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U.S. Expands Global Missile Shield Into Middle East, Balkans

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Toward the latter half of last month the Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza, "citing officials and lobbyists in Washington," revealed that the Pentagon would deemphasize planned interceptor missile deployments in Poland and a complementary missile radar site in the Czech Republic and instead shift global missile shield plans to Israel, Turkey and the Balkans [1]

"Washington is now looking for alternative locations including in the Balkans, Israel and Turkey...." [2]

The news came a week after it was reported that at the annual Space and Missile Defense Conference hosted by the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency in Huntsville, Alabama the Chicago-based Boeing Company offered to construct a "47,500-pound interceptor that could be flown to NATO bases as needed on Boeing-built C-17 cargo planes," a "two-stage interceptor designed to be globally deployable within 24 hours...." [3]

This initiative, much as with reports of plans to expand the American worldwide interceptor missile system to the Middle East and Southeastern Europe, has been presented as a way of alleviating Russian concerns over anti-missile components being deployed near its borders. But on the same day that Boeing announced the rapid deployable missile launcher to NATO bases in Europe the First Deputy Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic, Tomas Pojar, was quoted as asserting that a "possible U.S. mobile anti-missile shield does not threaten the U.S. plans to build a radar base on Czech soil because the system is to be a combination of fixed and mobile elements." [4]

That is, what is being presented in both instances as substitutes for U.S. and NATO missile shield deployments in Eastern Europe may in fact be added to rather than replace plans for Poland and the Czech Republic.

On September 11 the new Czech envoy to NATO, Martin Povejsil, reiterated that Washington's plans to forge ahead with the missile system deployments in his nation and in Poland will proceed unhampered, stating "NATO still expects the U.S. system to be the core of its missile-defense structures that have been worked on." [5]

On the day after the Polish newspaper revealed that American interceptor missile system deployments could be extended to Israel, Turkey and the Balkans, U.S. State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley said Washington's review of the missile defense strategy "is ongoing and has not reached completion yet."

Similarly, "Missile Defense Agency [Director] Patrick O'Reilly also denied the
report of Polish newspapers. He supported the proposal to install SM-3 missile
systems in Turkey and the Balkans." [6]

The SM-3 - Standard Missile 3 - is a ship-based anti-ballistic missile used by the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System, and was used by the Pentagon to destroy an American satellite in orbit in February 2008 in what was seen by some observers, especially in Russia, as an experiment for future space warfare.

So the surfacing of reports that the U.S. may base missile shield facilities south and east of the Czech Republic and Poland is more likely indicative of yet another plan to expand the global system - already in place and being worked on in Alaska, Japan, Australia, Taiwan, Norway, Britain, Greenland and Israel - into areas previously off limits to such deployments and not necessarily an abandonment of American missile and troop deployments in Poland and a missile radar site in the Czech Republic.

In confirmation of this scenario, U.S. National Security Adviser and former U.S. European Command and NATO top military chief James Jones told Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski on September 1 "The United States is assuring Poland that it has not made a decision on where to deploy a European missile defense system but will keep Warsaw informed," and pledged "the United States' firm and unwavering commitment to Poland's security and defense." [7]

To demonstrate how close the Pentagon is to completing plans for an international interceptor missile system that can be used for blackmailing other nations into submission and laying the groundwork for a "winnable" war against major powers like Russia and China - by being able to neutralize missiles surviving a first strike and so an adversary's ability to retaliate - the new head of the Missile Defense Agency, U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Patrick O'Reilly, recently boasted that his agency's missile interceptions have proven 86% successful and that "The Defense Department recently committed an additional $900 million toward fielding the Army's theater high-altitude-area defense mobile missile defense system. The agency has finished seven of eight required tests of the system." O'Reilly added that he "expects to see it in the field next year." [8]

The tests he referred to employed Aegis class warships equipped with SM-3s, meaning destroyers and cruisers that can be deployed to any part of the planet in conjunction with land-based and sea-based X-band radar (SBX). The Missile Defense Agency has on several occasions deployed a 28-story SBX to Adak, Alaska, at the western-most end of the Aleutian island chain in the Bering Sea off Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula.

The U.S. National Security Presidential Directive and Homeland Security Presidential Directive [9] of January 9, 2009 explicitly mentions using the Arctic Ocean for so-called missile defense purposes, which means against Russia's northern territories, in conjunction with facilities in Alaska and Greenland.

Missile shield radar bases in Britain and Norway and projected missile deployments in Poland and an X-band radar site in the Czech Republic will cover Russia's west, and comparable sites in Alaska and Japan will confront Russia (as well as China) to its east.

To date the only quadrant uncovered is Russia's south.

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Rick Rozoff has been involved in anti-war and anti-interventionist work in various capacities for forty years. He lives in Chicago, Illinois. Is the manager of the Stop NATO international email list at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/stopnato/
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