Friday, July 13, 2012

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

Russian general who threatened preemptive U.S. attacks to meet Dempsey on missile defense

Russia’s top general who recently threatened preemptive attacks on U.S. missile defenses is set to meet at the Pentagon Thursday with Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Russian opposition to U.S. and NATO missile defense deployments in Europe are expected to be the major topic of discussion when the chief of the Russian general staff meets Dempsey, according to U.S. officials close to the planned meeting.

Dempsey is expected to open the talks with Gen. Nikolai Makarov by thanking the Russians for agreeing last month to open a NATO supply base at the Volga River city of Ulyanovsk. The air base will serve as a hub for cargo and troop transits to and from Afghanistan.

Makarov was given an honor cordon at the Pentagon Thursday morning prior to his meeting with Dempsey.

Dempsey also is expected to raise the U.S. military’s hope to conduct theater-level cooperative missile defense exercises with the Russians.

Makarov for his part will again outline Russian plans to counter the administration’s so-called European Phased Adaptive Approach missile defense system.

Makarov is also expected to make clear that the Russians are not ready to reach any agreements with the United States on missile defenses.

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