Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Russia warns of response to US missile shield

MOSCOW (AP) - "Russia says its response to the further development of a U.S. missile shield in Poland will go beyond diplomacy.

Russia's Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying the U.S. missile shield plans are clearly aimed at weakening Russia.

The U.S. says the missile defense system is aimed at protecting the U.S. and Europe from future attacks from states like Iran.

The United States and Poland signed a deal Wednesday to place a U.S. missile defense base just 115 miles from Russia's westernmost fringe.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below."

WARSAW, Poland (AP)—Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her Polish counterpart signed a deal Wednesday to build a U.S. missile defense base in Poland, an agreement that prompted an infuriated Russia to warn of a possible attack against the former Soviet satellite.

Rice dismissed blustery comments from Russian leaders who say Warsaw's hosting of 10 U.S. interceptor missiles just 115 miles from Russia's westernmost frontier opens the country up to attack.

Such comments "border on the bizarre frankly," Rice said, speaking to reporters traveling with her in Warsaw.

"When you threaten Poland, you perhaps forget that it is not 1988," Rice said. "It's 2008 and the United States has a ... firm treaty guarantee to defend Poland's territory as if it was the territory of the United States. So it's probably not wise to throw these threats around."

The deal, which Washington sought as a way of defending the U.S. and Europe from a hypothetical threat of long-distance missiles from Iran, has strained relations between Moscow and the West. Those ties were already troubled by Russia's invasion of its former Soviet neighbor, U.S. ally Georgia, earlier this month.

Speaking to reporters traveling with her, Rice said, "the Russians are losing their credibility."

Back when most of the talking heads were breathlessly pronouncing how the Russians Were Coming!! it seemed obvious that in the real world nations would flock to the US and its allies for help, and this is exactly what happened.

All the Soviets, beg pardon, the Russkies, managed to do was fashion themselves as a rogue nation, without the necessary modern technology to pull it off. In both Gulf wars we proved how antiquated Russian tech and tactics were, and maybe once upon a time sheer numbers could be counted on to hold the day but that was long before the payoff from the space age took us to the moon and beyond.

Bring it on, Ivan.

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