Executive Order for Behavioral Modification of Unsatisfactory American Citizens

Sec. 6. Reports. Not later than July 1, 2010, and annually thereafter until January 1, 2015, the Council shall submit to the President and the relevant committees of the Congress, a report that:

(a) describes the activities and efforts on prevention, health promotion, and public health and activities to develop the national strategy conducted by the Council during the period for which the report is prepared;

(b) describes the national progress in meeting specific prevention, health promotion, and public health goals defined in the national strategy and further describes corrective actions recommended by the Council and actions taken by relevant agencies and organizations to meet these goals;

(c) contains a list of national priorities on health promotion and disease prevention to address lifestyle behavior modification (including smoking cessation, proper nutrition, appropriate exercise, mental health, behavioral health, substance-use disorder, and domestic violence screenings) and the prevention measures for the five leading disease killers in the United States;

(d) contains specific science-based initiatives to achieve the measurable goals of the Healthy People 2020 program of the Department of Health and Human Services regarding nutrition, exercise, and smoking cessation, and targeting the five leading disease killers in the United States;

Executive Order– Establishing the National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health Council

EXECUTIVE ORDER

ESTABLISHING THE NATIONAL PREVENTION, HEALTH PROMOTION, AND PUBLIC HEALTH COUNCIL

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 4001 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Public Law 111-148), it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Establishment. There is established within the Department of Health and Human Services, the National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health Council (Council).

Sec. 2. Membership.

(a) The Surgeon General shall serve as the Chair of the Council, which shall be composed of:

(1) the Secretary of Agriculture;
(2) the Secretary of Labor;
(3) the Secretary of Health and Human Services;
(4) the Secretary of Transportation;
(5) the Secretary of Education;
(6) the Secretary of Homeland Security;
(7) the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency;
(8) the Chair of the Federal Trade Commission;
(9) the Director of National Drug Control Policy;
(10) the Assistant to the President and Director of the Domestic Policy Council;
(11) the Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Indian Affairs;
(12) the Chairman of the Corporation for National and Community Service; and
(13) the head of any other executive department or agency that the Chair may, from time to time, determine is appropriate.

(b) The Council shall meet at the call of the Chair.

Sec. 3. Purposes and Duties. The Council shall:

(a) provide coordination and leadership at the Federal level, and among all executive departments and agencies, with respect to prevention, wellness, and health promotion practices, the public health system, and integrative health care in the United States;

(b) develop, after obtaining input from relevant stakeholders, a national prevention, health promotion, public health, and integrative health-care strategy that incorporates the most effective and achievable means of improving the health status of Americans and reducing the incidence of preventable illness and disability in the United States, as further described in section 5 of this order;

(c) provide recommendations to the President and the Congress concerning the most pressing health issues confronting the United States and changes in Federal policy to achieve national wellness, health promotion, and public health goals, including the reduction of tobacco use, sedentary behavior, and poor nutrition;

(d) consider and propose evidence-based models, policies, and innovative approaches for the promotion of transformative models of prevention, integrative health, and public health on individual and community levels across the United States;

(e) establish processes for continual public input, including input from State, regional, and local leadership communities and other relevant stakeholders, including Indian tribes and tribal organizations;

(f) submit the reports required by section 6 of this order; and

(g) carry out such other activities as are determined appropriate by the President.

Sec. 4. Advisory Group.

(a) There is established within the Department of Health and Human Services an Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health (Advisory Group), which shall report to the Chair of the Council.

(b) The Advisory Group shall be composed of not more than 25 members or representatives from outside the Federal Government appointed by the President and shall include a diverse group of licensed health professionals, including integrative health practitioners who are representative of or have expertise in:

(1) worksite health promotion;
(2) community services, including community health centers;
(3) preventive medicine;
(4) health coaching;
(5) public health education;
(6) geriatrics; and
(7) rehabilitation medicine.

(c) The Advisory Group shall develop policy and program recommendations and advise the Council on lifestyle-based chronic disease prevention and management, integrative health care practices, and health promotion.

Sec. 5. National Prevention and Health Promotion Strategy. Not later than March 23, 2011, the Chair, in consultation with the Council, shall develop and make public a national prevention, health promotion, and public health strategy (national strategy), and shall review and revise it periodically. The national strategy shall:

(a) set specific goals and objectives for improving the health of the United States through federally supported prevention, health promotion, and public health programs, consistent with ongoing goal setting efforts conducted by specific agencies;

(b) establish specific and measurable actions and timelines to carry out the strategy, and determine accountability for meeting those timelines, within and across Federal departments and agencies; and

(c) make recommendations to improve Federal efforts relating to prevention, health promotion, public health, and integrative health-care practices to ensure that Federal efforts are consistent with available standards and evidence.

Sec. 6. Reports. Not later than July 1, 2010, and annually thereafter until January 1, 2015, the Council shall submit to the President and the relevant committees of the Congress, a report that:

(a) describes the activities and efforts on prevention, health promotion, and public health and activities to develop the national strategy conducted by the Council during the period for which the report is prepared;

(b) describes the national progress in meeting specific prevention, health promotion, and public health goals defined in the national strategy and further describes corrective actions recommended by the Council and actions taken by relevant agencies and organizations to meet these goals;

(c) contains a list of national priorities on health promotion and disease prevention to address lifestyle behavior modification (including smoking cessation, proper nutrition, appropriate exercise, mental health, behavioral health, substance-use disorder, and domestic violence screenings) and the prevention measures for the five leading disease killers in the United States;

(d) contains specific science-based initiatives to achieve the measurable goals of the Healthy People 2020 program of the Department of Health and Human Services regarding nutrition, exercise, and smoking cessation, and targeting the five leading disease killers in the United States;

(e) contains specific plans for consolidating Federal health programs and centers that exist to promote healthy behavior and reduce disease risk (including eliminating programs and offices determined to be ineffective in meeting the priority goals of the Healthy People 2020 program of the Department of Health and Human Services);

(f) contains specific plans to ensure that all Federal health-care programs are fully coordinated with science-based prevention recommendations by the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and

(g) contains specific plans to ensure that all prevention programs outside the Department of Health and Human Services are based on the science-based guidelines developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under subsection (d) of this section.

Sec. 7. Administration.

(a) The Department of Health and Human Services shall provide funding and administrative support for the Council and the Advisory Group to the extent permitted by law and within existing appropriations.

(b) All executive departments and agencies shall provide information and assistance to the Council as the Chair may request for purposes of carrying out the Council’s functions, to the extent permitted by law.

(c) Members of the Advisory Group shall serve without compensation, but shall be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, as authorized by law for persons serving intermittently in Government service (5 U.S.C. 5701-5707), consistent with the availability of funds.

Sec. 8. General Provisions.

(a) Insofar as the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C App.) may apply to the Advisory Group, any functions of the President under that Act, except that of reporting to the Congress, shall be performed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in accordance with the guidelines that have been issued by the Administrator of General Services.

(b) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(1) authority granted by law to an executive department, agency, or the head thereof; or
(2) functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

BARACK OBAMA

THE WHITE HOUSE,
June 10, 2010

America’s Fatal Rape of Iraq and the Futility of Withdrawal Plans

In Kurdistan, there is a war. In the Middle East came hotbed of large-scale conflict

A. Ivanovski

Iraqi Kurdistan is becoming a rapidly expanding military conflict, which has involved Turkey and Iran. Given the fact that the U.S. officially announced their intentions to support the Kurds in northern Iraq might break out a new big war.

July 10 meetings were held in Turkey, Kurds protesting against the invasion of Turkish troops on the territory of Kurdistan. In this way the Kurdish Party of Peace and Democracy (BJP) and HAKPAR (Party of Rights and Freedoms) reacted to the decision on cross-border operations in Iraqi Kurdistan, which was announced by the head of the General Staff of Turkey Ilekrom Bashbug and supported by the Minister of Interior Beşir Atalay.”Cross-border operation would cause instability in the region, both in terms of Kurdistan and the central government of Iraq. In the past there have been many cross-border operations, and it was obvious that they have failed”, – said Chairman Bayram HAKPAR Boyzel in an interview with the Kurdish news agency Ak-News.In turn, the BJP MP from Siirt Ozchelik warned the Turkish authorities about the possible consequences: “The attack on the Turkish Kurdistan will create chaos from which it can not get over many years.”

Recall that on 7 July the Turkish Minister of Interior Beshir Atalay said that the camp militants Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Iraq “should be destroyed, and Turkey is determined to do it.”

His statement followed a televised interview with Chief of General Staff Ilekra Bashbug, who said: “Turkey is very strong on this issue, and therefore it makes demands on Iraq, the U.S. administration in Northern Iraq. But the time for words is over and is now expected to advance the time of action.” Moreover, the general Bashbug openly laid claim to the Iraqi authorities, who, in his words, it is necessary to neutralize the militants in its territory, using its own forces. Other options include three-way (Turkey, USA, Iraq) enforcement operations to destroy the PKK forces, or major special operation only the Turkish army in northern Iraq, which will be coordinated with local and U.S. military.

It should be noted that such statements are heard after the fact, merely stating the already existing situation. Fighting in the border areas in the south-eastern Turkey are in a growing scale. Thus, on 7 July, three soldiers the Turkish Armed Forces were killed and three wounded in the province of Hakkari in a collision with Kurdish militants.

July 6, the Turkish province of Mardin exploded the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline. The attack was organized by the PKK militants.

July 3, Turkish Air Force launched a missile and bomb strikes on PKK camps in the Kandil mountains in Hakurk, in Iraqi Kurdistan. AirStrike was massive: it was attended by more than 50 combat aircraft. Previous large-scale special operation by the Turkish Air Force in the airspace of Iraq was held on May 20.

July 1, Turkish media quoted the Governor of Siirt area reported that the attack PKK guerrillas were killed by a lieutenant and three privates, and wounding two soldiers, including a senior officer.

Currently near the border with Iraq in the south-eastern regions of Turkey are concentrated major army units. Artillery almost without interruption causes massive strikes on militant camps in the border zone in neighboring countries.

At the same time in the past month the Turkish army had 52 armed clashes with the forces of the PKK, during which lost 126 people, while the PKK – 26.

On this July 4 told the press representative of the PKK, Ahmed Deniz.

However, the rapid unwinding of the war drum is on the western borders of Kurdistan is not the only “hot spot”. From the north Kurdish territory attacked the armed forces of Iran. Iranian forces have taken in the border areas full-scale fighting with the use of air power, artillery and tanks. And on July 2, Iranian Ambassador to Baghdad Hassan Kazemi Kumi said that the actions of Iranian troops approved by the authorities of Kurdistan and Iraq. “The purpose of the bombing – to eliminate the terrorists, and they are carried out through an agreement with Erbil and Baghdad,” – said Kumi. The Iranian diplomat made the statement that Kurdish extremists use Kurdistan as a staging area for attacks on Iran.

July 8 in Baghdad’s support for the position in the border conflict with Iran made U.S. command. “Some of the events and actions prove that there is Iranian interference in Iraq. It appears not only when forming a new government, but also in the obstruction of the U.S. strategic relationship with Iraq. Iran is funding and equipping terrorist groups to confuse the political situation and to destabilize the security in Iraq “- said the agency” Ak-News “, the representative of the U.S. military in Iraq, General Steven Lanza. To the accompaniment of a diplomatic balancing act sporadic fighting on the northern borders of Kurdistan are continuing. “The Iranian army began to lay mines in border areas” – such a statement made by the Kurdish authorities Mahmoud Barkan. According to him, the Iranians set mines near settlements Pir Kala – Kochik, Vary – Sidan and Murga – Sour. At the same time, Iranian warplanes constantly patrolling the skies of Kurdistan. A June 28 press-secretary of the Iranian-Kurdish Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK) Sherzad Kamangar, summarizing the June fighting, said: “In our clashes with the Iranian army during the last 20 days killed 38 Revolutionary Guards, but we also lost three our lyudey.Segodnya Iranian aircraft was flying over the border of Kurdistan, and our men fired his machine guns. ” Only added fuel to the fire authorities’ decision to Syria on July 5 major spetspoperatsiyu clearance Kurdish terrorist underground in the territory of this country. Syrian security forces carried out mass arrests of the Kurdish minority. In total 630 people were arrested. The authorities charge them of having links with Kurdish parties and extremist and separatist. According to the guidelines of the National Security of Syria, it was “a coordinated simultaneous operation” throughout the country.

Finally, Northern Iraq could become a field of large-scale civil war.

On the credibility of the threat indicates the increasing trend in recent incidents between Iraqi security forces and Kurdish militias (peshmarga). Thus, 6 July, Iraqi soldiers and units peshmarga exchanged blows and exchanged fire along the boundary line between the Kurdish minority and Arab majority in Iraq. This event became known as “the incident in Kara-Tappe. It is noteworthy that U.S. troops intervened in the conflict in the Kara-Tappe and restore calm. The case is very significant.

U.S. military officials fear that a protracted dispute between the Kurds and Iraqi Arabs over land, oil and power could lead to a much conflict in Iraq. Commenting on the incident in Kara-Tappe, commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, General Ray AUDIERNE officially announced that after the withdrawal of Americans from Iraq to the north, most likely, will need to enter the unit of UN peacekeepers. Otherwise, the high likelihood of serious armed conflict between Iraqi Kurds and Sunni Arabs. Located between the northern Iraqi Kurdish autonomy and living in the center of the country’s Sunni Arabs a number of disputed territories. The most important of them – the city of Kirkuk, in the area which are located the country’s largest oil fields. And Arabs, and Kurds consider Kirkuk oil as the main source of income of their territories after the probable disintegration of Iraq, so the two communities are going to defend their right to Kirkuk by force of arms. While they retain only the presence of the U.S. Army, and most analysts predict that the fighting would begin immediately after the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country. According to General AUDIERNE, the Iraqi government formed after the parliamentary elections in March 2010, is too unstable, and in case of tensions between Kurds and Arabs would not be able to cope.

Strangely enough, the statement of General AUDIERNE contrasted with the view of American political leadership.

Recall that the June 28, in a statement to the press after the opening ceremony of the emergency hospital in Irbil, the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Christopher Hill said that Washington would support the strategic, political, economic and cultural relations with Kurdistan. According to him, “the inhabitants of Kurdistan say they are lonely and have no support, but this is not true. They can be assured that we are their allies.” With regard to the bombing of the border areas of Kurdistan Iranian and Turkish Air Force, Hill said: ‘Their forces are engaged in the exploration for and carefully and accurately bombard the border areas. We are in constant communication with the government of Kurdistan on the subject, and are determined to support the Kurdistan regional government to protect and defend the borders. Of course, Hill assured that the Americans will not build military bases in Kurdistan after the withdrawal from Iraq. But the story involving the American military in the incident in Kara-Tappe said that Washington has little choice there.

It is obvious that a complete withdrawal of U.S. troops would cause an explosion. Russian expert Viktor Yurchenko of the Institute for Middle Eastern Studies assesses the situation in Iraq: “In June, tensions in the region of Iraqi Kurdistan, near the border with Turkey.’s Guide PKK on June 4 announced its withdrawal from the ceasefire agreement with Ankara, made in April 2009, in response to Turkey’s military began a series of major military operations, during which the Turkish military has repeatedly intervened in northern Iraq.

In the past month, the tense situation prevailed in the north-eastern parts of Iraqi Kurdistan, near the border with Iran. The armed forces of Iran have repeatedly invaded Iraqi territory. These actions of the Iranian side caused an outcry from the government of Iraqi Kurdish autonomy, demanding that Baghdad and the U.S. put pressure on Iran, force it to stop shelling border villages and Iranian troops withdraw from Iraqi territory.

At the same time there is a gradual revival of “the Mahdi Army – the armed militia of radical Shia leader Mahmoud Al-Sadr, which formally disbanded in 2008. In June, Shiite militias reappeared in the vicinity of Baghdad. “Creeping re-establishment of the Mahdi Army, local experts explain how the current political crisis, and with the forthcoming departure of American troops from the country, and then in Iraq, sharply escalated the struggle for power. Americans are seriously concerned about the restoration of military capabilities “the Mahdi Army.” Moreover, the U.S. may be involved in the conflict svomi Turkish Allies.

As is known, the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed during a meeting in Toronto with U.S. President Barack Obama on joint action against the PKK.

2 July, the Iraqi-Turkish border town of Silopi trilateral US-Turkish-Iraqi meeting of the military. “The parties agreed to conduct a more effective fight against the PKK militants and promptly provide the other intelligence about the movement of terrorists along the border,” – said in the statement of the American command in Iraq.

The inevitability of another major war, the starting point of which will weave a number of local conflicts on the territory of Kurdistan, due to the fact that Washington has no viable political solution to the problem. Thus, while in Iraq on an official visit, Vice-President Joe Biden made several proposals, one of which is associated with the expansion of presidential powers in Iraq. According to UN observers in Erbil, this option is essentially no-go and can only exacerbate the situation. Sen. John McCain, who heads the Congressional delegation in Iraq, openly stated at a press conference at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad: “We do not offer any proposals.” This is indicative assessment of developments in Iraq colleague McCain, Sen. Lindsey Graham: “The Iraqi people have suffered for their freedom.”

However, the growing chaos in northern Iraq – it was the same muddy water, where it’s best to fish.

At least, some Iraqi politicians believe that such a situation most favorable to Washington, a famous principle of “divide and conquer”.

As announced on July 7, the representative of the Iraqi National Alliance Camilla al-Moussawi: “There is an American intervention in Iraq and the situation encourages a direct intervention, allowing Washington to participate in the political process. Biden’s visit shows the active role of Americans in Iraq. The Americans are trying to protect its interests after the withdraw their troops from Iraq. ” But with the U.S. at risk of confusing in its own military and political combinations and completely lose control over the situation. For example, June 27, Washington, in response to the actions of Turkish troops in Kurdistan said lips State Department spokesman Philip Gordon, the current policy of Turkey is incompatible with membership in NATO. In particular, Gordon noted that “the Turkish government rejects U.S. allies away.” This inconsistency proves once again that the U.S. is painfully searching for a way out of a colossal geopolitical impasse in the Middle East and in the foreseeable future are unlikely to find it.

Especially for the Century
Artem Ivanovo
07/12/2010

Source – Stoletie.Ru

Russia has reasons to stay its hand

Russia has reasons to stay its hand

By Yong Kwon

As the dust settles over the Fergana Valley, Russian foreign policy analysts in Western Europe and the United States are wallowing in a state of bewilderment. Despite then-acting President Roza Otunbayeva’s call for Russian involvement during the ethnic riots in southern Kyrgyzstan, Moscow rejected any plans to deploy troops into the fray.

The Kremlin’s reluctance to increase Russia’s military presence in the former Soviet republic has thus been interpreted by several analysts as a sign of weakness. However, this rushed conclusion is based on flawed presumptions on Russia that should have been retired long before the end of the Cold War.

The Russian Federation is more than capable of defending its interests in the former Soviet space (or its “near abroad”), but it will not act beyond what is absolutely necessary to preserve its dominance. It is this strategic decision to lie quiet that many analysts have confused with frailty.

Even the Economist of London on June 24 declared that Russia’s “neo-imperial ambitions” had succumbed to the “rock of reality”, and that the largest country in the world (by area) was an “empty empire”. The Economist’s position reflects two questionable premises that many analysts have taken for granted about Russian foreign policy: first, that Russia actively seeks an imperial dominion over the former Soviet space withstanding its real interests; and second, that Russia extends its political influence solely through military coercion.

When Kyrgyz president Kurmanbek Bakiyev was ousted from power on April 15, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko questioned the raison d’etre of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) if it were unable to prevent “anti-constitutional coup d’etats” in member states. (The members are Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan.)

This criticism was undoubtedly directed at the Russian Federation which, as a key member of the CSTO, maintains a military presence at Kant air base not far from the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek.
However, it seems as though Lukashenko has forgotten the original purpose of the CSTO. The Tashkent Treaty that led to the foundation of the CSTO in October 2002 never obligated the signatory states to become involved in the internal affairs of other member states. In of itself, the CSTO simply ensures non-aggression among participating states through the prevention of aggressive military alliances outside the treaty.

Nonetheless, the opinion of Minsk captured the preconceptions of many analysts who expected Russia to act paternalistically during the ethnic riots in the Fergana Valley.

However, the non-intervention of the Russian Federation in the months-long political and ethnic crisis in Kyrgyzstan is an indicator that the Kremlin does not see the CSTO or the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) as a vehicle for re-dominating the region. (The CIS is a regional organization whose participating countries are former Soviet Republics, formed during the breakup of the Soviet Union. Its current members are Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine.)

During the Tajik civil war (1992-1997) the Boris Yeltsin administration experienced the heavy cost of intervention in an ethnically-charged domestic conflict and only managed to cease the violence when former foreign minister Yevgeny Primakov met with his Iranian counterpart to establish what eventually became the “General Agreement on the Establishment of Peace and National Accord in Tajikistan”.

For the crisis in Kyrgyzstan, there were no suitable countries to fill the role of Russia’s partner; the United States was unwilling to divest from Afghanistan and China was equally unwilling to engage anything beyond its western province of Xinjiang.

Furthermore, recognizing Uzbekistan’s discomfort over a Russian proposal to establish a CSTO Collective Rapid Reaction Force base in southern Kyrgyzstan last year, Russia is unlikely to spend political capital to serve the interests of a state that has been unreliable with its promises, especially regarding the American air base in Manas.

What may seem puzzling to outside observers is why President Dmitry Medvedev (or rather Prime Minister Vladimir Putin) did not utilize Russian assistance as a bargaining chip to ensure the eviction of the American air force from the Manas base. It was definitely an option when the ethnic clashes in Kyrgyzstan were at their peak.

While some interpret the extension of the American lease of the Manas Transit Center (air base) as a decisive failure on the part of the Kremlin, re-monopolizing its military presence in Central Asia may not have been a crucial priority for the Russian Federation.

The continuation of operations in Afghanistan is in some part dependent on Manas as it remains one of the most crucial entry points for coalition troops going to Afghanistan. Considering the cordial relationship between the Taliban and Chechen separatists (along with other radical militant groups in the Caucasus), Russia still has much to gain from the continued American militarypresence in Afghanistan.

Russia also has additional reasons why it is not too concerned about its political influence in the Central Asian republics. Russia’s geographic position makes it a vital transit territory for republics that are dependent on the export of natural resources. While exercising monopsony in some Central Asian natural gas and oil markets, Russia is also the dominant provider of electricity and remains the most crucial financier for hydroelectricity development in the region.

Recognizing Kyrgyzstan’s heavy dependence on hydroelectricity and Russian investment, Bakiyev attempted to attract investment from other countries. However, despite inroads by energy hungry China, Russian electricity companies like Transneft will undoubtedly play a major role in the economy of Kyrgyzstan for years to come. [1]

Otunbayeva’s new government, regardless of its intentions, will find itself heavily dependent on the export of hydroelectricity to Russia and thus having to work with Moscow extensively to secure economic stability in the aftermath of the civil disorder. Russia is well entrenched as the dominant regional power, whether or not it chooses to maintain a military presence in Kyrgyzstan or to help Bishkek re-establish domestic order. It does not need to act like an imperial power to retain that privileged position in the region.

This is certainly not to suggest that Russia does not retain a notable military force. Despite the annually diminishing number of healthy conscripts in the army, the Russian armed forces still maintain their edge on the frontiers of missile technology.

Particularly worrying to the American navy is the “Sizzler” variant of the Klub missile (3M-54E). In March this year the Pentagon officially admitted to having no adequate defense plan against this new Russian anti-ship and anti-submarine missile, admittedly a difficult feat against a weapon that can curve around islands and accelerate from the speed of sound to three times that speed while fragmenting into several deadly projectiles. Dan McNamara, a program manager for the US Navy, estimated that the US may produce something capable of countering the “Sizzler” only by 2014.

Other worries for the American fleet include high-speed “cavitating” torpedoes that travel two to three times faster than regular torpedoes, which makes them difficult to detect. The most widely distributed “cavitating” torpedo is the Shkval type produced by the Russian navy.

This challenge to the US’s supremacy of the seas holds serious ramifications. What happened to the South Korean frigateCheonan, allegedly sunk in March by North Korea, is an example of how modern warships are still extremely vulnerable to torpedo attacks. In times of rapid arms development, the Russian Federation has gained significant political leverage by being capable of supplying and transforming disgruntled technology-poor nations into sizeable naval powers.

Furthermore, having successfully flown its first prototype fifth-generation jet fighter, the Sukhoi T-50, in January this year, the Russian air force, in conjunction with the Indian military, may soon be producing warplanes that rival the F-22 Raptor. The Russian military maintains an incredible array of firepower that makes it an indispensable political and military player in every region along its vast borders.

Accepting the premise that Russia is an imperial power whose only foreign policy tool is its military would naturally result in the notion that Russia must have become significantly weak not to have taken advantage of Kyrgyzstan’s plight.

However, to get a more accurate sense of Russia’s position, one must shed these preconceptions in the face of Russia’s neo-realist approach to Central Asia and its diverse socio-economic means of securing its interests abroad. Russia is a realist world power administered by rational foreign policy makers in the Kremlin; this is a basic “rock of reality”.

Note
1. Sabonis-Helf, Theresa, Power and Influence: Russian Energy Behavior in Central Asia Competition and Change Volume 11, Number 2 (June 2007): 199-219,

Yong Kwon is a Washington-based analyst of international affairs.