— The Erimtan Angle —

The Russian state-sponsored news broadcaster RT gives Pepe Escobar the opportunity to talk about Vladimir Putin: ‘It’s official – Vladimir Putin has won the presidential race to become Russia’s leader for a third term. Official results have given him almost 64 per cent of the vote. Asia Times correspondent Pepe Escobar in Thailand says that despite the Russian people making their choice clear, the U.S. is still on a mission to vilify the country (5 March 2012)’.

Putin’s article in Foreign Policy opens as follows: “In a world of upheaval there is always the temptation to resolve one’s problems at another’s expense, through pressure and force. It is no surprise that some are calling for resources of global significance to be freed from the exclusive sovereignty of a single nation. This cannot happen to Russia, not even hypothetically. In other words, we should not tempt anyone by allowing ourselves to be weak. We will, under no circumstances, surrender our strategic deterrent capability. Indeed, we will strengthen it. We will not be able to strengthen our international position or develop our economy or our democratic institutions if we are unable to protect Russia”.[1]  Fighting talk from Russia’s leader, as the as yet undeclared New Cold War takes shape in the background.[2]

Taking up this theme in his article, Putin continues that “[h]igh-precision, long-range conventional weapons will become increasingly common. An important, if not decisive, role in determining the nature of armed conflict will be played by the military capability of a country to counter space or information-related threats, especially in cyberspace. We must also take resolute steps to strengthen our aerospace defenses. We are being pushed into action by the U.S. and NATO missile defense policies. A global balance of forces can be guaranteed either by building our own missile defense shield — an expensive and to date largely ineffective undertaking — or by developing the ability to overcome any missile defense system and protect Russia’s retaliation potential, which is far more effective. Russia’s military and technical response to the U.S. global missile defense system and its European section will be effective and asymmetrical. Similarly, the activities that the world’s leading military powers have initiated around the Arctic are forcing Russia to secure our interests in that region. Some people argue that rebuilding our military-industrial complex will saddle the economy with a heavy burden, the same burden that bankrupted the Soviet Union. I am sure this is profoundly delusionary”. Under Putin, Mother Russia will be strong again with a vibrant state and a prosperous private sector. Putin namely claims that the “USSR collapsed due to the suppression of natural market forces in the economy and long-running disregard for the interests of the people. We cannot repeat the errors of the past”.[3]

[1] Vladimir Putin, “Being Strong. Why Russia needs to rebuild its military.” Foreign Policy (21 Feb 2012). http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/02/21/being_strong.

[2] Cfr. “The New Cold War: Missile Shield Competition” A Pseudo-Ottoman Blog (16 October 2011). https://sitanbul.wordpress.com/2011/10/16/the-new-cold-war-missile-shield-competition/.

[3] Vladimir Putin, “Being Strong. Why Russia needs to rebuild its military.-2”. http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/02/21/being_strong?page=0,1.


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