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Thread: World War Three Thread....

  1. #101
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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....

    Russia and US continue Black Sea stand-off
    Related »

    27/08/2008

    Russian and US warships moved to within less than 200 miles of each other today as tensions over Georgia continued to rise between the two countries.

    A US coast guard ship docked at the a southern Georgian port prompting Russia to send a missile cruiser and two support vessels to another Georgian port.

    The manoeuvrings came a day after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev officially recognised the two Georgian rebel territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states.

    The US cutter Dallas, carrying 34 tons of humanitarian aid, arrived in the Black Sea port of Batumi, south of the zone of this month’s fighting between Russia and Georgia. It avoided Georgia’s main cargo port of Poti, which is still controlled by Russian soldiers.

    Poti’s port suffered heavy damage during the fighting and Russian troops have established checkpoints on the northern approach to the city so a US ship’s arrival could have been seen as a direct challenge.

    The US missile destroyer McFaul left Batumi yesterday but will remain in the Black Sea, the navy said.

    Meanwhile Russia’s missile cruiser, the Moskva, and two missile boats, anchored at the port of Sukhumi, the capital of Abkhazia, 180 miles north of Batumi. The Russian Navy said they were for peacekeeping operations.

    The West has called the Russian military presence in Poti a clear violation of an European Union-brokered cease-fire.

    Today France’s, currently holding the EU presidency, repeated the accusation. “Nobody wants a return to the Cold War,” president Nicolas Sarkozy said again attacking Russia’s decision to recognise the breakaway states.

    “This decision, which aims to unilaterally change Georgia’s borders, is simply unacceptable,” Mr Sarkozy said.

    Russia hit back saying the decision to use US warships to deliver aid was “devilish.”

    General Anatoly Nogovitsyn warned that Nato had already exhausted the number of forces it can have in the Black Sea, according to international agreements, and warned Western nations against sending more ships.

    “Can Nato — which is not a state located in the Black Sea — continuously increase its group of forces and systems there? It turns out that it cannot,” he said.

    Many of the Russian forces that drove deep into Georgia after fighting broke out on August 7th have pulled back, but hundreds are estimated to still be manning checkpoints that Russia calls “security zones” inside Georgia proper.

    Western leaders continued their campaign for Russia to comply completely with the cease-fire deal.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel pressed Mr Medvedev in a phone call to immediately pull all troops out of Georgia. The cease-fire requires both Russia and Georgia to withdraw to positions held before fighting began.

    British Foreign Secretary David Miliband warned Russia not to start a new Cold War, and suggested the European Union and Nato should review their relations with Moscow.

    He said the EU and Nato should respond to “aggression” with “hard-headed engagement”.

    The West has given substantial military aid to Georgia, angering Russia, which regards Georgia as part of its historical sphere of influence. Russia also has complained bitterly about aspirations by Georgia and Ukraine to join Nato.
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  2. #102
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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....

    August 27, 2008David Miliband warns Russia not to start new Cold War

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  3. #103
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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....

    David Cameron joins attacks on Russia over Georgia war

    Tory leader calls for suspension of European negotiations with Moscow



    A Russian soldier walks past destroyed Georgian tanks in the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali earlier this month. Photograph: Denis Sinyakov/Reuters



    David Cameron today threw his weight behind international condemnation of Russia with a call for the suspension of European negotiations with the superpower.


    The Conservative party leader also urged the European Union to accelerate its trade talks with Georgia.


    Speaking on Sky News, Cameron explained: "There are still Russian troops in Georgia proper and this is after they signed a peace agreement saying they would pull out all their troops.


    "They really have behaved in a way that is quite wrong and will I believe turn out to be counterproductive."


    He added: "If European countries come together and send out a tough message then I think it will be listened to. We should be sending out a very clear message of support to Georgia at this time."


    Asked if he thought Russia should be expelled from the G8 group of industrialised nations, Cameron said: "I would certainly consider that.
    "They cannot behave in a way that they invade a neighbouring country – completely against international law … and get away with it. The lesson we have to learn is that if we are weak in our response they will continue with their aggression."
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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....

    Bush Condemns Russia’s Recognition of Breakaway Georgian Provinces
    American Forces Press Service ^ | John J. Kruzel

    WASHINGTON, Aug. 26, 2008 – President Bush condemned what he called Russia’s “irresponsible decision” today to recognize the Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states.

    “Russia's action only exacerbates tensions and complicates diplomatic negotiations,” Bush, in Crawford, Texas, said in a statement.

    The president’s response comes after a reported announcement by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that Moscow intends to formally recognize the two breakaway provinces in Georgia, where Russia continues to maintain troops in defiance of a cease-fire agreement and mounting international pressure to withdrawal.

    “We expect Russia to live up to its international commitments, reconsider this irresponsible decision, and follow the approach set out in the six-point agreement,” Bush said, referring to a French-brokered peace deal signed two weeks ago by Medvedev and Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili.

    “In accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolutions that remain in force, Abkhazia and South Ossetia are within the internationally recognized borders of Georgia, and they must remain so,” the president said.

    Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice today called Moscow’s decision “regrettable,” saying it puts Russia in opposition to security resolutions negotiated by the United Nation’s Security Council, to which Russia is a member.

    “It simply means that the Russian president continues not to honor the commitments that the Russians have signed onto,” Rice said at a news conference in Ramallah, Palestine.

    Russia escalated a simmering conflict with neighboring Georgia on Aug. 8 when it invaded the former Soviet republic, followed by bombing of civilian infrastructure and clashes in Georgian villages.
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  5. #105
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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....

    Definitely watch it if you get a chance. I think it is pretty good. Supposed to be extremely accurate to real events.

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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....

    President Bush Condemns Actions Taken by Russian President in Regards to Georgia

    The United States condemns the decision by the Russian President to recognize as independent states the Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. This decision is inconsistent with numerous United Nations Security Council Resolutions that Russia has voted for in the past, and is also inconsistent with the French-brokered six-point ceasefire agreement which President Medvedev signed on August 12, 2008.* The six-point agreement offered a peaceful way forward to resolve the conflict. We expect Russia to live up to its international commitments, reconsider this irresponsible decision, and follow the approach set out in the six-point agreement.

    The territorial integrity and borders of Georgia must be respected, just as those of Russia or any other country. Russia's action only exacerbates tensions and complicates diplomatic negotiations. In accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolutions that remain in force, Abkhazia and South Ossetia are within the internationally recognized borders of Georgia, and they must remain so.

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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....

    Do you realize what they did with that agreement? what it accomplished? Medvedev's signature had only one aim. Simply put, without an agreement, there is a strong call and a push for nato to send troops to georgia. the impulse and the clear need is there failure to sign and rejection of the proposal would have meant showing the world they wanted to continue. That is exactly the wrong approach to acheive their ends.

    By signing that agreement, it technically ends hostilities, and it also grants the russians breathing room and time to do whatever else they want. it dissolves the urgency most in the west would feel about sending troops or dealing with russia up front and in an immediate, and ongoing way.

    it essentially diffused the urge of the west to intervene. it creates a sense of waiting because now, instead of thinking of russian troops next advance or target, most of the pundits and analysts in the media are waiting for a withdrawal that is not going to happen. medvedev knew before he ever met with sarkozy he was going to sign the deal, and he knew before he met sarkozy he would not honor the deal.

    we need to get a battalion or so of troops from the french foreign legion in there. cant be german troops, cant be US troops, and wont be brittish, they have become more passive and blasse then the french were, but under sarkozy the french seem inclined to deal. russia knew before they started the armor even rolling that we would never commit troops to georgia, and warships are an entirely different game. We can take naval superiority any time we want, and the russians know it.

    If troops landed in georgia, nato troops, this situation would change favorably in short order. just station them there. it sends the message that russia does not beleive we will ever send.


    ev

  8. #108
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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....

    You know.....

    it occurs to me that the United States ought form an "American Foreign Legion".....

    I wonder if I can convince some people of that. I think I need to work on a white paper...........

    hmmmmmmmmmmmmm
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  9. #109
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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....

    US and Russian warships line up in dispute over Georgia
    Ian Traynor in Brussels

    • Merkel expresses disapproval of Russian actions to Medvedev
    • Russians unhappy with US for using military craft to deliver relief supplies

    US and Russian warships took up positions in the Black Sea today in a risky war of nerves on opposing sides of the Georgia conflict.

    With the Russians effectively controlling Georgia's main naval base of Poti, Moscow also dispatched the Moskva missile cruiser and two smaller craft on "peacekeeping" duties at the port of Sukhumi on the coast of Abkhazia, the breakaway region that the Kremlin recognised as independent yesterday.

    The Americans, wary of escalating an already fraught situation, cancelled the scheduled docking in Poti of the US Coast Guard vessel, the Dallas, and instead sent it to the southern Georgian-controlled port of Batumi, 200km (124 miles) from the Russian ships, where it delivered humanitarian aid.

    "Let's hope we don't see any direct confrontation," said Dmitri Peskov, the spokesman for the Russian prime minister, Vladimir Putin, as the Russians challenged the US policy of using military aircraft and ships to deliver relief supplies.

    "The decision to deliver aid using Nato battleships is something that hardly can be explained," said Peskov. "It's not a common practice."

    He said Russian naval forces were taking "some measures of precaution" around the Black Sea as the worsening dispute caused by Russia's recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia independence brought strong criticism from the key European countries most reluctant to sever relations with Russia.

    The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, spoke to President Dmitri Medvedev today, the first western leader to talk to the Kremlin since Medvedev announced the recognition of the two secessionist regions of Georgia. She made it plain she had voiced her strong disapproval to the Russian leader.

    "I made clear above all that I would have expected that we would talk about these questions in [international] organisations before unilateral recognition happened," she said. "There are several UN Security Council resolutions in which the territorial integrity of Georgia was stressed, which Russia also worked on."

    The French foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, said Russia had broken international law and, along with other senior European officials, worried that Russia's decision to redraw Georgia's borders would encourage Moscow to act similarly with other former parts of the Soviet Union such as Ukraine.

    "We cannot accept these violations of international law ... of a territory by the army of a neighboring country," he said.

    Germany and France, who opposed the US and Britain in April in blocking Georgian negotiations to join Nato, have been the most reluctant to punish Russia for the Georgian conflict of the past three weeks and are desperate to try to revive the Russia-Georgia peace plan mediated by the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, a fortnight ago.

    Paris and Berlin agree the unilateral recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia by Russia left the peace plan ineffectual. A summit of EU leaders in Brussels on Monday is to ponder Europe's options.

    With mounting warnings of western economic or trade sanctions against Russia, an EU official admitted that threats to block Russian membership of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) were meaningless. The push for Russian admission being driven not by Moscow but by western business interests keen to tap the large Russian market, he said.

    Peskov warned that trade sanctions against Moscow would hurt the west as much as Russia.

    He admitted that South Ossetia, a mountainous region of 70,000 people, would struggle to establish itself as an independent state, but stressed that Russia's constitution made it possible for Russia to expand.

    "My country will extend the arm of cooperation and friendship to ease the transition period [for South Ossetia]," he said.

    EU officials complained that Moscow was seeking to control the distribution of international relief. EU aid officials were demanding entry to the Russian controlled regions, but were being barred unless they handed over the aid to the Russian authorities for distribution.
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  10. #110
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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....

    This isn't a good situation and it's exactly what I've been predicting.
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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....

    Poland's Sikorski: Russia would lose confrontation with West
    M&C ^ | Aug 27, 2008

    http://www.monstersandcritics.com/ne...West__Roundup_

    Poland's Sikorski: Russia would lose confrontation with West (Roundup)

    Europe News

    Aug 27, 2008, 13:03 GMT

    Warsaw - Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski said in an interview Wednesday he would prefer Russia to work with the West and that Moscow would lose again if it came to confrontation.

    'As Europe, we're 10 times richer than Russia and along with the United States 20 times,' Sikorski told the daily Dziennik. 'I'd prefer if Russia worked together and integrated itself with the wider-known West, but if it comes to confrontation, then it will lose again.'

    Sikorski's comments came a day after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev formally recognized Georgia's breakaway regions as independent, defying Western criticism. Earlier this month Abkhazia and South Ossetia fuelled a brief but bloody Russia-Georgia conflict.

    Sikorski also reaffirmed Poland's support for Georgia's territorial integrity, saying an upcoming meeting of European Union leaders on the topic will be an 'important test' in its ability to conduct external politics.

    Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk is slated to attend the September 1 EU summit on Georgia and will meet with Polish President Lech Kaczynski before the gathering. A top aide to the prime minister said 'it would be good' to unify their different viewpoints, reported the Polish Press Agency (PAP).

    Kaczynski also plans to attend Monday's summit, the president's office told PAP, saying Kaczynski's presence there was 'essential' because of his involvement with the Georgia issue.

    Kaczynski has come out strongly in support of Georgia and harshly condemned Russia for 'imperialism,' while Tusk has been more diplomatic, supporting a French-Russian plan to resolve the conflict.

    The United States slammed Medvedev's recognition of the breakaway territories, while the European Union reaffirmed support for Georgia's territorial integrity.

    Medvedev stressed that Russia has long held back from recognizing the regions' pleas for independence, but Georgia's attack on South Ossetia had forced its hand.

    The EU and the entire West will find ways to work with Russia, Sikorski said, and Polish-Russian diplomacy is still possible.

    'Heads of France, Germany, the US, Turkey and Ukraine have been in Russia,' Sikorski told Dziennik. 'Poland shouldn't be the only nation that doesn't speak with its neighbour. I think that Russia should also care for dialogue with a nation that's now listened to on Eastern matters more carefully than ever before.'
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  12. #112
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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....

    Russia may use Poland's energy needs as leverage
    Calgary Herald ^ | Wednesday, August 27, 2008 | Gabriela Baczynska and Pawel Bernat

    Russia may use Poland's energy needs as leverage

    Missile deal could interrupt oil and gas link

    Gabriela Baczynska and Pawel Bernat, Reuters Published: Wednesday, August 27, 2008

    Poland must brace for possible trouble with Russian gas and oil supplies after Warsaw angered Moscow by agreeing to host parts of a global U.S. defence missile shield, analysts say.

    A deliberate interruption in supplies may not be in the cards but Poland is likely to have a hard time renegotiating long-term contracts and convincing Russia to keep using it as a transit country.

    Russia, which supplies 95 per cent of Poland's oil and nearly half of its gas, has warned it would respond with more than just a diplomatic protest to the missile deal -- a project Moscow opposes as a threat to its own national security.

    The warning last week contributed to the biggest jump in oil prices in three months at a time when investor fears about security of supplies have been rekindled by the conflict in Georgia.

    "Antagonizing Russia could impact the reliability and prices of supplies," Preston Keat of Eurasia Group wrote.

    "Mid-level managers in several (Polish) companies have expressed to us their serious anxiety about the implications of the missile shield deal -- they know the Russian energy supply chain just got a lot more vulnerable."

    Being punished by Russia is nothing new for Poland, which dreams about an escape from the energy dominance of its former communist overlord.

    (Excerpt) Read more at canada.com ...
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  13. #113
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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....

    Military help for Georgia is a 'declaration of war', says Moscow
    thisislondon.co.uk ^ | Wednesday 27.08.08

    Military help for Georgia is a 'declaration of war', says Moscow in extraordinary warning to the West

    Last updated at 16:47pm on 27.08.08

    Moscow has issued an extraordinary warning to the West that military assistance to Georgia for use against South Ossetia or Abkhazia would be viewed as a "declaration of war" by Russia.

    The extreme rhetoric from the Kremlin's envoy to NATO came as President Dmitry Medvedev stressed he will make a military response to US missile defence installations in eastern Europe, sending new shudders across countries whose people were once blighted by the Iron Curtain.

    And Moscow also emphasised it was closely monitoring what it claims is a build-up of NATO firepower in the Black Sea.

    The incendiary warning on Western military involvement in Georgia - where NATO nations have long played a role in training and equipping the small state - came in an interview with Dmitry Rogozin, a former nationalist politician who is now ambassador to the North Atlantic Alliance.

    "If NATO suddenly takes military actions against Abkhazia and South Ossetia, acting solely in support of Tbilisi, this will mean a declaration of war on Russia," he stated.

    Yesterday likened the current world crisis to the fevered atmosphere before the start of the First World War.

    Rogozin said he did not believe the crisis would descend to war between the West and Russia.

    But his use of such intemperate language will be seen as dowsing a fire with petrol.

    Top military figure Colonel General Leonid Ivashov, president of the Academy of Geopolitical Studies in Moscow, alleged that the US and NATO had been arming Georgia as a dress rehearsal for a future military operation in Iran.

    "We are close to a serious conflict - U.S. and NATO preparations on a strategic scale are ongoing. In the operation the West conducted on Georgian soil against Russia - South Ossetians were the victims or hostages of it - we can see a rehearsal for an attack on Iran."

    He claimed Washington was fine tuning a new type of warfare and that the threat of an attack on Iran was growing by the day bringing "chaos and instability" in its wake.

    With the real architect of the worsening Georgian conflict - prime minister Vladimir Putin - remaining in the background, Medvedev followed up on Rogozin's broadside with a threat to use the Russian military machine to respond to the deployment of the American anti-missile defence system in Poland and the Czech republic.

    Poland agreed this month to place ten interceptor missiles on its territory, and Moscow has already hinted it would become a nuclear target for Russia in the event of conflict.

    "These missiles are close to our borders and constitute a threat to us," Medvedev told Al-Jazeera television. "This will create additional tension and we will have to respond to it in some way, naturally using military means."

    The Russian president said that offering NATO membership to Georgia and Ukraine, two former Soviet republics, would only aggravate the situation.

    Moscow has consistently expressed its opposition to the U.S. missile shield, saying it threatens its national security.

    The U.S. claims the shield is designed to thwart missile attacks by what it calls "rogue states," including Iran.

    Meanwhile, Russia - seen by the West as flouting international law - today demanded NATO abide by an obscure agreement signed before the Second World War limiting its warships in the Black Sea.

    "In light of the build-up of NATO naval forces in the Black Sea, our fleet has also taken on the task of monitoring their activities," said hawkish deputy head of Russia's general staff, Anatoly Nogovitsyn.

    The Montreux Convention, as it is called, sets a weight restriction of 45,000 tonnes on the number of warships that countries outside the Black Sea region can deploy in the basin.

    "Can NATO indefinitely build up its forces and means there? It turns out it cannot," said Nogovitsyn.

    NATO has said it is undertaking pre-arranged exercises in the Black Sea involving US, German, Spanish and Polish ships. Two other US warships sailed to Georgian waters with humanitarian aid.

    Georgia is poised to sever diplomatic relations with Russia, or reduce them to a bare minimum.

    "We will drastically cut our diplomatic ties with Russia," said a top official.

    President Mikhail Saakashvili said he was frightened to leave Georgia to attend the EU summit on the crisis.

    "If I leave Georgia, the Russians will close our airspace and prevent me from returning home," he said.

    Russia sought Chinese backing for its action - but the Communist regime in Beijing appeared reluctant to offer support, instead issuing a statement saying it was "concerned" about recent developments.

    NATO called for Russia to reverse its decision on recognition for the two enclaves, both Georgian under international law.

    But the new 'president' of South Ossetia, Eduard Kokoyty, called for Russian military bases on his territory.

    French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner warned today that an marauding Russian bear could trample over other ex-Soviet states.

    "That is very dangerous," he said, pointing at Ukraine and Moldova.
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  14. #114
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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....

    100 GIs to man Patriot missile battery in Poland
    Stars and Stripes ^ | August 27, 2008 | Jeff Schogol

    By Jeff Schogol, Stars and Stripes

    Mideast edition, Wednesday, August 27, 2008

    ARLINGTON, Va. — About 100 U.S. soldiers are expected to man a Patriot missile battery in Poland as part of an agreement recently struck between U.S. and Polish officials, a top State Department official said Monday.

    Under the agreement, the United States can base part of its missile defense system in Poland; in return, the U.S. military will send Patriot missiles to Poland.

    Both sides hope to establish a garrison for the battery by 2012, said John C. Rood, acting undersecretary of state for arms control and international security.

    "The Patriot battery in question will be a U.S. Army Patriot battery, so it will be owned and operated by the United States Army … The Polish government has agreed to furnish a site, as well as infrastructure and necessary facilities for establishment of a Patriot garrison," Rood said at a news conference Monday.

    The garrison will have soldiers for the Patriot missiles — known as "air defenders" — as well as security and support personnel, he said.

    "A battery of this size should be a little over 100 people for the air defenders, adding in the rest of the complement responsible for security and maintenance and things of that nature would add people; I don’t have a specific number for you on that."

    The Patriot battery will be an existing battery moved to Poland from another location, such as Germany or Texas, Rood said.

    Defense Secretary Robert Gates will determine where the Patriot battery will come from.

    The pact between Warsaw and Washington comes at a time of escalating tensions with Russia, which invaded neighboring Georgia on Aug. 6.

    After the agreement was announced earlier this month, Russia threatened to target Poland with nuclear weapons.

    Gates has said Russia’s invasion of Georgia showed it was trying to reassert its control over former parts of the Soviet Union and punish former Eastern bloc countries that are developing close ties with the west.

    "My guess is that most of those countries, if not all of them, probably have a higher incentive to stand with us now than they did before, now that they have seen what the Russians have done in Georgia," he said on Aug. 14, just before the agreement with Poland was announced.
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  15. #115
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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Donaldson View Post
    You know.....

    it occurs to me that the United States ought form an "American Foreign Legion".....
    I'm in.

  16. #116
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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Donaldson View Post
    You know.....

    it occurs to me that the United States ought form an "American Foreign Legion".....

    Isn't that what the Recruiters in So. Cal are basically doing? lol
    Brian Baldwin

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  17. #117
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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....

    No...

    From a purely "Foreign Legion" point of view, and historically speaking the French passed a law... early 1800s, I forget the precise year, stating that foreigners could NOT join the French Army. Thus the "French Foreign Legion" was born, which allowed foreigners from other countries to join the French in fighting for their various areas and territories.

    The US allows foreigners into the US military though, but I'm thinking we should change that.
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  18. #118
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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....

    Putin says suspects U.S. provoked Georgia crisis
    Thu Aug 28, 2008 11:51am EDT

    MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Thursday he suspected someone in the United States provoked the conflict in Georgia in an attempt to help a candidate in the U.S. presidential election.

    "It is not just that the American side could not restrain the Georgian leadership from this criminal act. The American side in effect armed and trained the Georgian army," Putin said in an interview with CNN, part of which was broadcast on Russian state television.

    "Why ... seek a difficult compromise solution in the peacekeeping process? It is easier to arm one of the sides and provoke it into killing another side. And the job is done.

    "... The suspicion arises that someone in the United States especially created this conflict with the aim of making the situation more tense and creating a competitive advantage for one of the candidates fighting for the post of U.S. president."

    The crisis flared earlier this month when Georgia tried to retake by force its separatist province of South Ossetia and Russia launched an overwhelming counter-attack.

    Russian forces swept the Georgian army out of the rebel region and are still occupying some areas of Georgia proper. On Tuesday, Moscow announced it was recognizing South Ossetia and another breakaway region, Abkhazia, as independent states.

    The United States and Europe demand Russia respect a French-brokered ceasefire and withdraw all its troops from Georgia, including a disputed buffer zone imposed by Moscow.

    (Editing by Dominic Evans)
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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....

    Putin accuses US of plotting war in Georgia
    Aug 28th, 2008 | By Sindh Today | Category: World

    Moscow, Aug 28 (DPA) Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin Thursday accused the United States of plotting this month’s war in Georgia.

    Putin told CNN the fighting was triggered by politicians in Washington in an attempt to give an advantage to one of the competing US presidential candidates, Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama.

    The former president gave no evidence to support his statements, which he called ‘conjecture’, but said the US action forced Russia’s hand.

    Russia had no alternative but to push into Georgia after its peacekeeping troops in South Ossetia came under Georgian fire early in August, Putin said in an interview with the US broadcaster.

    He added that he was disappointed that Washington had not done more to stop Georgia’s assault.

    Putin is believed by many to still have the final say over Kremlin decisions. He was the first to speak out against Georgian actions and to visit Russia’s 58th army that bore the brunt of the fighting in Georgia.
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  20. #120
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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....

    Not a good sign...

    USNS Comfort won't go to Georgia
    August 18, 2008

    The Pentagon has decided against dispatching the Baltimore-ported hospital ship, the USNS Comfort, to assist in humanitarian relief operations in Georgia, U.S. officials said this morning.

    Even as the Pentagon ramps up its shipments of blankets, cots, food and emergency medical supplies for war casualties, a military assessment team that arrived in Georgia over the weekend reported that the Comfort is not needed.

    In addition, Turkish authorities had given mixed signals about whether they would allow the Comfort to transit the Bosphorus, the narrow strait between the Aegean and Black seas, which provides access to Georgia's Black Sea port of Poti.

    The Comfort boasts a 1,000-bed hospital and 12 operating rooms, but at its cruising speed of 17 knots, it would take just more than two weeks to travel the 5,840 nautical miles to Poti. Some of its crew and medical staff were alerted late last week to prepare to get under way, but that order has been rescinded, officials indicated.

    Spokesman Bryan Whitman said the Pentagon is exploring the possibility of using other naval vessels in what he described as a continuing humanitarian relief operation. He would not say what ships or types of ships are being considered.

    Meanwhile, the United States will begin tomorrow flying a daily C-17 flight to Georgia from Charleston, S.C., loaded with humanitarian rations, bedding and medical supplies for displaced families who have fled the fighting. Already, the U.S. Air Force is flying two smaller C-130 cargo planes per day from Germany into Georgia with supplies.

    Rising tensions between the independent republic of Georgia and Russia exploded into violence Aug. 7 when Russian troops invaded the disputed enclaves of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and then proceeded to take up positions within Georgia itself.

    Whitman would not confirm reports that Russia had stationed SS-21 missile launchers in South Ossetia. But he said any such stationing of weapons would violate the terms of a Russian-Georgian truce reached last week "and as such should be removed immediately."

    The United States has delivered about $2 million worth of relief supplies to Georgia, including 6,000 blankets, 17,000 sleeping bags, 12,000 sheets, 580 cots and hundreds of pallets of medical supplies, Whitman said.

    The supplies are being distributed by the Georgian government and by private relief agencies.

    There are almost 125 U.S. military personnel on the ground in Georgia, Whitman said, including about two dozen soldiers assigned to the Georgian military forces as trainers.
    Looks to me like the USN doesn't want the possibility of an unarmed ship in the middle of a fire fight.

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