The United States seems hell bent on escalating tensions with Russia. It has pushed NATO expansion through eastern Europe into the former Soviet Republics. Its own and NATO military bases ring Russia’s borders. Its ally Georgia, which the US backs for imminent NATO membership, launched an attack on South Ossetia.
As if that is not provocative enough, the US has also pursued its plans to site facilities for its missile defence programme in the Czech Republic and Poland. Missile Defence is widely understood to enable the US to attack other countries without fear of retaliation. Although the US says it is aimed at ‘rogue states’, Russia believes otherwise.
Now, in the middle of the conflict in Georgia, the US has signed an agreement with Poland that the siting of interceptor missiles there will go ahead. It is hard to imagine a worse time. A US spokesperson is reported as saying Russia has nothing to worry about because its arsenal could easily overwhelm the interceptors.
That would be true if Russia launched a first strike against the US. But if the US launched a first strike against the Russian arsenal and knocked most of it out, then the interceptor missiles would be able to knock out most of Russia’s retaliatory strike. Surely such an attack would be out of the question? Not necessarily. In a world where the US has recently pursued illegal pre-emptive war, it cannot be ruled out that it might do it again. There can be no doubt that such fears will be triggered in Moscow as a result of this rash and dangerous development.
Moscow has already announced that it will re-target its missiles on Europe if missile defence goes ahead. So, bad news for Europe I’m afraid, as a result of US global ambitions.