Wednesday, July 21, 2004


No troops from Moscow

Last week it was reported by Stratfor1 that Russia was in negotiation with the U.S. to send up to 40,000 troops to Iraq. I wasn't surprised. As I noted in "Russian oil for Europe - US worries about environment," Putin has every reason to hope for Bush's re-election, and he knows that assistance in the form of troops could only improve his prospects.

But aside from the boost for Bush--never a pleasant thought--the real cause for pause is what Bush might bargain away in return.

The Prime Minister's office has issued a directive to the ministry to prepare a Russian "wish list" for Washington seeking some level of quid pro quo, including steps to return Russian oil companies to Iraq and approval of Russia's joining the World Trade Organization.

These are just the publicly disclosed items on any Russian wish list. You can be sure that there would be other items that neither Bush nor Putin would want known--matters relating to war crimes, for instance, and a freer hand for Russia in the former Soviet states. Forty thousand troops would require a very big "quid" for the "quo."

Then, as Sean-Paul comments,

The size of the contingent is significant as well, leaving room for the United States to act more pro-actively in the region...

The U.S. has been about as "pro-active" in the region as I'd like to see.

Today the Moscow Times runs an AP story denying the report.

The Foreign Ministry reaffirmed Tuesday that Moscow has no intention to send its troops to Iraq, shrugging off a report that claimed the Kremlin was considering a request from Washington to contribute forces.

Ministry spokesman Alexander Yakovenko insisted "there are no plans to send Russian servicemen to Iraq."

Let's hope it's true.


1 Stratfor bills itself as a sort of privatized CIA:

Unlike news organizations that offer only reactive information, Stratfor delivers actionable intelligence on geopolitical, economic and security affairs. Stratfor provides in-depth analysis of what is happening in the world today and forecasts the results of tomorrow's events.

Al Giordano did an excellent critique of them last November.

Stratfor is one of these snake-oil disinfo sales firms that traffics in "intelligence briefings" for people gullible enough to pay for them. Imagine that: you can get lied to for free all over this great land, but some people actually pay to be deceived!

It's worth reading. [back]

Post a Comment

<< Simply Appalling Home

Atom feed

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by
Blogarama - The Blog Directory

Blog Search Engine

Blog Top Sites

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?