Global Security Newswire
Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues
Russia Warns of Pre-Emptive Military Force Against NATO Missile Shield
Russia on Thursday stepped up warnings regarding its military response to the continuing development of a European missile shield, the Associated Press reported (see GSN, May 2).
"A decision to use destructive force pre-emptively will be taken in if the situation worsens," according to Gen. Nikolai Makarov, head of the Russian General Staff.
To date, the United States has struck deals for Poland, Romania and Spain to host land- and sea-based U.S. Standard Missile 3 interceptors, deployed an Aegis-equipped warship in the Mediterranean, and installed a long-range radar base in Turkey in accordance with the Obama administration's "phased adaptive approach" for European missile defense. Sea-based interceptors are to be fielded on U.S. warships home ported in Spain beginning in 2014. Romania and Poland are respectively set to receive more advanced SM-3 interceptors around 2015 and 2018 (see GSN, March 28).
Outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev last year warned his government could deploy short-range Iskander missiles and air-defense systems in the Kaliningrad, a Russian exclave that borders Poland and fellow NATO member Lithuania, if a compromise is not reached with the United States and NATO on their missile defense plans.
U.S. Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) during a trip to Lithuania castigated Moscow for threatening to increase the militarization of the Kaliningrad over missile defense fears, which he said were an "excuse to have a military buildup" and "really an egregious example of what might be even viewed as paranoia on the part of [incoming President] Vladimir Putin." The Russian prime minister is to begin his third term as president on Monday.
NATO and Washington maintain their missile shield is aimed at protecting Europe from the evolving Iranian ballistic missile threat. Moscow counters that Tehran is years away from wielding a weapon that would seriously endanger Europe and that the U.S. interceptors are likely to secretly target Russian ICBMs. The U.S. plan calls for the development and fielding of increasingly capable interceptors with later generations envisioned as having the capacity to defeat intermediate- and intercontinental-range missiles.
Russia intends to use an antimissile conference that began on Thursday in Moscow to make the case for its position on the missile shield, according to recent reporting. The Obama administration has sent a delegation to the event (see related GSN story, today). The forum comes several weeks before an alliance summit in Chicago, where member nations are expected to discuss next steps for implementing their shared vision of European missile defense.
The Kremlin has yet to confirm if it is dispatching senior-level representatives to the Chicago meeting (Mansur Mirovalev, Associated Press I/Yahoo!News, May 3).
Russia since late 2010 has held a number of meetings with NATO and the United States on potential areas for antimissile collaboration but a deal has proved untenable due to Moscow's continued insistence on a legally binding pledge that the missile shield would not target its nuclear deterrent.
Senior Obama administration officials in a Wednesday conference call with reporters said the United States does not expect any significant deals to be reached before the U.S. presidential election in November.
Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov on Thursday said discussions were close to failing, according to AP.
"We have not succeeded in finding mutually acceptable solutions. The situation is practically close to a dead end," Serdyukov said.
At the beginning of the two-day antimissile forum, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev reaffirmed his government's proposal that NATO and Moscow establish a single, jointly operated framework for European missile defense that "could strengthen security of every single country of the continent" and "would be adequate to possible threats and will not deter strategic security."
The Western military bloc has already rejected this vision, saying it would never leave any member state's missile security in the hands of Russia. It has offered its own alternative: establishment of two separate but connected frameworks that would exchange data on missile threats while maintaining independence in decisions to launch interceptors.
NATO's No. 2 official, Alexander Vershbow, told forum participants the alliance's developing antimissile program is "not and will not be directed against Russia" and that Russian ICBMs are "too fast and too sophisticated" for U.S. interceptors to destroy (Mansur Mirovalev, Associated Press II/USA Today, May 3).
Building Mutual Security in the Euro-Atlantic Region: Report Prepared for Presidents, Prime Ministers, Parliamentarians, and Publics
April 3, 2013
This report is the result of a Track II dialogue including distinguished former senior political leaders, senior military officers, defence officials, and security experts from Europe, Russia, and the United States.
April 2, 2013
An op-ed in The International Herald Tribune urging today's leaders to move decisively and permanently toward a new security strategy in the Euro-Atlantic region.
This article provides an overview of the United States’ historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.