- Russia Hints At Nuclear War After US Deploys Ballistic Missile Shield
by Tyler Durden, www.zerohedge.com
In a dramatic development for the global nuclear balance of power, yesterday we reported that starting today, the United States would launch its European missile defense system dubbed Aegis Ashore at a remote airbase in the town of Deveselu, Romania, almost a decade after Washington proposed protecting NATO from Iranian rockets and despite repeated Russian warnings that the West is threatening the peace in central Europe.
As Robert Bell, a NATO-based envoy of U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter explained “we now have the capability to protect NATO in Europe. The Iranians are increasing their capabilities and we have to be ahead of that. The system is not aimed against Russia,” he told reporters, adding that the system will soon be handed over to NATO command.
We also noted that the Kremlin, which for years has warned that it would have no choice than to escalate proportionally, was “incensed at such of show of force by its Cold War rival in formerly communist-ruled eastern Europe where it once held sway.” Moscow said that the U.S.-led alliance is trying to encircle it close to the strategically important Black Sea, home to a Russian naval fleet and where NATO is also considering increasing patrols. Russia has good reason to be worried: the US move is a clear defection from the carefully established Game Theory equilibrium in the aftermath of the nuclear arms race, one which potentially removes a Russian first strike threat, thereby pressuring Russia.
We added that “the precarious nuclear balance of power in Europe has suddenly shifted, and quite dramatically: despite U.S. assurances, the Kremlin says the missile shield’s real aim is to neutralize Moscow’s nuclear arsenal long enough for the United States to make a first strike on Russia in the event of war.”
In conclusion we said that “what makes this step particularly dangerous is that Russia will now be forced to retaliate and since it does not have a comparable defensive technology, Putin will have no choice but to deploy more ICBMs on Russia’s borders, which in turn will exponentially escalate the threat of an “inadvertent” launch.
…. the reaction in Moscow on Thursday was darker: a public discussion of how nuclear war might play out in Europe and the prospect that Romania, the host nation for the United States-built system, might be reduced to “smoking ruins.”