Tags: Giveaway | Islands | Russia | Risks | U.S. | Security

Giveaway of Islands to Russia Risks U.S. Security

Monday, 16 June 2003 12:00 AM

What’s more, unknown to Congress or the American public, negotiations for the giveaway began and ended while Russia was part of the old Soviet Union during the Cold War.

The U.S. spent billions to fight the Soviet empire around the globe, to say nothing of the lives that were sacrificed. The Soviets had gobbled up a third of the world, in keeping with the avowed communist aim of world domination. Yet the State Department, as secretly as possible, agreed to give the communist enemy territory that holds potential oil, gas and fishing rights, as well as a value to national security.

Efforts are under way to persuade the Congress of the United States to bestir itself over this matter, but when Jesse Helms, R-N.C., retired from the Senate early this year, efforts to reverse the giveaway lost a powerful lawmaker who was focused on the issue.

The matter remains in limbo. Ironically, this is because although the U.S. Senate years ago ratified the executive agreement in the form of a treaty, despite objections by Helms and others, it is the Russians who are refusing to ratify the pact. They insist that the land grab, which redounded to their benefit, was not lavish enough.

Only a power that takes for granted that good old Uncle Sam is just dying to roll over and give in would have the gall to position itself as the metaphorical burglar who takes all your money and jewels and demands to know, “Is this all you’ve got?”

The eight islands in question, west of Alaska and north of Siberia, include Wrangell, Bennett, Herald, Jeanette, and Henrietta.

The other three islands in question lie on Alaska’s Aleutian chain: Sea Lion Rock, Sea Otter Rock, and Copper Island. As NewsMax.com has reported, these islands alone have more square mileage that Rhode Island and Delaware combined.

It all started in an effort to draw clear lines to replace boundaries that had been blurred by legalities. Carl Olson of State Department Watch explained to NewsMax that countries were entitled to an exclusive 200-mile “economic-fishery-conservation zone from the coast.”

The problem? Since the U.S. Alaska coast and the Soviet Union were within 400 miles of each other, where to draw the line as to who gets exclusive rights to which economic and fishery benefits?

Henry Kissinger started the ball rolling during the final hours of his tenure as secretary of state in the outgoing Ford administration in January 1977.

Thus began years of secret negotiations that took on a life of their own and continued under succeeding administrations. It was not until 1984 that this back-channel giveaway was discovered when it was quietly inserted into the Federal Register.

Kissinger, Olson reminded us, made his mark in diplomacy as the grand master of “detente,” which “means he could accommodate almost anything the Russians were doing.”

The World War II lend-lease debt that the Russians owed the U.S. is an example. “I mean he compromised that down to almost nothing.”

Olson, a retired U.S. Navy commander, has made it his business to keep a close watch on the kind of “quiet diplomacy” that has characterized some of the greatest disasters of the 20th century. Yalta, Potsdam and Tehran, which positioned the Soviet Union to make its worldwide power grab after World War II, serve as classic examples of why someone needs to keep track of this.

During the early Cold War years, State Department foreign service professionals, considering themselves above the foreign policy debates of mere elected officials, acquired the derisive term “the striped-pants boys.” They appeared to concern themselves with the interests of every nation on Earth except those of the United States. Their ilk still abounds at State.

But in fact, the history leading us to the fear that the giveaway of these eight islands between Alaska and Siberia will soon be finalized actually predates the Cold War. In our next installment, NewsMax.com deals with a little-known Soviet invasion of the U.S.

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What's more, unknown to Congress or the American public, negotiations for the giveaway began and ended while Russia was part of the old Soviet Union during the Cold War. The U.S. spent billions to fight the Soviet empire around the globe, to say nothing of the lives that...
Giveaway,Islands,Russia,Risks,U.S.,Security
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2003-00-16
Monday, 16 June 2003 12:00 AM
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