Friday, March 13, 2015

Cold War Tactics by the Behemoth Russian Giant, Under Putin's Reign Through Expanding Military Locations

""Russia’s expanding military presence, from Vietnam to Latin America, is reviving Cold War-style tensions with the U.S..
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki confirmed Thursday that the U.S. is pressing Vietnam to bar Russian military aircraft from refueling at the former American base at Cam Ranh Bay, while a U.S. commander raised concerns about Russia’s military activities in the Western Hemisphere.
As Russian President Vladimir Putin accuses the U.S. of meddling in his backyard by backing the government of Ukraine against pro-Russian separatists, the U.S. is protesting Russia’s far-flung displays of military strength.
Russia’s use of an airfield at Cam Ranh Bay, a U.S. base during the Vietnam War and then a Soviet naval base until 2002, is drawing a complaint from the Obama administration.
We have seen a clear return to Cold War tactics
“We have urged Vietnamese officials to ensure that Russia is not able to use its access to Cam Ranh Bay to conduct activities that could raise tensions in the region,” Psaki said.
At a Senate committee hearing, Marine Corps General John Kelly, head of U.S. Southern Command, said Russia is stepping up its efforts to gain influence in the Americas.
Periodically since 2008, Russia has pursued an increased presence in Latin America through propaganda, military arms and equipment sales, counterdrug agreements and trade, he said in a statement submitted as he testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Russia’s Western Hemisphere activities don’t pose “an immediate threat” but “underscore the importance of remaining engaged with our partners” in the Americas, Kelly said.“Under President Putin, however, we have seen a clear return to Cold War tactics,” according to Kelly.
Russia is courting Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua “to gain access to air bases and ports for resupply of Russian naval assets and strategic bombers operating in the Western Hemisphere,” Kelly said.
Starting last year, a Russian intelligence ship has docked in Havana “multiple times conducting operations in the Gulf of Mexico and along the East Coast of the United States,” he said.
President Barack Obama has moved the U.S. toward normalizing relations with Cuba, over objections from some lawmakers who say the island nation’s Communist regime can’t be trusted.
In Europe, already on edge due to Putin’s backing of the Ukrainian rebels, Russia’s military forces are engaged in “dangerous brinkmanship” with the armed forces of NATO, the European Leadership Network, a London-based research group, said in a report Thursday.""

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