The Chief of the Russian General Staff, Russia’s top military officer, has threatened to attack American (technically, NATO) anti-missile installations in Eastern Europe:
“A decision to use destructive force preemptively will be taken if the situation worsens,” Russian Chief of General Staff Nikolai Makarov said at an international missile defense conference in Moscow attended by senior U.S. and NATO officials.
So the threat was made to our faces.
The threat comes as talks about the missile defense system, which the U.S. and its allies insist is aimed at Iranian missiles, appear to have stalled.
“We have not been able to find mutually-acceptable solutions at this point and the situation is practically at a dead end,” Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said.
Ellen Tauscher, the U.S. special envoy for strategic stability and missile defense, denied that talks about the anti-missile system are stalemated. Personally, I don’t see why we are having such talks at all. The system will be wholly defensive, and Russia has no standing to object to it. Tauscher attributed the lack of progress in negotiations to the upcoming elections in the U.S.:
But she acknowledged Wednesday that the recent elections in Russia and the upcoming elections in the U.S. make it “pretty clear that this is a year in which we’re probably not going to achieve any sort of a breakthrough.”
Am I missing something, or did she just tell the world that Obama will have more flexibility after the election?
One wants to resist the temptation to politicize everything, but really: is there anyone who imagines that the Chief of the Russian General Staff would threaten an act of war against the United States if we had a real president?