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Analysis Last Updated: Aug 18th, 2008 - 00:53:37

Missile defense: Washington and Poland just moved the world closer to war
By F. William Engdahl
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Aug 18, 2008, 00:20

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The signing on August 14 of an agreement between the governments of the United States and Poland to deploy on Polish soil US �interceptor missiles� is the most dangerous move towards nuclear war the world has seen since the 1962 Cuba Missile crisis.

Far from a defensive move to protect European NATO states from a Russian nuclear attack, as military strategists have pointed out, the US missiles in Poland pose a total existential threat to the future existence of the Russian nation. The Russian government has repeatedly warned of this since US plans were first unveiled in early 2007. Now, despite repeated diplomatic attempts by Russia to come to an agreement with Washington, the Bush administration, in the wake of a humiliating US defeat in Georgia, has pressured the government of Poland to finally sign the pact. The consequences could be unthinkable for Europe and the planet.

The preliminary deal to place elements of the US global missile defense shield was signed by Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Andrzej Kremer and US chief negotiator John Rood on August 14. Under the terms, Washington plans to place 10 interceptor missiles in Poland coupled with a radar system in the Czech Republic, which it ludicrously claims are intended to counter possible attacks from what it calls �rogue states,� including Iran.

To get the agreement Washington agreed to reinforce Poland�s air defenses. The deal is still to be approved by the two countries� governments and Poland�s parliament. Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said in televised remarks that �the events in the Caucasus show clearly that such security guarantees are indispensable.� The US-Polish missile talks had been dragging for months before recent hostilities in Georgia.

The Bush White House Press spoksperson, Dona Perino, stated, officially, �We believe that missile defense is a substantial contribution to NATO�s collective security.� Officials say the interceptor base in Poland will be opened by 2012. The Czech Republic signed a deal to host a US radar facility on July 8.

The signing now insures an escalation of tensions between Russia and NATO and a new Cold War arms race in full force. It is important for readers to understand, as I detail painstakingly in my book, to be released this autumn, Full Spectrum Dominance: The National Security State and the Spread of Democracy, the ability of one of two opposing sides to put anti-missile missiles to within 90 miles of the territory of the other in even a primitive first-generation anti-missile missile array gives that side virtual victory in a nuclear balance of power and forces the other to consider unconditional surrender or to preemptively react by launching its nuclear strike before 2012. Senior Russian lawmakers said on Friday the agreement would damage security in Europe, and reiterated that Russia would now have to take steps to ensure its security.

Andrei Klimov, deputy head of the Russian State Duma�s international affairs committee, said the deal was designed to demonstrate Warsaw�s �loyalty to the US and receive material benefits. For the Americans, it is an opportunity to expand its military presence across the world, including closer to Russia. For NATO, this is an additional risk . . . many NATO countries are unhappy with this, including the Germans and the French.�

Klimov called the agreement �a step back� toward the Cold War.

Russian response

The US plans to deploy a radar facility in the Czech Republic and 10 interceptor missiles in northern Poland as part of a US-controlled missile shield for Europe and North America, have been officially sold under the ludicrous argument that it is against possible attacks from �rogue states,� including Iran. Last Spring, then Russian President Vladimir Putin exposed the shallowness of the US propaganda line by offering a startled President Bush the use of Russian leased radar facilities in Azerbaijan on the Iran border to far better monitor Iran missile launches. The Bush administration simply ignored the offer, exposing that their real target is Russia not �rogue states like Iran.� Russia rightly views deployment of the US missile shield as a threat to its national security.

The latest Polish agreement advances a Russian response.

Russian officials earlier said Moscow could deploy its Iskander tactical missiles and strategic bombers in Belarus and Russia�s westernmost exclave of Kaliningrad if Washington succeeded in its missile shield plans in Europe. Moscow also warned it could target its missiles on Poland.

Russia is also discussing putting in place an orbital ballistic missile system in response to US missile defense plans for Central Europe, according to a senior Russian military expert.

�A program could be implemented to create orbital ballistic missiles capable of reaching US territory via the South Pole, skirting US air defense bases,� said Col. Gen. Viktor Yesin, former chief of staff of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces, now vice president of the Academy of Security, Defense and Law Enforcement Studies.

Previously as part of the post Cold War agreements with the US, agreements which have been �significantly ignored by Washington as it pushed the borders of NATO ever closer to Moscow�s doorstep, the Soviet Union had abandoned such missiles in accordance with the START I Treaty.

Obama backs missile defense too

The deal would further divide European countries into what Barack Obama�s foreign policy adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski openly calls, US �vassals� and those pursuing more independent policies.

Any illusions that a Democratic Obama Presidency would mean a rollback of such provocative NATO and US military moves of recent years should be dismissed as dangerous wishful thinking. Obama�s foreign policy team in addition to father Zbigniew Brzezinski, includes Brzezinski�s son, Ian Brzezinski, current US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for European and NATO Affairs. Ian Brzezinski is a devout backer of US missile defense policy, as well as Kosovo independence and NATO expansion into Ukraine and Georgia. 

F. William Engdahl is author of A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order (Pluto Press), and Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation ( This essay is adapted from a book he has just completed, titled Full Spectrum Dominance: The Geopolitical Agenda Behind Washington�s Global Military Buildup (release date estimated Autumn 2008). He may be contacted through his website,

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