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Saturday, July 10, 2010

A slap on the hand for Kyrgyzstan and no returns spy deal

Spy deal done at highest level
MOSCOW AND NEW YORK - Spies who had been facing years of incarceration in the United States and Russia came in from the cold yesterday as they travelled in opposite directions around the globe, 10 headed eastward to Moscow and four who had been in detention in Russia beginning journeys to new lives in the West.

I can't help but wonder if this sudden flurry of reds under the suburban beds has more to do with the muscle flexing nearer to Russian borders than their mediocre domestic soccer mum Mall spying programme.

The recent uprising in Kyrgyzstan ended the hope of the Tulip revolution as Russia starts to reflex it's muscle over the neo-atlanticists and that this spy ring suddenly gets outed after these Russian inspired riots in Kyrgyzstan seems interesting.

The tense situation between the European Union’s desire for an economic and cultural eastern buffer zone and Russia’s resurgent authoritarian nationalism bloated from energy resources has the potential to flare up if America is not clear on who and what they will protect. The perceived failures of Bush’s neo-liberal agenda have thawed with Obama’s rise to power and in this new dynamic there may be a stable future utilizing the various domestic influenced ambitions between Russia’s need for revenue, the ESDP’s desire for independence and NATO’s containment policy. The Georgia crises is a prime example of events spiraling out of control when there is no clear direction from the United States.

The 2003 Rose Revolution in Georgia, the 2004 Orange Revolution in Ukraine and the 2005 Tulip Revolution in Krygyzstan were all supposed to usher in a new dawn of liberal democracy with Eastern European neo-Atlanticists reaching out for protection from Russia by inclusion within the EU and NATO.

Russia has had other ideas.

Emboldened by a massive spike in global energy prices, the super power capitalism forgot has been rearming itself and has used rising nationalism and a pseudo cult of personality around Prime Minister Putin as an effective policy smokescreen to quiet domestic concerns about rampant corruption, unsolved Journalist murders and a political regime that has becomes less democratic and more authoritarian.

Former US President George W Bush may have looked into Putin’s eyes and seen his soul, but the rest of the planet saw a member of the KGB old guard who had manipulated the political system to cement a friendly President in the form of Dmitriy Medvedev into power with Putin pulling the strings.

The internal dynamics within Russia may play to nationalistic insecurities, but the Georgian war was a policy failure for America and the West’s inability to take Russian insecurities into account suggest the real cause for the Georgian crises.

The 2008 Georgian war was aided by two events. Western countries ignored Russian concerns and endorsed independence of Kosovo and the Bucharest NATO meeting concluded Georgia might one day join. In response to what was perceived as western encroachment into Russia’s sphere of influence, Putin upgraded, to a semiofficial level, ties with South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

With no clear position from the United States, the months leading up to the war saw a ratcheting up of military pressure from Russia. Georgian airspace was violated and an unmanned spy plane shot down. Over the summer, European diplomats noted an increase in shootings and explosions of South Ossetian leaders willing to work with Tiblisi and in July during the visit by Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, the Russians sent two warplanes into Georgian airspace.

By August 2008, things were quickly spiraling out of control with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili seemingly convinced that America would protect Georgia from Russian aggression. The shelling between South Ossetia and Georgia intensified until this strategic miscalculation on Saakashvili’s behalf resulted in Georgian forces invading South Ossetia on August 7th to end the shelling. By 11pm that day Russia started moving it’s military up as a response and the Georgian 9000 strong forces facing 20 000 Russian forces were simply no match.

The confused response by the US envoy Matthew Bryza 'Don't get drawn into a trap. Don't confront the Russian military', when Georgian forces were already moving toward the South Ossetian line suggests a colossal failure of foreign policy by America akin to that shown with the first Gulf War and America not clearly spelling out it’s position to Iraq’s desire to invade Kuwait. Georgia seemed to have bought into the hope of neo-Atlanticist protection from America without actually having any guarantee at all.

I wonder if the slap on the hand for Kyrgyzstan and no returns spy deal is aimed at circuit breaking a lazy Russia into taking Obama seriously and slow the erosion of the neo-atlanticist democracy movement?


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