US adjusting to Russian boldness - WSFX - FOX Wilmington, NC

US adjusting to Russian boldness

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An independent Russian paper sought the Netherlands' forgiveness for the downing of the Malaysian airliner. (Source: FOX) An independent Russian paper sought the Netherlands' forgiveness for the downing of the Malaysian airliner. (Source: FOX)

(FOX) - The downing of the Malaysia Airlines jetliner has brought renewed attention to the dispute in eastern Ukraine.

The front page of Moscow's independent Novaya Gazette reads: Forgive us, Netherlands - an olive branch and admission about Russia's role in downing the Malaysian plane.

This while the latest U.S. intelligence warns of an imminent delivery from Russia to the separatists of a high caliber multi-rocket launching system, signs of further escalation as the Pentagon accused the Russian military of continuing to fire across the border into Ukraine. The rockets are like those allegedly captured in a July 16 amateur video.

Russian artillery along the border indicates President Vladimir Putin is doubling down rather than backing down.

"You've got a Russian government that has made the conscious decision to use its military force inside of another sovereign nation to achieve its objectives - first time, I think, probably, since 1939 or so that that's been the case," said Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during a security forum.

The year 1939 marked the start of World War II and Russia's invasion of Poland. It's a view echoed by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

"My own view is that Putin won't rest until he can at least prevent Ukraine from moving to the West, either with the EU or NATO, much less NATO. And I think that he will continue to create problems in Ukraine as part of his effort to keep it from moving into the orbit of the West. I think that there are also other areas on the periphery of Russia to be concerned about, but this is his strategy. And we need a long term strategy in terms of how to counter it," Gates said.


Few think that diplomatic outreach or "reset" with Russia has worked. In 2009 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton miss-stepped when she handed her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov a red reset button with the wrong translation printed on it.

The present read overcharged rather than reset, a policy shift Clinton continues to defend.

"The reset worked. It was an effort to try to obtain Russian cooperation on some key objectives while (Dmitry) Medvedev was president, and of course Putin still pulled the strings but he gave Medvedev a certain amount of independence to negotiate," she said.

On Friday,  in a broad ranging interview Clinton recalled how Putin kept President Obama waiting 40 minutes when the two were slated to meet in Mexico two years ago to talk about Syria. The Pentagon is now busy dusting off 20-year-old plans for how to counter Russia, plans they haven't looked at since the Cold War.

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