Putin’s Weapons Announcement is Totally Reasonable and Understandable
The Russian leader is pursuing a sensible course of action in the face of US threats.
Many in America seem to be freaking out about the fact that Russia is unveiling new weapons that can strike the US and cannot be shot down by Anti-Ballistic Missile systems.
Putin’s actions are entirely logical and understandable. Having missiles that cannot be stopped by ABM systems is a logical response to the US’s unilateral withdrawal from the ABM Treaty in 2002 (thanks, Bush).
The ABM Treaty limited the US and Russia to a certain number of ABM complexes (2) and a certain number of ABM missiles (200, or 100 per complex).
Like all such treaties, the accord allowed each side to verify the other side’s compliance.
The US withdrawal from the Treaty has led to the US installing more ABM complexes and ABM missiles. Not just in the US, but also in Eastern Europe. Indeed, the US wasted no time in starting talks with its European allies in early 2002. Consequently, the US (NATO) has created a Missile Defense System with missile complexes in Romania and Poland. The Romanian missile complex became active in 2016, the Polish complex is scheduled to go online this year.
These nuclear-capable missile complexes are just a scant few hundred miles from Russia’s border.
The problem with these missile complexes is that, in the absence of the ABM Treaty, Russia has no way to verify whether the missiles are offensive or defensive. The missiles themselves can be switched easily from defensive to offensive use simply through a software change.
When the USSR tried to station missiles in Cuba in 1962, the US threatened nuclear war. The situation today with the NATO Missile Defense System is 100% analogous.
These missile bases must be seen in the context of a massive US military asset buildup along Russia’s border.
In what the Kremlin has described as the greatest amassing of military assets on its border since World War II, NATO troops and hardware have set up camp from as far north as Estonia, down through Latvia and Lithuania, into Romania and Poland, where the rotation of US troops is now standard operating procedure.
Under the guise of ‘Russia aggression,’ a concept that was peddled to the unsuspecting masses based on the fake news of a Russian ‘invasion’ of Ukraine and Crimea, compounded by claims that Russia somehow swayed the 2016 US presidential elections, US-led NATO has dropped all pretensions and declared open season on Russia. Combined with Donald Trump’s empty threat that the US would exit NATO if member states did not start spending more on defense (2 percent of annual GDP), Eastern Europe has become a veritable hothouse of paranoia-driven militarization.
Given that the US was willing to initiate WW3 when Russia tried to station missiles and just a few technicians in our “backyard”, Putin’s reaction so far to the imminent threat posed by the missile batteries and ground forces the US is putting on his doorstep is, by comparison, measured and calm.