Today’s Washington Times posted a story about the current situation regarding the NATO missile defense sites in Eastern Europe that are supposed to be set up. These sites are supposed to be the subject of the recent open microphone remark by President Obama to Russian President Medvedev that President Obama would be able to be much more flexible in his second term. Well, evidently President Obama’s promise of flexibility in the future didn’t really impress the Russians.
The article in the Washington Times reports:
Russia’s most senior military officer (Russian Chief of General Staff Nikolai Makarov) said Thursday that Moscow would strike and destroy NATO missile defense sites in Eastern Europe before they came online if the U.S. pushes ahead with deployment.
“A decision to use destructive force pre-emptively will be taken if the situation worsens,” Russian Chief of General Staff Nikolai Makarov said at an international missile defense conference in Moscow attended by senior U.S. and NATO officials.
How did America get to a place where we are being overtly threatened by the Russians?
The article concludes:
Russian officials insist that the system has the capability to shoot down their ICBMs, thus robbing their nuclear deterrent of its credibility and destabilizing the Cold War-era balance of mutually assured destruction.
Neither the State Department nor the Pentagon had any immediate comment on the Russian threat Thursday.
I need to point out here that the missile defense system in question is a missile defense system–no one is saying anything about offensive weapons (except the Russians). How did we get to a place where the Russians can tell us whether or not we can place defensive missiles in Europe?