Russia Responds to Obama Administration

It was something I was hoping against hope for – that upon his accession to power, Obama would pull back from Bush’s ridiculous US missile defence shield. At the very least he’s put it under immediate review, and now Russia in return is rightly pulling back from its front line of what had been a looming second Cold War:

Russia today announced it was abandoning plans to deploy nuclear-capable Iskander missiles in its European Kaliningrad outpost – a sign that Moscow wants improved relations with the new US administration.

Defence officials said the Kremlin’s proposals to station short-range missiles in the small Baltic territory next to Poland had been “suspended”.

The move followed Barack Obama’s decision to review the Pentagon’s controversial missile defence shield in central Europe.

The Kremlin has been incensed by the Bush administration’s plans to site missile interceptors and radar bases in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Moscow believes the plan upsets Europe’s strategic nuclear balance and targets Russia, but the Bush administration insisted it was intended to defend against a threat from Iran.

Obama has not yet decided whether to press ahead with the scheme or to abandon it, although indications suggest he is sceptical about its value.

Today’s Russian move can be interpreted as a Kremlin olive branch to the new US team and a tactic to put pressure on Obama to scrap the shield.

We can only hope that they are successful. It was always preposterious that the ‘shield’ should be located on the edge of the former Soviet Union’s territory, if it were supposed to be a bulwark against Iranian or Middle Eastern aggression. I mean if Iraq is a de facto colonial outpost why not stage the infrastructure there? It also presumed that Ahmadinejad is a fool, which he may be in his rhetoric, but not in his strategic behaviour. Any country in that area which shoots a missile at European territory (or further) would be met with a chilling military response. The fear isn’t an Iranian nuke on a ballistic missile – it’s that it would be contained in a suitcase, which is why Obama’s immediate diplomatic moves towards Iran are so smart.

3 responses to “Russia Responds to Obama Administration

  1. it’s in eastern europe because that offers a quicker response time for missiles that fly at several miles per second. Also offering your fellow Europeans up as the first wave casualties is surprisingly cold hearted of you. But i suppose we’ve had this conversation before. Still I find it amusing that when the offer of a defense that would put ballistic missiles off the table is offered, you turn it down. Personally I think Iran will get nukes this year or next and I’d rather not be blackmailed with them.

  2. Your first two sentences don’t really address the issues as I discussed them. Poland and the Czech Republic are nowhere near Iran, which is what the ‘defence shield’ was supposed to be about. And surely a ‘shield’ wouldn’t be necessary if the political reasons for preemptive nuclear missile attack were removed.

    The technology isn’t ready, the technology is seen as aggressive by the country which we were assured it was not designed to protect against. Relying on it was always the most childish of foreign policies, which was typical of the Bush Administration. I notice whenever we discuss American foreign policy your position is never that far from neoconservative, which seems out of step with how the world is developing.

  3. I honestly don’t care if my position seems out of step with the world, the majority of the world believes in the UN and look where that gets them. Power is the ability to make your words count, not the ability to call a summit and pay for diplomats to lie to ones face. As for, “The technology isn’t ready” meme please if people always took that approach nothing would ever be achieved, the Radar systems and the missile systems are the best in the world I would rather put trust in them than the alternative, “Duck and Cover”.
    You seem to believe that one must be near a country to stop their missiles so contemplate this math. If the world has a circumference of 40075.02 km (equatorial) and it takes an intercontinental ballistic missile 30 minutes to hit any point on the planet how fast does that missile have to be traveling? given those figures do you want the radar to be right near the target as well? your grasp of the science of the matter is still weak.
    as for “surely a ’shield’ wouldn’t be necessary if the political reasons for preemptive nuclear missile attack were removed.” I suppose you have noticed that since the fall of the USSR some 50 new countries have emerged or been carved out on the international scene. Russia can invade her satillite countries with military impunity, nuclear materials have been found world wide, The UN has been unable to stop any country from pursuing the Bomb, and North Korea has spread missile technology to anyone willing to pay. including Iran, Syria, Pakistan, India, and Libya. In my quick assessment I can think of no country that has ended hostilities through diplomacy and I can think of no case the the UN has protected people in the course of genocide. Nor has bowing down to Russia ever saved lives or made the situation better. You may argue that people shouldn’t resort to arms but I challenge you to find a case in which arms have not been part of the final solution. Even in the case of India, and Pakistan, which were given back over to their inhabitants fairly peacefully, have been gripped by a half dozen full out wars in the last 60 years. The point of preemptive nuclear missile strikes is to do be able to black mail those targets you are able to hit. The point of the missile shield is and currently can only be to prevent small scale missile attacks from Iran, North Korea, and Pakistan. I grew up under the threat of MADD, I do not want the next generation having the same fears. Being black mailed by insane theocracies, that believe god is coming out of a well and that bringing Armageddon to the world will ensure their salvation. Diplomacy without credible force is hot air, Force without diplomacy is conquest, I believe in both and I have all history to draw on to back that up.

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