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News ::
Crisis looming between US and Russia
22 Mar 2002
Bush is going to destroy things on a global scale, he must think the US will some how not only survive but profit by reconstruction initiatives. I a nutshell, he is a nut that should remian in a shell closely guarded!
This is a WorldNetDaily printer-friendly version of the article which follows.
To view this item online, visit http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=26920


Thursday, March 21, 2002



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STRATFOR GLOBAL INTELLIGENCE UPDATE
Crisis looming between
U.S., Russia
Moscow singled out as major supplier of weapons of mass destruction

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Posted: March 21, 2002
5:00 p.m. Eastern


Editor's note: In partnership with Stratfor, the global intelligence company, WorldNetDaily publishes daily updates on international affairs provided by the respected private research and analysis firm. Look for fresh updates each afternoon, Monday through Friday. In addition, WorldNetDaily invites you to consider STRATFOR membership, entitling you to a wealth of international intelligence reports usually available only to top executives, scholars, academic institutions and press agencies.



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2002 WorldNetDaily.com
CIA Director George Tenet recently singled out Russia as a massive contributor to the spread of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. Despite the cooperation Moscow has given to Washington's anti-terrorism campaign, the Bush administration is putting the Russian government on notice. A severe crisis between the two sides may now be forming.

While speaking to the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee March 19, Tenet singled out Russia as "the first choice of proliferant states seeking the most advanced technology and training" for weapons of mass destruction, Agence France-Presse reported.

Tenet added that Russian sales of technology and expertise applicable to chemical, biological and nuclear weapons were "a major source of funds for commercial and defense industries and military research and development."

Tenet's statement coming in the wake of a recent Pentagon report naming seven countries, including Russia, as potential nuclear targets was a bombshell. It places responsibility for the spread of Russian weapons of mass destruction squarely on the shoulders of the government in Moscow and sets the stage for a coming confrontation with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

STRATFOR has previously said that a new doctrine is emerging within the Bush administration that is based on the following logic: Al-Qaida is not dead and is dedicated to further attacks on the United States. It has demonstrated the desire to obtain chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, which represent a threat to millions of American citizens.

The United States must therefore both destroy al-Qaida and eliminate any stockpiles of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons that could find their way into the group's hands. The fact that most of these stockpiles belong to sovereign nations like Syria, Pakistan and Russia complicates the problem for Washington but does not change the Bush administration's policy.

If anything, ending the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, or WMD, actually takes priority over destroying the al-Qaida network. Terrorist networks can be badly hurt, but it is incredibly difficult to destroy them completely. WMD stockpiles, plus the accompanying facilities and skilled personnel, are finite and are harder to regenerate than a terrorist network.

Now the director of the CIA has named Russia as the key source of WMD proliferation. Tenet stopped just short of explicitly placing the blame on the Russian government, but at the same time, he also did not blame rogue elements in the Russian security services or mafia syndicates. This would have given Putin a certain amount of deniability and raised the potential for Russia to work with the United States like it did in the early 1990s on decommissioning weapons of mass destruction.

Instead, Tenet delivered a blunt message to Putin: The United States believes that WMD proliferation is official Russian policy. The government in Moscow must either immediately halt this policy or face the consequences.

Gone is any residual U.S. gratitude for Russian cooperation during the early phases of the war in Afghanistan. The Bush administration is maintaining that the threat posed to the United States is so great that any and all other considerations including diplomatic niceties must take a backseat.

This represents the beginning of a severe crisis between the United States and Russia. Putin must weigh his choices very carefully. If he accepts U.S. demands and subordinates Russian foreign policy to Washington again, he acknowledges that his country has effectively become subservient to the United States. This not only would be a bitter pill to swallow but also would feed nationalist political and military elements within Russia that currently challenge Putin's agenda. The president has managed these groups so far, but a gesture of appeasement on this scale would inflame the passions of even the most pro-Western Russians.

However, if Putin does not accept U.S. demands, he faces the distinct possibility of attacks on Russian weapons facilities and the potential elimination of his country's nuclear capability. Such an outcome could very easily spark a coup in Russia, which Putin would probably not survive. Even if he did manage to stay in power, Putin's plan to rebuild Russia through economic integration with Europe and closer short-term ties to the United States would be destroyed. And in the worst-case but still quite likely scenario, Russia would respond by launching a nuclear attack on the United States.

We are not yet at the point of crisis. The Bush administration went public in order to put more pressure on Putin, likely after getting few results from private consultations. Putin is in the process of feeling out American resolve. He knows that Washington has the means to carry out its threat; Putin is now trying to figure out if it has the will.



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