Joe Biden

Biden Says US is Considering Military Exercises in the Baltics

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Credit: European Parliament / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND/

Today Vice President Joe Biden said that the U.S. is considering carrying out military exercises in the Baltics after a meeting with Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves in Warsaw.

From Reuters:

(Reuters)—The United States will work on greater diversification of energy sources in the Baltics and may consider rotating units of its ground and naval forces through the region for training exercises, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said on Tuesday.

Biden is in Europe to meet with Baltic leaders in the wake of the recent referendum in Crimea in which officials say over 97 percent of voters backed joining Russia. Today Putin signed a treaty with Crimean officials making the Black Sea peninsula part of Russia. The U.S., the European Union, and the government in Kiev consider the recent referendum illegal.

Earlier this month the Pentagon announced that it would more than double the fighter jets it is contributing to a NATO patrolling force in the Baltics. A Pentagon official said at the time that the move "comes at the request of our Baltic allies and further demonstrates our commitment to Nato security."

The situation in Crimea is developing quickly. Today it was reported that a Ukrainian officer was killed during an attack on a base outside the Crimean city of Simferopol. According to CNN, Ukrainian troops in Crimea have been authorized to use their weapons.

More from Reason on Ukraine here.

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  1. What they really need to do is go ahead and install that missile defense system in Poland as originally planned.

    1. Piss away another trillion?

      1. Hey…I thought you changed your name again?

  2. We might have a lot of broken windows to look forward to.

  3. “According to CNN, Ukrainian troops in Crimea have been authorized to use their weapons.”

    Wait a second here. A foreign power invades and occupies a portion of the country, and the Ukrainians have just now authorized their soldiers to use their weapons?

  4. You know who I just realized has been conspicuously absent from this entire affair?

    The United Nations! You know, that organization that was founded for the express purpose of adjudicating situations exactly like this one.

    Is this the moment when the UN officially sinks into total irrelevancy?

    1. No I think the UN only continues to exist so western European nations can still pretend that they are important.

    2. Russia has veto power on the security council, so yeah the UN is totally impotent on this. Just as it’s impotent when Uncle Sam stars waving his war boner around.

    3. Veto. Russia has already exercised it at least once in connection with current events.

  5. Oh, sweet merciful fuck, no. The US needs to stay right out of this shit. I don’t give a shit if Crimea is part of Ukraine or Russia.

    Here’s what I think should have happened. Russia buys the Crimea from Ukraine for $37 billion (or whatever it was that the new government said they needed to stave off disaster). I bet a lot of territorial disputes could be solved this way if people would stop clinging to mostly arbitrary national borders as if they were really important. Especially in places like Africa and the mid-East where colonial powers just arbitrarily carved up territory into new states.

    1. Relax, the Baltic States are already in NATO. This is a meaningless muscle-flexing.

    2. …a lot of territorial disputes could be solved this way if people would stop clinging to mostly arbitrary national borders as if they were really important.

      I forget who posted this yesterday, but it’s somewhat relevant.

      1. Also pretty cool.

  6. Someone left the cellar door unlocked again, and ole Joe is on the loose. Someone fetch the dogs.

    1. (Reuters) – The United States will work on greater diversification of energy sources in the Baltics

      What the Baltics need are a Solyndra and some Chevy Volt carz

  7. Nothing is going to resolve this situation faster than a flaccid quasi-threat from old Diamond Joe. I can almost hear Putin shitting himself.

    1. Let’s not go off half-cocked with your flaccid quasi-threat comment. He said they “may” consider it. Nobody’s thinking about it yet, they’re only thinking about thinking about it. You got sucked in by the bad headline.

  8. What a shrewd statesmen.

    Hillary/Joe ’16
    …and hilarity ensued?

  9. Regional Exercises: the passive-aggressive Facebook post of geopolitics.
    Not only is it a pointless waste of money, it basically shows the prospective enemy what, in a general sense, we are planning to do if shit gets real.

  10. Regional Exercises: the passive-aggressive Facebook post of geopolitics.
    Not only is it a pointless waste of money, it basically shows the prospective enemy what, in a general sense, we are planning to do if shit gets real.

  11. Again, can someone fully explain to me why Putin is necessarily wrong here, let alone why we need to get involved to stop him? This is territory that was Russian until relatively recently (and only dispensed to the Ukraine as an administrative convenience) and whose population wants to be part of Russia and not the Ukraine.

    1. Well, to be sure, that argument would also work for Russia claiming everything under the empire, including, with a little extrapolation, client states like East Germany.

    2. “population wants to be part of Russia and not the Ukraine”

      I know right, 97% of them!

      1. I heard something about a poll conducted there that made it sound like a majority might want to go to Russia, but only a majority. The fact that the Russians felt the need to monkey speaks volumes, of course.

    3. 60 years is a pretty long time. If the population really wants to be part of Russia without actually moving to Russia and Russia wants them it would seem the least they could do is try to work out some sort of way to compensate Ukraine.

      After all, Russia was renting land in Crimea. That’s a tacit admission they don’t own Crimea.

  12. Is this the crappy site where I try to sign up for insurance?

  13. Venezuela!

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/paral…..nd-diapers

    he insists there is no shortage, and everyone gets what they need, eventually. At least this day, he’s proven right. A woman walks in looking for toilet paper, but the shelves are bare. Then she spots the last roll, fallen behind the shelf. She gleefully grabs it and rushes to pay.

    Proven right?? What about all the shlubs who walk into the store after that moment looking for TP?

    1. Man, some crackerjack reporting here from the good people at NPR:

      As with everything in Venezuela, the reasons given for the food shortages depend on political affiliation. The government says it’s the result of unscrupulous businessmen waging an economic war and hoarding by regular people afraid of shortages.

      Those in the opposition blame a system that imposes price controls, the lack of money to buy imports and problems in the supply chain after the expropriation of farms and factories by the socialist government.

      Whatever the reasons, the shortages have meant that Nello spends a lot of time in long lines. It’s usually the women who have to go to the shops and her house is no exception.

      Just, you know, “whatever the reasons” as if the two possibilities presented are equally plausible and the actual cause of the crisis is just a damn enigma.

  14. Biden Says US is Considering Military Exercises in the Baltics

    Will the left accuse President Obama and Vice President Biden of practicing “Cowboy Diplomacy“?

    Inquiring minds want to know!

  15. Biden Says US is Considering Military Exercises in the Baltics

    Will the left accuse President Obama and Vice President Biden of practicing “Cowboy Diplomacy“?

    Inquiring minds want to know!

  16. What the hell is happening with postings in this site?

    1. Last years interns who have been imprisoned in the basement powering the giant wheel that powers Reason are worn out. Please, please sign up to be a 2014 Reason intern.

    2. Cowboy comment boards.

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