The Russian government is likely to "test the mettle" of Barack Obama and his administration by taking a tougher stance against U.S. missile defenses, a senior State Department official said Wednesday.
John Rood, the department's top arms control official, told reporters he believes the Russians are waiting to size up the Obama administration before Moscow advances its position on disputed arms issues. In discussing the state of Russian opposition to U.S. missile defense bases in Poland and the Czech Republic, Rood said it appears that Moscow has "paused" in anticipation of a new national security approach in Washington. My assessment is that the Russians intend to test the mettle of the new administration and the new president," he said. "The future will show how the new administration chooses to answer that challenge."
Asked to elaborate, he said, "I think missile defense and other subjects will be among those that the Russians intend to determine what the new administration's posture will be." He said he reached this conclusion on the basis of an impression gained during talks in Moscow on Monday rather than from explicit Russian statements. Less flexibility seen from MoscowHe also said the Russians have been less flexible lately in talks on missile defense. In particular he cited their stance on U.S. proposals to give the Russians more assurance that a missile interceptor site in Poland and a missile-tracking radar in the Czech Republic would pose no security threat to Russia.
In Moscow on Tuesday, Russian news agencies quoted Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov as saying Moscow hopes the Obama administration will agree that the weapons limitations under START "should be preserved and strengthened, rather than weakened." Rood said the Russians want to expand the scope of a follow-on to the START treaty to include limitations on non-nuclear strategic weapons such as long-range conventional bombers and possibly submarines. The Bush administration has resisted that, saying the restrictions should be on nuclear warheads only. Rood said he consulted with members of Obama's transition team before traveling to Moscow and will brief them on the substance of the talks. And he said he expects additional talks with the Russians on these subjects before President Bush leaves office Jan. 20.
Brooke Anderson, the Obama transition office's chief spokesperson on national security affairs, declined to comment on Rood's remark about the Russians likely seeking to test the new president.
Divisive issueThe missile defense issue has been one of the most divisive over the past few years. The Bush administration has argued that extending its U.S.-based defense system to Europe is important in defending Europe and the United States from a possible long-range missile strike from Iran, while the Russians dispute the immediacy of an Iranian threat and worry about U.S. military expansion near Russian borders. On Nov. 5, the day after Obama's election, President Dmitry Medvedev warned that Russia would move short-range missiles to NATO's borders to "neutralize" any U.S. missile defense system in Eastern Europe if necessary.
Medvedev has since backed off slightly. He stressed on Nov. 15 that Russia would not act unless the United States took the first step and expressed hope that the new U.S. administration will be open to negotiations.
Obama has not been explicit, at least in public, about whether he would proceed with the missile defense plan in Poland and the Czech Republic. More broadly he has said he supports missile defense but wants to ensure that it is proven to be a reliable system that does not detract from other security priorities.
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* This too falls into the catagory of the Bed Bush made for Obama!
You see that Bush has almost completed the bankrupting of America ensuring that Obama does not have the money to deal with the crises he has created in America at the hands of Greenspan! For years now he has been instigating war around the world using the Politics of my way or the highway confrontation to dominate! The world has had enough!
In this case we will again discuss Russia! We had the perfect opportunity to bring the world together and proceed into the future peacefully and successfully as one. Bush though more pointedly his handlers saw it as an opportunity to dominate and have their way! The missile defense shield was developed and is being emplaced in Chezchoslavakia and Poland specifically to instigate Russia to war in Bush's forever war!
That system has not even been tested under realistic conditions and I absolutely believe it will fail miserably under realistic conditions. God help the countries that house that system! If peace was the goal it would be housed in Britain where it is wanted but peace is not the goal! Nor is shooting down missiles from Iran and North Korea unless thanks to Bush's instigation and Russia's help they now gain the ability to reach us.
The original goal was to instigate Russia to war in order to fight and have our way but unless controlling the worlds weapons using the well tested successful system HAARP is the plan we are in serious trouble. I have said many times that whoever controls space controls the future. Without satellites the worlds militaries are dead in the water, sitting ducks waiting to be picked off!
** Without getting any deeper I will just remind you of Joe Biden's statement that Obama will be tested within 6 months of election but he is already being tested. He is already running the show in America behind the scenes while Bush continues to screw around. Russia will instantly take him to task as Bush made his bed there too! I am convinced that regardless of what Obama would like or try to do that the foundation of Forever war that Bush laid will proceed!
*** I hope I am wrong but I absolutely doubt it!