Monday, January 14, 2008

"We are moving into an era of a thousand pin-prick tests of our resolve and global position"

Steve Clemons cautions us that while our attention is on the roiled Middle East, the "Bubbling Balkan Crisis is Back."

Russia is resisting Kosovo’s desire to become independent by vetoing U.N. recognition and giving moral support to the Serbs. If independence is not granted, it’s likely the Kosovo Albanians will revolt.

Clemons observes that there are “…[A]nti-Putin, anti-Russian hardliners in Washington who want yet more reasons to ignite global conflict and tension -- which reinforces the high-fear politics they have become vested in.

“But beyond some folks in DC demonizing Putin and a resurgent Russia, there is little evidence that Russia is a priority today on Washington's foreign policy roster of concerns. As one former senior G.W. Bush administration official said at a Nixon Center gathering, ‘I can see no evidence that this administration has a strategy towards Russia of any kind.’

“And thus I would suggest … that Russia thinks it can push its agenda now with little fear of blowback because it senses no serious strategic plan of the United States towards it.

"This is one of the reasons I believe that the next President of the United States is going to get the crap kicked out of him or her -- far worse than when Khrushchev famously manhandled John F. Kennedy in their early encounters.

“Our allies as well as our real and potential foes just don't know what our genuine priorities are, and what the reality of American power is and isn't. There is a sense that America is less and less able to secure the objectives it sets for itself internationally.

“We are moving into an era of a thousand pin-prick tests of our resolve and global position.”

(photo of the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin: The Washington Note)


Dan Gurney, Mr. Kindergarten said...

Hi Gail,

Slightly off topic, here, but in your profile I see that you're interested in bicycling.

Here's my favorite blog on that subject, admittedly with a little political spin.

Scroll through his blog till you find a post called "The Story of Stuff." It's a 20 minute web movie worth more than 20 minutes of your time. I guarantee it will make you think.



Dan Gurney, Mr. Kindergarten said...

I forgot to give you his link!