Saturday, February 10, 2007
Back To The Future
Okay, either the AP wire service is recycling stories from 1987, or else things are really, really starting to heat up between Russia and the United States. Yesterday, the Russian military's Chief of Staff described American penetration into Russia's traditional spheres of influence as Russia's top national security threat. Quoted in the same article, Sergei Ivanov, the Russian defense minister, ridiculed American claims that the missile defense system we're installing in the Czech Republic and Poland is meant to defend against possible ICBM attacks from Iran and N. Korea:
Mr Ivanov said the two countries, both former Soviet satellites, were too far away to play a part in disabling missiles from North Korea or Iran. “Take a look at the map,” he said. He added that he did not believe the system would be effective against terrorist groups.
“They just don’t need missiles,” he said. “They have other forms of delivery – human bodies and civilian aircraft.”
Then today, in what John McCain called "...the most aggressive speech from a Russian leader since the end of the Cold War...", Vladimir Putin blamed American unilateralism for inciting nuclear proliferation:
"It is a world of one master, one sovereign ... it has nothing to do with democracy," he said. "This is nourishing the wish of countries to get nuclear weapons."
"This is very dangerous, nobody feels secure anymore because nobody can hide behind international law," Putin told the gathering.
It's a truism that Russian foreign policy is driven by a deep-seated territorial insecurity. But like the old saying goes, just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.