James W. Peterson
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The Missile Shield proposal by the U.S. in 2007–9 and the Arab Spring of 2011
Contrasting priorities
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Both Russia and America perceived critical events in the 2007-09 period in different ways. President George W. Bush made the Missile Shield proposal in an effort to defend against rogue states that were developing a nuclear capability. Both the Czechs and the Poles were keystones in implementation of that proposal, bud Russian reactions were highly negative. They responded in many ways and threatened to build up defensive capabilities in their enclave of Kaliningrad. However, in fall 2009, President Obama cancelled the U.S. backed proposal and called for a substitution. The Arab Spring of 2011 created more controversy between Russia and America, for American support for revolutionary forces clashed with Russian anxiousness about popular demonstrations in Arab Spring states that were similar to the flower revolutions in former Soviet republics in the 2003-05 time frame. The war against Khadaffy in Libya was an allied engagement that provoked sharp Russian criticism. Further, both the uprising in Egypt and the civil war in Syria pushed Russian and American leaders apart and created misunderstandings that percolated into their future relationship.

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