About Russian Criticizes U.S. Plan For Missile Defense System
|February 10th, 2007||#1|
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Russian Criticizes U.S. Plan For Missile Defense System info
February 10, 2007
By Thom Shanker
SEVILLE, Spain, Feb. 9 — Russia’s defense minister chose a NATO session here on Friday for a pre-emptive verbal assault on American plans to base elements of a missile defense system in Eastern Europe.
The Russian, Sergei B. Ivanov, argued that there was no rationale for basing American antimissile radars and interceptors in former Soviet satellite states that have now joined the NATO alliance. Washington has entered talks with Poland and the Czech Republic to do just that.
North Korea cannot strike NATO territory in Europe with its current ballistic missiles, Mr. Ivanov said, adding that “any school globe or map” showed that Europe would not be under the flight path of any missile from North Korea toward the United States, either.
During the two-day NATO defense ministers meeting here, Mr. Ivanov also said that for Iranian missiles to strike in NATO territory or to hit the United States would require extensive industrial reorganization of Tehran’s missile program.
He then warned that Russia could easily overwhelm the small defensive system under consideration.
Bush administration officials say that any American missile defense system in Europe would not be aimed at Russia, but would be designed to counter other threats.
“We have made quite clear to them that it’s not directed at them,” Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said here. “And I think we’ll work our way through it.”
A senior Defense Department official traveling with Mr. Gates said an American missile defense program in Europe would be devised to counter Iran’s improving missile arsenal. “They are extending the range of their missiles,” the official said. “It’s a matter of time.”
In his comments, Mr. Gates cited reports of a recent visit to India by Mr. Ivanov that quoted the Russian minister as making statements that acknowledged the American “plans here in Europe for missile defense do not threaten Russia nor its strategic deterrent.”
Opportunities for United States-Russia military cooperation, and competition, are expected to be discussed further this weekend at an international security conference in Munich, which will feature an address by President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia on Saturday and by Mr. Gates on Sunday.
NATO is discussing in broad terms whether and how to move forward with a regional missile defense system, and Russia’s objections are not focused on that alliance program. Russia is not a NATO member, but participates in a NATO-Russia Council that meets during alliance sessions.
Russian officials do express alarm, however, at the American ballistic missile defense system, and Moscow’s arguments have grown louder since the United States entered bilateral talks with Poland and the Czech Republic, two of the newer NATO allies, about basing parts of a missile defense system on their soil. Kremlin leaders have long said that an effective missile defense system could set off a new nuclear arms race.
American officials say that while no final agreements have been reached, serious technical talks are under way about basing antimissile radar in the Czech Republic and interceptor missiles in Poland.
Mr. Ivanov did not describe Moscow’s options to thwart any antimissile system, but Russia’s military laboratories could be expected to add dummy warheads and other blocking materials, known as chaff, to blind or confuse a missile defense system, and do it at relatively modest expense.
“We have the capability to surpass any antimissile system,” he said. “It doesn’t mean that we threaten others.”
Mr. Gates acknowledged that the United States and Russia “do have differences, there is no doubt about that.”
During their conversations at the NATO session, Mr. Gates said, he asked Mr. Ivanov about Russia’s energy export policy; the topic is critical for European nations that fear Russia may turn its oil and gas deliveries on and off to further a political agenda.
“I raised energy security and so did a number of other defense ministers,” Mr. Gates said. “And I would say that it was both in the context of protecting supplies from terrorists and others. But also there were references made to manipulation. And I think it was not confrontational, but I think the message was pretty clear.”
Mr. Gates, a former director of the Central Intelligence Agency who specialized in Soviet issues, had never before met his current Russian counterpart, Mr. Ivanov, whose previous assignments included senior positions with Moscow’s spy service operating in Africa.
“We commented on two old intelligence guys getting together,” Mr. Gates said afterward.
|February 10th, 2007||#2|
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Only the guilty and unreasonable see a need to defend or argue. Seems to me there is little or no offensive capability in this matter. Purely for recognition and defensive purposes. Perhaps I am not reading far enough betwen the lines?
Last edited by Marinerhodes; February 10th, 2007 at 14:11..
|February 10th, 2007||#3|
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Its a mystery to me as well except that I have heard it argued that the missile defense system would render the MAD defense void and open up the possibility that the person with the defense shield would feel they could opt for a first strike as they had negated the opponents ability to strike back.
"The purpose of fighting is to win. There is no possible victory in defense. The sword is more important than the shield and skill is more important than either. The final weapon is the brain. All else is supplemental." - John Steinbeck
|February 10th, 2007||#4|
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Well, sure, whoever had a truly effective countermeasure to nuclear weapons could nuke whoever they wanted with impunity. Certainly a scary thought, no matter which country develops the technology.
"Mankind, when left to themselves, are unfit for their own government." - George Washington
|February 11th, 2007||#5|
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I think someone in the Defense department got a hold of a DVD copy of the Sum of All Fears and decided that a rogue group of Nazi's in Russia would launch missiles at America over Europe (even though it would make more sense if they went over the North Pole) and decided to put this system in place.
On a more serious note, I think we should set up this system in every country that will let us just on the off chance someone launches a missile at someone else, then we will be in a position to intercept it regardless of who launched it or whom it was directed against. We should also work with the Europeans, Russians and Chinese on this system, make nuclear missiles totally obsolete and we can all get rid of ours, save billions every year on security for our tens of thousands of nuclear warheads. We should also figure out a safe way to launch spent nuclear fuel into the sun so it can be permanently disposed.
Please note that 98% of what I say is my opinion and/or my "version" of the facts. Most of what I say is rumor with little to no evidence to back it up, just something I picked up somewhere.
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