International House of Dan: Moscow You Say?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Moscow You Say?

Please read last night's post first.

Upon re-reading my assessment of the Israel-Lebanon situation I feel the need to elaborate on my fears of Russian involvement in the matter.

Why would Russia do this? Economic gain comes to mind, they are after all principals in the spread of nuclear technology to Iran and North Korea, giving them a financial stake in those programs continuing undisturbed. Additionally, since the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia is perceived to have lost clout in world affairs, eclipsed by a rising China which would increasingly be pulled closer to Moscow. Nuclear proliferation among Russia's allys would certainly help re-establish it as the world power it once was. The converse is true as well, though: if Russia is able to broker disarmament deals where the U.S. has been unable to, then their prestige would increase at the expense of ours.

Putin would certainly increase Russia's chances of entering the W.T.O. as the American sphere of influence shrinks, by aligning himself with European leaders in criticizing Israel's response, he alienates the U.S. further because Bush has been unwilling to do so.

U.S.-Russia relations are extremely bipolar, especially with regard to terrorism. Both Bush and Putin have resorted to arguably disproportionate offensives to fight perceived terrorist threats (real or not), and while the U.S. has been warmer to Chechen separatists that Russia would like, Russia clearly has more ties with Hezbollah and Hamas than the U.S. would like. While they agree on tactics, they disagree on groups.

I certainly have not paid enough attention to this issue to make an informed guess about Moscow's intentions or role, if any, but as I wrote earlier, "I wouldn't be surprised...."


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