Russian Control of U.S Missile Defense?

Posted on April 12, 2011


The last time the Obama adminstration bargained with the Russians, Obma gave details of British missiles to the rRussians so Russia would sign the START Treaty. Later after rceiving the Brit’s info Russia decided NOT to sign the START Treaty. Now, we are considering giving Russia direct control over missile defense systems. Who is making these deals for the U.S.? Obama probably thinks giving russia ccontrol of our defense is only fair, to make us all equal and trusting.SHAW

According to The Telegraph of London on April 8, Russia is demanding direct operational control of U.S. and allied missile defense systems in negotiations regarding missile defense cooperation.

While the U.S. is right to be seeking Russian cooperation in the area of missile defense—more defensive strategic postures would benefit both the U.S. and Russia in addressing the proliferation of nuclear weapons and the missiles used to deliver them—the U.S. should reject this Russian demand.

The Russian demand defies rational explanation. The missile defense system will serve only one purpose: to intercept and destroy ballistic missiles already launched at a target. In this context, the Russians cannot believe that U.S. and allied operation of a missile defense system will pose a threat to them unless they think they need to threaten both with a nuclear-armed missile attack. If this is the basis of Russian thinking, then this negotiation is about anything but cooperation. Genuine cooperation in the realm of missile defense is not about the possession of capabilities by the U.S., U.S. allies, or Russia; it is about all three parties standing together in the intention to oppose aggression through the use of ballistic missiles by rogue states.

The Russians can be motivated only by either of two desires in demanding direct operational control. The first is to deny the U.S. and its allies the ability to operate a missile defense system for their own protection. The second is for the Russians to operate the system only for their own benefit, effectively expecting the U.S. and its allies to build a missile defense system and turn it over to Russia. Either way, the demand will leave the U.S. and its allies vulnerable to missile attack. Interestingly, there is no evidence that the Russians have made an offer to the U.S. and its allies in these negotiations to allow them operational control over the Russian missile defense system deployed around Moscow.

Fortunately, there is another option for genuine cooperation in the field of missile defense between the U.S. and its allies on the one side and the Russians on the other: to pursue coordinated deployments of missile defense systems to address shared threats.

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