F. William Engdahl
June 4, 2016
To read the Western mainstream media, we would be led to believe that the big, bad Russian Bear, with Vladimir Putin atop, shaking a fistful of nuclear warheads, is confronting the West in the most threatening manner imaginable. We should believe Russia is provoking at every turn, frothing at the mouth and threatening to invade the Baltic countries and perhaps all Western Europe. We would feel quite justified, as the propaganda spin of Washington claims, to protect America’s European allies from surprise Russian nuclear attack by surrounding Russia with anti-Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) systems.
So we as citizens in the Western NATO countries have little reaction at all when we read some days ago that the Obama White House announced it had activated the first phase of its anti-ballistic missile defense system (BMD), known as AEGIS, in an air base in Deveselu, Romania. Poland will be next to become activated with Washington’s Aegis.
The Aegis Ashore system has been officially put into operation and can already launch SM-3 interceptor missiles. The system includes 24 anti-aircraft SM-3 missiles. At the same time the Pentagon is placing its BMD installations in Japan and South Korea and possibly, Australia, aimed at China. Our perception of world reality is primarily shaped for us by what we read in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal or hear on CNN or BBC. We sigh a small sigh of relief that our world is now more secure. Nothing is farther from reality. That’s a grave error.
On May 13, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, alongside officials representing the United States and European NATO members, announced the activation of a new missile system, based in Romania. Stoltenberg announced,
“The United States’ Aegis ashore system is declared certified for operations.”
The new missile network is based at Romania’s Deveselu military air base. The US is also building another new US missile base in Poland. On the same day Deveselu missile base was opened for “business,” construction began on the US missile base near Redzikowo, Poland. Both will operate under the direct command of the US Department of Defense. The Pentagon insists both are intended to protect Europe from Iran (sic!). Shall we call that a pretty pathetic propaganda deception of Washington? I would say so. Both and other systems are directly intended for Russia and those “unarmed” Aegis missiles are potentially nuclear-capable and carry Tomahawk Land Attack Cruise Missiles.
The Romanian missile base is positioned less than 400 miles from Russia’s main Black Sea naval base at Sevastopol, Crimea. AEGIS is able to fire short and long-range missiles.i Neither Romania nor Poland will have any say over its use, even though their territory will be the target of any pre-emptive Russian reaction.
Commenting on the event, the New York Times openly acknowledged, “The launch-pad violates a 1987 treaty intended to take the superpowers off their hair-trigger nuclear alter, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, by banning land-based cruise and medium-range missiles with a range from 300 to 3,400 miles.”
US and NATO officials insist that AEGIS is directed against Iran and other small states viewed by Washington as “rogue states,” and poses no threat to Russia or China, something absurd on the surface.
The reality, that Russia is the target of the Romanian Aegis system was made plain by the remarks at the opening ceremony by Romanian President Klaus Ioannis. Ioannis made clear that the new installation is part of broader plans to use his country as a staging area for NATO activities throughout Eastern Europe and the Black Sea.
Of course the Black Sea is home to Russia’s naval Black Sea Fleet in Russian Crimea. Admitting that the real target of the missiles is the Russian Federation, Ioannis called on NATO leaders to maintain a “permanent naval presence” in the Black Sea, as part of a military buildup aimed at making a “credible and predictable presence of Allied forces on the eastern flank.” A glance at the map shos that the only nation bordering the Black Sea not either in NATO or controlled by pro-NATO regimes is the Russian Federation.
During his swearing in some days before the Aegis opening US Army General and Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, Curtis Scaparrotti, warned that Russia “is striving to project itself as a world power.” He declared that US forces in Europe must “enhance our levels of readiness and our agility in the spirit of being able to fight tonight if deterrence fails.” That sounds pretty “hair-trigger” to me.
Russia made clear it does not greet the news of Aegis deployment with grace or joy. Russia’s President Putin told news agencies, “This is not a defense system. This is part of a US nuclear strategic potential brought on to a periphery. In this case, Eastern Europe is such a periphery…Those people taking such decisions must know that until now they have lived calm, fairly well-off and in safety. Now, as these elements of ballistic missile defense are deployed, we are forced to think how to neutralize the emerging threats to the Russian Federation.”
Continue Reading At: Journal-NEO.org
F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”