clipped from: www.wsws.org
a major turning point in international political relations.
US to set up a new missile system in the heart of Europe. In addition,
- Poland will receive 96 Patriot missiles,
- a permanent garrison of American troops
- Washington’s commitment to come to the country’s defence,
- independently of the NATO alliance.
was strictly of a defensive character?
circumstances confirm the opposite: the missile system is of an offensive character and is designed for use against Russia.
increases the possibility of a confrontation between the two nations with the world’s biggest arsenals of nuclear weapons—Russia and the US—with central Europe as a primary battlefield.
Just before signing the missile deal, Rice reiterated that the system was designed to counter threats from Iran and North Korea and told reporters: “It is not aimed in any way at Russia.”
None of these claims are credible.
- Polish President Lech Kaczynski. Just two days before the finalisation of the missile pact, Kaczynski appeared alongside Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili at an anti-Russian rally in Tbilisi to proclaim, “We are here to take up the fight (against Russia).”
- Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk declared that he only agreed to host the US defence shield on the condition that the US augment Poland’s defences with Patriot missiles, which are intended to combat any threat from Russia.
The American State Department has always insisted that the 10 interceptor missiles that are to be installed at a base in Poland, just 115 miles from Russia’s westernmost frontier, are aimed at countering potential missile attacks from so called “rogue states” such as Iran and North Korea.
Washington has already reached an agreement with Prague to place the second component of the missile defence shield, a radar tracking system, in the Czech Republic to Poland’s south-west.
in an article published in the Blätter für deutsche and internationale Politik, Germany’s most widely read political and foreign policy journal.
author Hauke Ritz stresses
- Iranian military lacks any missiles with a range capable of reaching Europe and that it would require a long period of time to develop and build them
- US State Department ruled out a Russian proposal for setting up a joint US-Russian anti-missile system in Azerbaijan, which could intercept and destroy any Iranian missile at the start of its flight path.
- the missile shield is directed first and foremost not against Iran, but against Russia.
- This is underlined by the fact that the other bases for the missile system are also located in border regions to Russia, for example Alaska.”
it is intended not as a deterrent against nuclear attack
but rather as an essential component of a US first-strike strategy.
“The strategic significance of the system consists of intercepting those few dozen missiles Moscow is capable of launching following an American first strike,”
in the US magazine Foreign Affairs in 2006 entitled “The Rise of U.S. Nuclear Primacy,” which argues that the US currently has unique advantages in conducting nuclear war. Ritz concludes: “This article makes very clear the actual function of the missile system: it is to guarantee the US the capacity to carry out nuclear war without the risk of a counter-strike. If this capacity can be achieved then it can be employed as a geopolitical argument, in order to implement national interests.”
Ritz’s analysis of the missile shield system as an essential component of a first-strike strategy underscores the enormous and growing danger that the escalating conflict between the US and Russia could unleash a nuclear conflagration.
Last Friday, General Anatoly Nogovitsyn, the Russian armed forces’ deputy chief of staff, described the pact as an act of aggression against Russia and warned Poland that it was leaving itself open to retaliation—and possibly even a nuclear attack.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, Washington has followed a policy of systematically encroaching on former Soviet territory to establish a string of military bases and governments friendly to the US. The purpose of this policy was to undermine the influence of Russia in the energy-rich regions of central Asia, while seeking to divide and weaken Europe.
the installation of a number of authoritarian regimes which lack any genuine broad popular base such as those of
- Mikheil Saakashvili in Georgia and
- Viktor Yushchenko in the Ukraine,
- as well as the regime in Poland.
The most common characteristics of these administrations are
- rabid anti-communism,
- national chauvinism,
- contempt for genuine democratic processes and
- an unwavering adherence to the precepts of the free market.
Such regimes are inherently unstable
the US administration has agreed to install a new weapons system in Poland directed against its biggest neighbour, while at the same time guaranteeing to come to the military assistance of the Polish government when necessary.
Throughout the 1930s, the German dictator Adolf Hitler professed his peaceful intentions while at the same time undertaking a series of provocations as part of his plan to fundamentally redraw the map of Europe in Germany’s interests.
there cannot be the least doubt that the main power intent on establishing new power blocs and spheres of influence in the region is the US. This is the significance of the network of military bases and installations established in Eastern and Central Europe by successive US administrations since 1991 with the aim of encircling Russia.
Now in its missile deal with Poland, it is the US which has agreed to a clause that subverts the traditional structures of the NATO alliance in order to further Washington’s unilateral militarist policy in the region.
The increasingly aggressive penetration of the US into central and eastern Europe is causing alarm in Paris, Berlin and Rome. At the same time, Washington is only able to press ahead with its reckless offensive because of the cowardly stance adopted by the European bourgeoisie, which watches as tensions on the continent escalate to boiling point, but is not prepared to challenge the US administration.
The Missile-Defense Flap
US contractors eye gains from Polish shield deal
Missile Defense: Understanding the Issues