Thursday, May 12, 2016

Flipping the Switch on the Reality Defense System

Please note two things about the activation of our new missile defense system in eastern Europe.

We will activate missile defenses on land in eastern Europe:

The United States' European missile defense shield goes live on Thursday almost a decade after Washington proposed protecting NATO from Iranian rockets and despite Russian warnings that the West is threatening the peace in central Europe.

One, we apparently assume that Iran could be a nuclear threat to Europe despite the nuclear deal and Iran's assurances that their missile tests don't involve testing nuclear-capable missiles.

I guess we aren't counting on Iran becoming a responsible regional power after all. Oh well, that's the Gulf Arab's and Israel's problem now, eh? 

And two, despite cancelling the Bush-era Europe-based missile defense system that would have also protected America from Iranian missiles (not yet developed, I admit, giving us time to upgrade the system to handle this mission eventually) flying over Europe on the way to our east coast (and which Russia wrongly claimed could have intercepted Russia's ICBMs launched at America) and replacing it with a more limited system initially only capable of defending Europe, Russia is still complaining about the system.

Russia could easily overwhelm this small system, so Russia's complaint is that they won't be able to slaughter large numbers of Europeans as efficiently as they once could pre-missile defenses.

Ah, our friends the Russians and Iranians. Sometimes I stand in awe of how well our diplomacy turned foes into best buddies.

UPDATE: Related, on Russia's need to keep Europe vulnerable to Russian nuclear blackmail:

Even though President Obama cancelled his predecessor’s plan for the deployment of a more capable missile defense system in Central Europe and even eliminated from his own plans the development of a Standard Missile variant capable of intercepting ICBMs, the Russians have been relentless in their criticism of the U.S. and European plans to deploy missile defenses.

It is great that the administration did not back down before Russian bluster, but the Russian bluster was (and is) nonsense. So it should have been a no-brainer to resist their complaints.

Also, and I either did not know this or forgot it, the replacement system that President Obama ordered is no longer planned to have an eventual update to replicate the original system's capability to shoot down ICBMs going over Europe on the way to America.