After a Russian Air Force chief made a comment that both Cuba and Venezuela might be used to base Russian strategic bombers, the Kremlin quickly raced into damage control mode to make it clear that that Air Force leader was only talking about a hypothetical situation. With attempts by both the Obama Administration as well as the Kremlin to repair relations that became seriously strained during the Bush years, the Russian Air Force leader's comment were not at all helpful.
Realistically, ever since the Cuban Missile Crisis, the U.S. and the old Soviet Union worked out a delinked resolution to the crisis which involved Khrushchev backing down and not placing Soviet missiles in Cuba, and the U.S. removed some missiles placed in Turkey aimed near the Soviet border. President John Kennedy appointed his brother, Robert Kennedy, who was serving as the Attorney General, rather than the Secretary Of State, to negotiate the delinked agreement for both nations to agree never to threaten the border security of the other's nation by placing nuclear offensive weapons near the border of the other nation. This gentleman's agreement has existed ever since this 1962 crisis. However, during the Bush Administration this long standing agreement was challenged by a proposal to place a early warning radar system in the Czech Republic and the placement of 10 Missile Interceptors in Poland. And while these are defensive rather than offensive weapons, it still seriously challenged the long standing agreement with Russia not to place weapons near the border of the other.
The Obama Administration absolutely cannot allow the Russian military to place strategic bombers near the U.S. border in Cuba. That's a serious threat to American security that is absolutely unacceptable that presents too serious of a threat to the American population to be allowed. If the Obama Administration has to rescind the Bush Administration's proposal to place a limited number of defensive weapons in the Czech Republic and in Poland, then that might be a very small price to pay to keep the old agreement about border security in force.
The U.S. and Russia can never start a series of events that would allow weapons to be placed near the border of the other, Such a slippery slope would be an open invitation towards actual war because such moves would be viewed as way to provocative and not in the interests of international cooperation and world peace. The U.s. and Russia need to work cooperatively on containing nuclear proliferation, not undermine it with a new arms race. And further, it would not be in the financial interests of Russia to become too cooperative with this bankrupt nation as this poor country would seek to bleed Russia for billions of dollars in assistance, aid or loans.
Now is the time for both the U.S. and Russia to really make good on renewing relations. Both countries need to recommit themselves to never placing either offensive, or even defensive weapons near the border of the other. Both Russia and the U.S. are very nervous about their border security, and any moves by the other to undermine that border security could only have potentially dangerous consequences.
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!