U.S. Military is sent to Jordan to help with crisis in Syria..Russia says will not renew arms agreement with U.S.
The United States military has secretly sent a task force of more than 150 planners and other specialists to Jordan to help the armed forces there handle a flood of Syrian refugees, prepare for the possibility that Syria will lose control of its chemical weapons and be positioned should the turmoil in Syria expand into a wider conflict.
The task force, which has been led by a senior American officer, is based at a Jordanian military training center built into an old rock quarry north of Amman. It is now largely focused on helping Jordanians handle the estimated 180,000 Syrian refugees who have crossed the border and are severely straining the country’s resources.
American officials familiar with the operation said the mission also includes drawing up plans to try to insulate Jordan, an important American ally in the region, from the upheaval in Syria and to avoid the kind of clashes now occurring along the border of Syria and Turkey.
The officials said the idea of establishing a buffer zone between Syria and Jordan — which would be enforced by Jordanian forces on the Syrian side of the border and supported politically and perhaps logistically by the United States — had been discussed. But at this point the buffer is only a contingency.
Russia will not renew a decades-old agreement with Washington on dismantling nuclear and chemical weapons when it expires next year, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted as saying on Wednesday.
The death of the 1991 agreement, which had been renewed twice, is the latest in a series of hitches in relations between the United States and Russia and casts doubt on the future of the much-vaunted “reset” in relations between the Cold War-era foes.
“The basis of the program is an agreement of 1991 which, by virtue of the time when it was conceived, the way it was worked out and prepared, does not meet very high standards. The agreement doesn’t satisfy us, especially considering new realities,” Interfax quoted him as saying.
U.S. Senator Richard Lugar, a veteran disarmament campaigner, was in Moscow in August to push for the renewal of the program, known as the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction program, which he helped launch.
The project, intended to dismantle nuclear and chemical weapons in the former Soviet Union, was last ratified by Russia in 2006 and is due to expire in 2013. Aides said it had resulted in the deactivation of more than 7,650 strategic warheads.
Ryabkov said that Russia now had the finances to carry out its own programs and that Moscow was interested in continuing partnerships in third countries.
i hope everyone is keeping up..these are all small but noteworthy actions that are building to something .the russian decision is very interesting and a tiny bit troubling..