Posted by: bklunk | June 7, 2007

On Second Thought

First things first. Once upon a time Sheryl Gay Stolberg
was my student. Okay, now that I’m finished bragging, Putin’s offer should keep the inter-agency process churning until a new president is elected.

Putin Presents Bush With Plan on Missile Shield – New York Times

After months of angrily rejecting a White House plan for missile defense in Europe, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia surprised President Bush on Thursday with an offer to build a joint system in the former Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan.

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  1. This article is definately an attention grabber. When I first read the blog, I was not convinced that either President Putin or Bush were sincere in their actions. When I read the whole article, however, I was convinced that this time, perhaps, something good could come of it. Both Russia and the United States would only benefit from a missile defense system in Azerbaijan, since it would protect both from the possibility of Iranian attack. It seems to be a shift to a more liberal way of thinking about the entire situation, in that the two countries seem much more likely to cooperate on this item that clash. I hope this time the situatino will play out to the mutual benefit of both Russia and the U.S.

  2. I feel like this is undoubtedly President Putin calling President Bush’s bluff. Russia has been openly against the missile defense system for a long time, because it unstabilizes the delicate balance that has been achieved by deterrents. This joint project will undoubtedly give Russia insight into how our systems work, allowing them to quickly catch up to our technology.

    If Bush truly believes that Russia isn’t a threat anymore then it would be a quick decision to push this through. Personally, I hope it does happen, it would be a good sign and a good technology.

  3. It is all political game, who is going to overtop other one and who is going to be hero in eyes of the world and their country. By this offer Putin came on the top because he improved his rating as good guy that declined after successful missile launching.
    It is left to us to see what is going to be next move of Bush administration.

  4. I think it is important to note that the two sides have not reached a solution yet. Putin’s proposal is just that: a proposal. However, this shows the beginning of cooperation and starting a dialogue between the United States and Russia. I think the author is correct when she says that this proposal, and the fact that Bush did not reject it right away, indicates “a desire on both sides to cool the hostile exchanges that in recent months had driven relations to a low point in the post-cold war era.”

    I think right now liberals are cheering that this is an example of how cooperation is in all states best interest and that the anarchic structure of the international system will lead states to cooperate and reach a consensus on issues that will mutually benefit everyone.

    However, there are still many issues at hand. Putin still opposes having a missile defense system in Poland. Furthermore, under Putin’s plan the United States and Russia would have share data and technology. This may not be in either of the states’ best interest considering that the United States and Russia are on opposite sides of the spectrum when it comes to the Kosovo issue and the Iran nuclear program issue. This will require a lot of trust from two states whose relations with one another have been heavily strained over the past year.

  5. It’s amazing how you can tell which nations are tired of not being able to run the show. Whenever they get a little aggravated at their lack of supremacy, they usually shoot off a missile or something to sort of say to the rest of the world “Hey look at us, see how powerful we are?” I was not surprised at how quickly Putin changed his mood on the supposed new arms race. It seems like Russia was just acting like a kid throwing a temper tantrum because he wasn’t invited out with older siblings. Once we invited Russia to be part of the party, Putin was more than happy to oblige and make a deal.

  6. I agree with Vladamir that this is like a political game. Who can make the other give up more? That is the question. But the fact that Russia is agreeing to compromise shows us how far they have fallen from the Soviet Union days and maybe the spread of liberal inspired negotiation. Hopefully both sides can find a way to get that win-win situation.

  7. I think Putin is more cunning than fussy. This may be a well-timed power play on his part, to get appeasement for building his own missile defense system in Azerbaijan. He has shown displeasure at Bush’s missile build-up in Eastern Europe, and even gave the world a minor scare by hinting at a second Cold War, but in the end, it is all just to give himself that extra foothold he needs to increase Russia’s hard power by another notch. I don’t think anything serious will come of this.

  8. Somehow I doubt that a new era of Russo-American cooperation is in the offing here. The US is highly unlikely to scrap its current plans to develop a system in Azerbaijan (handy as that would be for pushing Iran’s buttons). Even if it were a good idea and the President had the political capital to push it, there would still be considerable resistance from the Pentagon and elsewhere within the US government (not to mention the Eastern Europeans who have already put in with the US on the project). However, I think several of our commentators are correct that Russia has put the West on notice that it expects its interests to be given greater attention.

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