The recent plan by the U.S. to deply a missile defense system in Europe has not been met with much optimism by our European and Russian counterparts. The system was proposed by President Bush in January to counter any possible nuclear or missile threat posed by Iran and North Korea. Officials have cited the need for such a system to protect U.S. interests in Europe as well as the European nations themselves. The system itself would be place along the borders of Poland and the Czech Republic. President Bush proposed the plan to Czech President Vaclav Klaus, who immediately sent an e-mail after the meeting which stated that the majority of Czechs opposed the plan.
Russia has since strongly denounced the plan and called for the U.S. to halt its plans or they may pull out of the 1990 Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty. This threat coming a week after Secretary Gates was dispatched to Moscow to ease tensions among the Russian leaders. After leaving the meeting Secretary Gates suggested that the meetings were conducive and both sides were now better informed as to the other's position and that tensions were eased. However, you would not have assumed that premise giving the Russian Army General's recent statements. Here are a few of Yury Baluyevsky's quotes:
"But today, when we are asked to contribute those results to the creation of a global
U.S. missile defense network, we will not cooperate on a project that is clearly aimed
“We are still hostages of mutual nuclear intimidation,” adding that both countries still
have a huge nuclear potential, which is unnecessary when the countries are really partners
on the international arena.
Yury Baluyevsky said that both countries have come close to a threshold, when relations
between Russia and the United States could become confrontational.
“We are on the brink of a new ‘Cold War’ if one looks closely at our [Russian-U.S.] present
day relations,” he said adding that if the situation did not change, negative tendencies in
relations between both countries will continue to develop.
“I do not rule out that at the 2008 presidential elections in the United States both
Republicans and Democrats may bring forward a thesis on the need for a Russia containment
I hate to say it, but I think I am sympathizing with the commies on this one. To have not approached the Russians earlier with this proposal only undermines their legitimacy as well as their ego, which we all know is rather large in spite of the events since the dissolution of the Soviet Empire. They have no choice but to take a stand here. I can help but think if the situation was reversed what our reaction would be.
I guess it is time to dust off those residential nuclear bunker blueprints.