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Friday, September 08, 2006

Annals of Cold War II: The Arms Race Redux

Did somebody say "Star Wars redux"? In yet another harbinger of the cold war Russia has provoked with the United States, Russia is now panicking over the U.S. plan to develop a ballistic missile shield. 7Days reports:

The planned US anti-missile shield is a threat to global security as it could lead to another arms race, Russia’s army chief, General Yuri Baluyevski, said in an article published in a Polish newspaper yesterday. "Deploying the large-scale US anti-missile shield threatens to spark a new arms race," Baluyevski said in the Polish daily Dziennik. Of particular concern, according to Baluyevski, was Washington’s intention to base some of the anti-missile shield in central Europe. Poland and the Czech Republic are being considered for the European base of the anti-missile shield, although opposition to that plan is rising in both countries. Other countries where the United States could base its interceptor missiles and radar are Bulgaria, Hungary or Turkey. "We are firmly convinced that, if the US project is carried out, it could lead to the deployment near the Russian border of systems which threaten to upset the strategic balance in weapons positioning," Baluyevski said. The US missile defence system employs radar and satellites to detect enemy missile launches and guide interceptors to their targets. The command centre is based in the southwestern US state of Colorado, and interceptor missiles are located in Alaska and in California. The head of the US missile defence agency, General Henry Obering, said last month he expects to make recommendations in a matter of months on where to position interceptor missiles and radar in Europe.

Meanwhile, the RSNF blog reports that even as it complains about U.S. policy Russia is seeking to unilaterally withdraw from a major SALT provision, the INF medium range ICMB agreement. Russia obviously wants these weapons to terrorize the former Soviet slave states who are reluctant for obvious reasons to come under Russia's thumb, such as Ukraine and Georgia.

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