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Thread: Missile Defense (General thread)

  1. #141
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    Default Re: Missile Defense (General thread)

    Medvedev Milks the Iran Standoff

    By Vadim Nikitin
    Sunday, September 27 5:19 pm EST




    The US, boxed in by a trigger happy Israel, is frustrated about Russia’s refusal to support Iran sanctions. But let’s put Obama’s European missile defence gambit in perspective.

    “If Russia is to give up Iran, the United States and the West have to offer something much bigger to Moscow than the scrapping of the missile defense system that never existed,” said Vladimir Sotnikov, an Iran expert at the Russian Academy of Sciences. And indeed, far from categorically abandoning the sale of S-300 anti-missile systems to Iran, Medvedev’s sole act of reciprocity has so far been to also remove some missiles that never existed, from Kaliningrad. Seems fair.

    Russia does not want a nuclear armed Iran, so why is it not committing to sanctions? One explanation is that “Russia is enjoying the moment. Being a key player in the Iranian crisis confirms the Kremlin’s own view that Russia is once again a major world power. As soon as Moscow agrees to sanctions, Washington is unlikely to be so attentive”.

    Another reason is that Russia knows that sanctions - though very good at creating civilian hardships - are far from effective at stopping countries from arming themselves (see Iraq). So, being Iran’s closest big power trading partner gives Russia unprecedented leverage in the crisis to do something Western sanctions cannot: persuade Iran to back down.

    “According to Rajab Safarov, director of the center for Contemporary Iranian Studies in Moscow, Russia has “sufficiently effective levers” to have an effect on Iran’s behavior. “Iran has an interest in good relations with Russia,” Safarov told reporters. “This means that Iran could listen to advice from Russia.”

    Russia must also be careful not to unduly antagonise its large Islamic neighbour at a time when Dagestan and Chenchnya are experiencing resurgent separtist violence (two more senior Dagestani officials were gunned down on Sunday). While fighters have in the past been supplied by Saudi Wahhabis and groups tentatively associated with al-Qaeda, Medvedev-Putin cannot rule out the possibility of a spurned Iran (which is already being accused of supplying insurgents in Iran and Afghanistan with roadside bmobs) extending a destabilising hand to the militants.

    At the same time, since the late 1990s, Russia has also cultivated close ties with Israel; in fact, diplomacy with this country may have contributed to Russia’s failure to make good, so far, on a contract to deliver the S-300 missiles to Iran. And Medvedev has hinted, albeit in a very lukewarm way, that sanctions against Iran may be ‘inevitable‘.

    Whatever Russia will do in the end, its role in the Iran nuclear standoff is much more than mere grandstanding: in fact, Russia might be the only country with a key to its peaceful resolution.

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  2. #142
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    Default Re: Missile Defense (General thread)

    Sep 29, 2009
    Medvedev jumps the gun on Iran

    By M K Bhadrakumar



    "Medvedev-watching" graduated from pure science to applied science during the four-day visit by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to New York and Pittsburgh last week.

    The Western perception that the famous Prime Minister Vladimir Putin-Medvedev "tandem" in Moscow would inevitably transform and the Russian president would incrementally create his own power center in the Kremlin received a boost.

    During his visit to Moscow in July, United States President Barack Obama hinted at such a perception. As against eight hours that Obama clocked with Medvedev, he spared 90 minutes with Putin, whom he also made it a point to describe tendentiously as someone with one foot planted in the bygone Cold War era. The implication was that Medvedev was open to engagement by the West.

    Medvedev avoids doing anything to debunk the growing perception of him as a reformist in the wings. The article he penned on September 10 in the run-up to his US visit titled "Go Russia!" and his subsequent interaction with Western Russia experts (known as the Valdai Club) reinforced the impression that he was on a course to carve out his public identity. In "Go Russia!" he distanced himself in subtle strokes from many facets of "Putinism" - stressing, for instance, that "petulance, arrogance, insecurity, mistrust and especially hostility must be eliminated from Russia's relations with leading democratic countries".

    He wrote, "We must be able to interest partners and involve them in joint activity. And if we need to change something in ourselves, get rid of prejudices and illusions, in order to be able to do so, then we must do so." Medvedev admitted while at Pittsburgh on Friday that it thrilled him "Go Russia!" was noticed abroad. "Of course, I won't name names [of world leaders] so as not to put anyone in an awkward position, but I really did discuss aspects of this article with my colleagues. I won't pretend that I didn't enjoy this."

    Medvedev goes 'presidential'

    After an engrossing visit to Russia recently, Washington Post columnist Jim Hoagland wrote, "The White House sees advantage in playing to Medvedev ... and treating him as a Russian version of Obama: a young leader struggling to transform his stumbling nation."

    The White House's strategy of "playing to" Medvedev may be beginning to pay off. The perceptible shift in the Kremlin's stance on the Iran nuclear issue came as a surprise. It had every bit Medvedev's personal stamp. From an equivocal position that sanctions are sometimes necessary, Medvedev carried the shift further than anyone could have imagined.

    Arguably, in the light of the disclosure on Thursday regarding the construction of a new reprocessing plant by Iran, Medvedev did so. But the extent of the "hardening" and Medvedev's role in piloting it while actually on a visit to the US merit attention.

    Medvedev's contribution was timely and it mattered a great deal to the Obama administration. US officials cited the "strong" Russian statement of Thursday condemning Tehran to the Indian delegation in Pittsburgh as an example worth emulating. (India stuck to its five-year old "principled position" that Iran had the right to the peaceful use of atomic energy but that it also had to fulfill its obligations.)

    Subsequently, Medvedev at his press conference following the Group of 20 (G-20) summit at Pittsburgh on Friday suo moto revisited the subject of Iran's new facility to emphasize Russia's solidarity with "its other partners". Moscow altogether ignored Tehran's contention that it had acted in accordance with regulations of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) regulations.

    Discord in Moscow
    However, a large corpus of policymakers in Moscow does not seem to share Medvedev's enthusiasm to take the Russian stance close to the Western approach on the Iran problem. Consider the following.

    On Thursday, the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergei Kislyak (who represented Russia previously in the "Iran Six" format) said in Washington: "Sanctions or no sanctions is not the way to pose the problem. The point is how to find a political solution that would eliminate this problem. There are opportunities for this and we will work on it. We have always held a flexible position. The point is what are the priorities of the international community. Now, the priority is to start a serious dialogue with our Iranian partners in seeking a way out of the situation."

    Again, just as Medvedev was sitting down with Obama on Wednesday, Dmitry Rogozin, Russian ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and a Putin appointee, went ballistic on the Moscow TV channel Vesti about US-Russia relations and the expansion of NATO, among other issues.

    "It is extremely important that the US continues moving toward clearing our relations of negative, old, decayed rubbish that belongs to the Cold War era," Rogozin thundered.

    Again, Gleb Pavlovsky, president of the Effective Policy Foundation, who is close to Putin's circles, told Interfax, "The issue of imposing sanctions on Iran raised in the negotiations between Dmitry Medvedev and Barack Obama calls for absolutely clear legal substantiation. The IAEA has not made any claims against Iran and the information based on manipulation by the Western intelligence services cannot be sued as grounds. IAEA claims against Tehran could be a ground. But even if such claims are brought, the most that can be expected of Russia is its consent to take part in the discussion of the sanctions."

    Significantly, the day Medvedev met Obama in New York, Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov (who was handpicked by Putin) launched a diatribe on government television and website against US and British intelligence for inciting separatism in the Caucasus. "Now they are sending groups of foreigners to us. We are fighting the US and British special services in the mountains ... Putin took it [Russia] out of chaos, removed [oligarchs Boris] Berezovsky, [Vladimir] Guisinky, [Boris] Khodorovsky. He took everything away from them. Did they forgive him? Now a new strike is being delivered against Putin, against Russia."

    These Russian voices cannot be ignored. Surely, Medvedev's shift on Iran needs to be put in perspective. Obama has taken a momentous decision to scrap plans for a missile defense system located in Europe. Obama has held out the assurance on finalizing a new arms reduction treaty by the year-end. And Obama says he wants to bury the Cold War. Moscow is under compulsion to reciprocate.

    However, the big question remains whether Medvedev's hardening of line on Iran truly reflects the thought processes in Moscow or whether Obama's beleaguered presidency indeed has the political stamina to push through an agenda of a "reset" of relations with Russia.

    In Pittsburgh, Medvedev might have taken pains to be of "help" to Obama when the controversy regarding the new Iranian nuclear facility suddenly erupted. Surely, a personal note has crept in - on Medvedev's part, at least. As he told the Washington Post's Jim Hoagland, with former president George W Bush, "We would talk for an hour and run out of topics." But with Obama, "We can discuss anything. Obama talks himself, not his aides. He is trying to be independent, and that is what I am trying to do ... Our talks have been quite productive."

    The Russian stance on Iran was always delicately poised. It is never easy to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds. The Pittsburgh meet was on the G-20 and there was actually no need, leave alone compulsion, for Russia to hold out expansively on the Iran nuclear issue. The unwarranted and excessive "hardening" in Pittsburgh can have implications for overall Russian-Iranian understanding. Russia will now have some dexterous backtracking to do.

    The point is, the controversy over the new Iranian facility itself seems to be dying down. Iran's nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi offered that IAEA inspectors could visit the facility under construction and ensure there was nothing "secret" about it. Salehi pointed out that the controversy was futile since the new facility wouldn't be operational for 18 months and Tehran was required to inform the IAEA about it only six months before introducing nuclear materials into it.

    Tehran apparently "pre-empted a conspiracy" by reporting the facility's existence voluntarily to the IAEA much in advance as it estimated that the US and its allies might posit the site as evidence that Iran had a "secret" nuclear program. To be sure, there has been a cat-and-mouse game involving Western (and Israeli) and Iranian intelligence agencies and Tehran feared a military attack.

    "Given the threats we face every day, we are required to take the necessary precautionary measures, spread our facilities and protect our human assets. Therefore, the facility is to guarantee the continuation of our nuclear activity under any conditions," Salehi told Iranian television on Saturday.

    Obama and his "partners" who condemned Tehran from the Pittsburgh pulpit rushed into judgment. For Moscow, the discomfiture must be all the more acute as Tehran simply ignored its strictures. At any rate, what counts for Tehran will be Obama's words - not Medvedev's.

    Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar was a career diplomat in the Indian Foreign Service. His assignments included the Soviet Union, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Germany, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kuwait and Turkey.

    Copyright 2009 Asia Times Online (Holdings) Ltd. All rights reserved.

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  3. #143
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    Default Re: Missile Defense (General thread)

    A Deal with Moscow? Don't Bet on It

    There's still good reason not to get excited about Russian cooperation on Iran.

    BY DAVID J. KRAMER | SEPTEMBER 25, 2009




    U.S. officials were practically giddy when they heard Russian President Dmitri Medvedev on Wednesday indicate possible Russian support for new sanctions against Iran. "We believe we need to help Iran to take a right decision," Medvedev said with President Barack Obama standing next to him. "Sanctions rarely lead to positive results, but in some cases, the use of sanctions is inevitable." Obama's chief Russia advisor, Michael McFaul, was "delighted," according to the New York Times. "I couldn't have said it any better myself," he said. You could almost hear the champagne corks popping in the American delegation's suites.

    But will Medvedev's words actually translate into Russian actions when it comes time to draft a tough resolution and vote? The Obama team appears to expect the Russians to go along, especially after its decision last week to scrap Bush administration plans for missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic. McFaul and other senior officials have rejected the notion of such a deal. "Is it the case that it changes the climate? That's true, of course. But it's not cause-and-effect," McFaul argued.

    Deal or no deal, Obama officials might want to recall that Russia has voted for U.N. resolutions against Iran in the past, but those texts were significantly watered down at Moscow's insistence. Russia has also defied the spirit of those resolutions by continuing a business-as-usual approach to Tehran, including continued sales of arms and nuclear reactors. And Russian support for a sanctions resolution is far from a fait accompli. Just last week, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov voiced their opposition to new sanctions.

    Still, the Obama administration seems determined to argue that its push for Iran sanctions has absolutely, positively nothing whatsoever to do with its missile defense decision. Said Obama:

    "Russia had always been paranoid about this, but George Bush was right, this wasn't a threat to them. So my task here was not to negotiate with the Russians about what our defense posture is. ... If the by-product of it is that the Russians feel a little less paranoid and are now willing to work more effectively with us to deal with threats like ballistic missiles from Iran or nuclear development ... then that's a bonus."

    Methinks thou doth protest too much. That the administration made its decision a week before Obama's meeting with Medvedev seems more than a coincidence. (That the Poles were informed of the decision on the 70th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of their country was callous treatment of a loyal ally.) The administration needs Medvedev's support on possible new sanctions against Iran. It also wants to remove a major obstacle to conclusion of a post-START arms control deal; the Russians threatened to scupper that accord if the United States went ahead with 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar in the Czech Republic. And yet if the administration is to be believed, Russia wasn't a factor in the decision, and there was no deal.

    Then again, the positive reaction in Moscow to the president's decision last week may start to dissipate as Russian officials focus on the details of the new missile defense configuration. Under phase two of the administration's plans, the United States will look to deploy land-based SM-3 missiles by 2015. A distinct candidate for hosting those missiles, according to officials, is Poland. The agreement signed last year between Washington and Warsaw would still cover deployment of the SM-3s, obviating the need to negotiate a new accord with another country.

    Despite being stiffed last week, some Polish officials seem interested in hosting the new system. According to Reuters, Slawomir Nowak, a senior advisor to Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, said, "If this system becomes reality in the shape Washington is now suggesting, it would actually be better for us than the original missile shield program."

    The possibility that Poland could wind up hosting U.S. missiles after all is not likely to go over well in Moscow. Indeed, it was the fact that the United States would be cooperating on missile defense with two states that the Russians used to control that was most disturbing to the Kremlin. Even former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, certainly no hard-liner, hinted at this in his op-ed in the Sept. 25 New York Times. "A week ago, [Obama] announced that the United States will not deploy -- at least, not in the foreseeable future -- a missile defense site in Central Europe..." (emphasis added).

    Should the land-based phase of Obama's plans include stationing missiles in Poland, the Russian reaction is likely to turn very negative. They will feel tricked after initially thinking Obama's decision was a victory for them. If that's the case, the administration will have raised doubts in the minds of our Central European allies about our reliability while also pissing off the Russians. That will be another reason to keep those champagne bottles on ice.

    David J. Kramer is a senior transatlantic fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States and a former senior State Department official in the George W. Bush administration.

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  4. #144
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    Default Re: Missile Defense (General thread)

    Russian-NATO joint missile-defense viable option - envoy



    © REUTERS/ Sebastien Pirlet

    Related News


    16:0129/09/2009

    MOSCOW, September 29 (RIA Novosti) - Moscow believes it would be possible to establish a missile-defense system jointly with NATO, Russia's envoy to the military alliance said on Tuesday.

    "If we are convinced that the European missile-defense initiative is not part of a U.S. theater missile-defense system, such efforts are possible," Dmitry Rogozin said.

    U.S. President Barack Obama announced on September 17 that Washington would not deploy missile-defense elements in the Czech Republic and Poland due to a re-assessment of the threat from Iran, refocusing U.S. missile defenses on a more flexible approach.

    NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in Washington on Monday that the Western alliance and Russia should consider linking their missile defense systems, an idea in general welcomed by Russia.

    Rogozin said Russia was closely studying the Western initiatives but "it is too soon to say how this will pan out."

    Speaking at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Rasmussen invited Russia to work with the bloc on a joint assessment of security challenges, adding that NATO, the United States and Russia had shared interests in working to prevent the proliferation of intercontinental ballistic missile technology.

    The NATO chief also said Russia should join the alliance's efforts to pressure Iran to renounce its nuclear plans.

    President Dmitry Medvedev has said Russia is ready to continue missile defense cooperation with the U.S. and Europe, praising the recent U.S. decisions on missile defense as "sensible."

    According to the Obama administration's new plan, land-based missile-defense shields will not be implemented before 2015. Sea-based defenses will be operating in the Mediterranean up to 2015.

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  5. #145
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    Default Re: Missile Defense (General thread)

    EXCLUSIVE: Obama loosens missile technology controls to China


    By Bill Gertz INSIDE THE RING

    President Obama recently shifted authority for approving sales to China of missile and space technology from the White House to the Commerce Department -- a move critics say will loosen export controls and potentially benefit Chinese missile development.

    The president issued a little-noticed "presidential determination" Sept. 29 that delegated authority for determining whether missile and space exports should be approved for China to Commerce Secretary Gary Locke.

    Commerce officials say the shift will not cause controls to be loosened in regards to the export of missile and space technology.

    Eugene Cottilli, a spokesman for Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security, said under new policy the U.S. government will rigorously monitor all sensitive exports to China.

    TWT RELATED STORIES:
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    The presidential notice alters a key provision of the 1999 Defense Authorization Act that required that the president notify Congress whether a transfer of missile and space technology to China would harm the U.S. space-launch industry or help China's missile programs.
    The law was passed after a late-1990s scandal involving the U.S. companies Space Systems/Loral and Hughes Electronics Corp.

    Both companies improperly shared technology with China and were fined $20 million and $32 million, respectively, by the State Department after a U.S. government investigation concluded that their know-how was used to improve China's long-range nuclear missiles.

    Section 1512 of the 1999 law requires the president to certify to Congress in advance of any missile equipment or technology exports to China that the export will not harm the U.S. space-launch industry and that "missile equipment or technology, including any indirect technical benefit that could be derived from such export, will not measurably improve the missile or space launch capabilities of the People's Republic of China."

    The new policy appears aimed at increasing U.S.-China space cooperation, which has been limited since the Loral and Hughes case. It follows the Chinese military's test of an anti-satellite missile that produced potentially dangerous space junk after the missile destroyed a Chinese weather satellite in a January 2007 test.

    Henry Sokolski, director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center, said restoring Commerce Department control over the sensitive experts is a "step backward."

    "It's as though Commerce's mishandling of missile-tech transfers to China in the 1990s never happened," said Mr. Sokolski, a former Pentagon proliferation specialist. "But it did. As a result, we are now facing much more accurate, reliable missiles from China."

    Mr. Sokolski said he expects the U.S. government under the new policy to again boost Chinese military modernization through "whatever renewed 'benign' missile technology" is approved.

    "It was foolish for us to do this in the 1990s and is even more dangerous for us to do now," he said.

    Gary Milhollin, director of the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control, which monitors export control policies, said he was surprised by the decision to shift responsibility back to Commerce -- a change that Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush did not make.

    "It is shocking that it would be delegated to the secretary of commerce, whose job it is to promote trade, rather than to the secretary of state or the secretary of defense, who have far more knowledge and responsibility within their organizations for missile technology," Mr. Milhollin said.

    Mr. Milhollin said a similar delegation of power would have been criticized in previous administrations. "In fact, the delegation turns the present law upside down because Congress passed it after finding that the Commerce Department had improperly helped China import U.S. missile technology in the 1990s," he said.

    Edward Timperlake, a Pentagon technology-security official during the George W. Bush administration, said he agrees that the new policy likely will loosen export controls on dual-use technology that could be used to boost China's large-scale missile program.

    China's military recently displayed new long-range and cruise missiles during a military parade in Beijing marking the 60th anniversary of communist rule.

    "It looks like we're going to have Loral-Hughes part two," Mr. Timperlake said of the policy shift.

    "The issue is that this will renew the pattern and practices of the Department of Commerce in the 1990s, when sensitive technology flowed under the rubric of space cooperation and, tragically, the Chinese ICBM force was fixed and modernized," he said.

    Mr. Timperlake said the new policy is "greenlighting engagement with China in very bad areas that will negatively impact United States' national security."

    Petraeus: No
    Debate over a new troop surge, this one in Afghanistan, is again throwing the political spotlight on Gen. David H. Petraeus.

    "Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole of Kansas, the Republican nominee in 1996, told Politico that he would like to see Army four-star Gen. David Petraeus - the head of the U.S. Central Command, which includes Iraq and Afghanistan -- run for president as a latter-day Ike," the news organization's heavyweights, Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei, wrote last month.

    Of course, Dwight D. Eisenhower, our 34th president, is the most famous general-politician. Most recently, Gen. Wesley K. Clark, a retired four-star Army general and former commander of NATO, ran unsuccessfully for the White House in 2004.

    But Gen. Petraeus, who has undergone treatment for prostate cancer, denies that he has any political aspirations. He has no intention of changing his mind, a colleague told special correspondent Rowan Scarborough. The colleague asked not to be named because he was discussing private conversations.

    The publicity recalls the first time the topic of Gen. Petraeus as a political candidate arose. As the Iraq troops surge proved successful in late 2007, pundits began floating his name.

    "Gen. David Petraeus has a sterling reputation, the love of the press and the adoration of the GOP," wrote the liberal American Prospect in January 2008. "Don't be surprised if a Democratic presidential win in '08 starts an effort to recruit Petraeus as the Republican candidate in '12."
    The clatter became so incessant that year that Gen. Petraeus, then the top general in Iraq, convened a meeting of a few close advisers to find a way to put out the fire and end the

    He had invoked "Shermanesque" type statements to no avail. When Civil War Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman was being prodded to run as a Republican in the 1884 election, he said, "I will not accept if nominated and will not serve if elected."

    Since then, that statement has been uttered in various forms by scores of American politicians, including President Lyndon Johnson when he declined to run for re-election in 1968.

    But Sherman was failing Gen. Petraeus. He wanted a new way of saying "no."

    That is when his public relations officer, Col. Steven A. Boylan, tapped into his love of country music. He suggested the general recite a classic song, "What Part of No Don't You Understand?"

    The general was immediately intrigued. "Find me exactly what was said and who said it," Gen. Petraeus ordered.

    Col. Boylan researched, found the 1992 Lorrie Morgan hit and the lyrics and presented them to his boss.

    By April 2008, Gen. Petraeus had the world audience he needed. Brian Williams asked him on "The NBC Nightly News" if he had a political future.

    "Never," the general answered. "And I've tried to say that on a number of occasions. Some folks have reminded me of a country-western song that says 'What part of no, don't you understand?' "

    B61 update
    Congressional appropriators have compromised in the fight over funding a study to extend the shelf life of a 1960s nuclear bomb that the Pentagon said is urgently needed for NATO and the new F-35 jet.

    Conferees working on Energy Department appropriations earlier this month agreed to approve $32.5 million of the $65 million requested by the Obama administration for the B61 nuclear bomb life extension program study, according to the Joint Explanatory Statement of the Committee of Conference.

    Under the compromise, the Energy Department's National Nuclear Security Administration also will be able to shift $15 million more from other programs to the bomb upgrade once the Pentagon completes its Nuclear Posture Review.

    The House Appropriations subcommittee on energy and water cut all funds for the B61 upgrade because of what the subcommittee said was a lack of direction for U.S. nuclear weapons. The counterpart Senate Appropriations subcommittee version of the funding bill contained the full $56 million request.

    The B61 upgrade study will help meet a deadline of 2017 for modifying the bomb so it can be carried by the F-35, according to defense officials. The F-16s that now can carry the bomb are being phased out of service over the next eight years.

    The U.S. Strategic Command has said the B61 is the oldest nuclear weapon in the stockpile and needs "urgent upgrades" to include modern safety and security features.

    Command briefing slides show that the B61 upgrade would boost reliability by upgrading arming, fusing and firing.

    Climate spying?
    The recent creation of a CIA center to study climate change does not mean the agency will be conducting espionage operations against greenhouse-gas emitters or spying on polluted skies or rivers around the world.

    "This small unit -- which will engage closely with its government counterparts and private-sector experts -- is focused solely on the potential national security implications of climate change," said CIA spokesman George Little.

    "Of course, intelligence is provided only to our government," he said. "This isn't about deploying clandestine officers to take air samples in polluted cities or to monitor sea lions. It's about developing analytical insights for policymakers."

    The CIA announced Sept. 24 that it had created the Center on Climate Change and National Security, led by analysts within the Directorate of Intelligence and the Directorate of Science and Technology.

    It will examine the national security impact of climate-change phenomena, such as desertification, rising sea levels, population shifts and heightened competition for natural resources.

    "Decision-makers need information and analysis on the effects climate change can have on security. The CIA is well-positioned to deliver that intelligence," said CIA Director Leon E. Panetta.

    Much of the work will focus on reviewing and declassifying satellite images and other data that could be useful for scientists.

    The center also will involve "outreach" to academics and think tanks.

    "The goal is a powerful asset recognized throughout our government, and beyond, for its knowledge and insight," the CIA statement said.

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    Default Re: Missile Defense (General thread)

    Russia Still Concerned About U.S. Missile Defense System
    October 17, 2009

    A top Russian diplomat suggested Thursday that the U.S. should not talk with non-NATO nations about a prospective missile shield, Russian news agencies reported.

    Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov's remarks appeared to reflect alarm over the idea that Western-leaning neighbors such as Ukraine or Georgia, Russia's foe in a war last year, could potentially host U.S. missile defense facilities.

    Ryabkov said Russia is concerned about what he said were contacts between the U.S. and nations outside NATO on missile defense, state-run ITAR-Tass and RIA Novosti reported.

    President Barack Obama removed a major irritant in relations with Russia last month by scrapping U.S. plans to place interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar in the Czech Republic — deployments Russia treated as a threat.

    The Kremlin has praised Obama for the decision, but Russian officials have also said they want to know details about what system the U.S. will put in place instead.

    Ryabkov's comments served as a warning that the United States should avoid taking steps that would threaten Russia or turning to its neighbors as potential partners in missile defense without consulting with Moscow.

    "We are experiencing the concerns that emerge when major questions of strategic stability should be considered in a partner-like manner," he was quoted as saying.

    Russia and the U.S. have discussed cooperating on missile defense, and Ryabkov represented Russia in talks on the issue in Moscow on Monday ahead of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's visit.

    Ryabkov did not name any specific nations as being in contact with the U.S. about missile defense, but he spoke in response to a question about Russian media reports suggesting the U.S. was in talks with Ukraine on the possibility of using its radar stations as part of a missile shield.

    The U.S. has not held negotiations with Ukraine regarding the use of Ukrainian radar stations, a U.S. Defense Department spokesman, Maj. Shawn Turner, said Thursday.

    Tensions over Georgia and uncertainty over the future of Ukraine, whose pro-Western president wants the country to join NATO, are hurdles in efforts by Russia and the U.S. to mend strained ties.

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    Default Re: Missile Defense (General thread)

    U.S. Could Deploy Missile Shield In Arctic - Russia's NATO Envoy
    9/29/2009

    The U.S. missile defense program is becoming less predictable with missile shield elements deployed in the Arctic as the worst-case scenario, Russia's envoy to NATO told the Vesti 24 channel.

    U.S. President Barack Obama has announced that Washington would not deploy its missile shield elements in Central Europe, due to a re-assessment of the threat from Iran. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Saturday he decided against deploying Iskander missiles in Russia's Kaliningrad Region, near Poland.

    "We knew for sure that there will be ten interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar in Czech Republic, and that we will have our Iskander [missiles] in the Kaliningrad Region... now the U.S. missile elements are to be based on U.S. cruisers, and you can never tell where they will be tomorrow," he said.

    He added that the reduction of sea ice in Arctic due to climate change could lead to the all-year-round opening of the Northern Sea Route, is a shipping lane running along Russia's Far Eastern and Siberian coasts that is usually only free of ice for around eight weeks a year.

    "The ice would retreat, it would melt, which means that NATO would definitely be present in the Arctic. They have been planning it for a long time, and under the very bad circumstances the U.S. strategic missile defense would arrive there onboard these ships," Rogozin said.

    In his interview Rogozin also said that Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) could send it representative to Russia's NATO mission to boost anti-terrorism cooperation with the alliance.

    "FSB... is charged with anti-terrorism issues, they would have their own official contacts with appropriate NATO structures," Rogozin said.

    In his interview he also praised NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen's efforts to improve relations with Russia.

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    Default Re: Missile Defense (General thread)

    Putin Urges US to Provide Missile Defense Information
    December 29, 2009

    Russian prime minister says that more information from the United States would help Russia develop an offensive weapons systems.

    Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Tuesday urged the United States to provide Moscow with data about U.S. missile defense developments as part of an information exchange under a new arms treaty. The previous treaty expired December 5.

    Speaking with reporters in the eastern Russian city of Vladivostock, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin says Russia wants access to more information on U.S. missile defense plans.

    Mr. Putin says that more information from the United States would help Russia develop an offensive weapons systems.

    He says that America is building an anti-missile defense system and that Russia isn't. But the issues of missile defense and offensive weapons are closely linked and that if Russia doesn't develop anti-missile defense, there could be a danger that, having established an umbrella against Russia's offensive strike systems, America may come to feel completely safe, and this balance will be disrupted. Then, America will do whatever it wants and its aggressiveness will grow.

    Mr Putin adds that plans for a missile defense system are also hindering talks on a new nuclear arms reduction treaty.

    His comments come as Russia and the United States are struggling to find a replacement for the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.

    That treaty, which expired in early December, led to the biggest reduction in nuclear weapons in history.

    Earlier this month, U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitri Medvedev met on the sidelines of the U.N. climate conference in Copenhagen, but failed to clinch a deal.

    At the time, the two did not say why they could not reach a deal. They did say, however, that they were closer to reaching an agreement.

    Earlier this year, Mr. Obama removed a major irritant in relations by scrapping the previous administration's plan to place interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar in the Czech Republic.

    Moscow has praised the decision, but also wants to know more about the missile defense system the U.S. wants to put in its place.

    Negotiations are expected to continue in Geneva after the new year.

    Russia and the U.S. hold more than 90 percent of the world's nuclear weapons.

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    Default Re: Missile Defense (General thread)

    From Drudge, the new MDA logo...


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    Default Re: Missile Defense (General thread)

    sigh
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Missile Defense (General thread)

    Try a "facepalm" it gets the point across better...


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    Default Re: Missile Defense (General thread)

    Check your email. lol
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    Default Re: Missile Defense (General thread)

    Yeah, I saw it. 3 years ago and just now coming out?



    Maybe we should ask the people that came up with it - http://tmpgovernment.com/portfolio.aspx?id=131

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    Default Re: Missile Defense (General thread)

    It's been up on that site for a long time. That's all I am saying. People are digging for dirt and they are not any different from the guys that make up numbers for Hoagland's numerology problems in NASA and space.
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    Default Re: Missile Defense (General thread)

    Actually, I should say "I THINK" it has been on that site for some time. I went there some months back for something, but I honestly didn't pay that close attention to the logos and such
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    Default Re: Missile Defense (General thread)

    http://michellemalkin.com/2010/02/24...nd-logo-mania/





    Re-branding the government: Obama, TMP, and logo-mania

    By Michelle Malkin • February 24, 2010 10:56 AM
    I’ve gotten tons of e-mails over the last several days regarding the new Obama-fied logo for the Missile Defense Agency (it was unveiled last fall).


    If you go to the DOD/MDA’s website here, you’ll see both the new logo at the top and the old logo at the bottom.





    Free Republic first noticed the similarity to the Obama campaign logo. Weasel Zippers, Political Wrinkles, JWF, and other blogs have picked up on it.
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    Default Re: Missile Defense (General thread)

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Donaldson View Post
    It's been up on that site for a long time. That's all I am saying. People are digging for dirt and they are not any different from the guys that make up numbers for Hoagland's numerology problems in NASA and space.
    Pepsi changed their logo to cash in on the Obamania.

    I wouldn't put it past an ass kisser to change a logo in an attempt to gain favor/boost their resume with the current admin. Someone might be looking to put a gold star next to their name in consideration for a job move, especially since MDA has its head in the guillotine right now.

    That's all I'm getting at. No conspiracy angle here.

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    Default Re: Missile Defense (General thread)



    No comment.
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Missile Defense (General thread)


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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    “You Americans are so gullible.
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    Default Re: Missile Defense (General thread)

    Lightning Rod
    Obama's Missile Defense Logo Is Muslim!

    More
    By Heather Horn on February 25, 2010 11:50am



    Missile Defense Agency Big Government's Frank Gaffney finally has it: artistic evidence that the Obama administration is up to no good. The evidence in question is a redesigned shield for the Missile Defense Agency, which he says "appears ominously to reflect a morphing of the Islamic crescent and star with the Obama campaign logo."




    He's not the only one to notice. Weasel Zippers, Fox News, and The Washington Times are all puzzling over the design. Gaffney is one of the few to ascribe "nefarious" intent, though, and the blogosphere response is mostly focusing on him. Left and right appear united on this one: they think he's nuts.

    • Yet Again "In a sane world," writes political scientist Brendan Nyhan, "Gaffney ... would be cast out of polite society for [his] attempts to capitalize on the misperception that Obama is a Muslim."


    • This Is Embarrassing "Conservatives need real analysis and argument," moans Daniel Halper at conservative The Weekly Standard, "not silliness that will rightly be mocked." He calls Gaffney's claim "presposterous."


    • Hide the Children! In a brilliant piece of satire, Jesse Taylor at Pandagon notices that the apparent picture of a missile "hitting something in the stratosphere" actually looks like the logo for Obama's campaign, Iran's Space Agency, Korean Air, and Pepsi. Putting the images together, he comes to a far more troubling conclusion: "KOREARANIANS ARE GOING TO FATTEN UP OUR CHILDREN AND SHOOT THEM INTO SPACE TO BRING ABOUT THE BUDDHIST APOCALYPSE."


    • I Knew It "Geometric shapes are taking over America and laughing at WE THE PEOPLE, dude," says StrangeAppar8us at Rumproast.


    • What About the Old Logo? "Looks kind of Commie-Greenpeace to me," snickers liberal Firedoglake blogger TBogg, who describes Gaffney's post as presenting "irrefutable evidence Muslim President Barack Muslim Obamuslim is sending secret colorful messages to his Islamopuppetmasters that he will soon destroy America with low-orbit Demon Laser-eyed SpaceSheep."


    • He's Got a Point, says Lew Rockwell. It does look like a crescent--a crescent "with a US missile headed into it."


    • What Gaffney Doesn't Know "You know who else is secretly promoting Sharia?" asks Mother Jones's Kevin Drum. "The Pillsbury doughboy, that's who." Those crescent rolls are mighty suspicious.

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    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    “You Americans are so gullible.
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    until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
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    like overripe fruit into our hands."



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