Is Russia our Friend or Enemy?

I don’t know. Do you? This is another thing on my list of stuff I just don’t understand. Maybe I should start a new Category on that. It would be a long one!

We all know the history but what about the present day. We became friends didn’t we? I consider there would be many people on both sides who will hold grudges. That could account for things I have read that make it seem like they might not be our friend.

Let us have a look at some things in the media:

Russia stands against the West when it comes to Syria. It has major interests there. If we did, wouldn’t we be doing the same thing? If you say no, you would be lying. Russia might also think it is just another Country on our list of governments we wish to topple for our own interest. Us? Why we would never…as we sink our heads into the sand even further.

Russia might still feel a bit angry over being duped into the agreement made with us about Libya. You know…the promise they would tread lightly and only use alimited humanitarian intervention, such as a no-fly zone and limited airstrikes against Gaddafi’s forces.We lied. Oops, our bad.

We see headlines like this: NORAD downplays Russian bomber interception and we think they suddenly woke up and decided to invade Canada. What a coincidence that happened just days beforethe House of Commons defence committee’s meetings on Wednesday to examine the government’s single-bid purchase of the new generation of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.”

We must protect ourselves from those nasty people!

It is the best plane our government could provide our Forces, and when you are a pilot staring down Russian long-range bombers, that’s an important fact to remember,” Soudas said. (All lines in quotes are from from the same article)

But wait…

Haven’t  we been having joint military operations with them? Like this:

A delegation from Russia’s Northern Fleet has arrived in Whitehorse, Canada for the Operation NANOOK exercise.

Operation NANOOK is the largest Canadian Armed Forces annual operation in Canada’s North. The objectives of the operation include asserting Canada’s sovereignty over its northernmost regions and enhancing the Canadian Armed Forces’ ability to operate in Arctic conditions.

Aren’t they supposed to be the bad guys when it comes to our Northern Sovereignty?

Arctic sovereignty an ‘important issue’: Harper

“Look, this isn’t the 15th century. You can’t go around the world and just plant flags and say ‘We’re claiming this territory,'” MacKay told CTV’s Question Period co-host Jane Taber.

You can’t just take things you want, even land? Does that apply to everyone? Hmm…didn’t think so.

Not that I want Russia to have it. I am Canadian. (Try as I might to always remember that we are one people on one planet and the best thing we could ever do is share our stuff and get along. Just like our parents tried to teach us) If it isn’t going to be shared amongst EVERYONE, then we’ll keep it. 🙂

What about this:

US, Russian joint military exercise in Far East, Alaska

“Their main task is practicing interaction between controlling bodies and plane crews during joint action to intercept, accompany and handover planes captured by mock terrorists, head of the press service of the Eastern Military District Alexander Gordeyev said. The maneuvers are being held on US territory, in Canada and Russia – in Khabarovsk, Anadyr and the Kamchatka Peninsula. The practical phase of the Vigilant Eagle exercises starts tomorrow.

The annual military exercises, codenamed “Vigilant Eagle”, have been held since 2009 every two years: one year they involve exercises in actual flight, and the next year, command and control exercises.”

or this:

Canada in ‘Cold War lite’ with Russia: experts

Former Canadian ambassador to Russia Christopher Westdal said the Harper government took office with deep “Russo-phobic” instincts, similar to American neo-conservatives in the Bush administration.

Maybe all it took was this to have a change of heart:

Canada, U.S., Russia Overcome ‘Suspicions’ in Arctic

“this exercise is very beneficial to North America and to Russia …. It is very important that we work together to develop procedures and bring the relationship between our countries closer together to unite our countries in the fight against terrorism.”

The US went to Russia to test “communication means that will link up the command posts in Khabarovsk, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Anchorage and Colorado Springs”

They seemed friendly enough to conduct a joint military exercise off  the Nicaraguan Coast.

“Nicaragua’s congress authorized Tuesday the entry of U.S. and Russian military units for anti-drug operations in the nation’s territorial waters”

If Russia was a threat would we be showing them our cards like this:

Russia Is Sending Troops To The US To Learn American Military Tactics

It’s worth noting the Russians will have access to U.S. military weapons training at the Army’s Fort Carson — “Home of America’s Best” — ahead of the scheduled May 24-31 drills. They’ll also be trained to understand and operate hardware used by U.S. forces in airborne missions including “parachuting, operation planning, reconnaissance, assault operations and evacuations by helicopter.”

We would never train the same people that would one day turn around and use force against us. Would we? Crap. We have done that on more than one occasion. Our bad…again.

Canada worked with Russia when we got key posts in a huge joint military exercise. “The six-week-long Rim of the Pacific, or RIMPAC, exercise has been taking place every two years since 1974. Twenty-two countries are now engaged around the Hawaiian Islands in all sorts of military simulations, from amphibious landings to diving operations and vessel boardings at sea, as well as some live-fire exercises.”

“More than 1,400 Canadian sailors, air personnel and soldiers are taking part in the exercise alongside forces from such countries as Russia, Australia and Japan. Canadian ships, a diving unit, several aircraft and an infantry company are participating.”

I can’t see North American military holding joint exercises with someone they consider a possible enemy. So, why all the Russia bashing?

Maybe it is true they are still The Go-To bad guys. They don’t mind being regarded as the villain. It’s not as if any of us would be pounding our chests and demanding to go to war with them any time soon.

If we really do have enemies out there somewhere, we certainly don’t want them to have a heads up on it. Yet, we would need to be prepared. We would need a well stocked military, good intelligence and a scared public to want these things. Could Russia just be another player in the game? The one where a crisis is created so the public demands what they wanted to do all along but knew we wouldn’t go for it unless we had 100% proof or had fear instilled in us.

They helped the US with their Logistical nightmare: Russia leads NATO out of Afghan trap.

“Moscow has opened the combined transport transit route to supply 130,000 allied troops in Afghanistan. In the face of the coalition forces’ withdrawal from Afghanistan, NATO would be severely dependent on the “northern route” to evacuate servicemen and countless war materials accumulated in the country since 2001.”

BUT…

Moscow looking for NATO cooperation, missile defense guarantees

They do want assurances that the “US global missile defense network is not aimed at Russian nuclear deterrence forces, which would certainly throw a wrench into the fragile strategic balance, while possibly provoking another arms race.”

“Prompted by what Moscow views as increasingly belligerent behavior by Washington in the domestic affairs of sovereign nations – most notably in Iraq, Libya, and to a lesser degree, in Syria – Russia expects the United States to be “strictly guided by international legal norms,” primarily the UN Charter and the principle of non-interference in domestic affairs of other states, when conducting itself in international affairs.”

I guess no legal guarantee has been put forth:

Arms Control and the Helsinki Summit: Issues and Obstacles in the Second Clinton Term

“This document would seek, to some extent, to compensate Russian concerns. However, it was specifically indicated that it would not be a formal treaty but rather a heads of government document constituting a political commitment.”

Perhaps the Missile  Defense Shield is a moot point now considering Russia can beat it anyway.

NATO Missile Defense Is No Threat to Russia

No wonder the public is confused. Are they just another player in the game? Maybe we are Frenemies?

Maybe the only time we are true rivals is when it comes to hockey?  😉

Which leads me to wonder who is planning to attack us. Or is anyone really going to come here and attack North America? Maybe it is not about someone coming to our soil for war. Maybe it is an attack on our interests elsewhere in the world. Do we really have interests around the world? I don’t. Do you? All I see is money going out and nothing coming in.

We are going broke. So where is the benefit? In the end, are we going to be rich, or less broke? I know I won’t be. I know our crumbling infrastructure will still continue to crumble, there will still be no jobs, people won’t get their houses back.

Who benefits?

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3 thoughts on “Is Russia our Friend or Enemy?

  1. Tanya February 23, 2014 at 1:39 am Reply

    This was a really good analysis of Russia’s wierd relationship with the US and Canada. 🙂

    • Pressing Refresh February 23, 2014 at 7:13 am Reply

      Thanks, Tanya. It is confusing. I’d much rather be Russia’s friend than foe! 🙂

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