The Voice of Russia & Justin Vela / AOL News – 2010-09-18 00:49:01
Russia’s “Asymmetric” Response to US ABMs
The Voice of Russia
(September 13, 2010) — Russia should be ready to give an “asymmetric” response to the deployment of US anti-missile defense, Russian academician and deputy of the State Duma, the lower house of parliament Andrei Kokoshin said. According to the scientist and lawmaker, Russia has enough grounds to do so.
Russia is particularly concerned with the US’ potential means of interception of intercontinental missiles, he said. He added that Russia should also respond to non strategic anti missile defense systems on board located on US cruisers and destroyers.
Kokoshin said he is convinced that Russia has sufficient scientific, technical and economic potential to ensure an asymmetric response.
Russia Urges Multilateral Work on Missile Defense
The Voice of Russia
MOSCOW (September 14, 2010) — Moscow insists that a unilateral approach to missile defense undermines international security and calls for multilateral collaboration on the issue, Russia’s deputy foreign minister, Alexei Borodavkin, said in an interview released on the ministryâ€™s official website.
Russia suggests creating a kind of an association of countries and organizations to monitor the proliferation of missile technologies and discuss how to adequately react to real missile threats.
US Missile Defense Radar: Homeless but Searching
Justin Vela / AOL News
SOFIA, Bulgaria (August 6, 2010) — What if you had a missile system and nowhere to put part of it? That seems to be Washington’s dilemma as it shops around for a site for a system meant to protect its forces and allies in Europe and the Mideast from possible missile attacks from Iran.
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov this week denied a report in The Washington Post that his government was engaged in talks with Washington about hosting a radar station, a key part of the system intended to thwart Iran’s budding missile capability, which might one day even include nuclear warheads.
Turkey, another well-situated NATO member the Pentagon says it’s been talking to, is even less willing to admit that it would consider hosting the facility.
The so-called X-band radar ground station is supposed to enable the first phase of the administration’s new missile defense shield over southern Europe and the Mediterranean, slated for a first phase of limited deployment next year. Other elements of the system are to be deployed in Israel and a number of US allies in the Persian Gulf.
The system was conceived in part as a substitute for the missile system that the George W. Bush administration planned to deploy in Poland and the Czech Republic. The Obama administration pulled the plug on that system last fall, arguing that a broader system would do the job better — and at the same time blunting fierce Russian opposition to the program.
The new shield will have high-tech Aegis combat ships armed with missile interceptors patrolling the Mediterranean and Black Seas, linked up with radar stations providing the ships with early warning if a missile is fired from Iran.
Bulgaria’s northern neighbor, Romania, agreed earlier this year to host elements of the system beginning in 2015, despite Russia’s continued objections, but the Pentagon’s efforts in Turkey and Bulgaria are running up against considerable political obstacles.
“With regards to Iran, Turkey is trying to establish more cordial relations,” said Yaprak Gursoy, an expert on security issues at Istanbul’s Bilgi University. “With the uranium swap deal and Turkey’s decision in the United Nations Security Council to oppose a possible embargo on Iran, it is clear that Turkish foreign policy now involves having good relations with Iran. Why would they jeopardize that by allowing the US to use Turkey as a location for the missile defense shield?”
Turkey imports a large amount of its energy from Iran, and though the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has not definitively said yes or no to the US system, most observers there say even the possibility of improving relations with the West won’t offset the political costs for hosting the station.
At issue isn’t only Iran’s shadow, but also Russia’s. “Any radar tracking device deployed in Turkey [or Bulgaria] can and will track everything on the Russian airspace as well,” wrote Mehmet Ali Tugtan, an expert on foreign policy and security issues at Bilgi University, in an e-mail. “Hence, the Russians regard this as a hostile act. The Russians believe a missile defense system in their vicinity, even if it is explicitly established against Iran, would impair the Russian second-strike capability. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to convince them otherwise.”
Bulgaria shares a long history and common Slavic culture with Russia, making many Bulgarians hesitant to do anything that is considered to be against Russia.
While the Bulgarian prime minister’s statements signal that political sensitivity, they don’t necessarily sound a death knell for the deployment of the radar station, experts say. They do suggest that a perceived backroom deal between Washington and Sofia may not be the best approach.
“I am skeptical of the level of education of the broader public on this issue,” said Plamen Pantev of the Institute for Security and International Studies in Sofia. “Bulgaria and NATO and the US need a more active communication strategy to explain so it becomes understandable.”
Pantev thinks it is likely that Bulgaria would eventually agree to host the radar station, as neighboring Romania has already agreed to host a land-based Aegis combat system in 2015. He said Bulgaria’s participation will be more likely if NATO members vote in a November meeting in Lisbon, Portugal, to make missile defense part of the alliance’s overall strategy, rather than the US project it is now.
Adding what is best described as a very Bulgarian touch, Pantev said that since Bulgaria is a NATO and European Union member that is also historically close to Russia, its ideal missile defense shield would be a project that incorporates the US, NATO and Russia. “What would work best in the Bulgarian concept is an interpolar world,” Pantev said. “Maybe that’s wishful thinking.”
US Revives ABM Plans in Europe
Andrei Gribanov / The Voice of Russia
MOSCOW (August 3, 2010) — Washington has resumed its plans to build a missile shield in Europe and is about to sign a treaty with one of the Southern European countries on deploying a radar station as part of its air defense system. The new facility, aimed to counter a possible threat from Iran, may be commissioned as early as next year in either Turkey or Bulgaria.
Statements of the Pentagon and the White House on the approaching deployment of a radar station in the Black Sea basin may substantially aggravate the situation. This move will obviously complicate Washington’s bilateral relations with Moscow, with regard to Russia’s sharp criticism towards US missile defense elements in Poland and the Czech Republic.
President Barack Obama had to considerably alter the American ABM concept to reset relationships with the Russian side. Although the new dispute is unlikely to start as yet, Russia is deeply concerned over US air defense systems close to its border.
Iran, whose alleged aggression America intends to promptly respond to, will also be dissatisfied with the new plans concerning missile defense elements, given Washington’s active cooperation with Israel in this area. The US it now considering the possibility of deploying another radar station on its territory. This may be followed by Tehran’s refusal to resume negotiations on its nuclear program.
The place where the new radar will be deployed is therefore by no means unimportant. In this respect, as one of the chief mediators in disputes between Iran and the West, Turkey may provoke a conflict involving Ankara and Tehran. It is worth mentioning here that Turkish diplomats recently managed to persuade Iran to enrich most of its uranium fuel in third countries.
Senior Fellow with the Center for International Security at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations Vladimir Yevseyev believes Tehran will exert every effort to avoid this conflict:
“Iran will apparently convince Ankara of rejecting the deployment of a US radar station. This is also evidenced by the fact that both sides are closely cooperating to fight against the Kurdish opposition and conducting joint warfare.”
Apart from this, Turkey has some other arguments, according to Director General of the Russian Political Information Center Alexei Mukhin:
“Relying upon its own development concept in the Mediterranean region, Turkey is behaving somewhat willfully at the NATO level and will not therefore tolerate the radar deployment. Bulgaria appears as a more profitable and probable variant, in light of Washington’s strong influence on that country.”
Many Bulgarians, like the Czech and the Polish, are fiercely opposed to the US plans. Thus, the Pentagon’s decision on deploying a radar station in southern Europe may have severe negative consequences. In spite of this, America will not give up its plans to field ballistic missile interceptors in Romania by 2015.
“Practically by this time there is no threat of any war between USA and Russia. But the threat of proliferation of nuclear and other mass destruction weapons is growing. And we do not have adequate international mechanisms to cope with these problems. The public does not recognize fully the reality of the nuclear war, horrors of the potential use of all kinds of weapons of mass destruction. NTI, among other tasks, has to stimulate the efforts of politicians, scientists and experts to minimize the threat of the use of the weapons of mass destruction.”
Dr. Andrei Kokoshin is a scientist, scholar and author and is a Member of the State Duma of the Russian Federation. Between 1992 and 1997, Dr. Kokoshin served as First Deputy Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation and as State Secretary. From 1997 to 1998, Dr. Kokoshin was Secretary of Defense Council and Chief Military Inspector and then became Secretary of Russia’s Security Council.
In 2003 he was elected to the post of Chairman of the State Duma’s Committee for the Commonwealth of Independent States’ Affairs and Relations with Compatriots. That same year he became Dean of the World Politics at Moscow University. Dr. Kokoshin is also a member of the Scientific Advisory Council of the Institute for International Studies at Stanford University.
Dr. Kokoshin holds an engineering degree in radioelectronics from Moscow Higher Technical School and a doctorate in political science. He is the author of 12 books on international security, political and military affairs and defense industry policy.
Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.