One of the reasons NATO is saying the missile defense operations are necessary for Romania and Poland is to protect against Iranian missiles. Which, we of course, have made possible. NATO’s reassurance to Russia also includes the assertion that these sites are way too south to ever be able to interfere with missiles Russia wants to launch.
Isn’t that nice? Because who would want to interfere with that?
Considering Russia is the country invading nations and annexing them, I’m sure proud we’re reassuring them they’re safe.
I do look forward to the day when tyrants around the world seek to reassure us for a change.
The U.S. and NATO declared their missile interceptor system here ready for operations on Thursday while attempting to reassure Russia it is not the target.
“Missile defense is for defense,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said. “It is purely defensive.”
Stoltenberg joined Romania’s prime minister, Dacian Ciolos, and U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work at a U.S. Navy base near rural Deveselu, where 24 SM-3 missiles are now loaded in launchers for use against short- to intermediate-range ballistic missiles.
Thursday’s ceremony formally certifies the site for operations. The site is expected to be formally designated for NATO use at the alliance summit in Warsaw this summer.
The U.S. says the system, known as the European Phased Adaptive Approach, is a necessary defense against Iranian ballistic missiles that could target European cities or American bases. But Russia has long criticized it as a potential threat to its own missiles and a disruption of the regional strategic balance.
The issue has been a constant irritant in relations between Russia and the West since the system was announced in 2002. Officials at Thursday’s ceremony repeatedly tried to defuse Russian concerns.
“This site in Romania — as well as the one in Poland — is not directed against Russia,” Stoltenberg said. “The interceptors are too few, and located too far south or too close to Russia, to be able to intercept Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles.”
NATO’s official position is that the system is intended to defend Europe against unspecified countries in Asia and the Middle East possessing missile technology.