Sunday, 10 July 2016

Stephen Cohen on the John Batchelor Show

The US and Russia Have to Work Together Against International Terrorism (Audio Podcast)

Terrorist organizations are the number one existential threat, not “Putin’s Russia,” and Russia is the best ally America could have in fighting them
7 July, 2016

Listen to the podcast HERE

Nation contributing editor Stephen F. Cohen and John Batchelor continue their weekly discussions of the new US-Russian Cold War. (Previous installments are at The focus of this discussion is the growing threat of international terrorism, from the Middle East, Europe, and elsewhere to American homeland security.

Cohen makes three large points, which he and Batchelor then discuss. First, the Obama administration and its generals have repeatedly stated that Russia under Vladimir Putin is the “number-one existential threat” in the world today. This is a virtually impeachable misconception of national security. Today’s several international terrorist organizations are a new phenomenon, not loners with a gun or a bomb, but a highly organized menace with state-like funding, armies, technology, and communications—and currently in search of radioactive materials to enrich their already highly destructive acts, which could make areas they strike uninhabitable for many years. Second, Russia—because of its decades fighting terrorism at home and abroad and its geopolitical location in Europe and in the Islamic world—has special experience, intelligence, and other assets that Washington and its current allies lack. (Cohen recalls, as an example, that Moscow informed Washington about the Boston bombers months before they struck, but the warning was disregarded.) Third, Washington has steadfastly excluded a willing Russia from its own ineffectual “war against terrorism,” refusing meaningful cooperation with Moscow. For their part, mainstream media “analyses” about what to do, after each new terrorist act, rarely if ever even mentions a role for Russia. The most compelling example is the considerable damage inflicted on the Islamic State in Syria by Putin’s air campaign allied with Syrian Army and Iranian “boots on the ground”—an achievement denigrated, when noted at all, by the US political-media establishment, partly because of its Cold War against Russia, reflected in NATO’s current and provocative build-up on Russia’s Western borders, and to its self-defeating obsession with overthrowing Syrian President Assad.

Cohen then reports what may be a positive development. According to sources close to Obama, though not in the administration, the president now wants a rapprochement with Russia before leaving office, as part of his presidential legacy, beginning in Syria. Related reports were published by The Washington Post, but only to express strong opposition, led, it seems, by Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, to any kind of détente with Putin. American Cold Warriors, Cohen adds, understand that cooperation in Syria could spread to resolving the Ukrainian crisis and other US-Russian conflicts—that is, to ending or at least winding down the new Cold War. Meanwhile, Cohen also reports, Putin has recently made several public statements expressing his readiness for large-scale cooperation with Obama—“We do not hold grudges,” he remarked—and in particular for a “broad anti-terrorism front.”

On the other hand, says Cohen, his sources also report that in this regard Obama is virtually alone in high-level Washington circles, including among his own White House security advisers. Cohen ends by reflecting on a possible irony. Obama, who once vowed to “isolate” Putin—probably the world’s busiest international statesman in recent months—may now find himself isolated in his own

Listen to the podcast HERE

This is NATO propaganda

And some discussion from Don DeBar at CPR Metro, New York

This is from June, 2016

Anakonda 16 on the Russian Frontier

Stephen F. Cohen. NYU, Princeton,

TORUN, Poland -- Sgt. Joshua Elkins (right), a nodal network systems operator assigned to the 504th Brigade Signal Company, 16th Special Troops Battalion learns how to use a Polish radio June 8. (Photo by 1st Lt. Hilary Klotz, 16th Sustainment Bde. Public Affairs)

To listen to podcast GO HERE

Anakonda 16 on the Russian Frontier. Stephen F. Cohen. NYU, Princeton,

"...The general said Russia was needed in the international community; however, this was impossible at the moment due to the country's "sole respect for power."

"He emphasised that about 7,000 Russian troops were stationed in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, two territories viewed by the international community as Georgian regions occupied by Russia.

"In Hodges' words, about 20,000 Russian troops are currently present in the Crimea peninsula occupied by Russia, and about 20 Ukrainian soldiers were last week killed during clashes with Moscow-supported separatists in Eastern Ukraine regardless of ceasefire agreements.

"This is a serious challenge; this is not an academic exercise and the only way we keep it from becoming a real crisis is if we stick together, the Alliance stick together and demonstrate that we are committed," the US general noted.

"He added that Lithuania had been precisely meeting the commitments assumed during the last NATO Summit in Wales by not only boosting defense spending but also by organising exercises and developing its Armed Forces.

"Ahead of the NATO Summit in Warsaw, the three Baltic States seek deployment of an international Allied battalion of about 1,000 soldiers in each of their territories. NATO's Military Committee has given a green light to stationing of the units in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Poland...."

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