The United States should work hard to develop a strong alliance
with Russia. I believe such an alliance would be in the best interest
of both nations.
During the Cold War, Russia then known as the Soviet Union
was our enemy. But today, with radical Islam on the march, we should
remember that Russia's roots are in Western civilization. We should
nourish those roots and cooperate closely with Russia in the war on
Russia has suffered large numbers of injuries and deaths as a
result of terrorist actions, primarily by Chechnian Muslims who have
been responsible for major terrorist acts in Moscow and the town of
Beslan. The latter involved the killing of over 325 hostages half
were children and hundreds more were wounded. Many of those deaths
appear to have been the result of incompetence on the part of Russian
forces seeking to free the hostages. Nevertheless, it was the taking of
those children hostages by the Chechnian terrorists that caused their
Friendship with Russia is also important to the West because
Russia has huge reserves of oil and natural gas. Russia is capable of
supplying Europe's energy needs on a scale comparable to Saudi Arabia.
Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, however, Russian self-esteem has
suffered in many ways. Under President Vladimir Putin, Russia is no
longer seen as a world super power equivalent to the U.S. Some
countries, which used to be part of the Soviet Union, have joined NATO,
greatly reducing Russia's sphere of influence. Some of those former
Soviet nations now have NATO weaponry in place.
Based on statements that President Putin made on February 10,
Russia clearly feels threatened by the U.S. You don't have to be a
psychiatrist to recognize the fear, alarm and rising anger in Putin's
belief that Russia is being encircled and disrespected.
According to The New York Times:
"President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia accused the United States
on Saturday of provoking a new nuclear arms race by developing ballistic
missile defenses, undermining international institutions and making the
Middle East more unstable through its clumsy handling of the Iraq war.
"In an address to an international security conference, Mr.
Putin dropped all diplomatic gloss to recite a long list of complaints
about American domination of global affairs, including many of the
themes that have strained relations between the Kremlin and the United
States during his seven-year administration."
Russia's fears are based on what the West, including the U.S.,
tried to do in 1917: stifle the Russian revolution at birth. Despite
its military power, the Soviet Union had a weak economy, which
eventually resulted in its collapse. The Berlin Wall was torn down and
the Soviet Union could no longer compete militarily and economically
with the U. S.
Those same issues are causing Russia concern today.
Putin sums it up with The Times reporting:
"'Primarily the United States has overstepped its national
borders, and in every area,' said Mr. Putin who increasingly has tried
to re-establish Russia's once broad Soviet-era influence, using Russia's
natural resources as leverage and defending nations at odds with the
United States, including Iran.
"American military actions, which he termed unilateral and
illegitimate, also 'have not been able to resolve any matters at all,'
and, he said have created only more instability and danger.
"'They bring us to the abyss of one conflict after another," he
said. 'Political solutions are becoming impossible.'"
I supported and continue to support President Bush's ending the
ABM treaty so as to allow the U.S. to build an effective anti-missile
shield in the skies over the U.S. and its allies. I said at the time of
Bush's courageous act in ending the prohibition against defenses to
ballistic missiles that the system should be offered to Russia as well.
The reasoning behind the decision to build such a system was a need to
protect against nuclear missiles aimed at the U.S. by rogue nations like
North Korea and now Iran. And also to guard against terrorists using
the bomb and technology secured from rogue scientists like Dr. Khan who
had been in charge of Pakistan's nuclear program. He successfully
developed the bomb and was selling the so-called Muslim bomb to others.
Prior to all of this, the Soviet Union and its successor Russia
as well as the U.S. relied on the concept of MAD (Mutual Assured
Destruction) which would deter both the U.S. and Russia from attacking
one another knowing the other would respond and both nations would be
destroyed. Russia fears the U.S. would use nuclear ballistic weapons
believing it could ward off a Russian response with its new
anti-ballistic missile capability. That fear is legitimate and must be
removed which can be done by providing Russia with our technology. Even
better would be joining forces to build a joint system as we have joined
forces to explore space, currently building the new space platform
According to The Times, Putin "expressed alarm that an effective
antimissile shield over the Untied States would upset a system of mutual
fear that kept the nuclear peace throughout the cold war. 'That means
the balance will be upset, completely upset,' he said."
Russia is a great nation. Its people admire and respect the
people of the U.S., and I believe that admiration and respect is
reciprocated. In World War II, we joined forces with the USSR to defeat
the common enemy, Nazi Germany. With hindsight we know that we could
not have won that war without the Soviet forces, primarily Russians
fighting shoulder to shoulder with us. They suffered 10 million
military deaths, in addition to millions of other casualties in that war
which they called the Great Patriotic War.
Russian citizens know the feeling of defeat which they suffered
in Afghanistan. They know the pain of terrorism in their homeland. We
have so much in common. We should not allow the current rift to
We know that when we needed our NATO allies to stand with us in
Iraq, most shirked or totally failed in their obligation to stand with
us as we had stood with them in World War I, World War II, and the cold
war which had threatened their very existence as independent countries.
Today even our closest ally Great Britain is leaving our side. In all
candor, it hasn't played a totally committed role with us. We had
140,000 troops before the pending surge in Iraq, and the British have
8,000. The French have none, and the Spaniards have withdrawn their
meager forces. Our Arab regional allies have no troops on the ground.
Do they remember that we protected Saudi Arabia from Iraqi invasion and
freed Kuwait from Iraqi occupation?
My belief is that if a true, sincere, and total economic and
military alliance were fashioned with Russia, we would be assured of
victory over Islamic terrorism. A Pax America and Russia, guaranteeing
peace throughout the world, while not easy to do, is nevertheless