American Missile Defense Shield....in Poland?
December 30, 2006 11:38am CST
By MICHAEL R. GORDON Published: May 22, 2006 WASHINGTON, May 21 — The Bush administration is moving to establish a new antimissile site in Europe that would be designed to stop attacks by Iran against the United States and its European allies. The administration's proposal, which comes amid rising concerns about Iran's suspected program to develop nuclear weapons, calls for installing 10 antimissile interceptors at a European site by 2011. Poland and the Czech Republic are among the nations under consideration. A recommendation on a European site is expected to be made this summer to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, Pentagon officials say. The Pentagon has asked Congress for $56 million to begin initial work on the long-envisioned antimissile site, a request that has run into some opposition in Congress. The final cost, including the interceptors themselves, is estimated at $1.6 billion. The establishment of an antimissile base in Eastern Europe would have enormous political implications. The deployment of interceptors in Poland, for example, would create the first permanent American military presence on that nation's soil and further solidify the close ties between the defense establishments of the two nations. While the plan has been described in Congressional testimony and in published reports, it has received relatively little attention in the United States. But it is a subject of lively discussion in Poland and has also prompted Russian charges that Washington's hidden agenda is to expand the American presence in the former Warsaw Pact nation. Gen. Yuri N. Baluyevsky, the chief of the Russian military's general staff, has sought to stir up Polish opposition to the plan. "What can we do?" General Baluyevsky told the Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza in December. "Go ahead and build that shield. You have to think, though, what will fall on your heads afterward. I do not foresee a nuclear conflict between Russia and the West. We do not have such plans. However, it is understandable that countries that are part of such a shield increase their risk." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This is the best U.S. defense news I've heard all year! Such harsh words the Soviets have for a former "Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation and Mutual Assistance" country!! Seems like they'd be happy the Poles are getting new toys. I bet it makes the Poles feel good they've got the former Soviets shaking in their boots. Now will they get their visa requirements for traveling waived?