The Military Landscape that Confronts Obama: Novosti of Russia
What do the Russians see when they look at the military challenges that Barack Obama must now confront? This article from Russia’s Novosti News Service lays out the general Kremlin view, in regard to Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and most importantly, Ukraine, Georgia and Russia.
The author, military affairs Analyst Ilya Kramnik, anticipates that Obama will continue the anti-missile shield in Europe, continue to push for Ukrainian and Georgian membership in NATO, that his administration will seek to undermine Iran from within, and that if he isn’t careful, he could get the U.S. mired in Afghanistan just as the USSR did. Kramnik sums up his forecast this way:
“Don’t expect open warfare to break out in other parts of the world. For the past few decades, the cabinets of Democratic administrations have preferred undermining potential enemies from within by backing pro-U.S. forces. For example, in Venezuela, Washington is most likely to back anti-Chavez forces and gorge them with money, but at the same time refrain from direct intervention.
Overall, the situation in the world is unlikely to become any less tense. The global economic crisis has only just begun, and as it deepens further, it may seriously affect the political plans of the leading powers.”
By Military Affairs Analyst Ilya Kramnik
Translated By Igor Medvedev
December 2, 2008
Russia – Novosti – Original Article (Russian)
MOSCOW: The new U.S. administration’s coming to power against the backdrop of a growing global economic crisis and ongoing conflicts in a number of “hot spots” forces one to grapple with the question of how the military policies of the new [Obama] cabinet will compare to the old. What conflicts can be halted, and which ones may in fact flare with Obama’s entry into office? And in general, how will the international situation actually change?
To understand how U.S. military policies might change, one needs to observe those who will implement them. At first glance, Barack Obama isn’t carrying out any radical changes, keeping Robert Gates as secretary of defense, which shows that, in principal, Obama agrees with the development of America’s armed forces over recent years.
General James Jones’ [ret.] appointment as national security adviser to the new cabinet is also interesting. The four-star general, former commander of the U.S. Marine Corps, commander of U.S. forces in Europe and commander of joint NATO forces in Europe, is a supporter of the global reach of the alliance. By these appointments, one can clearly assert that the U.S. will not suspend hostilities “across the board.” Nevertheless, a number of theaters will certainly see major changes. What will these be?
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