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Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Weaponizing the crosshairs: Putin foiling NATO plans to protect Romania, Poland from Iran

Rob Slane

At a recent ceremony in Deveselu, Romania, the Aegis Ashore Missile Defense System (AAMDS) was declared operationally certified — a key milestone in Phase II of the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA). According to U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs:
This Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) System represents a significant increase in the capability to defend NATO European territory from attacks originating outside the Euro-Atlantic area, and is a key milestone in the development of NATO Ballistic Missile Defense.
If you happen to live in Romania, this is of course great news, since it means that your country is now fully protected from attack by Iran. This is especially critical for the security of Romania because, as is widely known, Iran, just like Saddam Hussein's Iraq, possesses a variety of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs), which can be unleashed at 45 minutes notice. What is especially pleasing to me, as an Englishman married to a Polish lady, is that Poland is also on its way to introducing the system on its territory, and the knowledge of a system protecting my in-laws from President Hassan Rouhani's burning desire to seize control of Lower Silesia is bound to make me sleep soundly.

Or at least it would, but for those pesky Russians again and their unlimited propensity for unbridled aggression. What is it with them? Though the Aegis system is so clearly intended to protect Europe against the Iranian menace, sadly the government of the Russian Federation seems to have got the idea that it is actually directed at them. They have expressed, on numerous occasions, fears that the system is intended to neutralise their ability to withstand and retaliate against an invasion, that it can also be used as an offensive weapon to attack the Russian Federation, and that it is therefore a grave threat to their national security.

It is of course a groundless assumption. What possible reason would Russia have for thinking that the United States/NATO would want to aim such a system at them? Why, except for reneging on the promise not to move NATO East of Germany, an unprecedented propaganda and demonization campaign against the country and its leader, the placing of 1000s of troops right up to its border, the imposition of unlawful and unjustified sanctions aimed at crippling the country, and the policy of fomenting regime change in countries within its sphere of influence — apart from all that, where on earth did Russia ever get the idea that the West wanted to attack, destroy and Balkanise it, and that the systems in Romania and Poland are a part of this plan? Paranoid or what!

So instead of accepting the repeated assurances that the system is aimed at preventing Iran's planned conquest of Europe, Mr Putin has instead used this harmless system as a pretext for yet further aggression:

"At the moment the interceptor missiles installed have a range of 500 kilometers, soon this will go up to 1000 kilometers, and worse than that, they can be rearmed with 2400km-range offensive missiles even today, and it can be done by simply switching the software, so that even the Romanians themselves won't know...If yesterday people simply did not know what it means to be in the crosshairs in those areas of Romania, then today we will be forced to carry out certain measures to ensure our security. And it will be the same with Poland."
Did you hear that correctly? Poor Romania and poor Poland. They were only trying to do their bit to protect themselves and Europe from Iran's huge arsenal of WMDs, and lo and behold they end up with "aggressive Russian" missiles pointing directly at them!

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