Dmitry Rogozin: Russian Nationalist? Or Secret Advocate for American Taxpayers?

Posted December 18th, 2011 at 7:40 pm (UTC+0)
4 comments

Dmitry Rogozin: Russian Nationalist or Closet Friend of The American Taxpayer? Russia's ambassador to NATO floats idea of blocking Afghan military supply route through Russia to Afghanistan. Photo: A. Savin.

Is Dmitry Rogozin a secret agent of a clandestine Tea Party/Occupy Wall Street alliance, infiltrated into the halls of NATO?

Mr. Rogozin is Russia’s Ambassador to NATO. By day, he is known as a vocal, articulate advocate of Russian national interests. But, by night, is he a secret advocate of the interests of American taxpayers?

At a Tea Party debate on Nov. 17, Republican presidential candidates faced the question: “The US spends about $2 billion a week in Afghanistan; can American afford it?” Candidate after candidate agreed with Rick Perry, the governor of Texas, who said: “Bring our young men and women home.”
Coincidentally, three days later, I was on vacation in New York City. I found the same “bring the troops home” sentiment among signs at the Occupy Wall Street gathering in lower Manhattan.
In the middle, a number of polls indicate that about two-thirds of Americans want a rapid drawdown from Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, the United States completed it war mission in Iraq on Sunday. The media calculated the nine-year bill at nearly $1 trillion. Two days earlier, the U.S. Congress narrowly averted shutting down the federal government in another fight over budget cuts. Now, as unemployment benefits dry up across America, congressmen are desperately searching for new sources of money.
Into this environment, Rogozin, Russia’s NATO ambassador, threw a bombshell: threatening in remarks to Russian reporters to shut down the American military supply line to Afghanistan. Mr. Rogozin knew he would have the U.S. over a barrel because Pakistan closed NATO’s land-based supply routes in late November.

Back to the future? Soviet armored personnel carriers pull out from Afghanistan in 1988. The Soviet military presence lasted 9 years, and no one in the Kremlin is in a hurry to go back. Photo: Mikhail Evstafiev

But Ariel Cohen, a Heritage Foundation research fellow, spelled out for Russia the consequences in an essay:
“Rogozin forgets that if the U.S. contingent in Afghanistan is trapped or leaves in haste, the Russian troops may need to fight the Taliban on the Tajik border. This will be a disaster for a country that was defeated in Afghanistan in the 1980s. Russia does not have the resources, personnel, or credible allies for such an open-ended engagement.”

Rogozin floated the threat as a way to push the US to drop construction of a defense system in Eastern Europe designed to knock out one or two missiles fired from Iran. Moscow sees this as ultimately destabilizing a world balance of power, which is predicated on its possession of roughly 1,300 missiles and about 3,500 nuclear warheads.

Rogozin failed to realize that if he pushed the Americans on Afghanistan, he was pushing on an open door.

Given the needed budgetary cuts and the low public support for the war, many powerful people in Washington would be happy to hand off to the Kremlin all or part of the $2 billion a week Afghan bill.

Evidently, that reality penetrated the thick walls of the Kremlin. Someone sat on Rogozin. Now, he says Russian reporters took his threat “out of context.”
After the failure of his Afghan trial balloon, Rogozin now is embarking on a new project. He has just joined the leadership of the campaign to elect Vladimir Putin president.

James Brooke
James Brooke is the Russia/CIS bureau chief for Voice of America. A lifelong journalist, he covered West Africa, Brazil, the American Rocky Mountain States, Canada, and Japan/Korea for The New York Times. A resident of Moscow since 2006, he was first Bloomberg bureau chief for the region. In 2010, he joined VOA. In addition to writing Russia Watch, his weekly blog, he also does video, radio and web reports from Russia and the former USSR.

4 responses to “Dmitry Rogozin: Russian Nationalist? Or Secret Advocate for American Taxpayers?”

  1. Konrad says:

    Future main Leader.
    liberal opposition in fear now

  2. Pyotr says:

    Rogozin is neither a nationalist nor a patriot. Perhaps he is a nationalist but of the nation that have never existed, Soviets,and of course it doesn’t make him a Russian nationalist. He is just a demagogue, a liitle dog barking to show his loyalty to Kremlin. He is being used by Putin as a mop cause Putin doesn’t want to stain his name pronouncing the trash Rogozin is mouthing.

  3. alzaripov says:

    This man makes a career for himself to live in clover. This kind of man scons honor and honesty. – the main trait is the servility.

  4. m.page says:

    Hahahaha,who is not supporting US whether is terrorist, traitor or nationalist.
    The man is GENIUS and real PATRIOT who knows how to fight for interests of his country.
    US was defeated in Vietnam,Iraq/not over yet/, and soon in Avganistan. Lessons not learn yet ?

About

About

James Brooke is VOA Moscow bureau chief, covering Russia and the former USSR. With The New York Times, he worked as a foreign correspondent in Africa, Latin America, Canada and Japan/Koreas. He studied Russian in college during the Brezhnev years, first visited Moscow as a reporter during the final months of Gorbachev, and then came back for reporting forays during the Yeltsin and early Putin years. In 2006, he moved to Moscow to report for Bloomberg. He joined VOA in Moscow in 2010. Follow Jim on Twitter @VOA_Moscow.

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