Chess with an Old Adversary

Under Rep. Buck McKeon’s mark-up of the Fiscal 2015 budget, the US military would permanently sever cooperation with Russia unless the Kremlin pulls forces from Ukraine and begins honoring arms control treaty commitments. “For reasons known only to Mr. Putin, they want to start the ‘great game’ up again. My mark reflects this tough reality,” said McKeon, chair of the House Armed Services Committee, in a speech at the Heritage Foundation in Washington D.C., May 6. Language in the markup would also bar sharing missile defense technology with Russia, and re-established the annual Cold War-era Russian Military Power report with “no termination date,” he said. “Finally, we’re calling for immediate NATO membership for Montenegro, and a membership action plan for Georgia,” added McKeon. To restore defense cooperation, Russia must “comply with the Intermediate Nuclear Forces [treaty] and Conventional Armed Forces in Europe treaty,” banning certain nuclear ballistic missiles and the unchecked massing of forces in Europe, McKeon said.