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A Russian Perspective on Missile Defense

I came across an interesting Russian perspective on the missile shield issue from the Moscow Defense Brief: “The decision to deploy the “front lines” of the missile defence system in Poland and the Czech Republic is completely in tune with US foreign policy and should be viewed as a successful political move. By establishing the system on the borders of Russia, the US has signalled a complete rejection of Russian influence in Eastern Europe, or anywhere else, and confirmed that America’s sphere of influence covers the entire globe. By the same token, the US is providing strong support to the new regimes of Eastern Europe in terms of their own “Eastern policy,” as well as their role as the “American lobby” within the European Union. The Czech Republic and Poland have become de-facto bastions of US influence in Europe, advancing American interests against Russia and Western Europe. This policy enjoys full support from within Eastern Europe, and has little to do with historical grudges or any sort of anti-Russian sentiment. Instead, it reflects the utterly rational and conscious choice of Baltic and Eastern European elites to support confrontation with Russia. The Eastern Europeans are perfectly aware that their real value to the US lies in their geopolitical position as a base of operations and buffer zone against Russia. In their minds, the worse their relations with Russia become, the more they can rely on political, economic and military support from the US. Unfortunately, the American actions have only reinforced this attitude. In fact, it is precisely its potentially anti-Russian flavour that makes missile defence so appealing to the Polish and Czech elites. Their governments have made their cold-blooded calculations and concluded that American payments for their role as anti-Russian springboards will more than compensate for the losses they incur as a result of worsening relations with Russia. Accordingly, it would only make sense for Russia to respond to this policy by demonstrating the error of such calculations, and to show precisely how and the degree to which the security of Eastern Europe will suffer should they continue to lend their polities to such aggressive designs.