One administration official told The Daily Beast that the White House’s National Security Council is leading an interagency process to examine all of the possible retaliatory steps Moscow might take if U.S. and European sanctions move forward. The potential counterstrikes include what this official called “asymmetric” actions by Moscow -- Russian actions against the U.S. that have nothing to do with Ukraine.
The NSC is preparing for potential Russian actions on all issues in its multi-faceted relationship with the United Stated: Moscow’s cooperation on the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles; Russian pressure on Iran to strike a deal over its nuclear program; and much, much more.
Then there’s Afghanistan. The U.S. military has, for years, used this so-called “Northern Distribution Network” through Russia to supply its troops. They’d like to use the same path to get equipment out, especially with continued volatility in Pakistan.
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From Ukraine's acting Prime Minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk,
"A country which willingly gave up its nuclear arsenal...?and received guarantees from the world's leading countries, finds itself unprotected, one-on-one with a country which is armed to its teeth," he said.
"If you do not uphold these guarantees… then explain how you will convince Iran and North Korea to give up their nuclear status."
It's a good question.
Russia Is Preparing to Invade East Ukraine, Estonia Says
Russia says intercepted US drone over Crimea:
Moscow (AFP) - A United States surveillance drone has been intercepted above the Ukranian region of Crimea, a Russian state arms and technology group said Friday.
The drone fell "almost intact into the hands of self-defence forces"
"Judging by its identification number, UAV MQ-5B belonged to the 66th American Reconnaissance Brigade, based in Bavaria," Rostec said on its website, which also carried a picture of what it said was the captured drone.
The internet has no shortage of photographs and videos showing armed men in Crimea who look like members of the Russian military. Their guns are the same as those used by the Russian army, their lorries have Russian number plates and they speak in Russian accents.
Yet according to President Vladimir Putin, they are in fact members of "self-defence groups" organised by the locals who bought all their uniforms and hardware in a shop.
Their involvement in Crimea is a "tragicomic masquerade", says Russian liberal newspaper Novaya Gazeta, which argues that "the little green men will turn into Russian troops very soon".
Even outlets previously supportive of ousted President Viktor Yanukovych - such as Segodnya, a tabloid owned by Ukraine's richest man Rinat Akhmetov, - are now calling the military presence in Crimea "an armed intervention".
One comment in case Grant is still reading.
In six months Scotland will vote on whether it should secede from England. If so, it would secede and be it's own country. It is doing that approval from England.
In Crimea armed gunmen from another country came in. The vote is rushed. The area would not be an independent country, it would be incorporated into Russia. Occupy. Annex. Totally different from Scotland.
Apples and oranges. Claiming "secession" is happening in Crimea doesn't jive with the facts of Crimea.
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Hey, are you saying I'm not conservative? I'm conservative. Not as conservative as you, or a Tea Partier. I'm a good moderate conservative, that's what I am. (Or maybe, a conservative moderate??)
I was called a War Hawk for these posts, I'll have you know, beating big military drums.
Always great when 2 sides of an issue think you're on the other side. (Not sure how it happens, but....)
Drudge: An aggressive cyber weapon called Snake has infected dozens of Ukrainian computer networks including government systems in one of the most sophisticated attacks of recent years.
The origins of Ouroboros remain unclear, but its programmers appear to have developed it in a GMT+4 timezone – which encompasses Moscow – according to clues left in the code, parts of which also contain fragments of Russian text. It is believed to be an upgrade of the Agent.BTZ attack that penetrated US military systems in 2008.
So is this crap?? Not something I'd quote, at least.
Sorry, I'm more a BBC News person or International New York Times (formerly International Herald Tribune)
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Never read it. I'll look at.
notSocialist--hey, I didn't think you was reading these.
Well, I know one group who feels that way: The United Nations Office at Geneva. It hosts the offices for a number of programmes and funds such as the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, the International Labour Organization, the International Trade Centre, United Nations Compensation Commission, WHO, United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, etc etc.
We just don't hear about them here in the US.
Two weeks ago, Sergey Aksyonov was a small-time Crimean politician, the leader of a tiny pro-Russia political party. He didn't go into politics until 2009 when he united three pro-Russian organizations into the Russian Unity party. Russian Unity's rallies were notable for their paltry turnouts, and it took just 4 percent of the votes in the 2010 elections.
He was a little-known businessman with a murky past and a nickname — "Goblin" — left over from the days when criminal gangs flourished here after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Three weeks ago, he told The Associated Press in an interview that the party "has never wanted Crimea to separate from Ukraine."
Today, Aksyonov is the prime minister of Crimea's regional parliament and the public face of Russia's seizure of the Black Sea peninsula. He is, by all appearances, a man placed in power by Moscow
He also leads a brand-new army, 30 men carrying AK-47s who are still learning to march in
Also not good:
Dozens of military trucks transporting heavily armed soldiers arrived at a military airfield at Gvardeiskoe north of Simferopol on Saturday, AP news agency reported.
Licence plates and numbers indicated they were from the Moscow region, the report said, and some towed mobile kitchens and what appeared to be mobile medical equipment.
Warning shots have been fired as a team of international military observers was turned back from entering Crimea.
The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) said that no-one was hurt in the incident at Armyansk.
It was the third time the OSCE has been prevented from entering Crimea, now in the control of pro-Russian forces.
Russian separatist authorities in Crimea say it does not have permission to enter the region.
Russian news agencies carried a statement from a defence ministry official saying that Moscow was considering halting foreign inspections of its strategic weapons arsenal - designated under international arms control treaties - as a result of US and Nato responses to the Ukraine crisis.
Rereading what I wrote, I'd like to amend something.
I know this isn't a minor issue to you. I didn't mean to make it less than it is. (Just like bug didn't like being called a commie)
But it was a minor point in what I was saying, and wasn't aimed at you (and I tried to word it so it wouldn't be).
But it obviously is something that has bothered you when people did imply/mean it in the past. I don't mean to make light of that. It's wrong and hurtful.
Grant, my first sentence in reply to you: Wasn't directed at you. Repeat: Wasn't directed at you.
I don't know if you use anything or not. I don't believe you've ever said. I could not care less one way or the other. I think plenty of people can be in favor of changing drug laws and not use anything.
Yes, I joked earlier when we were on different sides of something, about going back behind Bob Evans to smoke and work it out. But it was a joke. If it implied you smoked, it implied I smoke. I don't. I'll assume you don't. Because it's not my business and I don't care.
But I believe it's the person without anything more to contribute to the discussion who majors on the minor issues (especially when it is only an issue in your own mind)
However, I am sorry that you have been attacked and labeled by others. It hasn't been and won't be me.
So...you're still labeling me a drug user, you just didn't mean ******? Got it. Had enough of this BS.
And I said "do dope". I don't think anyone says "do marijuana". I tried to make my point without getting personal. Believe it or not. I try to stay on point and not lash out at those who feel differently on a subject. There was no need to take it personally or to react in a personal way. I can't even apologize to you, because there wasn't anything there to apologize for.
Please don't just grab onto one line that you think might say something more than what it says. That's not the way to debate the issue.
For crying out loud. K u m B a Y a and h e r o i n.
Wasn't directed at you. Just believers in an easy world utopia, Mises, specifically. I don't believe you espouse all his thinking.
I could have said maybe if we all sat around a campfire and sang****Ba Ya, but was afraid of running out of room.
Urban Dictionary: dope = ******. As in: I smoke the green but I don't do dope (AKA ******)
So now you're going to sit behind a pseudonym and label me a drug user in a public form too?
Most of you are lower than the bacterial waste that is feeding off the garbage, I can't even call you garbage. Pathetic, tiny people.
The decision to invade Crimea, the officials and analysts said, was made not by the national security council but in secret among a smaller and shrinking circle of Mr. Putin’s closest and most trusted aides. The group excluded senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the comparatively liberal advisers who might have foreseen the economic impact and potential consequences of American and European sanctions.
Mr. Putin’s decisions since the crisis began reflect instincts, political skills and emotions that have characterized his 14 years as Russia’s leader, including a penchant for secrecy, loyalty and respect, for him and for Russia. They also suggest a deepening frustration with other world leaders that has left him impervious to threats of sanctions or international isolation
The decision to order in Russian forces appears to have occurred late Tuesday or early Wednesday among a smaller circle of Mr. Putin’s advisers, including...All are veterans of the KBG.
Interesting international news: MOSCOW — The day after he returned from the Winter Olympics, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia gathered the 12 members of his national security council for a crisis meeting to manage a political implosion in Ukraine that, by all accounts, had surprised Russia’s political and military elite and, above all, infuriated Mr. Putin himself.
One prominent member of the council, Valentina I. Matviyenko, chairwoman of the upper house of Parliament, emerged from the meeting declaring that it was impossible that Russia would invade Crimea
When Mr. Putin made his first public remarks on the crisis on Tuesday, he said that Russia would not support Crimea’s efforts to secede.
To repeat: When Mr. Putin made his first public remarks on the crisis on Tuesday, he said that Russia would not support Crimea’s efforts to secede.
I guess it's no big deal...
The White House brushed off concerns Friday that, with the crisis in Crimea intensifying, now might not be the best time for President Obama -- and his vice president -- to go on vacation.
The travel schedules of both the president and Vice President Biden have come under scrutiny, given the rapidly changing situation in Ukraine. Obama, already in Florida to talk about education, was planning to spend some family time this weekend in Key Largo, Fla., where he arrived late in the day. Biden, meanwhile, will be in the Virgin Islands.
It all seems a little like ancient history now, but last year Vladimir Putin was at the center of a very different geopolitical tug-of-war. The Russian president was facing the possibility of American military action in Syria, and, to voice his opposition to it, he decided to write a New York Times op-ed.
The Russian president explained how "decisions affecting war and peace should happen only by consensus," and that an American-led strike against the Syrian regime "could throw the entire system of international law and order out of balance."
"We need to use the United Nations Security Council and believe that preserving law and order in today’s complex and turbulent world is one of the few ways to keep international relations from sliding into chaos," Putin wrote. "The law is still the law, and we must follow it whether we like it or not."
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