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Old 09-03-2014, 08:37 AM   #601
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Fair enough, but I'm still skeptical about the Ukraine to NATO claims. I just don't see how that would benefit anyone, other than perhaps Ukraine itself.
These are quotes regarding the importance of Ukraine from Obama's special advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski's book written in 1997.

“Ukraine, a new and important space on the Eurasian chessboard, is a geopolitical pivot because its very existence as an independent country helps to transform Russia. Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire.”

“However, if Moscow regains control over Ukraine, with its 52 million people and major resources as well as access to the Black Sea, Russia automatically again regains the wherewithal to become a powerful imperial state, spanning Europe and Asia.”

US policy should be “unapologetic” in perpetuating “America’s own dominant position for at least a generation and preferably longer still.”
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Old 09-03-2014, 09:48 AM   #602
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Originally Posted by red butler View Post
These are quotes regarding the importance of Ukraine from Obama's special advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski's book written in 1997.

“Ukraine, a new and important space on the Eurasian chessboard, is a geopolitical pivot because its very existence as an independent country helps to transform Russia. Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire.”

“However, if Moscow regains control over Ukraine, with its 52 million people and major resources as well as access to the Black Sea, Russia automatically again regains the wherewithal to become a powerful imperial state, spanning Europe and Asia.”

US policy should be “unapologetic” in perpetuating “America’s own dominant position for at least a generation and preferably longer still.”
I'm not quite sure what you're getting at; however, I will concede, as I have done at times elsewhere, that NATO really didn't help itself by adding all of those Eastern European assets, particularly the Baltic states. These assets really add nothing other than providing a larger buffer between Russia (which is not coincidentally how Russia views Ukraine regarding the West). I can understand, therefore, why Russia would be alarmed by the situation in Ukraine, should it pivot completely to the West. As far as I'm concerned, Ukraine to NATO would be a catastrophic mistake in West/Russia relations. It serves no valuable purpose for the West and only alienates Russia further.

I don't believe it will materialize despite some of the current rhetoric; however, Ukraine's potential status as a NATO member (whether a good idea or not) will also largely hinge upon Russia's handling of the current crisis. If Vlad decides to set up shop in the east, just like in Crimea, then I suppose anything is possible.
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Old 09-03-2014, 10:02 AM   #603
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I'm not quite sure what you're getting at
I guess I'm just pointing out the importance of Ukraine to the west as a tool to diminish Russia's influence. The book I referenced was written in 1997. We violated promises to Russia by allowing other former Soviet states to join NATO, but Ukraine has always been the prize.

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however, I will concede, as I have done at times elsewhere, that NATO really didn't help itself by adding all of those Eastern European assets, particularly the Baltic states. These assets really add nothing other than providing a larger buffer between Russia (which is not coincidentally how Russia views Ukraine regarding the West). I can understand, therefore, why Russia would be alarmed by the situation in Ukraine, should it pivot completely to the West. As far as I'm concerned, Ukraine to NATO would be a catastrophic mistake in West/Russia relations. It serves no valuable purpose for the West and only alienates Russia further.
I agree completely. But I will add that with our current economic weakness, I think our foreign policy gurus see the threat of a Russian resurgence as a threat that needs to be mitigated.

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Old 09-03-2014, 10:04 AM   #604
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I guess I'm just pointing out the importance of Ukraine to the west as a tool to diminish Russia's influence. The book I referenced was written in 1997. We violated promises to Russia by allowing other former Soviet states to join NATO, but Ukraine has always been the prize.

I agree completely.
I've seen articles that say no such promises were ever made.
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Old 09-03-2014, 10:41 AM   #605
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I've seen articles that say no such promises were ever made.
Interesting, I haven't heard that. Do you happen to have a link? I did a quick search and the best article I found to support that claim said we gave the impression NATO would not expand and James Baker actually said "not one inch", but we never agreed to it in writing.
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Old 09-03-2014, 11:06 AM   #606
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Old 09-03-2014, 11:15 AM   #607
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Interesting, I haven't heard that. Do you happen to have a link? I did a quick search and the best article I found to support that claim said we gave the impression NATO would not expand and James Baker actually said "not one inch", but we never agreed to it in writing.
For me, that is key. Whether or not it was a "gentleman's agreement" of sorts, it was never written; therefore, invalid on an international stage.

What was written and, therefore, valid on an international stage, was the Budapest Memorandum, which Russia has repeatedly violated throughout this crisis.
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Old 09-03-2014, 11:57 AM   #608
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Interesting, I haven't heard that. Do you happen to have a link? I did a quick search and the best article I found to support that claim said we gave the impression NATO would not expand and James Baker actually said "not one inch", but we never agreed to it in writing.
NATO EXPANSION: WAS THERE A PROMISE? | JackMatlock.com

NATO's Eastward Expansion: Did the West Break Its Promise to Moscow? - SPIEGEL ONLINE

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However, Gorbachev's former foreign minister, Eduard Shevardnadze, speaking in the Georgian capital Tbilisi, says that there were no such assurances from the West. Even the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, the Eastern military alliance, "was beyond our imagination," he says.
and

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The Soviets insisted that everything be documented in writing, even when all that was at issue was the fate of Soviet military cemeteries in East Germany. However, the numerous agreements and treaties of the day contained not a single word about NATO expansion in Eastern Europe.

For this reason, the West argues, Moscow has no cause for complaint today. After all, the West did not sign anything regarding NATO expansion to the east. But is that tough stance fair?
Also I'm sure you will disregard this completely this is straight from the source;

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Russian claims that NATO promised not to enlarge

Russian officials claim that US and German officials promised in 1990 that NATO would not expand into Eastern and Central Europe, build military infrastructure near Russia’s borders or permanently deploy troops there.

No such pledge was made, and no evidence to back up Russia’s claims has ever been produced. Should such a promise have been made by NATO as such, it would have to have been as a formal, written decision by all NATO Allies. Furthermore, the consideration of enlarging NATO came years after German reunification. This issue was not yet on the agenda when Russia claims these promises were made.

Allegations about NATO pledging not to build infrastructure close to Russia are equally inaccurate. In the Founding Act, NATO reiterated “in the current and foreseeable security environment, the Alliance will carry out its collective defence and other missions by ensuring the necessary interoperability, integration, and capability for reinforcement rather than by additional permanent stationing of substantial combat forces. Accordingly, it will have to rely on adequate infrastructure commensurate with the above tasks. In this context, reinforcement may take place, when necessary, in the event of defence against a threat of aggression and missions in support of peace consistent with the United Nations Charter and the OSCE governing principles, as well as for exercises consistent with the adapted CFE Treaty, the provisions of the Vienna Document 1994 and mutually agreed transparency measures.”
http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/topics_109141.htm

So it seems, if there was ever such an agreement, it was never formally adopted on paper and as such would not be enforceable IMO. Like some of the article have stated, Russia has not produced a single proof of evidence of even a gentleman's agreement not to expand.
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Old 09-03-2014, 12:09 PM   #609
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So it seems, if there was ever such an agreement, it was never formally adopted on paper and as such would not be enforceable IMO. Like some of the article have stated, Russia has not produced a single proof of evidence of even a gentleman's agreement not to expand.
I don't know why you left out this quote from the Spiegel article.
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What the US secretary of state said on Feb. 9, 1990 in the magnificent St. Catherine's Hall at the Kremlin is beyond dispute. There would be, in Baker's words, "no extension of NATO's jurisdiction for forces of NATO one inch to the east,"
I guess they should have made us shake hands on it. But I see your point. If the Russians wanted all agreements in writing, they should have gotten NATO expansion in writing.

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Old 09-03-2014, 08:35 PM   #610
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Fair enough, but I'm still skeptical about the Ukraine to NATO claims. I just don't see how that would benefit anyone, other than perhaps Ukraine itself.
Nato Summit 2014: Hints at Future Ukraine Membership
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Old 09-03-2014, 08:39 PM   #611
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Originally Posted by volprof View Post
I'm not quite sure what you're getting at; however, I will concede, as I have done at times elsewhere, that NATO really didn't help itself by adding all of those Eastern European assets, particularly the Baltic states. These assets really add nothing other than providing a larger buffer between Russia (which is not coincidentally how Russia views Ukraine regarding the West). I can understand, therefore, why Russia would be alarmed by the situation in Ukraine, should it pivot completely to the West. As far as I'm concerned, Ukraine to NATO would be a catastrophic mistake in West/Russia relations. It serves no valuable purpose for the West and only alienates Russia further.

I don't believe it will materialize despite some of the current rhetoric; however, Ukraine's potential status as a NATO member (whether a good idea or not) will also largely hinge upon Russia's handling of the current crisis. If Vlad decides to set up shop in the east, just like in Crimea, then I suppose anything is possible.
I've been stating for months that the Color Revolutions and the pivoting West of Georgia, Poland and Ukraine would be seen as acts of aggression against Russia.
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Old 03-07-2017, 10:35 PM   #612
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And this is why I'll refrain from judgment until more is known.
Just curious, but 2 and a half years later and with all that has happened since, what is your gut feeling right now?
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Old 03-07-2017, 11:14 PM   #613
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Just curious, but 2 and a half years later and with all that has happened since, what is your gut feeling right now?
Bermuda triangle
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Old 03-07-2017, 11:25 PM   #614
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Bermuda triangle
Wrong Malaysian plane... this one was shot down, not disappeared.
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Old 03-07-2017, 11:29 PM   #615
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Alien abduction IMO.
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