just drive them crazy, absolutely crazy.

    Only think is it’s unlikely we’ll see a Cuban Missile Crisis II, unless it’s a made-for-TV movie, a lot’s changed since Khrushchev and, ideologically-speaking, I think it’s unlikely that the Castros would allow a second capitalist superpower have a military presence on their island.

    I’m sure Fidel had a good chuckle when he heard about it though.

  5. Dar says:

    Nick,

    Our proposed missile shield is pretty useless against any ICBMs Russian might conceivably throw at the US. The trajectories of missiles launched from pretty much anywhere in Russia would go nowhere near the defense shield we’re putting up, which seems to be primarily aimed at stopping launches at us from the middle east.

    Still, the shield is a waste of money and needless projection of US power, so I can see why they would argue it.

  6. carmen says:

    Chavez is spending billions of US$ in Cuba , Argentina, Bolivia, Peru and his country people has no food, no health care, no jobs. He is in Russia buying arms , etc to protect himself from the USA “attacks”

  7. Nelson says:

    Russia Base in Venezuela ?
    i bet yes =)


    Nelson
    Caracas – Venezuela

  8. Orlando says:

    The thing is that the “missle shield” is actualy comprised of U.S. missles that are basic ICBM’s that have the ability to carry nukes, and if pointed at russia, it would only give them less than 10 mins to makea decision. that is not even enough time to verify what would be incoming, and therefore cause a retalitory strike. Just does not give them time to verify. Another moronic plan by the neo-cons.

  9. Lucidlook says:

    As we all know, the first Caribbean crisis ended with mutual withdrawal:

    “After much deliberation between the Soviet Union and Kennedy’s cabinet, Kennedy agreed to remove all missiles set in Turkey on the border of the Soviet Union in exchange for Khrushchev removing all missiles in Cuba.” (c) Wiki.

    So, I expect something similar in this case too.

    In respect of Venezuela it is different story. From one side it is close enough to US border to place there refelling planes (like Il-78) to support patrolling Tu-160 and Tu-95, so they will be able to fly longer along the US borders.
    From another side, it’s distance prevents US from immediate strike within few minutes (comparing to Cuba).
    So, yes, in long term Venezuela is better choice.

  10. It would be no surpise if it is considering how and where on the globe it could place military bases in the longer term.

    They may have my front garden. Free of charge. 🙂

  11. Chris says:

    >Nikita Kruschev launched an audacious
    >and foolhardy bid to station nuclear
    >missiles on the Caribbean island.

    Apparently the writer of this article is not very informed on the issue.

    The Russian bid to station nuclear missiles in Cuba was in response to the US stationing Jupiter missiles in Turkey against the Russians, putting Moscow within 16 minutes reach.

    The Americans refused to remove the missiles which led the Russians to reciprocate. Eventually the US agreed to secretly remove the missiles from Turkey.

    As a former Pentagon acquaintance admitted, this was a victory for Russia, not the US.

    Unfortunately for the Russians, they didn’t use this as an opportunity for world wide propaganda very well.

    Google ‘cuban missile crisis jupiter’

    >This is especially true when we consider that the
    >proposed US missile shield doesn’t actually bother
    >Russia all that much – it’s much more important to the
    >Kremlin as an opportunity for Russia to give the US a bit
    >of a verbal bashing every now and then.

    WHAT evidence does the writer have that the proposed missile shield does not bother Russia???

    It has always been the US goal to develop first strike capability without having to suffer a reciprocating strike from Russia. The initial missiles in Poland might not prove to be of any danger to Russia and its interests but missiles get upgraded and re-oriented, leading to the possibility of striking ascending Russian missiles. American anti-ballistic missiles are much more effective than most realize and are increasingly getting more accurate.

  12. Tim Newman says:

    Apparently the writer of this article is not very informed on the issue.

    The Russian bid to station nuclear missiles in Cuba was in response to the US stationing Jupiter missiles in Turkey against the Russians, putting Moscow within 16 minutes reach.

    The Americans refused to remove the missiles which led the Russians to reciprocate. Eventually the US agreed to secretly remove the missiles from Turkey.

    Alas, nor are you very well informed on the issue. Russia never asked the Americans to remove the missiles in Turkey, and nor did the Americans refuse. There is a recording of Kennedy in the early days of the crisis, once the Soviet missiles were already on Cuba, of him telling his staff that “this is like us putting missiles in Turkey”. One of his staff had to rather embarrassingly tell his boss that they did have missiles in Turkey.

    Even that being so, the missiles in Turkey were not the primary, or even secondary, reason for Khrushchev moving missiles into Cuba. His primary concern was the number of ICBMs the US had in comparison to the USSR. Khrushchev fell on the formula “IRBM + Cuba = ICBM”, and blundered his way into handing over nuclear weapons without clear firing authority to an idiot who soon after advocated a nuclear first strike on the US.

  13. Tim Newman says:

    They may have my front garden. Free of charge.

    That’s effectively what your Eastern neighbours had for 50 years, wasn’t it?

  14. Andy says:

    And what Britain’s Western neighbours continue to have, if you believe some…

    And they’ve concreted our garden over for runways.

  15. Offhand and without checking, as a condition for ending the Cuban missile crisis, I believe the American government secretly (at the time) agreed to remove American missiles from Turkey at a later date from the Soviet missile withrawal from Cuba. Some see this as Kennedy offering a kind of face saving gesture to Khrushchev.

  16. That’s effectively what your Eastern neighbours had for 50 years, wasn’t it?

    Yep, and the world was a much safer place to live in back then. Being old enough to have profound experience with both systems I’d trade US bases and troops for Russian bases and troops on my country’s soil any time.

  17. Tim Newman says:

    Offhand and without checking, as a condition for ending the Cuban missile crisis, I believe the American government secretly (at the time) agreed to remove American missiles from Turkey at a later date from the Soviet missile withrawal from Cuba. Some see this as Kennedy offering a kind of face saving gesture to Khrushchev.

    That is correct.

  18. Tim Newman says:

    Yep, and the world was a much safer place to live in back then.

    Maybe. Although to be fair, Germany probably wasn’t.

    Being old enough to have profound experience with both systems I’d trade US bases and troops for Russian bases and troops on my country’s soil any time.

    This is interesting, because for a time Germans has a choice of living in a Germany with Russian bases or a Germany with American bases, and the ovewhelming majority of Germans preferred the Germany with American bases, so much so that the Germans with the Russian bases were leaving by the thousand. When it was looking as though there would be nobody left, the Germans with the Russian bases were forbidden from leaving – and in one instance a wall built around them to keep them in – whereupon many risked their lives to escape to the Germany with the American bases. So forgive my skepticism, but I don’t think a Germany full of Russian bases is particularly desirable, or if it is, the Germans for 50 years had an odd way of showing it.

  19. So forgive my skepticism, but I don’t think a Germany full of Russian bases is particularly desirable, or if it is, the Germans for 50 years had an odd way of showing it.

    Ok, I’m having a great day today – so I’ll forgive your skepticism as well as your ignorance. I wasn’t comparing the two political systems in E- and W-Germany, I compared bases and troops of the occupying forces. And there is no shaddow of a doubt that for the overwhelming part of their presence on German soil the Russians behaved more civilized and law-abiding while the areas around US-bases weren’t and aren’t an environment you would want to see your wife, daughter or mother to be in … particularly not on weekends – when “the liberators” were unleashed in flocks, drunk and some even drugged before leaving their barracks for “a night in town”.

  20. Tim Newman says:

    Ok, I’m having a great day today – so I’ll forgive your skepticism as well as your ignorance.

    No need. There is no ignorance to forgive.

  21. Tim Newman says:

    And there is no shaddow of a doubt that for the overwhelming part of their presence on German soil the Russians behaved more civilized and law-abiding…

    Out of interest, which Russian garrison towns were you familiar with? I understand you have first hand experience of an American garrison town, but I am curious as to how you could also have experience of a Russian garrison town. Did you actually live in East Germany amongst Russian soldiers long enough for you to be able to make a comparison? If so, which Russian unit was there?

  22. My experiences with Russian garisson towns are first hand as well as second hand, as a significant part of my family lived in former East Germany all their lifes. Not only a country was devided in two parts for decades, families were as well. My first hand experiences result from my time in the military which ended almost a decade after the reunification. Hint: I wasn’t a conscript. The last Russian troops left Germany in 1994, so I had a little over 4 years to gain first hand experiences.

    Out of interest, which Russian garrison towns on German soil were you familiar with? Let me guess … none.

  23. No need. There is no ignorance to forgive.

    Hell yes, there is. I’d be delighted to point it out to you, but I am very well aware that you enjoy some kind of “VIP-Status” on Andy’s blog and therefore are “untouchable”. I really don’t feel like seeing another comment of mine disappear for being too critical regarding Mr Newman.

  24. Andy says:

    I’m pretty sure I’ve taken down one or two of Tim’s comments in the past, as well as some of yours Heribert.

    The only person whose comments are exempt from my censorious hand is me. I also thoroughly enjoy my VIP status.

  25. Yes, being a VIP does indeed bring some advantages. Enjoy ! 🙂

  26. Tim Newman says:

    My experiences with Russian garisson towns are first hand as well as second hand, as a significant part of my family lived in former East Germany all their lifes.

    Then you’ll know the reason why the Russian troops were better behaved than their American counterparts – and their British counterparts, for that matter. Which, incidentally, is the same reason why the Russian soldiers in the half-dozen bases in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk are better behaved in the town than any British or Germans soldiers who were based in my home town in the UK.

    Hell yes, there is. I’d be delighted to point it out to you, but I am very well aware that you enjoy some kind of “VIP-Status” on Andy’s blog and therefore are “untouchable”.

    Oh. So there is ignorance on my part, but you’re going to come up with possibly the lamest excuse this side of the Oder to avoid having to substantiate this claim.

  27. Then you’ll know the reason why the Russian troops were better behaved than their American counterparts – and their British counterparts, for that matter.

    I sure know the reasons. The main reason besides a tough discipline is the fact that Russians aren’t spoonfed the idea of being superior to their hosts and may misbehave however and whenever they feel like doing so and having the ASPA and other acts to protect them.

    Oh. So there is ignorance on my part, but you’re going to come up with possibly the lamest excuse this side of the Oder to avoid having to substantiate this claim.

    I am not sure about side of the Oder, but it actually shouldn’t be much different from my side of it. I simply see no sense in making any effort of substantianting the fact (note: not the claim) that you are probably the most ignorant and arrogant person on the English language blogosphere. The task of the English language blogosphere is to howl about the assumed lacking of democracy in Russia (and anywhere else in the “non-English” world), not to practice democracy itself. Where is the sense in substantiating my point when all people can read is something like Comment removed by moderator as soon as I attempt to do so ?

  28. I apologize for the missing word … “I am not sure about side of the Oder …” should read I am not sure about your side of the Oder …”

  29. Tim Newman says:

    The main reason besides a tough discipline is the fact that Russians aren’t spoonfed the idea of being superior to their hosts and may misbehave however and whenever they feel like doing so and having the ASPA and other acts to protect them.

    Heh! You keep believing that, matey.

    I simply see no sense in making any effort of substantianting the fact (note: not the claim) that you are probably the most ignorant and arrogant person on the English language blogosphere.

    No, let me correct you. You see sense in it, but you can’t, so you won’t.

    Where is the sense in substantiating my point when all people can read is something like Comment removed by moderator as soon as I attempt to do so ?

    The reason you keep getting your comments deleted is not because you are trying to substantiate a point, but because you continually use abusive language when trying – unsuccessfully – to do so. That you need to resort to such behaviour when trying to substantiate your claims to my ignorance says all that need be said as regards your actual claims.

  30. The reason you keep getting your comments deleted is not because you are trying to substantiate a point, but because you continually use abusive language when trying – unsuccessfully – to do so. That you need to resort to such behaviour when trying to substantiate your claims to my ignorance says all that need be said as regards your actual claims.

    This is a lie, and you know it. Since when is calling an ignorant and arrogant person what he is “abusive language” ? After all, how would you know what is written in my deleted comments if they are deleted ? How can you know how many of my comments are being deleted ? Is Andy consulting you in advance ? Is he following your orders ? Now that’s real ???????????? ! Again, enjoy ! It became a wast of time to read and comment here, so I will stop doing so right now.

  31. Tim Newman says:

    Since when is calling an ignorant and arrogant person what he is “abusive language” ?

    Isn’t, and nor have I said that it is. I said that your efforts to substantiate your baseless claims of my ignorance usually involve abusive language, and as such get deleted.

    As for arrogance: guilty as charged.

    After all, how would you know what is written in my deleted comments if they are deleted ?

    I know having seen you throw a total wobbler on web forums before in which you used absuve language when asked to substantiate some dubious claim or other; and also, Andy doesn’t get an SMS as soon as you posts an idiotic comment, he has to labouriously come and check all the commments first, something which takes time. In the interim, your comments are there for all to see.

  32. As per some Hungarian friends of mine and a NYT article from awhile back, the Soviet military presence in Hungary was low key in terms of interaction with the locals.

    Regarding the above conversation and putting aside military operations like 1953, ’56 and ’68, it’s reasonable to believe that the Red Army had a shorter leash when it came to off duty interaction among the locals when compared to their American counterparts.

    Diplomatically, this was quite true. The apartment complex for the Soviet UN and consular staff in Riverdale, NY saw little social meshing in the community. Now, it houses RF UN and consular staff. Folks there regularly go out and about in Riverdale, as well as other parts of NY.

  33. Irishman says:

    ”Offhand and without checking, as a condition for ending the Cuban missile crisis, I believe the American government secretly (at the time) agreed to remove American missiles from Turkey at a later date from the Soviet missile withrawal from Cuba. Some see this as Kennedy offering a kind of face saving gesture to Khrushchev.

    That is correct.”

    The version of events I have often heard from Russians is that the USSR removed the missiles publicly and in full view of the world, but a short time afterwards put them right back where they were secretly. Russians say that Krushchev decided to do this to calm the situation down, with the Americans knowing that the missiles would return eventually. How true all that is I dont know, but its a typical response I get when I tell the Russians that an ”Irishman” kicked their butts out of Cuba:-)

  34. Irishman says:

    ”The main reason besides a tough discipline is the fact that Russians aren’t spoonfed the idea of being superior to their hosts and may misbehave however and whenever they feel like doing so and having the ASPA and other acts to protect them.

    Heh! You keep believing that, matey.”

    There’s a Polish girl in the lab I’m working in at the moment and she was telling me only the other day that the Russians were actually worse occupiers than the Nazis. I know lads that to say the least Poles arent fans of the Russians, but I was really gobsmacked by that one, though you all know how dumb I am anyway. Still and all it was a fairly big statement to make.

    If anyone is under any confusion as to the behaviour of Russian occupying forces, I suggest to read the novella ”Hadji Murat”, written by none other than Leo Tolstoy, himself a Russian soldier. The scene left in a Mosque after a ‘sweeping’ operation is particularily illuminating.

    Then again, that was in the first half of the 19th century. Maybe things are better now. Hopefully the Russians have discovered the usefulness of portable toilets, or the old Irish labourer’s trick of ”jumping over the ditch” and ”using dock leaves” when ones innards need voiding.

  35. Tim Newman says:

    As per some Hungarian friends of mine and a NYT article from awhile back, the Soviet military presence in Hungary was low key in terms of interaction with the locals.

    Regarding the above conversation and putting aside military operations like 1953, ‘56 and ‘68, it’s reasonable to believe that the Red Army had a shorter leash when it came to off duty interaction among the locals when compared to their American counterparts.

    Jesus! Twice in one thread I find myself commending Mike Averko on his correctness!

    The reason the Russian soldiers appear well behaved is that they generally were not, and are not, permitted to go on the piss in the local towns and interaction with locals is severely restricted. You never, ever see any groups of the thousands of Russian servicemen on Sakhalin out of their barracks unless they’re being marched somewhere.

    The idea that the American soldiers behaved worse than the Russians because they thought themselves superior to the Germans, whereas the Russians presumably thought themselves equal or inferior, I suspect is little more than the result of some pretty Fraulein scorning a certain local in favour of an American soldier a decade and a half ago.

  36. Irishman says:

    ”Regarding the above conversation and putting aside military operations like 1953, ‘56 and ‘68, it’s reasonable to believe that the Red Army had a shorter leash when it came to off duty interaction among the locals when compared to their American counterparts”

    Actually this completely makes sense.

  37. Irishman says:

    ” I suspect is little more than the result of some pretty Fraulein scorning a certain local in favour of an American soldier a decade and a half ago.”

    🙂 There’s a bunch of old women here in our village that never married, and local legend has it that during the building of a bridge here in the 1940s by Irish soldiers those women ignored the local lads for the duration of the troops stay (a few years…yeah, yeah, I know, Irish builders!). Anyway when the troops up and went the local men had all acquired women from nearby villages and the ladies who’d spurned them in favour of the blow-ins were left high and dry. Far Away Fields, etc etc..:-)

  38. Irishman says:

    ”Diplomatically, this was quite true. The apartment complex for the Soviet UN and consular staff in Riverdale, NY saw little social meshing in the community. Now, it houses RF UN and consular staff. Folks there regularly go out and about in Riverdale, as well as other parts of NY.”

    Do you ever get to have a few drinks with them? I dont know them at all well, but the staff at the Russian embassy in Dublin are always extremely nice, polite and helpful. And some of them are hot. All of this in sharp contrast to OVIR offices in Moscow (except of course the ‘hot’ bit, which, lets face it, is something quite common in Russia!)

  39. Overall, the Poles in the few decades following WW II hated the Germans more than the Soviets (especially Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians). Thereafter, the mood swing changed.

    Towards the end of the war, Soviet behavior in Poland doesn’t appear as bad as in Germany and Hungary. A major reason no doubt having to do with Germans and Hungarians fighting against the USSR during WW II unlike the Poles.

  40. As an aside, towards and at the very end of WWW II, the Red Army was generally well received in Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria and Serbia.

  41. Irishman says:

    ”Overall, the Poles in the few decades following WW II hated the Germans more than the Soviets (especially Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians). Thereafter, the mood swing changed.”

    Certainly there may well be a fair degree of revisionist history reflected in my workmate’s opinion. I must ask her again tommorow. In fairness until recent years the history taught in our own schools here was vehemently anti-Brit, and has now been softened totally. There probably was a major swing against the Russians/USSR after the Poles removed the Soviet yoke in the 1980s.

  42. BTW, I’ve heard/read my share of not so nice behavior on the part of the Czechs towards the Germans at the end of WW II.

  43. Poles can be of varying opinions.

    In Poland, there now seems to be a bitter dispute on the legacies of Walesa and Jaruzelski.

    Among the two extremes is the view that they both collaborated and should be punished. Another view sees a difference between the two, that includes a willingness to forgive Jaruzelski as someone with limited options.

  44. Tim Newman says:

    Just to make things a bit more confusing, my wife’s grandmother was a child during the 3-year German occupation of her village somewhere in Belorussia. She remembered them fixing up the village, being generally very nice and helpful, and patching up her knee when she cut it. I guess away from the main action it was all down to individuals, in particular the decency of the commanding officer.

  45. Tim Newman says:

    There’s a bunch of old women here in our village that never married…

    🙂

  46. Irishman says:

    ”BTW, I’ve heard/read my share of not so nice behavior on the part of the Czechs towards the Germans at the end of WW II.”

    I would think everyone had a go at the Germans at the end of the war. My father’s father fought in the British Army in WWII and was part of the force that cleaned up Belsen, or so the story goes. Whatever happened, when he came back he hardly said a word more for 45 years until he died. He’d go to work, come home, drink his one tot and sit in silence most of the time. Mad, brutal times.

  47. Irishman says:

    ”Just to make things a bit more confusing, my wife’s grandmother was a child during the 3-year German occupation of her village somewhere in Belorussia”

    Some of these babushki are just hilarious. My wife was in a queue in Moscow a few years back during the summer for some other useless piece of red tape. The queue was full of dyevushki in their summer clothes, arses proudly being shown to the world, as is the norm in Moscow. Anyway all of sudden a babushka in the queue suddenly piped up ”look at the state of you! Showing off your tits and arses! Is this what we fought for in the War, so you can waltz around Moscow dressed like slappers”?!

  48. On an earlier point, the Nazis wrecked Poland and sought to make it a non-nation slave state at best. Tacked onto that were the previous historical differences between Germany and Poland.

    The Soviets defeated the Nazis and put in its place a Polish nation that was subservient to the USSR. The faults of the post-WW II reality should be clear. It was still a better option than the Nazi period in Poland.

  49. Irishman says:

    ”It was still a better option than the Nazi period in Poland.”

    That is doubtless. And funny enough my workmate has moaned about Walesa – she reckons he wasnt all that bright and shouldnt have actually led the country. She’s from Krakow and has some hilarious stories about the Wisla and Legia Ultras.

  50. “I guess away from the main action it was all down to individuals, in particular the decency of the commanding officer.”

    ***

    Friend’s Hungarian Jewish mother experienced the same with the Red Army.

    Plenty of other such experiences.

  51. When discussing WW II, I try to make it a point to say Nazi or Nazi German as opposed to just German.

    I don’t accept that Nazism was a natural outgrowth of traditional German patriotism. Rather, it was an unfortunate aberration.

    This is consistent with not making the Russia automatically equals Soviet claim.

    Fact of the matter is that Nazi Germany had much help from many non-Germans. Ditto the USSR with many non-Russians. This leads to why I think Russians and Germans can bury the hatchet with each other.

    During WW II, the Croat Ustasha, Galician Ukrainian nationalists and Austrians had elements every bit as brutal if not more so than many of the Germans stationed in the same area.

  52. Irishman says:

    ”When discussing WW II, I try to make it a point to say Nazi or Nazi German as opposed to just German”

    yes, I am aware that its better to refer to the Nazis as, well, Nazis.

    How’s your Russian coming along?:-)

  53. Irishman says:

    ”This leads to why I think Russians and Germans can bury the hatchet with each other.”

    They already have. A long time ago, actually.

  54. ??????.

    ****

    Why don’t you ask that question of Guillory, Johnson, Straus and a number of others, who know considerably less than yours truly on a good number of FSU topics?

    I’ll once again remind all that it’s only within recent times that Peter Lavelle became fluent in the Russian language (so I’ve been told). I understand that his RTTV employer staffs people who aren’t fluent in the Russian language. Meantime, I get high marks from Russian born Russians (as well as others) for my spot on analysis. So, you can go **** yourself with your fellow trolls.

    Meantime, how has your grasp of Russia’s history, foreign policy and sports improved (rhetorical question and one that I don’t care to know the answer)?

    Andy, no need for me to take such repeated horsehit from a proven troll, who has incessantly lied about me at this and other threads.

    I don’t think I’ll check back at this thread. I prefer subject related conversation, as opposed to the kind of trolling that others initiate.

  55. As a follow-up to the very beginning of my last set of comments, it could (more precisely be better).

    I’m managing a number of other things at the moment.

    It includes projects like a very well received last bullshit free AC article of mine, which took Kiselyov, Lourie and Bovt to task.

  56. Irishman says:

    ”??????.

    ****

    Why don’t you ask that question of Guillory, Johnson, Straus and a number of others, who know considerably less than yours truly on a good number of FSU topics?”

    Ah Mike – no. I was genuinely asking! You’d said ages ago that you were indeed learning, hence the question. For once I wasnt actually trying to piss you off.
    Shit man, take it easy!

  57. Boris says:

    For the past week, a series of stories and denials have been published in the Russian media surrounding a possible plan for Russia to relocate a refueling base in Cuba and resume flights of Russia’s Tu-160 “Blackjack” and Tu-95 “Bear” nuclear-capable strategic bombers back into the Western Hemisphere. All the noise reached a crescendo when another piece of information — true or not — was leaked to the Russian press that a crew of the Russian bombers had gone to Cuba on Thursday to conduct preliminary surveys.

    Thus far, there is no confirmation that Russia is indeed returning militarily to Cuba. It is, however, a signal of what could happen if the United Stated does not heed Russian demands for Washington to back off from Moscow’s turf. This would be, in Moscow’s eyes, an equal response to the United States’ signing ballistic missile defense system treaties with the Czech Republic and Poland — right on Russia’s doorstep — as well as discussing NATO membership with the former Soviet states of Ukraine and Georgia.

    Russia did, in fact, respond to the West’s encroachment: cutting energy supplies to Europe and sending more military into Georgia’s secessionist regions. But the problem was that Moscow simply hadn’t gotten Washington’s attention.

    Washington has been too wrapped up in other issues — such as the upcoming presidential election, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, negotiations with Iran and simply not believing Russia had any real tools with which to threaten it –- that it airily dismissed all of Moscow’s provocations. This has made Russia’s reprisals Europe’s problem at a time when Moscow wants to prove it once again is a global power and can stand up against its traditional foe: the United States. So Russia sent a signal of something that the United States simply cannot ignore — the moving of the Russian-U.S. tug-of-war from Russia’s doorstep to the U.S. doorstep. This is a serious threat and one with which Washington is quite familiar.

    The Cuba option would be a powerful move against the United States — just as it was during the 1950s and 1960s — because it directly penetrates the United States’ immediate periphery. Combine the Cuba rumors with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s trip to Moscow this past week — which held its own flurry of rumored deals over Russian bases and defense deals — and Moscow is reminding the Americans of a prior miscalculation. In the 1950s, Washington assumed that it could threaten the Soviet Union along its borders in Europe, South Asia and East Asia. And the United States believed it could not be threatened in its homeland, in the Western Hemisphere — America assumed no foreign power would dare violate the Monroe Doctrine. Washington bet that Moscow did not have an equivalent threat, and it was wrong.

    The Soviet Union’s move into Cuba back then changed the entire dynamic of the Cold War. The Soviet presence threatened the sea lanes out of the Gulf of Mexico, major facilities in Florida, all of the Caribbean airspace and some of the Eastern Seaboard. It forced the U.S. Navy and Air Force to shift resources and account for Soviet units there. It diverted the CIA into Latin America, forcing the conflicts in Central American and Grenada. Despite its inherent military vulnerability, Cuba was one of the most strategic Soviet assets. Nothing was the same after Cuba.

    The Russians are reminding the Americans of their prior miscalculations on how Russians respond to perceived threats. The United States has shifted its focus from its periphery and once again moved to responding to threats that could never truly physically hit the homeland — such as an Iranian missile threat. In the nearly 20 years since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States has returned to and enjoyed a world where any potential military threat is an ocean and half a world away.

    For now, this is just a signal and no real movement on the ground has been made. Russia is serious, however, about its ability to follow through if the United States does not release the pressure elsewhere. The moves over Cuba are not an indicator of the Russians’ global intentions, but are meant to signal an increase in Moscow’s assertiveness. It is a gutsy and interesting move by the Russians. We have yet to see whether the Americans have really noticed (or want to admit that they noticed) and can divert attention from the Middle East and domestic politics to address the Russian threat — either by backing down or by escalating the situation, which would bring back a Cold War standoff.

    Of course, if Washington and Moscow do get serious about things such as Cuba, then the U.S. escalation would go far beyond what Russia currently feels threatened over.

    Toss the former KGB agent and current Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin into the mix and let him get back to his old drinking buddys from the “good ole'” days of smuggling arms in Latin America and heck who needs a Jihad to keep the military machine rolling were back to 1962, except now the Russians have a little bit of money to work with and the US is in Afganistan. Will Czar Vlady start banging his shoe on the podium?? I watch with curisoity

  58. Tim Newman says:

    In the 1950s, Washington assumed that it could threaten the Soviet Union along its borders in Europe, South Asia and East Asia.

    There isn’t much evidence Washington wanted to threaten the USSR in the 1950s. Contain yes, threaten no. The Korean War and Berlin Airlift – the two most significant Cold War events in the 1950s – were unprovoked acts of aggression carried out at the behest of Stalin.

  59. Pharohl says:

    It’s a game that the U.S. and Russia play. You do this, I will do this. You propose a missile shield, I will propose a bomber base near your shores. The missile shield is clearly a weapon, because it doesnt pose solely defensive capabilities, or else Russia wouldnt be making a big stink about it. When I listen to Condoleeza Rice say the the missile shield is aimed to prevent attacks from rogue threats, I buckle in pity because I can’t believe she has such the character to lie about anything and everything. I sometimes model myself behind Condoleeza Rice, a black American youth seeking to learn Russian and go into a career field catering to U.S./Russian affairs. But, I can’t model myslef behind a liar. Who are the rogue threats. Iran, who has missiles that can reach Europe, but has no reason to attack Europe. And North Korea, who is in the stages of disarming themselves of their minuscule nuclear armament. And out intelligence sources here in the U.S. have already stated that Iran is using their nuclear facilities for peaceful purposes, such as France, and many other nations that have nuclear power plants. Why can France produce nuclear energy but not Iran? The missile shield is clearly aimed at Russia, no matter how it gets twisted. A threat can be a nuclear launch from one of the breakaway republics, or maybe the Islamic extremist could get their hand on a weapon and reak havoc on that side of the world. I think it’s better to tell the truth. If Russia wants to build the base, let them. As long as we continue to push their buttons, so will they. Can’t you see the coalitions forming. Russia talking cordially to our enemies, but blasting us. The U.S. is definely in need of some policy changing. Hopefully we will get that in November.

  60. Aleks says:

    I seem to remember from the history books that General MacArthur was a proponent of using the atomic bomb in Korea and also using it against Russia whilst the US still had the advantage. Considering his strength and influence within the US military, the pols were forced to remove him from his command as they also feared he would launch an unilateral nuclear attack…

    Back to the Cubans, would they actually want Russian bombers on their soil? At the moment the US has no EU support for sanctions on Cuba, so logically wouldn’t a Cuban/Russian love-in push the EU and those with better relations with Cuba, closer to the Americans? Fidel’s brother is already implenting reforms such as allowing mobile phones and leasing land to private farmers – ratcheting up the pressure could well be something the Cuban economy might not cope to well with.

  61. Pharohl says:

    I don’t think Russia has the will nor capacity to fight a war with the U.S. Maybe back then in the Soviet days, but not today. Alot of what goes on today is saber rattling, then much speculation and interpretation, and crazy twists by the American media. Wars today are also more difficult to initiate. Russia’s main goal right now is to continue to improve their economy, fight corruption, and improve their defenses. We may get into disagreements with them, but ultimately I believe the bombers won’t go to Cuba, and this is why. I for one believe that Barrack Obama will be the next president of the U.S., and the polls show it, the world likes him, and McCain gets nothing but negative attention. McCain’s stand on Russia is eliminate them from the G8. He also once can to the assumption that president ex-president and now prime minister Putin was the president of Germany http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5ENwej0fpc> . But Obama will do what is necessary to halt the missile shield program. He wants strong ties with Russia, and I’m not sure if Russia wants the same. But I’m sure that Russia doesn’t want conflict with us. So if the missile shield doesn’t get built, then bombers wont go to Cuba. Trade is essential for us, it’s the only way for the U.S. and Russia to settle their differences. The U.S. really doesn’t like the way China is ran, but middle class Americans sure do like cheap goods at WalMart. And I also here that Russians like the few McDonald’s sparsely spread out in Moscow. So hopefully this conflict bolds over. Sooner or later the U.S. won’t be led by complete idiots, and Russia won’t be led by authoritarian ex-KGB operatives and maybe we can all get along. Pointing to the KGB deal-there’s nothing bad about these operatives, they are just harsh and cold spirited, they do push the country in the right direction, at a fast pace, but these people, does anyone want to start a separate thread on how Russia is ran but mostly KGB?

  62. RU says:

    you death ,you aggressor- NATO!

  63. ??? says:

    LOLLOLO
    Humanitarian help for ?uba ,damaged from winds.But they think that this bombs….. ha ha ha

  64. Boris says:

    Two Russian Tu-160 “Blackjack” strategic bombers reportedly landed in Venezuela on Sept. 10. If this is a Russian military foray into the Caribbean. After suffering NATO in its own backyard for years, Russia is now on the verge of playing hardball with the United States in its front yard. Events thus far may be more of a signal to Washington to back off of Russia’s periphery — in exchange, Moscow may leave the United States’ sphere of interest alone. But given Washington’s distraction in Iraq and Afghanistan, Russia may never have a better chance to attempt to consolidate a foothold in the Caribbean. It may not necessarily be possible, and it may not necessarily succeed in the long run. But neither precludes Moscow from making the attempt — and in so doing, potentially significantly altering the global geopolitical landscape.

    So my friends it begins again. May Putin, Medvedev and Sechin find a warm glass of Pulonium in their vodka. The masters of the dark arts return.

  1. July 26, 2008

    […] lines,” but no mention of any consequence for crossing them. However last evening I read a post at a Russian weblog, which quoted Hugo Chavez: “Russia has enough resources to secure its presence in different parts […]

  2. July 28, 2008

    […] thought that Andy Young’s take on the situation sounded about right. According to Young, the Russians are probably just posturing for the sake of domestic politics, […]

  3. August 14, 2008

    […] Given the recent turns of events in Russia it’s becoming even less desirable to be in a position where Putin has us by the spaceballs. The Russian intervention in Georgia hearkens back to the bad old days and its far from being the only thing. While Russia is working to sell nuclear technology to the fanatical Islamic states of the world, they’ve also beefed up their strategic nuclear presence. They’ve been steadily acquiring additional Tu-160’s, an aircraft which haunts my nightmares. While they’ve been opposing US anti-ballistic missile systems they’ve been working on their own. Putin has managed to leverage treaties to get the US to castrate our missile force down to de-MIRV’ed missiles in only basic silos. The MX/Peacemaker is gone and so are most of the powerful warheads. Meanwhile, Russia still maintains an enormous arsenal of 20-megaton tipped ballistic missiles pointed directly at the US and other NATO countries. They’re continuing to beef up their ballistic missile submarines and in a move which recalls the most tense days of Cold War I, they’re planning on stationing nuclear bombers in Cuba. […]