April 4, 2007


U.S. steps up missile system push in Eastern Europe: The effort may escalate the issue into an international dispute, depending on Moscow's reaction (Peter Spiegel, April 4, 2007, LA Times)

The Bush administration has begun to step up its efforts to build a controversial missile defense system in Eastern Europe, launching a public push in recent weeks to counter bitter opposition in Russia and overcome fears of a new arms race elsewhere on the continent.

The move, coming ahead of a major NATO meeting on the project this month, could escalate a simmering diplomatic issue into a significant international dispute, depending on Moscow's reaction and the administration's next moves in its effort to base 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar center in the Czech Republic, both formerly part of the Soviet Bloc.

For a dispute to be significant your opposing disputant would have to be significant. Russia isn't.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 4, 2007 7:55 AM

Excuse me, but far too many careers were made doing augury on the Soviet Union and those folks will be darned first before they give up those careers over some fiddling little factoid such as there isn't a Soviet Union and Russia couldn't launch a successful invasion of Mongolia.

This is diplomacy, man! It has nothing to do with reality!

Posted by: Mikey [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 4, 2007 9:57 AM

Right. We keep hearing that unless we forsake our responsibilities as Weltmachthaber we shall provoke somebody--Russia, China, the EU, anybody--to re-militarize just to take us down.

Ressentment, envy, covetousness and nostalgia only go so far. The spiritual jailhouse is our enemy because our cultural pressure portends its destruction. The rest of the world, however, only benefits from the activities of the world government. Freedom of the seas, suppression of terrorism, peacekeeping among dysfunctional statelets are real benefits to humanity. It strains credibility to imagine that the Russian people would so strap themselves.

Posted by: Lou Gots at April 4, 2007 11:38 AM

First, Putin said Russia already has the technology to neutralize the missile defense system.

Second, "a new arms race elsewhere on the continent", elsewhere? Where? The Euros are too tie up with their "youths" to race. They can't even get their Airbus and Galileo working. The Russians, if Putin is to be believed, already has counter measures. Further "elsewhere", the Chinese are developing outer space weapons, and colonizing the moon. The goal of stopping the US is to let the Chinese catch up so that the US won't be the only so-called super power any more. The enlightened progressives don't mind the Chinese hegemons, just as they didn't mind Uncle Joe Stalin in their good old days, nor did they mind Saddam or the ayatollahs, they just can't stand us.

Posted by: ic at April 4, 2007 12:02 PM

Russia alone isn't significant. But, Russia + China + overstretched US military = something that could become very significant. Unless of course nukes are considered, which they should be, in which case the idea of pushing us further towards such a conflict seems just as insanely murderous as the rest of the brilliant ideas that have come from this administration and its patrons.

Posted by: Jorge at April 4, 2007 4:56 PM

In other words, China and Russia are overstretched, not us.

Posted by: oj at April 4, 2007 7:32 PM

George, we're not the ones pushing. We've been on defense for far too long.

Posted by: Sandy P at April 4, 2007 8:55 PM

The problem for China et al. is that we aren't standing still waiting for them to catch up.

Posted by: erp [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 5, 2007 7:33 AM