Lyndon LaRouche has recently underscored the importance of the Russian role, along with that of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, in bogging down the British drive for war on Syria, Iran, and beyond. On July 12, those two forces will come together in the persons of U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey and Russian Chief of Staff Gen. Nikolai Makarov, when they meet at the Pentagon for their regular annual meeting. Makarov, in comments to Russian media before he departed Moscow on July 10, highlighted Moscow's commitment to military cooperation with the United States, despite the well-known differences between the two countries. Makarov indicated that the list of agenda items for discussion includes missile defense, Afghanistan, the consequences of the Arab Spring, the U.S. pivot towards Asia, and the schedule for joint exercises for the next year or so.
On Afghanistan, Russia is particularly concerned about the end of NATO military operations there, as well as the continuing threats of drugs and terrorism. "In particular, at the upcoming meeting we are planning to discuss the situation in Afghanistan," Makarov said. "The withdrawal of Coalition troops is scheduled for 2014, and we are not indifferent to how the situation will evolve near our borders."
Missile defense is one issue on which the two countries disagree widely. "We are hoping to continue candid talks over missile defense," he said, and noted the joint statement that Presidents Obama and Putin made after their meeting on the sidelines of the recent G-20 meeting in Mexico, where they stated that the search for solutions to the missile defense debate continue. "We are prepared for continuing this conversation," Makarov stressed. "Assessments of its possible influence on the strategic stability so far differ," he added.
Overall, Makarov stressed the importance of the military dialogue between the US and Russia. "Essentially, our meetings fulfill the instructions of the Russian and US presidents who have agreed to set up an ad hoc group on military relations," the general stressed. "Direct dialogue between the two military chiefs allows to discuss existing problems frankly and outline their solutions." He noted that the US and Russia have been conducting joint military and anti-terrorism exercises, such as "Vigilant Eagle," sponsored by U.S. Northern Command. "Our interaction indicates that cooperation in such critical situations is needed," he said. "A new stage of the exercise will take place this year, and tasks will be more difficult."