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Thread: 'CSTO could be stronger than NATO'

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    Default Re: 'CSTO could be stronger than NATO'



    Image of the CSTO nations

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
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    Default Re: 'CSTO could be stronger than NATO'

    February 5, 2009, 0:27
    CSTO a NATO for the East?


    The members of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation - Russia and six neighbouring states have agreed to set up a collective rapid reaction force to combat terrorism, military aggression, and drug trafficking.

    CSTO
    news conference (Part 1)
    CSTO news conference (Part 2)

    The decision was made during a CSTO summit in Moscow, attended by the leaders and foreign ministers of the member-states: Russia, Belarus and five countries in the Caucasus and Central Asia - Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

    Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, the current chair of the group, said the decision was momentous.
    What is CSTO?

    • Created on May 15, 1992.
    • Main goal: to provide security in the post-Soviet space; to prevent international terrorism and extremism.
    • Main threats: Afghanistan and Pakistan.
    • Member states: Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan.
      Former member-state: Georgia.

    的 would like to emphasise the importance of this decision to establish rapid reaction forces. It痴 aimed at strengthening the military capacity of our organisation.

    Speaking at a media conference, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said the new units 努ill not be less powerful than those of NATO.

    He said: 鍍he reason behind the creation of the collective forces of operative functioning is a considerable conflict potential which is accumulating in the CSTO zone.

    Medvedev added that the force 都hould become an effective tool which would maintain security in the region.

    Up to now, the organisation has positioned itself as an important political and military alliance in the post-Soviet space. But other countries haven稚 perceived it as such.


    CSTO member states.

    In theory, the CSTO already has a collective force. But it doesn稚 have a common command structure. Nor does it have a permanent home.

    However, the decision to create a truly collective force with a permanent location and a united command would propel the alliance to a new level.

    Earlier, Russian presidential aide Sergey Prikhodko said the new unit "might be used to rebuff military aggression, conduct special operations against international terrorism and violent manifestations of extremism, transnational organised crime and drugs trafficking, and also for the elimination of effects of natural and technogenic emergencies."

    Under existing arrangements, Prikhodko said, each CSTO member-state had its own rapid reaction force that could be committed to action in case of the emergence of common threats.

    The global financial crisis was also talked about. Russia and four neighboring countries - allied in the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEc) - decided to give each other a helping hand to cope with the credit crunch.

    展e're creating a fund of $10 billion. It will be like an air bag for those states whose situation becomes critical, commented Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko.

    This show of unity comes as Kyrgyzstan confirmed its decision to end the lease of the Manas air base by the U.S. military. Since 2001 it provided backup support for NATO troops in Afghanistan.

    But the once-warm welcome has chilled after incidents between locals and military personnel. There have been reports of fights with the local population.

    In one incident two women were run over in the capital Bishkek by a vehicle driven by a U.S. serviceman. In another, a Kyrgyz citizen was shot dead by an American soldier who escaped prosecution due to immunity enjoyed by the U.S. military at the base.

    Now Kyrgyzstan says the Americans have six months to pack up and leave.

    尿ccording to the terms of the agreement American soldiers have 180 days to fully withdraw from the base. The count begins from the moment we exchange formal documents with the U.S., Kyrgyzstan痴 Security Council chairman Adakhan Madumarov said.

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    添ou Americans are so gullible.
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    outright, but we値l keep feeding you small doses of
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    until you値l finally wake up and find you already have communism.

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    Default Re: 'CSTO could be stronger than NATO'

    State Duma to give nod to military aid for CSTO states


    RBC, 12.02.2009, Moscow 11:53:55.At its meeting on February 13, 2009, the State Duma will ratify a memorandum on military and technical assistance to Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) member-states should any threats of aggression or attacks arise, Boris Gryzlov, the speaker of the parliament's lower chamber, told journalists today.

    The memorandum signed in Dushanbe on October 6, 2007 is aimed at enhancing mutual aid for military purposes and helping maintain the combat readiness of the CSTO members in case of aggression, large-scale acts of terror or other threats to their sovereignty or territorial integrity. The document sets forth the conditions for providing military and technical assistance, either free of charge, or on preferential terms.

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    添ou Americans are so gullible.
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    outright, but we値l keep feeding you small doses of
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    until you値l finally wake up and find you already have communism.

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    Default Re: 'CSTO could be stronger than NATO'


    Russia
    CSTO's rapid-reaction force to equal NATO's - Medvedev


    20:49 | 04/ 02/ 2009


    MOSCOW, February 4 (RIA Novosti) - The collective rapid-reaction force to be created by a post-Soviet regional security bloc will be just as good as comparable NATO forces, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday.

    The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) agreed on Wednesday at a summit in Moscow to set up the new force, to be based in Russia.
    Medvedev said the force, to be comprised of a "sufficient" number of units, would be "well trained and well equipped."

    "Russia is ready to contribute a division and a brigade," he said. "This gives you an idea of the scale."

    The Russian president also said the CSTO was open for cooperation with the United States in the fight against terrorism in Central Asia.

    The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) is a security grouping comprising the former Soviet republics of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

    The rapid-reaction force agreement was signed by the leaders of all CSTO member states in the Kremlin, although Uzbekistan recorded "a special opinion."

    "Uzbekistan cannot accept the provision whereby all special services, including emergency services, are to be part of the collective force," CSTO press secretary Vitaly Strugovets said.

    The force will be used to repulse military aggression, conduct anti-terrorist operations, fight transnational crime and drug trafficking, and neutralize the effects of natural disasters.

    The force will be permanently based in Russia and placed under a single command, with CSTO member countries contributing special military units.

    A source in the Russian delegation said Uzbekistan would not participate in the collective force on a permanent basis but would "delegate" its detachments to take part in operations on an ad hoc basis.

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    添ou Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won稚 accept
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    outright, but we値l keep feeding you small doses of
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    until you値l finally wake up and find you already have communism.

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    Default Re: 'CSTO could be stronger than NATO'

    Russia creates its own version of NATO in Central Asia to be prepared for big war

    29.05.2009 Source: Pravda.Ru

    The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) follows the instructions from President Dmitry Medvedev, who ordered to increase the military constituent and develop the coalition force development. A strong military group, which may appear in Central Asia in the nearest future, will make the CSTO become an analogue of NATO.

    The following post-Soviet countries are included in the treaty: Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

    BREAKING NEWS
    Russia warns NATO not to rattle weapons near Russia's borders
    The question about the establishment of collective rapid response forces within the scope of the organization has been practically solved.

    The Russian administration is now working on a much larger project, The Kommersant newspaper wrote. A large group of troops is to be deployed in Central Asia in addition to Russia-Belarus and Russia-Armenia groups, which already exist within the scope of the CSTO.

    A package of documents has been prepared and will be coordinated with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan soon.

    典he work is being conducted in all directions. It will be a purely military structure that will be set up to maintain security in Central Asia in case of attack from the outside, a source from Russia痴 Foreign Ministry said.

    The number of servicemen of the new group is unknown. Vitaly Strugovets, the press secretary of the CSTO, only said that the group would consist of the units of five countries Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

    The creation of the military group in Central Asia corresponds to Moscow痴 objective to make the CSTO become a pro-Russian bloc, the military power of which would be similar to that of NATO.

    The National Security Strategy of the Russian Federation till 2020, approved by President Medvedev, says that Moscow views the Collective Security Treaty Organization as the key instrument to counter regional challenges, political and military threats. The document also says that the struggle for the energy sources on the Caspian Sea and in Central Asia may lead to armed conflicts in the region.

    The presidents of the OCST member countries are to sign the agreement about the establishment of the rapid response forces within the scope of the organization on June 14.

    The decision to establish the rapid response forces was made on February 4. Moscow will provide an airborne division and an air assault brigade about 8,000 servicemen. Kazakhstan will provide 4,000 military men of its air assault brigade too. Each of other allies will limit themselves to one battalion.

    The military group in Central Asia will be necessary in case of a serious threat is posed to the territorial integrity or in case of war.

    The rapid deployment forces will also be used to suppress small armed conflicts in the region.

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    添ou Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won稚 accept
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    outright, but we値l keep feeding you small doses of
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    until you値l finally wake up and find you already have communism.

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    Default Re: 'CSTO could be stronger than NATO'

    Declarative Tenets or Proactive Allied Policy in Europe's East

    Publication: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 6 Issue: 175
    September 24, 2009 03:57 PM Age: 3 days
    Category: Eurasia Daily Monitor, Vlad痴 Corner, Home Page, Foreign Policy, Georgia, Russia, Europe
    By: Vladimir Socor

    Another appeal to Western governments from renowned public figures, this time over Georgia, has appeared in European newspapers (Le Monde, Die Welt, The Guardian, Corriere della Sera, September 22, 23). Signed by the Czech, Lithuanian, and Estonian former heads of state and government (Vaclav Havel, Vytautas Landsbergis, Valdas Adamkus, Mart Laar), as well as by the Polish Solidarity movement's political theorist Adam Michnik, the Paneuropa movement's founding president Otto von Habsburg, French liberal opinion leaders Bernard-Henri Levy and Andre Glucksmann, and prominent European cultural figures. The document urges Western governments to take a stand against Russia's occupation of Georgian territories and its continuing threats to Georgia.

    The signatories appeal to the E.U. member nations to "define a proactive strategy to help Georgia peacefully regain its territorial integrity and obtain the withdrawal of Russian forces illegally stationed on Georgian soil." They also warn against accepting a new Berlin Wall-like dividing line, this time across Georgia. In passing they remind the E.U.'s investigative commission that on the August 2008 war that Russia can easily "find or engineer pretexts for invading a neighbor whose independence it resents."

    More broadly, the signatories warn against the re-emergence of a Russian sphere of influence in Europe's East by Western default. On the twentieth anniversary of the 1989 fall of the Iron Curtain -they ask- is the West "willing to accept that the borders of a small country can be unilaterally changed by force? And to tolerate de facto the annexation of territories by a big power? The Western democracies' failure to respond can have very serious global consequences. At stake is nothing less than the project of the peaceful and democratic reunification of Europe."

    Several public appeals of this nature have been addressed recently by renowned public figures from Central-Eastern Europe to the U.S. and Western European governments (EDM, July 22, September 22). They all reflect a growing unease with current trends as seen from the region's perspective: an eroding U.S. commitment, with policy priorities seen to short-change this region; poorly explained strategies and decisions; NATO's own deepening malaise; a security deficit growing in Europe's immediate Eastern neighborhood vis--vis Russia; and a proactive, U.S.-led quest for Moscow's help on other issues elsewhere, generating speculation about any possible trade-off at Eastern Europe's expense.

    The United States and NATO are attempting to address these concerns from time to time in their public and inter-governmental communications, though rarely at a high level or comprehensively. U.S. Vice-President Joseph Biden set the main frame of reference for the U.S. position while visiting Ukraine and Georgia in July (enlarging on President Barack Obama's relevant themes from his Moscow visit). Those postulates have been echoed by U.S. officials since then; and most recently also by NATO's new Secretary-General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen in his inaugural speech (NATO press release, September 17).

    These tenets, however, comprise a set of mostly passive propositions, formulated primarily as negatives, and rarely proactive ones. U.S., NATO, and European Union officials assert (on the appropriate occasions) that they:

    1. Do not accept Russia's notion of a sphere of special interest.

    2. Do not recognize unilateral, forcible border changes.

    3. Support the territorial integrity principle, for example, by not recognizing Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

    4. Disagree (sometimes "fundamentally disagree") with Russia on certain issues, but need Russia's cooperation on higher-priority issues.

    5. Support countries' sovereign right to join the alliance of their choice.

    6. Hold NATO's door open to countries that qualify, with no veto on the enlargement process from outside the alliance.

    7. Regard Russian threats to neighboring countries as a nineteenth century method, not appropriate to the twenty first century (the twentieth century is usually bracketed out from this official talking point).

    In practice, however, these tenets can be seen to operate with diminishing effectiveness in Europe's East recently. Non-acceptance, non-recognition, and support for principles do not seem to be accompanied by a proactive, remedial Western policy. In its absence, Russia has crossed the threshold from undeclared to officially declared border changes in Georgia while also questioning Ukraine's territorial integrity. Russia's monopoly on "peacekeeping" and its naval forces stationed around the Black Sea region are ingredients to sphere-of-influence building. This process would advance further if NATO recognizes the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) step-by-step at Moscow's insistence.

    Meanwhile, NATO's enlargement process has been suspended from within the Alliance by a few governments interested in special relations with Russia
    . The "outside veto" becomes a moot issue in this case; the open-door policy becomes a symbolic one when aspirant countries are no longer mentored (as their predecessors were) to reach that door; and the right to choose alliances, a risky one to pursue when it opens a window of vulnerability for aspirant countries in the grey zone. More than one year after the Russian invasion, Georgia remains a military vacuum, with no conventional-force deterrent in place.

    Russian leaders' public threats to Ukraine and their recent doctrines on intervention abroad (EDM, September 22) do not seem to elicit a Western policy response. The recent series of appeals from Central and Eastern Europe attempts to focus Western leaders' attention to these issues.

    The current concerns stem from Western allies' reluctance to address hard-security requirements in this region; its apparent relegation to a second tier of Allied priorities; and the ensuing potential for expediency-based trade-offs, whereby necessary security measures in this region are left in abeyance, whether for want of resources or to incentivize Russian support in other theaters.

    Spheres of influence formerly took shape through explicit arrangements among great powers, usually involving trade-offs in territory. At present, they can potentially emerge by one side's default or through trade-offs in security priorities.

    Today's concerns in Eastern Europe, while partly shaped by historical experience, focus on the current need to firm up the enlarged NATO's commitments and the American connection with the allies through proactive policies.

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
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    添ou Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won稚 accept
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    outright, but we値l keep feeding you small doses of
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    until you値l finally wake up and find you already have communism.

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    Default Re: 'CSTO could be stronger than NATO'

    NATO vs CSTO: The Fog of War

    Written by Eric Walberg

    然egional defence organisations are very much in transition, notes Eric Walberg

    NATO痴 reputation as the guardian of peace on Earth is in tatters these days. Once avowedly an alliance of North America and Western Europe to fight the communist hordes of Eurasia, it morphed into something quite difference with the collapse of the socialist bloc two decades ago. It now pretends to unite all of Europe to fight the Muslim hordes wherever they be found and, of course the Russians, just for good measure.

    To do this, it expanded rapidly in the past decade, and now has a Partnership for Peace with ex-Soviet hopefuls. It also has a Mediterranean Dialogue with Western-oriented Muslim states and Israel (of them, Morocco and Israel are further blessed as 杜ajor non-NATO allies) and the GCC+2 -- the Gulf Cooperation Council plus Egypt and Jordan. GCC+2 has been optimistically dubbed the 哲ATO of the Middle East in Western media, but then once-upon-a-time so was the ill-fated Baghdad Pact, originally called the Middle East Treaty Organisation (METO). The real 哲ATO of the Middle East is of course US+1.

    Whatever the US/NATO schemes and their pretexts, the results in recent years have been less than impressive. The communist hordes were soon replaced by the Russian and/or Muslim ones, and, despite the Mediterranean Dialogue and the GCC+2, the Muslim ones are multipying daily. Even NATOphiles realise something is amiss. The newly appointed secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, was so eager to transform the organisation he gave up his job as prime minister of Denmark, making him the highest ranking politician to take over NATO. 的 want to modernise, transform and reform so that NATO adapts to the security environment of the 21st century.

    Rasmussen points to the bloated bureaucracy, with its more than 300 committees -- all requiring decisions by consensus, and 13,000 personnel scattered across Western Europe at NATO痴 many military bases. When France rejoining the integrated military structure in April, it had to send 900 military staff to the various NATO commands. 的n a rapidly changing security environment, we have to make sure that NATO is able to make rapid moves, asserts Fogh Rasmussen wistfully.

    But his biggest move so far to reform the dinosaur was to appoint an 登utsider, former secretary of state Madeleine Albright, to lead a group of 12 experts to work out a new strategic concept. Albright is hardly an outsider, being a key actor in the NATO bombing of Serbia which led to the creation of the first NATO satellite -- Kosovo, touted as a great success by NATOphiles, but as a violation of international law and relations by just about everyone else. It remains a basket-case, shunned by the likes of China, India and Russia. So don稚 hold your breath that Albright will spearhead a radical reinvention of NATO.

    NATOphiles ignore the obvious question about the organisation: why didn稚 it just disband when its mission to crush Communism was successful and the Warsaw Pact was dissolved? They also don稚 seem to feel it necessary to explain why a northern Atlantic organisation should expand into Eurasia and fight wars in Central Asia; why the UN is not the more appropriate forum for world security issues. The UN, famous for its own bureaucracy, has undergone considerable reform in the last decade and is certainly no more dysfunctional than NATO. It also has the advantage of bringing North, South, East and West together, guaranteeing a modicum of world consensus for any military action.

    There is no hint within the NATO fortress that such questions will worry Albright痴 experts, or that they will consense towards anything other than making NATO an even greater threat to the diplomatic resolution of world problems.

    Others are not twiddling their thumbs, however. The dogs may bark but the caravan moves on. Russia has been picking up the pieces in its foreign affairs since the regional alliance of Soviet days broke up and its place in the world as a counterweight to American diktat was lost. The Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) was formed in 2002, bringing together Russia, Central Asian states Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan, as well as Armenia and Belarus, and has been picking up steam in the past year, despite the difficulty of dealing with unpredictable member-dictators.

    It is truly a regional pact with a legitimate reason for existing, unlike NATO. It was recognised by both the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and the UN as such in 2007, and there has been talk of it becoming the genesis of a defence arm for the SCO. NATO痴 battering in Afghanistan has reduced it to asking for Russia痴 -- really the CSTO痴 -- participation in the Afghanistan operation, most obviously as the 渡orthern corridor transport route from Europe to Northern Afghanistan via CSTO member-states.

    The CSTO is now working openly on a UN cooperation declaration similar to the one passed in September 2008 with NATO -- behind UN members backs -- to work together against terrorism, drug and arms trafficking, and as part of peacekeeping missions under UN command. In addition to the UN, the CSTO has relations with the EU and the OSCE.
    There is even talk of squaring the circle between the CSTO and NATO.

    Says Fyodor Lukyanov, editor-in-chief of Russia in Global Affairs, 鼎ompared to the previous situation, when NATO did not want even to hear about the OSCE, now many officials and experts say that the CSTO can be a very useful partner. CSTO Secretary General Nikolai Bordiuzha is less naive: 展e proposed to NATO to cooperate in several spheres, including those regarding fighting illegal drug trafficking, but NATO has its own position. Ironically, NATO痴 Partnership for Peace includes all CSTO countries, so NATO has been cooperating with the CSTO by default all along, whether it likes it or not.

    In addition to this startling outcome of NATO痴 failure in Afghanistan, there are several interesting developments percolating that will soon provide a window into just which direction NATO will go in its latest mutation. Ukraine and Georgia are committed to join NATO, both with leaders swept into power by carefully orchestrated Western-backed campaigns, but who are now widely reviled. Does NATO still have the will and the way to snatch them up?

    Another development is the recent mutual recognition of Turkey and Armenia, long-time foes. This reconciliation finessed their outstanding differences -- Armenia痴 occupation of almost 20 per cent of Turkey痴 natural ally Azerbaijan, and Turkey痴 refusal to accept greater responsibility for the tragedy of ethnic Armenians who died fleeing civil war in 1915-17.

    The EU took the credit for bringing the two sides together and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton came to the signing ceremony, but it is far from clear which 都ide will benefit most. Will NATO-member Turkey help usher CSTO-member Armenia into the Western fold? Or will Russia-friendly Armenia draw Turkey the other way? Will the EU痴 spurning of Muslim Turkey and its desire to snag tiny Christian Armenia widen the growing rift between an increasingly independent and pro-Muslim Turkey and the West? Will Azerbaijan join NATO in a huff? Will Turkey dust off its Ottoman past and reinvent itself as a major regional power?

    The situation is far too complex to make any firm predictions.

    Russia痴 staunch defence of Iran in the face of Western threats and its increasing assertiveness in the face of NATO expansion are widely admired in the Muslim world, Turkey being no exception. Last year Moscow embraced Ankara 痴 proposal for a Caucasus Stability and Cooperation Platform as a mechanism for political dialogue, stability and crisis management in a region covering Russia, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia. Russia noted Turkey痴 refusal to assist the US in invading Iraq or to allow a US warship into the Black Sea following Georgia痴 attack on South Ossetia last year. Early this year, a Turkish mission visited Abkhazia.

    During a state visit to Moscow by Turkish President Abdullah Gul in February, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev made a straightforward proposal to set up a Russian-Turkish axis. 典he August crisis showed that we can deal with problems in the region by ourselves, without the involvement of outside powers, Medvedev told a joint press conference. The Turkish leader effectively agreed, pointing to 都ubstantially close or identical positions the two countries took on 殿n absolute majority of international issues.

    But world politics is not all win-lose. Both Russia and the US, as members of the Minsk Group founded by the OECD to resolve the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan, want to see that stand-off resolved peacefully. Making it happen would be a feather in US President and Nobel laureate Barack Obama痴 cap and a concrete step in improving relations with Russia. A truly win-win situation.

    As NATO continues to flounder and power continues to shift away from the US towards BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) and the SCO, issues like the above will be shaped by a complex of forces, and their outcomes will not be enforced by any one diktat. Just as NATO痴 Cold War nemesis unravelled with unpredicted speed, the seemingly immutable Western military alliance could find itself paralysed not only by its infamous bureaucracy, but by countervailing forces on the ascendant outside of its orbit.

    All the Kosovos, Georgias and Azerbaijans, all the GCC+2s, Dialogues and Partnerships in the world won稚 be able to stave off the inevitable.

    Indeed, they can only act as a millstone, pulling NATO deeper into the quagmire it itself created during its short post-Cold War life as world policeman.

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
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    Postman vector7's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'CSTO could be stronger than NATO'

    Meet the New Warsaw Pact

    The borders have been pushed east, countries have switched sides, but the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization's raison d'etre isn't that much different than its Cold War predecessor. That is, to provide a strong military counterweight to NATO and ultimately return the European balance of power to an East-West paradigm.

    Back in '02, CSTO was formed as a way of bulwarking the Slavic sphere against NATO expansion. Now, it's back to the future -- as Putin creates a Moscow-dominated security treaty in which member-states march in lock step to a Russian beat. A NATO-style Rapid Reaction Force is being formed, purportedly to help contain spillover chaos from Afghanistan, but will probably end up somewhere within striking distance of NATO's Baltic states. The treaty also gives Moscow a wonderful excuse to squash democratic dissent in allied nations, should a CSTO nation experience a Rose, Tulip, or Orange revolution.

    Recently I was chatting up an Army Lt Col -- a West Point grad who started off as an Armor Officer in Cold War Germany and later moved on to Russian linguistics and intelligence. I asked what would have happened if the U.S. was drawn into the Georgian war of '08. "Ten years ago we would have kicked the Russians' ass," he said. "Last year they would have bloodied our nose, but we still would've won. Ten years from now... who knows?"

    No one wants to be drawn into conflict with the Russians. But it's useful to remember that time after time, we've extended our hand to Moscow only to have it slapped away. Putin clearly has grand aspirations for his burgeoning CSTO, with Poland shaping up to be the new Germany in another round of US-Russian geo-political chess. If Moscow only understands the stern language of action and resolve, then the Obama administration must atone for shabby treatment of our key Polish allies and move quickly to strengthen defensive ties between our two nations.

    Posted by John Noonan on November 5, 2009 12:44 PM

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    Default Re: 'CSTO could be stronger than NATO'


    Putin’s Army Demands ‘NATO Soldiers! Hands Up! Lay Down Your Weapons!’

    Russia trains 6,000 troops to destroy 'treacherous NATO puppets'

    August 19, 2016

    As the world focused on recent events in Syria—where Russia bombed anti-Assad forces using Iranian airfields, while “sincerely seeking” to restore positive relations with Turkey—the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) began a massive military exercise on August 16.

    As reported by Russian news agency RIA Novosti, a loudspeaker bellowed across three training fields for “NATO soldiers to surrender.”

    CSTO—consisting of six ex-Soviet republics: Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan—conducted the exercise in Pskov’s and Leningrad’s northwestern military district of Russia. The region shares boarders with Estonia and Latvia, two NATO nations.

    The operation, dubbed “Interoperability 2016,” ran through August 18, and is the latest training of the Collective Rapid Response Forces (CRRF) of CSTO. Simulating an invasion of CSTO territory by an illegally-armed group, CRRF was set to destroy.

    “Intelligence units of Belarus and Kazakhstan need to find the exact location of the enemy and report the coordinates to the headquarters,” Belarusian State television reported. “Russian aviation joins the exercise with 50 military aircrafts, helicopters, drones, tanks, and artillery.” Over 6,000 troops participated in the exercise, which used more than a thousand units of military equipment—including 300 tanks.

    At one point during the CSTO exercise, a (female-voiced) loudspeaker appealed to the soldiers:

    “NATO soldiers! You are being deceived! You are not peacekeepers! Lay down your weapons! You are fighting on the foreign territory. With your treacherous invasion, you have interrupted the peaceful life of an innocent country. You will be brought down by a just revenge and an anger of the people that have never been defeated in war. Drop your weapons and stop being puppets in the hands of your leaders!”

    The recording was transmitted in several languages, including Russian, German and English.

    “I am sure that the NATO countries are watching closely,” Alexander Grushko, Russia’s representative at NATO told reporters. “Military art is a very competitive business. Everyone’s carefully watching what others do.”

    CSTO keeps open doors for other regional players—like Iran—seeking “collective security,” as anti-NATO and anti-American rhetoric hits new heights in Russia. During Obama’s second term, this has taken a different, sometimes ugly, form.

    On August 2, in Russia’s eastern city of Ussuriysk, on “Special Airborne Forces Day,” local veterans of elite Russian troops mopped the streets with an American flag attached to the bumper of their vehicle.


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