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To avoid getting bogged down in technicalities, the big picture is that the US wanted to provoke armed conflict with the Russians in Europe.
by vladimir on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 05:05:01 AM EST
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I don't know about that, but it certainly sounds like Clarke thought nothing of getting NATO troop into an aggressive standoff with Russian troops. He probably expected the Russians to back off but it was the Europeans under his command that had no stomach for that kind of thing.

As has been pointed out around here, the Russian perception of relationships with The West™ changed dramatically after the Kosovo campaign. During the 1990's they seem to actually have believed the US and its allies were genuinely interested in partnership. In addition, Bush started off being very friendly to Putin but after a couple of years Putin realised Bush wasn't to be trusted.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 05:37:45 AM EST
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Maybe you are right, although I'm very sceptical of systematically pointing to individual "blunders" (Zimmerman, Christopher for Bosnia, Albright for Kosovo, Clark for the Airport incident, Ambassador Glaspie for in Iraq-Kuwait, etc.) instead of calling a dog a dog.
by vladimir on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 05:48:11 AM EST
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In addition, Bush started off being very friendly to Putin but after a couple of years Putin realised Bush wasn't to be trusted.

yup, it's hard when you're looking into someone's soul to stop them looking right back at yours...

 putin has been restrained in his responses considering how bushco's behaviour has been one long windup.

he's right not to take bush at face value, apart from being much smarter, he is better placed to take advantage of current and coming events than bush, who has already won his place in notoriety as the most recalcitrant ignoramus ever to steal a country's vote.

...and then reduce everything he touches to gold, for his friends...

....to dust for everyone else

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 08:36:41 PM EST
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If the US wanted to do that, you'd think they'd have sent some of their own ground forces into Kosovo, so that they'd be sure Clark's orders would be followed. They didn't because of domestic issues, problems with Congress turf battles and personal conflicts in the Pentagon and the Clinton administration.

Reality is just never that simple.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 06:05:54 AM EST
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Are you suggesting that the US military is run by a group of gung-ho generals over whom there is little or no civilian governance?
by vladimir on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 02:24:09 AM EST
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