During the 1990s, Moscow received tens of billions of dollars of American taxpayers' money, which merely enhanced the personal wealth of the corrupt Russian elite, the criminal syndicate bosses, as well as funding Russia's preparations for war.
Unfortunately, this practice hasn't changed and, at the moment, has produced a new development. At the end of last month, the U.S.A. and Russia, whose leaders strongly support Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq, signed a new pact and pledged cooperation in law enforcement and the war on drugs.
U.S. Ambassador Alexander Vershbow and Anatoly Safonov of the Russian Foreign Ministry signed the agreement for $1.9 million in U.S. funds for Russian police and special services. The money includes $450,000 to increase security along the border with Kazakhstan to prevent the flow of drugs from Central Asia.
It isn't big money, but it will improve the activities of Russian special services, including covert operations against the U.S.A. and our friends and allies. However, there are some larger programs, whose implementation sometimes seems very difficult to understand and accept.
According to a recently released DOD Inspector General's report, the Pentagon spent over $95 million to build facilities in Russia to convert liquid rocket propellant for commercial use, only to find out later that Moscow had already used the components in its space program. As of July, the Pentagon had spent $95.5 million to design and build the plants to turn heptyl and amyl, components in rocket fuel for nuclear-warhead ICBMs, into consumer products.
In February, however, Russian officials, informed the U.S. government that Russia had already used the fuel in its space program. Currently, the Pentagon's Defense Threat Reduction Agency, or DTRA, is spending $1.2 million for maintenance and security, while it decides what to do with these facilities.
We know that DTRA oversees an 11-year-old program in which the U.S.A. supplies billions of dollars to help Russia dispose of chemical, biological, nuclear, and other weapons. Congress authorized the program in the 1991 Soviet Nuclear Threat Reduction Act, aimed at consolidating and destroying much of the massive Cold War arsenal left over after the breakup of the USSR and reducing the chance that such weapons could fall into the hands of international terrorists and rogue nations.
Since 1992, Congress has provided $4.7 billion to Russia, as well as to the former Soviet republics of Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. It's more than enough money to handle Russia's disarmament problem but, of course, it isn't enough for the Kremlin Moscow leaders, who still request additional funds, which they would like to use in their traditional way for their own agenda.
And as usual, they succeeded. In June of this year, leaders of the Group of Eight industrial nations agreed to spend $20 billion to help Russia decommission weapons of mass destruction. The joint G-8 statement said the eight nations would explore canceling some of Russia's old Soviet-era debts and the debts of other countries willing to devote the money saved to accelerated efforts to safeguard materials that could be used by terrorists.
Under the deal, $10 billion will come from the U.S. and $10 billion from other G-8 countries over 10 years. For its part, Russia agreed to provide its new G-8 partners with access to disposal sites, such as facilities where nuclear submarines are dismantled. Moscow also once more has ensured adequate auditing and oversight authority to its "partners."
During the war on terror, the U.S. has already spent, and is spending, huge amounts of its resources and funds, which are not unlimited, to destroy the major danger of our times. Under these circumstances, we simply cannot afford to spend extra American taxpayer dollars for the support of such partners as Russia, whose leaders are practically extorting additional funds that they will use for the achievement of their own goals, which oppose U.S. strategic interests.
Colonel Stanislav Lunev is the highest-ranking Russian or Soviet military intelligence officer ever to defect to the U.S.A. For the greater part of his adult life, Colonel Lunev worked for the Glavnoye Razvedyvatelnoye Upravlenie (GRU), or Main Intelligence Administration--Russia's highly efficient and professional military intelligence agency. From 1988 to 1992, Lunev was a GRU intelligence officer operating out of the GRU's field office in Washington, D.C. In 1992, after Boris Yeltsin came to power in Russia, Lunev defected to the United States government. Since his defection, Lunev has pro- vided important information to the Central Intelligence Agency, the Defense Intelli- gence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and other U.S. defense and national security agencies--information considered so crucial that he was placed in the FBI Witness Protection Program, where he remains to this day.
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