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Former Russian Foreign Minister on Ukraine: ‘If You’re Not Ready to Do Something, Don’t Say You Are’

Hagel urges NATO partners to “reinvigorate the unrivaled joint planning, exercises, and capabilities" that are the "lifeblood" of the alliance.

Rodrigo Sermeño


May 4, 2014 - 11:45 pm
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WASHINGTON – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Friday that NATO should reassess its relationship with Russia in light of its recent actions and called for a renewed commitment to the alliance, while a former Russian foreign minister warned the West about leaning on “empty threats.”

Hagel, who called the crisis in Ukraine “a clarifying moment for the transatlantic alliance,” said Russia’s incursion into Ukraine “shatters the myth” that the end of the Cold War had brought permanent peace to Europe.

Hagel evoked the alliance’s origins after World War II as a bulwark against communist aggression in Europe.

“Russia’s recent action in Ukraine has reminded NATO of its founding purpose,” Hagel said at a forum on NATO expansion at the Wilson Center. “NATO members must demonstrate that they are as committed to this alliance as its founding members were who built it 65 years ago.”

He said NATO must balance a renewed emphasis on territorial defense with its unique “expeditionary capabilities” because threats to the alliance “neither start or stop at Europe’s doorstep.”

“While we must continue to build a more peaceful and prosperous global order, there is no postmodern refuge immune to the threat of military force,” Hagel said. “And we cannot take for granted – even in Europe – that peace is underwritten by the credible deterrent of military power.”

He urged NATO partners to “reinvigorate the unrivaled joint planning, exercises, and capabilities that are [the alliance’s] lifeblood.”

He noted that the European economy is overall larger than that of the U.S., but U.S. spending is three times the total among NATO partners.

“Going forward, the Department of Defense will not only seek, but increasingly rely on closer integration and collaboration with allies – and in ways that will influence U.S. strategic planning and future investments,” Hagel said.

He said that many of NATO’s smaller members have pledged to increase their defense investment, but without similar actions from the larger members, NATO’s “integrity, cohesion, and capability” could suffer.

“The alliance cannot afford for Europe’s larger economies and most militarily capable allies not to do the same, particularly as transatlantic economies grow stronger,” Hagel said. “We must see renewed financial commitments from all NATO members.”

Last week, Secretary of State John Kerry urged NATO allies not meeting the 2 percent benchmark to boost their payments to the alliance in the next five years.

Both the U.S. and Europe are facing tighter budgets and facing other fiscal challenges, making politicians reluctant to spend money on defense. Hagel said that NATO’s military leaders could play an important role in convincing policymakers about the consequences of reduced defense spending.

“Having participated in the NATO defense ministerial [summits] over the last year-and-a-half and having met with all of my NATO counterparts, I’ve come away recognizing that the challenge is building support…for defense investment across our governments, not just in our defense ministries,” he said.

Hagel called for the inclusion of finance ministers or senior budget officials at future NATO ministerial summits focused on defense investment.

“This would allow them to receive detailed briefings from alliance military leaders on the challenges we face,” he said.

While Ukraine is not a NATO partner, Russia’s recent actions have prompted the U.S. and NATO to move troops into Eastern Europe, including 600 troops moving into Poland and the Baltic states in late April for exercises.

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Those who want to know the truth about massacre in Odessa read here Ukrainian nationalists showed they are worthy offsprings of their parents and grandparents who were the most enthusiastic collaborators of German executors which found support in this country as well. Their numbers are irrelevant as their incomparable savagery intimidates and shocks their unarmed opponents. How can peaceful citizens resist armed to teeth brutes. Those who know history understand that evil wins when goodness is weak. The only hope is on Russians, only they will be able to wipe out this Nazi scum as they did it 70 years ago virtually by themselves. Please Putin hit these cannibals really hard.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Found on the Web ...

"Negotiating with Obama is like playing chess with a pigeon….
the pigeon knocks over all the pieces, shits on the board and
then struts around like it won the game."

~Vladimir Putin
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, you *can* use google, but you aren't very good at it, are you? Plus, you're cherry picking.

Let's jump to the chase. I share references and resources and you do the burden of proof fallacy thingy, then when I share additional info, you'll claim that it doesn't matter and go all sophist and ad hominem.

Somewhere along in there, I get to share a lot of info with people are more open minded while you look like a simpleton. (Left or right, people like you do all of that and think yer smart.)

So, Lima Bean, here's the end game...
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
“a clarifying moment for the transatlantic alliance” *cough*...*cough*....
Well maybe, but not in the way these war-mongering poltroons mean.

IMO there's danger in descending into inside-baseball-like chatter. The fog of war and propaganda ruins all efforts. So stay with the big picture.

Today's Europeans are largely an unhealthy mix of waffle, cowardice and denial, driven to conformity by a propaganda-driven media that is overwhelmingly arrogant, ignorant and virulently anti-American. Does Hagel ever talk to anyone except flunkies and fellow travelers?

Danish 'airforce' over the Baltic...600 troops moved to Poland... a handful of British jets circling over the sea and Scandinavia... Heavens, what's next, mild sarcasm and Kerry expressing disappointment after another bad hair day? Solidarity in the spirit of May Day, brothers! Meanwhile Krauts and Frogs do what they do best, namely nothing except whine and line up to ink contracts with our 'adversaries'; EU 'leadership' in Brussels has gone to ground or the beach: and the Russians play a weak hand like champs because they know how to fill a vacuum. Gimmestrength!

What's in it for us? Nada.
But Hagel wants a military solution so here it is:
New tech and shifting centers of power mean we now have no useful need for Ramstein, Mildenhall, plug-ins with GCHQ, Fylingdales and a bunch of other boondoggles and boyfriends, fat-living NATO and EU REMFs above all. So pull the plug, fast, get out of Europe right now; shred NATO in a very Gallic fashion (Kerry's poses, chin and coiffure may finally have a use); and leave it all to Angela and odious Olli and to the (now curiously silent) brace of emasculated pinko stooges in Brussels, Mssrs. Barroso and Van Rumphole.

Then laugh your package loose as 'the European project' collapses under the weight of its own contradictions. We have better allies and greater interests elsewhere, so let euroweenies strut their stuff and show the world what they're made of.

IMO, we do have a moral obligation to protect and aid Jews in Ukraine, but that's about it. (And -- it is necessary to say so on this site -- I'm not Jewish). There may also be an obligation to a few Ukranians misled by the Obama regime. As for the rest, ain't none of our bidness. Eff 'em all, the long and the short and the tall....
We have plenty of work to do at home.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
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