Back to the Cold War
The Director of the CIA, George Tenet, does not have illusions about his supposed enemies. In a report to the US Senate intelligence committee last week, Tenet let fly about his concerns. "There can be little doubt that President Putin wants to restore some aspects of the Soviet past — [its] status as a great power, strong central authority and a stable and predictable society — sometimes at the expense of neighbouring states or the civil rights of individual Russians", Tenet said. He claimed that Russia "continues to value arms and technology sales as a major source of funds". Tenet accused Russia — along with China and North Korea — of being guilty of proliferating missile technology. "I cannot underestimate the catalytic role that foreign assistance has played in advancing these missiles and weapons of mass destruction programs, shortening their development times and aiding production", said Tenet. Tenet perhaps unwittingly revealed clearly the objectives of the US in its relationship with the Russian Federation — to reduce Russia to a weak, third world country with no right to pursue relations with other countries that are not acceptable to the US leadership. As the world's greatest exporter of arms including hi-tech weapons, the US is not in any position to lecture others on their export of weapons. Russia exported only $4 billion in arms last year as against an annual export of about $20 billion in arms during the Soviet period. Most revealing is the concern of the CIA chief at the efforts of Russian President Vladimir Putin to build a closer alliance with China and India. A bloc of these three countries would give the US leaders and other imperialist leaders of West European countries nightmares. The total population of these three countries, their collective political influence, their industrial potential and the rich resources that they collectively control, could provide a mighty barrier to the American aspiration to rule the world. Tenet accused Putin of clamping down on human rights and trying to restore Moscow's Soviet-era sphere of influence. The Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation tersely rejected the claims of Tenet saying that Russia in the past year had ratified a raft of nuclear agreements, including the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty — which the US Congress has refused to accept. "If anyone, it is the CIA chief who should know" that Russia has ratified these agreements, the Foreign Ministry said. "The `dark revelations' of George Tenet about Russia and our relations with the US could help the hawks in the US Congress and help boost the CIA budget, but they in no way correspond to the true state of affairs", said the Russian Foreign Ministry statement. Tenet's statements may also be aimed to justify more money for the US military and US plans to push on with their National Missile Defence plans, even though this involves tearing up the treaty between the US and the Soviet Union which limited the production and spread of nuclear weapons. "When you consider that the CIA's (status) soared in the Cold War era, it would be difficult to expect a balanced assessment of Russia-US relations from its leadership," said the Russian government statement. Putin was one of the last world leaders to send Bush his congratulations on his inauguration.