Having gotten us to accede, back in 2009, to Russian demands that we not defend ourselves or our European allies against nuclear missile attacks from rogue states like Iran, the Russians are pushing the Obama administration around again.
Russian outgoing President Dmitry Medvedev is saying that any improvement to our—or to NATO’s—missile defense capability will be taken as breaking the existing nuclear parity with Russia, and they “will be forced” to retaliate. Medvedev insists
No one has explained to me why we should believe that the new missile defense system in Europe isn’t directed against us.
He also has instructed his defense establishment that
By 2017-2018 we must be fully prepared, fully armed.
And he repeated an earlier threat to aim missiles at the U.S.-led NATO missile shield. Left unspoken was his generals’ earlier explicit threat to immolate Poland with nuclear war if we were to put missile shield components there. Never mind that the US has never been a threat to Russia or to Russian allies, while Russia has actively invaded and partitioned ours—Georgia being only the latest example, with Russian interference with Ukrainian elections their latest non-military interference. And don’t forget the cyberwar they inflicted on Estonia in 2007.
President Obama’s response? He hasn’t made one of substance. “I don’t bluff,” he said in a different venue. But what does that mean, if he has to protest that he doesn’t?
It’s clear to me that the Russian threats are a prime reason for going ahead with the deployment of a missile shield at our fastest pace. And for updating and upgrading our military establishment generally, including our nuclear and cyber forces.