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LATEST NEWS from KREMLIN: Kiev’s ‘punitive op’ in E. Ukraine irreparably severs Geneva accord – Kremlin

No surprise here if you followed my diaries about decisionmaking by NATO instead of in the European capitals. The U.S. – Russia relations have deterioted in a rapid pace. In March, before today’s announcement:

Vershbow: NATO prefers strategic partnership not new Cold War with Russia

NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow  has given an interview to Interfax correspondent Ksenia Baigarova in which he speaks about the Ukrainian crisis, its consequences for NATO-Russia relations, differences of the Kosovo and Crimean situations, and a possibility of a new Cold War.

NATO’s second-in-command says Russia is now an enemy, not a partner

(RT/AP) May 1, 2014 – The 61-year-old former United States ambassador to Russia reportedly told journalists this week that Moscow’s role in the ongoing crisis in Ukraine has forced NATO to reconsider the alliance’s opinion on Russia, and that additional troops may soon be mobilized to the region as tensions worsen.

AP journalist Robert Burns wrote on Thursday that Vershbow said the Kremlin’s perceived part in the recent events in Ukraine “marks a turning point in decades of effort by NATO to draw Moscow closer.”

NATO’s second-in-command reportedly told journalists that the alliance is now considering new measures meant to counter any future acts of aggression on the part of Russia aimed at partner nations, and soon could deploy a larger number of combat forces to Eastern Europe.

Journalists reporting for Civil.Ge wrote on Thursday that Vershbow told the audience at a panel discussion in Washington, DC one day earlier that NATO should deploy “defensive assets to the region.”

“We need to step up our support for defense reforms and military modernization of Russia’s neighbors, and not just of Ukraine, but also Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan,” Vershbow said, according to the Civil Georgia site.

NATO should think about “upgrading” joint exercises among partner nations, the site quoted Vershbow as saying during the event, while acknowledging that deploying forces to Georgia would be a “controversial” maneuver.

“It is also important for the United States to show leadership… to make sure that next steps that NATO will make, for example at the summit in September, will be adequate response to what’s happening in Ukraine,” the Georgian Defense Minister Irakli Alasania said during the discussion.

“The West should now seize the opportunity and create the reality on the ground by accepting membership of aspirant countries, by putting purely defensive assets in aspirant countries and predominantly in Georgia,” Alasania added. “What is important now is to put some deterrent capabilities on the ground like air defense and anti-armor capabilities that will give us a chance to defend our freedom, because we know that if things go wrong at this point no one is coming to save us; we’ve seen that in 2008.”

Earlier this week, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said the buildup of NATO troops near Russia’s border was “unprecedented”. Weeks earlier, the US Air Force commander in charge of NATO’s military presence in Europe said that US troops may soon be deployed to the region as tensions continue to worsen near the border between Ukraine and Russia.

Awards: During his U.S. government career, Ambassador Vershbow received numerous awards including the Department of Defense’s Distinguished Civilian Service Medal (2012);  … the State Department’s Distinguished Service Award for his work as Ambassador to NATO (2001); the Department of Defense’s Joseph J. Kruzel Award for his contributions to peace in the former Yugoslavia (1997). One award stands out: Anatoly Sharansky Freedom Award of the Union of Councils of Soviet Jews for his work in advancing the cause of Jewish emigration from the USSR (1990). Alexander Vershbow was born in Boston, Massachusetts. His wife, Lisa, is a prominent contemporary jewelry designer and metalsmith.

Continued below the fold …

Bush has selected Alexander Vershbow as ambassador to Russia

(CBS News) – In August 1998, Vershbow put forward a proposal for a joint U.S.-Russian peace plan for Kosovo that the two nations would have brought to the United Nations Security Council for approval. The Clinton Administration ignored Vershbow’s plan. Instead, they let administration hardliners take charge. Eleven weeks, billions of dollars, and thousands of lives later, NATO and Yugoslavia were coming to terms on a peace accord that could have been concluded without a NATO bombing campaign.

Ambassador Alexander Vershbow stands for the stability of Russia and the development of a Russia that is a cooperative and constructive member of the community of nations. “We are allies today because we share common values and a common vision for the future, rooted in democracy, human rights, and political pluralism,” he said. “We share certain values, which underpin not only our security alliances, but also our foreign policy as a whole and the friendship between our peoples. These values are democracy, human rights, free markets and the rule of law.”

NATO And Russia: Redefining Relations For The 21st Century
Ambassador Alexander Vershbow, U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation

US Defence Department Vershbow – Embarrassing Wikileaks Revelations Concerning U.S.-Israel Relations – 2009

(Tikun Olam) Nov. 29, 2010 – Here are some fascinating memos.  This one dated October 31, 2008, in particular is a bit of a jaw-dropper.  Usually, diplomats maintain a strict separation between their professional work and spying.  The CIA does the latter and diplomats concentrate on foreign policy matters.  Apparently, no longer.  A memo from the Rice-era State Department, which euphemistically notes that its contents call for assisting in compiling “biographical information” on Palestinians, calls for U.S. personnel to report credit card, frequent flier account numbers, and work schedule to their superiors in Washington …

A November 16, 2009 memo concerning a high level meeting between U.S. diplomats and senior Israeli military-intelligence confirms that the IDF repeats the same nonsense in such private sessions as it does publicly:

The U.S. projects a pragmatic interest in combatting Hamas through a public diplomacy campaign, to which the Israelis say: why waste your time?  Israel clearly argues for continued Palestinian fragmentation and divisiveness as a policy goal, a losing long-term proposition if ever there was one.

In this exchange on the Goldstone Report, the Israeli MOD’s director general sells the Yanks a bill of goods.  Not sure how making 300,000 calls to Palestinians warning them to get out of Dodge constitutes an “extraordinary step to mitigate civilian casualties,” when inhabitants had either already abandoned their homes or could not do so due to the fact that the IDF shot virtually anything that moved on the streets:

    In bringing up the Goldstone Report, DG Buchris emphasized that the Government of Israel took extraordinary steps to mitigate civilian casualties, despite HAMAS's deliberate use of civilians as human shields.  He stated that the IDF made over 300,000 phone calls to alert civilians before bombing legitimate military targets.  He also compared
    Israeli operations in Gaza to U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and stated that Israel would do whatever was necessary to protect its population.  In response, [Assistant U.S. Defense Secretary] ASD Vershbow recalled U.S. support for Israel in handling of the Goldstone report, and offered to share U.S. experience in investigating incidents in Iraq and Afghanistan as the GOI considered whether to conduct an additional investigation.

I’m not clear whether Vershbow’s “offer” in the last sentence is one to help Israel avoid serious investigation of Cast Lead abuses (since U.S. investigations of our own abuses in Iraq and Afghanistan have failed miserably); or whether this constitutes what he believes is a serious offer to help Israel do the right thing.  If the latter, it’s a woefully naïve offer.

My two diaries in March just about summarizes new US policy vs Russia. State Department lies, propaganda and
willful deceit of the global community. I won’t stand for it …

Making An Enemy – Demonizing Putin Endangers America’s Security
US ‘Diplomacy’ Dead-Ended In UN Security Council

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