Archive for the ‘intimidation’ Category

Russia Already Bullying Barack

November 19, 2008

Barack Obama campaigned on the promise of “change,” but one change the president-elect may be planning on – not deploying a US missile defense in Eastern Europe – would be a big mistake.

Indeed, it’s exactly the type of about-face that nations like Russia, Iran and North Korea hope for from the incoming administration.

Worse, it will likely be seen abroad as knuckling to Russian bullying.

Two weeks ago, just a day after the US elections, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev made a virulently anti-American speech – his first major address since taking office this spring and arguably the first foreign “test” of the president-elect.

Amid other ranting, Medvedev demanded that the United States back off on its planned missile-defense bases in Poland and the Czech Republic.

If the deployment goes ahead, Medvedev warned, Moscow will place short-range missiles in Kaliningrad – a Russian enclave nestled between NATO members Poland and Lithuania.

A few days after the Medvedev speech, a senior Obama aide came out after a phone call between the president-elect and Polish President Lech Kaczynski saying that Obama had “made no commitment on” missile defense.

Ugh. That’s not a certain retreat by Washington in the face of Moscow’s threats, but it’s a very troubling start for the Obama team on a key national-security issue.

Going wobbly caused heartburn in Warsaw and Prague, where both governments went to the mat to get approval for the missile-defense deal – and glee in Moscow, Tehran and Pyongyang. What rogue doesn’t love a whiff of wobbliness?

And the stakes rose just days later, when The Wall Street Journal reported that Russia is now in talks to deploy missiles in Belarus, which could be bore-sighted on targets across Europe.

(Belarus’ motive? It’s probably looking for Russian help on energy supplies and financial credits – or, if Europe wants to bribe it to reject the missiles, for an easing of EU economic sanctions imposed over human-rights issues.)

The next step in this ongoing lesson for the president-elect came Friday – when French President Nicolas Sarkozy called for a halt to European missile defense until more talks can be held.

Sarkozy’s words, at a European Union-Russia summit, were a clear sop to fellow attendee Medvedev – at the expense of the United States and the president-elect. (Shamefully, the EU is re-engaging Russia despite Moscow’s failure to meet the EU six-point peace plan for Georgia.)

But the issue isn’t just bullying – there’s the policy, too. This system is designed to defend against the Iranian missile and nuclear threat – which is growing fast.

By Peter Brookes
The New York Post

Testing O's spine in Europe.
Medvedev: Testing O’s spine in Europe.

Just last week, Tehran tested a two-stage, solid-fuel ballistic missile – whose 1,200-mile range would let it hit all of the Middle East and parts of southeastern Europe.

If reports of the Iranian test are true, this would be Tehran’s first successful test of a multistage rocket – which would put it on track for launching missiles to ever-increasing ranges, including intercontinental distances. The test also showed advances in Iran’s basic rocketry science, moving beyond liquid fuels to a more reliable solid-fuel rocket motor.

This is an images released  Wednesday Nov. 12, 2008 taken at ...
This is an images released Wednesday Nov. 12, 2008 taken at an undisclosed location in Iran, showing a missile test fire by Iranian armed forces. Iran has successfully test-fired a new generation of long range surface-to-surface missile using solid fuel, making them more accurate than its predecessors, the defense minister announced Wednesday. Mostafa Mohammed Najjar said on state television that the Sajjil was a high-speed missile manufactured at the Iranian Aerospace department of the Defense Ministry. He said it had a range of about 1,200 miles (2,000 kilometers).(AP Photo/Fars News Agency, Vahid Reza Alaei)

The last thing we need is to look “soft” on Iran’s nuclear and missile programs.

Read the rest:
http://www.nypost.com/seven/11182008/postopinion/opedcolumnists/
missile_defense__bullying_barack_139253.htm

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China Watch

October 16, 2007

John E. Carey
The Washington Times
October 21, 2007

“With China’s rapid rise and relentless military build-up, the ‘China threat’ is no longer confined to confrontation across the Taiwan Strait. In fact, it has already seriously impacted world peace,” said Taiwan’s President Chen Shui-bian on Oct. 10, 2007.

He urged the international community to “strongly demand that China immediately withdraw missiles deployed along its southeastern coast targeted at Taiwan, stop military exercises simulating attacks on Taiwan.”

Mr. Chen was kicking off Taiwan’s annual National Day parade. The parade featured, for the first time in 16 years, military troops and equipment. Yet Taiwan took out of the parade line up, at the last minute, its secret cruise missile, the HF-2E, that analysts say could reach Shanghai.

Said one China-watcher we spoke to on the phone from Shanghai: “We have to assume Taiwan just wanted to keep this missile from being photographed. Certainly President Chen’s remarks would provoke China but there was not too much new or surprising here. Chen has been outspoken before.”

President Chen accused Beijing of ignoring peace overtures and using “ever more belligerent rhetoric and military intimidation.”

At the Asia-Pacific regional summit on Sept. 7 in Sydney, Australia, President Hu Jintao of China reportedly told President Bush the next two years will be a time of “high danger” for Taiwan. “This year and next year are a period of high danger for the Taiwan situation,” Mr. Hu told Mr. Bush in bilateral talks, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said.
Former President Jiang Zemin standing side-by-side with his successor, Hu Jintao, at the 16th Party Congress.

Former President Jiang Zemin standing
side-by-side with his successor, Hu Jintao,
at the 16th Party Congress.
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“We must give stronger warnings to the Taiwan authorities,” Liu Jianchao quoted the Chinese president as saying. “We cannot allow anyone to use any means to split Taiwan from the motherland.”

But Taiwan’s Mr. Chen has been unrelenting. In his National Day address, he said: “Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China are two sovereign, independent nations, and neither exercises jurisdiction over the other. This is a historical fact. This is the status quo across the Taiwan Strait.”

China doesn’t see it that way. China views Taiwan as a renegade breakaway province that needs to be returned to Beijing’s control. China has been beefing up ballistic missile and other forces facing Taiwan and has been promoting more senior military officers with experience in planning operations against Taiwan.

Within the last six weeks, China replaced its chief of general staff for the People’s Liberation Army. A commander once tasked with making war preparations against Taiwan, Chen Bingde, was named to run the day-to-day operations of the PLA.

China also recently again blocked Taiwan’s recognition by the United Nations — a sore point in Taiwan since 1949. “Only the people of Taiwan have the right to decide their nation’s future,” President Chen said.

Early last July a Defense White Paper from Japan expressed concern about China. “There are fears about the lack of transparency concerning China’s military strength,” the paper said. “In January this year, China used ballistic missile technology to destroy one of its own satellites. There was insufficient explanation from China, sparking concern in Japan and other countries about safety in space as well as the security aspects.”

That same week, Australia’s Prime Minister John Howard said, “The pace and scope of [China’s] military modernization, particularly the development of new and disruptive capabilities such as the anti-satellite missile, could create misunderstandings and instability in the region.”

What are the implications for the United States? The 1979 Taiwan Relations Act stipulates the United States will “consider any effort to determine the future of Taiwan by other than peaceful means, including by boycotts or embargoes, a threat to the peace and security of the Western Pacific area are of grave concern to the United States” but does not mandate intervention.

With the United States increasingly interlocked with China in trade and both nations seeking a successful Beijing Olympics next summer, it is increasingly important that the U.S. keep crystal-clear its foreign policy intentions with China and Taiwan.

John E. Carey is former president of International Defense Consultants Inc and a frequent contributor to The Washington Times.
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Related:

China Claiming “Major Advances” in U.S. Relationship

On China: “Trust But Verify”
http://washingtontimes.com/article/20070826/COMMENTARY/
108260018/1012/COMMENTARY03

Cold War Redux?
http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070822/COMMENTARY/108220021

China: Less than the Entire Truth
http://www.washingtontimes.com/article/20070808/
COMMENTARY/108080004/1012/COMMENTARY03

China’s Hu Jintao: State Of China Address Opens Party Congress

China’s tightens Internet controls

China rulers ’silencing dissent’