Skip to comments.The Bear Growls
Posted on 01/29/2007 7:10:22 PM PST by Tailgunner Joe
The Russians are going ballistic over the possibility the United States will deploy a missile-defense system in Central Europe in the coming years.
The United States insists the defense shield is to guard us - and our friends and allies - against the growing North Korean and Iranian threats. But Russia denounces these systems as "destabilizing."
Washington wants to put an X-band radar in the Czech Republic and 10 interceptor missile launchers in Poland; these would add to existing U.S. missile-defense sites in California and Alaska.
Last week, Washington moved to open negotiations with Warsaw and Prague; the Czechs agreed, while the Poles are still mulling the offer.
But Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov scoffed at the idea. His thinking: Neither North Korean nor Iranian missiles can reach Europe right now, so "against whom is this missile-defense system being made?"
Ivanov's views count. He's often touted as a possible - even a likely - successor to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is scheduled to step down next year.
Parroting Ivanov, a number of senior Russian defense officials recently said Moscow viewed the missile-defense deployment as a threat to its security. The Kremlin hasn't specified a response.
The Russians are especially peeved about Poland's possible participation. A Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman said a Polish base would undermine "strategic stability, regional security and relations between Russia and Poland." (Moscow warned Prague, too.)
Yet a State Department spokesman stated the obvious: "It's not aimed at Russia . . . It's aimed at those irresponsible states that may possess technologies that could threaten our friends and allies, that could threaten the United States." We've even offered Moscow consultations on the issue.
Heck, these are defensive systems, not offensive ones. Neither country even borders Russia proper. Besides, the Czechs and Poles are now our NATO partners - no longer (involuntary) allies of Russia's old Warsaw Pact.
Which starts to get at the real issue. Russia accepted the idea of NATO expansion into Eastern Europe and the Baltics - but never liked it. Moscow has been incredibly sensitive to its loss of control over countries in its traditional sphere of influence - its so-called near abroad.
And the Russian military, long a source of pride, has weakened from neglect. Deploying "Son of Star Wars" to their neighborhood - something the Russians simply can't match - makes that creeping inferiority all the more obvious.
It also gives the Kremlin the willies. Russia sees missile defense in Europe as aimed at crumbling the last vestige of its military might: land- and sea-based intercontinental ballistic missiles. (The successful U.S. missile-defense test Saturday over the Pacific won't help.)
But the Russian "shoe-banging" about missile defense in Europe remains shockingly hypocritical - when you consider all the "destabilizing" activity Moscow has willfully engaged in at the expense of America's security.
How about Russia's delivery of $1 billion in super-advanced Tor-M1 air-defense missiles to Iran, encouraging Tehran's belligerence - and bolstering its confidence - as the world seeks to rein in its nuclear program?
Did Moscow really believe building Iran's first nuclear reactor at Bushehr (starting in the 1990s) - would stabilize the Middle East? And what of its $1 billion in arms contracts with Syria?
How about the irascible North Koreans? Pyongyang's ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs got their start from - you guessed it - the Kremlin.
The Russians carp about the Poles and the Czechs but seem conveniently to forget about Venezuela in our neighborhood. Moscow inked $3 billion in arms deals with Castro-wannabe Hugo Chavez for advanced fighters, helicopters and other weapons.
And China? Someday, China - using advanced Russian weapons - might cross swords with the United States over Taiwan's future. Moscow sells billions in arms to Beijing, and recently agreed to cooperate with the Chinese space program.
The point here is that Moscow wants it both ways. Russia is now the world's biggest arms merchant to the developing world. In some cases, these sales seriously undermine American interests and security - and threaten U.S. forces.
Yet Russia wants us to forgo deploying a defensive missile system that will protect us and our allies from two countries - Iran and North Korea - Russia had a hand in arming?
That's downright outrageous.
The United States and Russia can both benefit from a cooperative relationship. Neither capital wants a deeper freeze in already chilly ties. But Moscow must understand its actions aren't without perceived - or real - consequences for Russian security, too.
Bully for them.
A dozen or two interceptors are no threat to the huge arsenals of the United States and Russia. However, if you're a North Korea or Iran, and you're struggling to build even a handful of intermediate or intercontinental range missiles... (hey, this is "rocket science") Then those relatively few interceptors effectively negate your arsenal.
If NoKorea was threatening to nuke Russia by flying missiles over the North Pole to Moscow, and offered to consult with us along the way about what they were doing, maybe not so bad.
Of course there are no real parallels between the US and the smoldering remnants of the USSR.
Man. getting sloppy in my old age.
Let me ask a stupid question. Why are we still defending the people of Europe? Most of them hate our guts.
Considering the financial, political and generally devastated condition of Russia today (basically run by the Russian mob), why are we overly concerned with them?
Even if we were in a hair trigger situation with Russia what do they have to offer in the exchange. No Navy, Army or Air Force. Little to threat us with except threats.
Could induce NK to fire missiles at us might make it 25 miles.
China, not ready to challenge the US (today).
The powers in the world also have to remember all the Nuke subs. we have all over the world got to be uppermost in their minds.
They go we go!
Why not just let the French handle it?
Rings of defense strategy. Basic defense 101. Set the first defense of our country in someone elses country.
You would expect the French to help protect the world. LOL!
Russia isn't allied to Canada. The US did not side with Nazi Germany to occupy Canada.
lets put ICBMS in poland too, after all Russia is selling missiles to Iran a known axis state.
Yep. Go Bears.
Thank you for the ping.
I thought this over in MAY of 1999...and wrote THIS:
The Giant sleeps on a full belly from a festive day at the fair and dreams of peaceful, sunny days. In the distance a caparisoned Bear jags to a jaunty jig, tinkling the bells of its shabby circus garb, reduced to dancing for the amusement of the town folk it once terrorized. Unaccustomed to its cage and civilized surroundings the bear strains at its muzzle and growls at its captors, longing for the wild and the only life it has known, killing when it is hungry and fearing no creature in the forest. The Bears lowing resembles distant thunder and the Giant fitfully becomes aware that there is some dark and foreboding thing impinging on its dreamscape from without. The Bear was captured by the Giant and contemplates how it might devour it, if only it could attack before it awakens. Sleepily the Giant responds to its atavistic instincts of survival, somehow subconsciously aware that danger is nearby. The Giant never considered the Bears escape.
Wake up, America.
Screw russia. The are paranoid hypocritical lunatics. The have an anti-western alliance with China and Iran,and can not be trusted as long as they oppose the democratic civilized world.
Seeing as canada was never part of the US(or taken over like the soviets did eastern europe), and is a democracy and NATO/Norad member it would never happen. They dont trust the russians either.
"Washington wants to put an X-band radar in the Czech Republic and 10 interceptor missile launchers in Poland"
Lets call it the Patton System.