Bear in the backyard

More news on the Resurgent Bear: lost amidst the financial/campaigning chaos of last week was the item that Russia is laying the groundwork to help Cuba build its own space center. This is a deft move by Putin; in a stroke he simultaneously continues to put more pressure on the Americans while giving Russia a potential alternative to Central Asia’s Baikonur, which is too far north to be ideal for space launch purposes. We can start to see in all this glimpses of the world of the MIRRORED HEAVENS, in which considerations of launch real-estate drive geopolitics.

But only glimpses.  From a space hardware perspective, Russia would be advised not to place too many eggs into the Cuban basket; Baikonur may be less-than-perfect, but it’s still a damn sight easier to defend credibly than something within ten minutes of Miami.  Though proximity offers opportunities too, as witnessed by Moscow’s mulling over the explosive possibility of putting nuclear bombers into Cuba too.  And the larger pattern is clear, as Russia continues to make inroads on the U.S.’s privileged position in the western hemisphere.  I talked about Iceland yesterday; the Cuban move is linked to the already-in-progress Venezuelan one.

And all of it links right back to Europe, of course.  At the end of the day, Russia isn’t interested in playing puppetmaster in the U.S. backyard because it’s trying to invade New York or any of the other RED DAWN bullshit that the mainstream media seems to buy into.  These are just more cards to play as the U.S. continues to build missile defense facilities in Eastern Europe while supporting no-hopers like Saakashvili in the Caucasus and urging NATO membership for every nation in #$# Eurasia.  Ultimately this is a game of realpolitik, and it’s about time we stopped with the endless moralizing/attempt to define the entire planet as our sphere of influence (something only nations with unlimited treasuries can indulge in) and started conducting our international relations like professionals do.  Because right now the pros are running rings around us.

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4 Responses to “Bear in the backyard”

  1. narciso Says:

    That maybe what they’re going for, David, but are you sure that Putin/
    Manilov/Shamanov will not face a major reaction if they try to put a missile
    installation there. That and a confrontation on the roof of the world; is a likely
    future hot spot.

  2. David Williams Says:

    I would entirely agree that they will face some kind of reaction. Strategically/technologically the picture has changed since 1962, though, given that Russian subs off the eastern seaboard could deep-fry D.C. in under five minutes. But symbolically the Russians would be really pushing their luck. Then again, there’s always Caracas. . . .

    And yeah, you’re right: roof/hub of the world is getting interesting these days.

  3. narciso Says:

    Who should we back Dave, Putin, who’s rebuilding the Syrian arsenals and building up the Bushehr reactor; for that moment when we see a flash out of the Zagros mountains, Georgia has a unique ethnic identity that even Peter the Great,
    recognized more than three centuries ago. same for Azerbaijan. Aliev jr, sponsors a Salafi free regime, without the collateral damage that Volodya the Czar has propounded in the Greater Caucasus. The US and Russia had cordial relations back in the day, before the latter turned into a hermetical police state, and won the prize for pogroms before 1939. You’re not really a student of the revisionists who saw that we provoked the Cold War are you.

  4. David Williams Says:

    Narciso- Cold War is a tough one. In retrospect, probably inevitable, given Stalin’s paranoia, and that Russia was going to insist on Eastern Europe as a buffer zone as a hedge against German resurgence. There was no way we were going to acquiese in that, and I think Roosevelt would have eventually run out of maneuvering room. Then again, we definitely heated things up with Hiroshima, which was a fairly non-subtle warning against Russia. (read Alperovitz’s Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb for more, or Atomic Diplomacy; there’s no question we linked the A-bomb to negotiations at Potsdam, which is one reason why that conference achieved zippo.)

    With regards to Georgia, I just think a Russian containment strategy is going to be a lot more successful/more economical if we give them some buffer room and try to cut a deal. In fact, we’re going to have to, given that we’ve run out of money.