December 29, 2009

Obama is an awesome negotiator. No, really.

Does everyone remember Obama telling Poland to go fuck itself by cancelling the missile defense shield on the 70th anniversary of Russia's invasion of Poland during the second World War?  I know, it's such a silly thing to talk about, right?  Big O has said that we're going to be awesome and loved, and told all his dictator friends that's he's super-sorry that Dubya was so doggone mean, so why do we need a missile defense shield?  Besides, we scrubbed it to keep those extra-nice Russians happy, because we've never, ever had any problems at all with the Russians. 

Plus, when we scrapped the missile defense system, Teh Won said we were going to put one in the ocean and it was going to be the perfect compromise.  The evil, war-mongering Americans get their defense system, and the Russians get to win in a diplomatic fight. 

So, how's that working out for us?

Prime minister Vladimir Putin said today that Russia would build weapons to offset planned US missile defences and urged Washington to share detailed data about its missile shield under a new arms control deal.

Putin's remarks, posted on the cabinet's website, set a defiant tone and signalled new difficulties in talks between the two nations on a successor to the 1991 strategic arms reduction treaty that expired on 5 December.

Moscow and Washington had hoped to strike a deal before the end of the year.

Putin said that the arms control talks were proceeding in a positive way and added that Russia's president, Dmitry Medvedev, and Barack Obama would eventually decide whether to strike an arms deal.

Putin warned that a missile defence system would give the US an edge and could erode the deterrent value of Russia's nuclear forces. "The problem is that our American partners are developing missile defences, and we are not," Putin said.

"But the issues of missile defence and offensive weapons are closely interconnected ... There could be a danger that having created an umbrella against offensive strike systems, our partners may come to feel completely safe. After the balance is broken, they will do whatever they want and grow more aggressive."

Obama removed a significant irritant in relations earlier this year by scrapping the previous administration's plans to place interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar in the Czech Republic – deployments Russia treated as a threat.

The Kremlin has praised Obama for the decision, but Russian officials have also said they want to know more about the sea- and land-based systems the US plans to put in place instead.

Putin said that Russia had no intention of building its own missile shield. However, he added that it would have to develop new offensive weapons to offset a future US missile defence.

"In order to preserve a balance, while we aren't planning to build a missile defence of our own, as it's very expensive and its efficiency is not quite clear yet, we have to develop offensive strike systems," he said. Putin added that the US had to share information about its missile defence plans if it wanted Russia to provide data on its new weapons.

"They should give us all the information about the missile defence, and we will be ready then to provide some information about offensive weapons," he said.


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