It was reported this week that the U.S. is now talking with Poland and the Czech Republic about deployment of 10 "antimissile interceptors" in those countries by the year 2011. Already these so-called "missile defense" systems have been deployed at Fort Greely, Alaska (pictured above) and at Vandenberg AFB, California (where there was a protest on May 20). The Pentagon is requesting about $2 billion for the Poland and Czech Republic deployments. Congress would yet have to approve this move.
Looking at a map one sees that U.S. deployments of these systems would be in what was once called the Warsaw Pact countries, allies of the former Soviet Union. Then take into consideration the current U.S. bases in Central Asia, since 9-11 and the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, so what you see is a virtual surrounding of Russia. Russia has expressed grave concern about current U.S. intentions.
The Bush team says these deployments in Poland and the Czech Republic would be to intercept missiles shot from Iran. But in fact Iran does not have long-range nuclear missiles. And why would Iran fire missiles towards Europe? Iran acknowledges that its primary enemy today is Israel which could be hit with medium range missiles.
We should remember that just a couple weeks ago Dick Cheney went to Russia and spoke out critically against Vladimir Putin and the state of Russian democracy. I would venture to say there is another game underway here. I think the U.S. is trying to re-charge the Cold War with Russia and China. Planning to place weapons systems like these, virtually on Russia's western border, is a provocation. We all know that "missile defense" has never really been about defense....it is part of the overall U.S. first-strike system of the sword and the shield. We also know that first-strike attack is now official military doctrine of the Bush administration.
During the days of the Cold War the U.S. would have loved to place military bases in the Warsaw Pact countries or Central Asia, but if it had tried a mad nuclear exchange would have likely come about. But today, under the guise of fighting terrorism, the U.S. now has military outposts throughout Central Asia (the countries we call the "stans") and the Bush Pentagon is pushing the envelope to expand operations into countries in Eastern Europe like Romania, Poland, and the Czech Republic.
Taken along with Cheney's recent lecture to Putin about how to run a free, open, and democratic society (who do they think they are fooling anyway?), these new military operations are virtually surrounding Russia and also sit on China's inland border. A double checkmate if you will.
When controlling production of oil and the transport of oil in years to come will mean one can essentially control the world economy by holding the keys to the global economic engine, it appears that these new basing arrangements are part of that larger military strategy.
All of this of course will be incredibly expensive to pull off. The Star Wars research and development budget (that would help pay for these new "missile defense" systems) is expected to be over $9 billion in 2007.
Publicly acknowledged military spending in the U.S. is now over $500 billion a year. Added to that is the $30 billion in classified Pentagon, or "black" programs, for the coming year. I recently read that secret military spending is reaching its highest level since 1988, near the end of the Cold War.
More cuts in social spending in the U.S. would surely be required in order to pay for all of this.
It appears to me that the military industrial complex is banking on re-creating a new Cold War. The war on terrorism is wearing a bit thin as the public loses its patience for the costly war in Iraq. The surrounding of Russia, and demonizing it once again as a force for totalitarianism, just might give the Pentagon someone to go after that can actually shoot back. That could insure a long and successful re-creation of an enemy that would "justify" enormous expenditures of tax dollars. The weapons corporations are drooling at the prospects I am sure.