Outspoken Russian General Yuri Baluyevsky claims Russia would resort to the use of its military might (preventativly if need be) including the use of nuclear weapons in the event of a serious attack against it, or against an ally. Although most will dismiss this claim as "just talk" we must be reminded that relations between Moscow and the West was this volatile only during the hight of the Cold War in the early 1960s. The shoe, however, seems to be on the other foot now. During Soviet times it was NATO that would often state it would resort to nuclear defense if it was attacked. This was done because of the overwhelming conventional military might that the Soviets possessed at the time. Now, with Russian armed forces still recovering from the catastrophe of the 1990s, Moscow similarly feels compelled to reveal its defensive posture in such blunt terms. Nevertheless, I am glad to see this kind of aggressive rhetoric coming out of Moscow. Whether they mean it or not is not important here, the point of the matter is, are there any forces that would be willing to test Moscow's resolve?

Arevordi

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Russia: Could Use Nuclear Weapons

January, 2008

Russia's military chief of staff said Saturday that Moscow could use nuclear weapons in preventive strikes to protect itself and its allies, the latest aggressive remarks from increasingly assertive Russian authorities. Gen. Yuri Baluyevsky's comment did not mark a policy shift, military analysts said. Amid disputes with the West over security issues, it may have been meant as a warning that Russia is prepared to use its nuclear might. "We do not intend to attack anyone, but we consider it necessary for all our partners in the world community to clearly understand ... that to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Russia and its allies, military forces will be used, including preventively, including with the use of nuclear weapons," Baluyevsky said at a military conference in a remark broadcast on state-run cable channel Vesti-24. According to the state-run news agency RIA-Novosti, Baluyevsky added that Russia would use nuclear weapons and carry out preventive strikes only in accordance with Russia's military doctrine.

The military doctrine adopted in 2000 says Russia may use nuclear weapons to counter a nuclear attack on Russia or an ally, or a large-scale conventional attack that poses a critical risk to Russia's security. Retired Gen. Vladimir Dvorkin, formerly a top arms control expert with the Russian Defense Ministry, said he saw "nothing new" in Baluyevsky's statement. "He was restating the doctrine in his own words," Dvorkin said. Moscow-based military analyst Alexander Golts said that when Russia broke with stated Soviet-era policy in the 2000 doctrine and declared it could use nuclear weapons first against an aggressor, it reflected the decline of Russia's conventional forces in the decade following the 1991 Soviet collapse.

"Baluyevsky's statement means that, as before, we cannot count on our conventional forces to counter aggression," Golts told Ekho Moskvy radio. "It means that as before, the main factor in containing aggression against Russia is nuclear weapons."

Putin and other Russian officials have stressed the need to maintain a powerful nuclear deterrent and reserved the right to carry out preventive strikes. But in most of their public remarks on preventive strikes, Russian officials have not specifically mentioned nuclear weapons. Baluyevsky spoke amid persistent disputes between Moscow and the West over issues including U.S. plans for missile defense facilities in former Soviet satellites, NATO members' refusal to ratify an updated European conventional arms treaty, and Kosovo's bid for independence from Serbia. Like Golts, Moscow-based military analyst Pavel Felgenhauer said Russia plays up its nuclear deterrent because of its weakness in terms of conventional arms. "We threaten the West that in any kind of serious conflict, we'll go nuclear almost immediately," he said. But in the absence of a real threat from the West, he said, "It's just talk."

Source: http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5i...OJTZAD8U92Q881

Russia's Nuclear Declaration: A Defense, Not An Attack


"We have no plans to attack anyone, but we consider it necessary for all our partners in the world community to clearly understand ... that to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Russia and its allies, military forces will be used, including preventively, the use of nuclear weapons." -Gen. Yuri Baluyevsky. This announcement was largely ignored by the American media as it debated what’s more important for the next President: the shape of the candidate’s genitals or the color. In more wonkish corners, the statement drew concerns and talk of a new Cold War. And yet, Moscow is not trying to threaten the world despite the panic that the word "nuclear" usually provokes. The General's statement is also not particularly extraordinary. Russia’s new stance is not a threat to the West, much less the beginning of a new Cold War.

To understand why Vladimir Putin’s administration made the statement one needs to go back to the Balkan wars in the 1990s since the “ally” Moscow was talking about was Serbia in the anticipation of the potential unilateral declaration of independence by Kosovo Albanians and recognition of the new state by the European Union and the United States.

In the early 1990s, Yugoslavia fell apart along ethnic lines. The most contentious place was Bosnia where the Muslims clashed with Christian Serbs. Both sides committed atrocities, but as has been the policy of the West since the 1930s, the US and EU sided with Muslims. While some countries, at some points (France in the 1950s, US since the 1960s), made an exception for Israel, it has been a consistent pattern of American and West European foreign policy to support Islamic nations – Afghanistan against Russia, Pakistan against India, Turkey over Greece (though the US-Greek relations weren’t hostile, Turkey was clearly the preferred friend), Somalia against Ethiopia. The United States even had an arms embargo against Israel and sided with Egypt over not only Jerusalem, but also Britain and France during the 1956 war. It was not the United States that turned away from Muslims and towards the xxxish state, but rather it was the Arabs who abandoned the alliance and sided with Moscow, leaving the U.S. with little choice but to ally itself with Israel. When Egypt decided to switch sides again, Washington promptly issued it over $2 billion in annual aid and forced Jerusalem to give up Sinai.

It was thus hardly surprising that Bill Clinton chose to help Bosnian Muslims over the Serbs. What was unusual was the vilification of the Serbs as the only side that committed atrocities. While it is true that the Serbs committed crimes, it was always doubtless that Bosnians did as well. To the Russians, the breakup of their ally Yugoslavia was an embarrassment, but given that they couldn’t even prevent the breakup of the Soviet Union, it was hardly possible for them to preserve the territorial integrity of their friends. Since the administration of General-Secretary Yuri Andropov (1982-1984), Moscow tried to warm its relations with the West, becoming almost subservient to Washington under Boris Yeltsin. It was thus hardly shocking Russia helplessly went along with the breakup of Yugoslavia.

Sensing weakness in Belgrade and Moscow, Albanians in the Serbian province of Kosovo began agitating for independence by engaging in terror and building alliances with Islamist regimes and organizations. Kosovo is believed by the Serbs to be their Jerusalem, their Mecca. A major reason why the province is now dominated by Muslim Albanians is the Serbs’ decision to side with the Allies during WWII, while both Bosnians and Kosovo Albanians established their own Nazi SS divisions. The third largest death camp during World War II was in Yugoslavia, causing the deaths and displacement of hundreds of thousands of Serbs (and others). One of the Muslim Nazis who fought in the 13th (Bosnian) SS division known as “Hanjar” was Alija Izetbegovic, who became President of Bosnia.

As Izatbegovic matured after WWII, he embraced Islamism and as early as 1970 began agitating in favor of “a struggle for creating a great Islamic federation from Morocco to Indonesia, from the tropical Africa to the Central Asia.” This goal was awfully similar to al-Qaida’s struggle (“Jihad”) for the establishment of an Islamic Caliphate from Morocco to Indonesia. And in fact, it is known that he received help from al-Qaida against the Serbs. He also received help from Tehran. Bill Clinton’s grotesque unofficial and indirect alliance with Osama bin Ladin and Iranian Ayatollahs against Orthodox Christians (Russians and Serbs) was presented as a fight for human rights. So much so that even several major left-leaning xxxish organizations chose to help the former Nazi SS volunteer who became the Bosnian President.

But Kosovo was different than Bosnia. It was not autonomous in the same way that Bosnia was. For Belgrade to lose Bosnia was an equivalent of Moscow losing Ukraine, or for Britain to lose Scotland. For Belgrade to lose Kosovo was an equivalent of Moscow losing Chechnya, or for Britain to lose Manchester. As the war in Kosovo raged, Yeltsin faced his own problems that threatened the breakup and even destruction of Russia. Chechnya achieved de facto independence after the Russian army got embarrassed by a band of amateurs. It was now possible that other minorities in Russia would follow Chechnya’s example and also demand independence.

When the Warsaw Pact lost Poland, the whole bloc was destroyed. When the USSR allowed independence for the Baltic states, the country fell apart. Allowing Chechen sovereignty seriously threatened Russia’s future as a country. Russia is the most ethnically diverse country in the world, and many minority ethnic groups live in regions where they can establish viable nation-states. If Chechnya succeeded, there was no reason to expect others not to at least try to rise up against Moscow – and the economic crash suffered by Russia in the late 1990s did not help matters.

But just as Russia could not allow Chechen independence, it could not allow Kosovo sovereignty for the same reason. Kosovo would be a precedent and an inspiration for minorities trying to break free. Strong, established states such as Britain (Northern Ireland and Scotland) and Spain (Basques and several others) can thwart such challenges. A weak Russia, with a dysfunctional military and a destroyed economy would have a much harder time at it. Additionally, many of the minority groups in Russia, including the largest one Tatars, are Muslim and it would be conceivable that Jihadists then flowing into Kosovo would move on to fight Moscow next to help their co-religionists in the Russian Federation.

In March 1999, after months of exaggeration of Serbian atrocities by the Western media (while the brutality of the terrorist Kosovo Liberation Army was ignored), Washington-led NATO began the air campaign against Serbia. Two and a half months later, many targets were destroyed, but just as in every other case in history, the Air Force alone could not defeat its enemy. There’s very little reason for the West to fight Serbia and the American people would not tolerate significant human losses for no apparent benefit. Clinton approached Yeltsin and the two Presidents worked out an agreement where along with NATO forces, the Russian troops would be stationed to protect the Serbs and to prevent Kosovo independence.

The Serbs left the province and NATO moved in. But when Russian soldiers arrived, Americans blocked them, and the media portrayed this as the new Prague Spring of 1968 (when the Soviets ruthlessly crushed the Czechoslovakian liberation movement). But this time it was not Kremlin abusing its power – it was the White House. To the Russians, it was the ultimate slap in the face. Already reeling from helplessness, Russians correctly saw this incident as an insult. It was clear that Moscow became a joke that nobody needed to take into consideration. So much so that nations now felt free to break major agreements with total disregard for how the people of the world’s largest country would react.

Clinton’s decision to slap Russia in the face and embarrass it on the world scene was the most important reason why Vladimir Putin is now in power, and why he has taken a not-always-friendly approach to dealing with the West. Last fall, I spoke with a bright, highly intelligent Russian college student who was critical of many things Putin has done. But he acknowledged Putin to be Russia’s best option. “He restored our pride. Russia was an international joke. Nobody treated us as equals before, but now we matter.”

President George W. Bush tried to repair some of the damage to the Russo-American relations done by Bill Clinton, such as the statement about looking into Putin’s soul for which he was widely ridiculed. But Bush knew that when things truly mattered, Putin helped him. After 9/11, the Russian President allowed the U.S. to establish military bases in Uzbekistan, which Moscow sees as its sphere of influence, commonly known in Russia as “the near abroad”. When Americans establish military bases, they rarely leave (Korea and Germany being two major examples), so by allowing the U.S. to move into Uzbekistan, Putin was essentially ceding territory. In Afghanistan, the Northern Alliance was Russia’s client-army that meant to serve as the buffer between the south of the former Soviet Union and the Taliban (against which the Russian intelligence repeatedly warned the aloof CIA going back to the early 1990s, even as Clinton withdrew each and every intelligence officer from Afghanistan).

When George W. Bush needed native Afghani help, Putin facilitated contacts between the Northern Alliance and American military and intelligence. Russia’s help in Afghanistan was so indispensable that without it the war would’ve been delayed until after the winter, giving Taliban several months to prepare. It is also indisputable that without the help of the Northern Alliance and Russian human intelligence (which Washington lacked completely because Clinton ended all such operations in the Taliban-led country), the Afghan War would’ve resulted in thousands and maybe even tens of thousands of additional deaths by NATO forces. Of course, Russia was concerned about Islamist radicals long before America, and benefited from the destruction of Taliban, which it could not bring about on its own without the aid of the American military might.

But Putin’s Russia also became more assertive in promoting its interests, rather than just being America’s little lap dog. First, Putin implemented fiscal reforms that improved his country’s economy, such as the flat tax of only 13% that doubled tax revenue in just three years by creating an economic boom and eliminating the incentive to cheat. [Russia’s flat tax example was later followed by much of Eastern Europe with similar success] More ominously, Putin took on the wealthy so-called “oligarchs” who controlled industries that the President felt he could use to promote Russian interests, often by bullying others, such as when he reduced energy flow to Ukraine and the EU.

Putin realized that no country will choose to ally with Russia over the United States if they have a choice. He thus made a decision to embrace the enemies of the West such as Iran, Syria and Venezuela. In the United Nations, Russia made things difficult for the United States in order to show that it is a country that must be paid attention to. At the same time, he made Kremlin a key player in the nuclear negotiations with North Korea (and tried to inject Russia into the Israel-Arab peace process). This Russian alliance with the enemies of the West is unlikely to hold for a long time, however. While some countries, such as Venezuela, are of no long-term importance to Moscow and could be either a friend or an enemy, Iran is Russia’s natural enemy.

[...]

Kremlin pretends to help Tehran inside and outside the United Nations only to play Washington for a fool. Americans are paying Russians to do exactly what they want to do anyway, while at the same time making Moscow seem like a major player on the world scene. Thus, just as in Afghanistan, in Iran too Moscow’s interests are in line those of Washington. Where Moscow’s interests diverge with Washington’s is once again in Kosovo. But this time Russia is no longer a weak state, with a dysfunctional military and a destroyed economy that face a real threat of disintegration like 10 years ago. Rather than the joke it was in the late 1990s, Putin’s Russia of 2008 is a country that matters. It matters in terms of global economy, oil and gas, United Nations, War on Terror and just about every other international issue.

[...]

Serbs are a people who are very similar to Russians (both are Orthodox Christians, both are Slavic, and their languages are similar enough to be understood). Moscow is entitled to defend it the same way Washington would defend Great Britain. In declaring itself willing to defend its allies, with nuclear weapons if needed, Moscow did not intend to tell the world that it wants a new Cold War. Russia’s defense of Serbia is no difference an American defense of its allies in Western Europe, South Korea, Taiwan, Israel, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and many other countries. Over the decades, Washington issued similar statements in defense of all these nations.

Ten years ago, Bill Clinton unnecessarily provoked the Russian people by going back on his agreement with Moscow in order to help KLA Islamic terrorists. George W. Bush must not make the same mistake by helping Kosovo’s KLA-led government. And liberal xxxish organizations must remember that should they support KLA terrorists in Kosovo, Russia and its allies would be fully justified in aiding Hamas in Gaza as payback. Russia will defend the territorial integrity of Serbia and the West has no reason to support the KLA.

Source: http://globalpolitician.com/articles...?ID=4045&cid=4

RUSSIA THREATENS NUKE STRIKE


Top-ranking Russian military figure Says America had better watch out

Recent statements coming from one of Russia’s highest-ranking military commanders indicate that America and Israel plan to go ahead with war on Iran despite the release of the National Intelligence Estimate late last year. Russia’s military chief of staff General Yuri Baluyevsky threatened the use of nuclear weapons in case of a major threat. He said that, although they have no plans of attacking anyone, they nevertheless “consider it necessary for everyone around the world community to clearly understand, that to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Russia and its allies, military forces will be used, including, preventively, the use of nuclear weapons.” His statements (which can only have been made in concert with the overall policies established by his boss President Vladimir Putin) come a week after George Bush’s visit to the Persian Gulf, in which he attempted to rally the nations in that region around U.S. and Israeli plans of “confronting Iran’s nuclear program before it is too late.”

Baluyevsky’s statement, despite the stark and apocalyptic themes pervading it, comes as no surprise. Over the course of the past year, Russia has taken on an increasingly aggressive defensive posture with regard to the West as a result of what it sees as an overall plan of encircling her with NATO forces that threaten her existence. Russia has resumed long-range bomber patrols (halted with the fall of the Soviet Union), sometimes coming within inches of NATO airspace. She has pulled out of several treaties with the West limiting the size of Russian military forces on Europe’s eastern flank. Incensed at the U.S. plan of using new NATO member nations in Eastern Europe as a staging area for missile defense systems (said to be a necessary defense against Iran), Russia has developed and successfully test fired new missiles—both land- and sea-launched. Russia claims they are sophisticated enough to trump any U.S. missile shield.

Beginning in December (after the release of the NIE), Russia began delivering the nuclear fuel supplies promised to Iran according to their agreement. As of this moment, four shipments have been made totaling 45 tons of the estimated 80 tons necessary for the Bushehr facility to begin refinement. Israel is furious, as evidenced by Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni’s recent meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov where she called the fuel deliveries “inconceivable.” What is of particular importance in General Baluyevsky’s statement is his mention of “defending the sovereignty and territorial integrity” of, not just Russia, but her “allies” as well. Russia has not, as of this moment, signed formal mutual defense agreements with nations such as Iran and Syria.

Both are on Israel and America’s list of countries targeted for destruction. Both are important trading partners occupying Russia’s peripheries and therefore a first-line defense of Russian territory. Throughout this nightmare in the Middle East, Russia has demonstrated a sane and rational character. By contrast, Israel and the United States under the administration of George Bush, have been irrational and unpredictable. Iraq and Afghanistan are unmitigated disasters and the fact that neither the U.S. nor Israel has learned from these disasters proves they are dangerous to all nations seen as uncooperative in the drive for U.S. and Israeli world hegemony.

Indeed, Putin recently compared Bush to a “maniac running around threatening everyone with a razor.”

Source: http://www.americanfreepress.net/htm...eatens123.html

NATO must prepare for nuclear first strike, report urges

A chilling report prepared by a group of top military commanders from the US and its NATO allies declares that the alliance must be prepared to launch a preemptive nuclear first strike because of “asymmetric threats and global challenges” posed to the West. “The first use of nuclear weapons must remain in the quiver of escalation as the ultimate instrument to prevent the use of weapons of mass destruction, in order to avoid truly existential dangers,” declares the report, which is titled “Towards a Grand Strategy for an Uncertain World: Renewing Transatlantic Partnership.”

The authors of the document, which has been submitted to the Pentagon and the NATO command, include Gen. John Shalikashvili (ret.), who was chief of the joint chiefs of staff under the Clinton administration, as well as former chiefs of the armed forces in Britain, France, Germany and the Netherlands. According to a report published Tuesday in the British Guardian, “The manifesto has been written following discussions with active commanders and policymakers, many of whom are unable or unwilling to publicly air their views.” It is expected to be a key subject of discussion at a NATO summit to be held in Bucharest in April. The report presents a grim picture of the 21st century, portraying the major Western powers as under siege from real and potential enemies as well as objective changes in the global situation.

It calls attention to population growth and climate change as exacerbating world conflicts and warns that terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the struggle for “scarce resources,” particularly oil, poses new threats. It also singles out China, Russia and Iran as actual or potential enemies. In response to these supposed threats, the report calls for the NATO alliance to adopt a strategy of “escalation dominance, the use of a full bag of both carrots and sticks—and indeed all instruments of soft and hard power, ranging from the diplomatic protest to nuclear weapons.” It warns that “traditional forms and methods of governments and international organizations,” particularly the UN, are incapable of proceeding with sufficient speed to maintain such dominance, and therefore a sweeping overhaul of NATO is required to create an adequate instrument for global intervention. In a tone that recalls nothing so much as the rantings of Dr. Strangelove, the report states, “Nuclear weapons are the ultimate instrument of an asymmetric response—and at the same time the ultimate tool of escalation.”

It continues: “Regrettably, nuclear weapons—and with them the option of first use—are indispensable, since there is simply no realistic prospect of a nuclear-free world. On the contrary, the risk of further proliferation is imminent and, with it, the danger that nuclear war fighting, albeit limited in scope, might become possible.... In sum, nuclear weapons remain indispensable, and nuclear escalation continues to remain an element of any modern strategy.” The report goes on to describe “nuclear escalation” as “the ultimate step in responding symmetrically, and at the same time the most powerful way of inducing uncertainty in an opponent’s mind.” While the passages on the prospects of a preemptive nuclear strike name no specific targets, there is little doubt that the immediate “opponent” in the mind of its authors is Iran. The document perversely portrays a nuclear first strike as an instrument for preventing nuclear weapons proliferation.

Iran is “strongly suspected of engaging in a military nuclear programme,” the report states. It continues: “The willingness of the USA and its coalition partners to rid the world of the two terrible regimes of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and the Taliban has left a vacuum that Iran is stepping into, with the world unable to contain Iran’s growing influence in the region.” “As a nuclear power,” it continues, “Iran could become immune to international sanctions. Furthermore, it would dominate the region, which possesses the world’s largest oil and gas reserves.” This last question is clearly the principal concern among the ruling elite in both the US and Europe—that the major powers would face a direct challenge to their control over strategic energy supplies now dominated by the multinational oil companies.

[...]

Source: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2008/ja...nato-j24.shtml

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