Washington in recent days has announced it will offer US Patriot anti-missile missiles to Poland and now Washington has announced it will expand its missile weapon system to Romania, “to protect Europe.”
Despite the fact that President Barack Obama in September 2009 announced it would cancel plans to station advanced US missiles and radar systems in NATO countries Poland and the Czech Republic, a move widely seen as a step to reduce US-Russia tensions, it is now clear that the only thing Washington has changed is the location and type of anti-missile deployment. The strategy of encircling Russia and presenting her with a military challenge that increases chances of a world nuclear catastrophe by miscalculation remain as great or greater than ever.
Romanian President Traian Basescu has announced his country had approved a US plan to deploy interceptor missiles as part of a missile shield to protect Europe. The announcement by the US stated the facilities were due to become operational by 2015 and were aimed at defending against "current and emerging ballistic missile threats from Iran." Rather than cancel the plans, solely aimed at Russia’s remaining nuclear arsenal not at any conceivable Iran threat to Europe, the Obama Administration has deployed psychological tactics and repackaged the offensive system. It will now deploy a new scheme for a more flexible system, with a combination of land- and sea-based interceptors, to be deployed in Central Europe in the next four years.
The latest Romanian announcement runs counter to Obama pledges to seek dialogue with Moscow in a joint study of common threats, with the participation of the European Union.
Adding to the escalating threat profile towards Moscow is the announcement by the Warsaw government that US Patriot missiles will be stationed in northern Poland about 60 miles (100 km) from the border with the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad rather than near Warsaw.
Polish defense minister Bogdan Klich claimed the decision to set up a Patriot site in Morag, which is much closer to the Russian border than Warsaw, is not for any strategic nature. "In Morag we could offer the best conditions for American soldiers and the best technical base for the equipment," Klich said. His statement is hardly convincing. The Polish Foreign Minister and former Defense Minister, Radek Sikorski, a major backer of the provocative US missile strategy, is a leading member of the neo-conservative clique around Bush and Cheney. Sikorsky was a leading member of the Washington neo-con “think tank,” called the American Enterprise Institute and executive director of the New Atlantic Initiative which backed the encirclement of Russia via bringing as many former Warsaw Pact countries into NATO as possible.
The Patriot unit in Poland will be manned by some 100 US soldiers, and will have up to eight missile launchers. The first US troops are to arrive in Poland by the end of March. Patriot (MIM-104) is a theater air-defense system designed to counter tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and advanced aircraft.
Nuclear First Strike and Missile Defense
The issue of the US missile defense system is the most destabilizing strategic issue on the map not only between the USA and Russia, but also between peace and nuclear war by miscalculation.
If the US completes even a primitive missile shield minutes away from Russian missile silos and Russia has none, that gives the Pentagon for the first time since the early 1950’s what military strategists call ‘nuclear Primacy’ the ability to launch a first strike and win. Before such a threat can be completed, the other side, Russia, is under enormous pressure to consider a pre-emptive strike against that possibility before it is actualized. US military experts including the former Director of the US Missile Defense Program, Lt Colonel Robert Bowman, have dubbed the missile defense plan ‘the missing link to a first strike.’ Little wonder that US-Russian relations became frosty after Washington announced the plan in early 2007.