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    Missile Defense

Russian military leaders have expressed concern about US plans for a national missile defense system. Will defense technology be limited by possibilities for a strategic imbalance? Is this just SDI all over again?

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rshowalter - 12:47pm Apr 2, 2001 EST (#1910 of 1927) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

You make a good case -- and you need to make it, systematically, to all involved .

Also to make it to the United Nations.

The Serbians have done many things that make them unsympathetic -- and whatever the numbers, not all of these have been fabrications. The rapes, for example, happened, and were very ugly.

The history is important. Actions from now on are important.

I think it has to be true that a primary reason for maintaining NATO, in the eyes of very many, is a longstanding, now traditional distrust of Russia. After fifty years, an enormous amount of propaganda on both sides, some true some not, and after the ugliness of the Cold War (on both sides) these concerns won't just disappear.

But these concerns, outside the US, are much smaller than they've been, and with the internet, and information usages, the chance of real surprise attacks by conventional forces is far less than before. And the advantages of agression, for any power, are less and less, the more advanced societies become. The US seems to be finding that agressiveness is very bad public relations, and expensive, abroad.

To get to peace may take a lot of talking -- and one can say "talk is cheap" -- but it is also often effective.

I don't understand, in detail, all the reasons why Russia is widely percieved as "an enemy" -- but I am sure that you're trying to change that, and that you intend to serve your own people, and work for prosperity and peace.

You need to change the perceptions that now, much more than anything else, stand in the way of peace. From that perspective, much progress is being made.

More can come.

And if the reasons for conflict are dishonestly presented economic reasons, MAKE THAT CASE.

rshowalter - 12:52pm Apr 2, 2001 EST (#1911 of 1927) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

I can't deny that there have been wrongs done to Russia, and that some continue.

Nor can anyone deny many of the ugly things Solzheineitsyn and others have documented -- reasons for people to be concerned about Russia. Reasons that Russians themselves are very aware of.

You're moving towards the future, and working for peace. More peaceful relations may happen more rapidly than you think, if the intellectual basis of the powers opposed to you is as degenerate as it seems to be.

Keep working toward peace, find ways to assure others that you are not a dangerous agressor in the presence of a distrust that is inescapable in military matters and keep at it.

The reasons for NATO, as it now stands, are getting weaker. Especially with the current President of the US as its leader. Many NATO member countries are coming nearer to this view.

In your two postings above you make arguments that ought to be widely discussed.

- What is NATO for, anyway?

If the purpose is to create a perception and reality of comfort with respect to Russia, how could that comfort, both in reality and in perception, be achieved more sensibly, justly, and cheaply?

That ought not to be a question impossible to answer, both "in general" and in militarily satisfactory detail.

rshowalter - 02:29pm Apr 2, 2001 EST (#1912 of 1927) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

Security requires, among other things, the ablility to impose costs rshowalter 3/12/01 8:52am but they should be calibrated costs. And no nation state can trust without checking, when national security is concerned. So openness is important for peace.

Berle's Laws of Power are important, and cannot be escaped. Note Law #3 especially. rshowalter 3/12/01 10:02am Ideas, ideology, and questions of fact all count here.

In setting out ideas, truth is not the only thing that matters -- the idea must be persuasive - not "somehow, too weak." rshowalter 3/15/01 3:35pm that means you have to keep at it, and that some persuasive jobs must occur according to the laws of power - and take some staffing.

lunarchick - 03:27pm Apr 2, 2001 EST (#1913 of 1927)

Alexander Lukashenko : Milosevic s arrest is "a disgrace"

From AFP 03apr01

03:20 (AEDT) MOSCOW: The arrest of former president Slobodan Milosevic is a "disgrace" for Belgrade and creates "a bad precedent", Belarus's Soviet-style leader Alexander Lukashenko said today.

"You cannot betray your own citizen, especially a president, for money. This was a mistake by the Yugoslav authorities," Lukashenko told a press conference.

The United States had set a March 31 deadline for Belgrade to show it was cooperating with the UN war crimes tribunal, which has indicted Milosevic, in return for releasing $US50 million ($103.41 million) in aid and supporting International Monetary Fund and World Bank programs for Belgrade.

Lukashenko, however, said his offer for Yugoslavia to become a member of the Russia-Belarus union stands firm.

"Yugoslavia can still join the union without Milosevic. President (Vojislav) Kostunica is also a patriot," he said.

Lukashenko was in Moscow for a ceremony marking the fifth anniversary of the launch of an embryonic union between Russia and Belarus.

lunarchick - 03:29pm Apr 2, 2001 EST (#1914 of 1927)

Alexander Lukashenko - never heard of the guy, but, wonder if his concern is 'really for himself', for if he were upright and honest he'd feel the same way as the citzens of Belgrade - time the man was 'checked'.

lunarchick - 03:41pm Apr 2, 2001 EST (#1915 of 1927)

Eltzin (?)

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