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NATO Expansion, Missile Deployments And Russia's New Military Doctrine

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He also said "that differences with the United States over plans for a missile defense shield were holding up a nuclear arms reduction treaty" between Washington and Moscow, that "the differences had so far prevented the signing of the arms treaty." [15]

In further reference to the START negotiations, he stated "U.S. missile defense plans are a threat to Russian national security and have slowed down progress on a new arms control treaty with Washington."

In Makarov's own words, "The treaty on strategic offensive weapons we are currently working on must take into account the link between defensive and offensive strategic weapons. This link is very close, they are absolutely interdependent. It would be wrong not to take the missile defense into account." [16]

Earlier in the week spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Andrei Nesterenko reiterated his nation's demand that U.S. tactical nuclear arms should be removed from Europe. He said that the "withdrawal of American tactical weapons from Europe back to the United States would be welcome. It should be accompanied by complete and irreversible demolition of the entire infrastructures supporting the deployment of such weapons in Europe," and reaffirmed his nation's position that "nuclear arms should be deployed only in the territory of the states possessing such weapons." [17]

Six days afterward, to add to Russia's foreboding and to demonstrate Western recalcitrance on the issue, the insufferable ex-NATO secretary general George Robertson was quoted in the Turkish press acknowledging that the U.S. has from 40 to 90 nuclear weapons at Turkey's Incirlik Air Base. Lord Robertson made the statement in the context of demanding U.S. warheads remain in Germany. He is of course neither a German nor an American but is a former NATO chieftain and as such considers himself entitled to determine matters of this grave nature.

Also on February 10 a top Polish presidential aide, Wladyslaw Stasiak, was in Washington to discuss the imminent deployment of American Patriot Advanced Capability-3 theater anti-ballistic missiles. He met with members of the U.S. National Security Council and with "experts at the conservative-leaning Heritage Foundation and the Center for International and Strategic Studies."

Afterward he stated "We talked about the future of NATO in the context of a new strategic concept, as well as present day NATO, especially concerning Article 5 and its practical implementation," referring to the Alliance's military intervention provision. [18]

On the same day a spokesman for the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry expressed concerns over U.S. missiles being deployed in its fellow Black Sea nation Romania. "As a neighboring country with Romania, we cannot let U.S. plans for a missile shield deployment in close proximity to our border go unnoticed, especially since some elements are expected to be based in the Black Sea." [19]

Vladimir Voronin, until last September president of Moldova, which borders both Romania and Ukraine, recently warned that U.S. missile deployments in and off the coast of Romania "could turn neighboring Moldova into a front-line area" and that "Romania's position on the U.S. missile shield and also open support for it from the Moldovan current leadership could have disastrous consequences for security in the region." [20]

In doing so he echoed Russian ambassador to NATO Dmitry Rogozin who two days before said "U.S. plans to base a missile-defense system in eastern Europe are a pretext to encroach on Russia's borders" and "The U.S. is using Iran's actions to globalize its system of missile defense." [21]

Four days after his previous comments, Moldova's Voronin said that "The US ABM deployment in Romania is bringing Europe back to the 'Cold War'" and that he "doubts that US ABMs are targeted against Iran's threat only." [22]

The Pentagon opened a missile radar base in Israel's Negev Desert in 2008, manned by over 100 military personnel, which has a range of 2,900 miles, almost three times the distance between the Israeli and Iranian capitals. The forward-based X-band radar at the Nevatim Air Base can monitor all of eastern and much of southern Russia.

The more the U.S. and its NATO allies thunder against alleged Iranian threats, the tighter the Western interceptor missile cordon is secured around Russia.

On February 10 the local press wrote that "the Czech Republic is in discussions with the Obama administration to host a command center for the United States' altered missile defense plan." [23]

The following day the Chinese ambassador to Russia, Li Hui, spoke with one of his host country's main news agencies and "reiterated Beijing's concerns that [U.S. missile shield] plans might disturb the current strategic balance and stability and escalate tensions" and correctly characterizing the true scope of the American interceptor missile project "said the creation of a global missile defense undermined international efforts to bring nuclear proliferation to a halt." [24]

His warnings, like those of Russia's, went unheeded in Washington and among its NATO allies. On February 12 Poland approved a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with the United States for "100 US soldiers to be stationed in Poland as part of the shield, which will include Patriot missiles and SM-3s." [25] This may be the first confirmation that American ship-based (and/or land-based adaptations of) Standard Missile-3 longer-range interceptors will be deployed along with Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missiles near Russia's western border.

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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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