Sunday, April 6, 2008

Risk of Mr. Bush Trying To Restart The Cold War

Mr. Bush suggested and NATO accepted a U.S. missile defense system in Europe. By doing so, Mr. Bush has pushed us back to a start of another Cold War. BBC News has an excellent Q&A on this, so I will not go into the details here. However, it is suffice to state Bush’s claims that the U.S. led missile defense system will prevent Iran and North Korea from sending missiles to Europe seems preposterous. Well, if this is true, then why not simply sell the Patriot system to European countries that want a missile defense? After all, they are sovereign nations. That is what U.S. did with Egypt, Germany, Greece, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia and Taiwan.[i]

According to a Federation of American Scientist, Iran currently has only short-range missiles that are incapable of hitting Western Europe. Nuclear Threat Initiative notes that Iran is on track to be able to extend its ballistic missile capabilities to reach Southern Europe sometime in 2005-2010 and the U.S. by 2015."[ii]

OK, let’s look at these facts: Iran currently has no missile to reach Western Europe. Moreover, they may have missile technology sometime by 2010 to reach Southern Europe. Then, why is Mr. Bush pushing for a missile defense system in Poland and Czech Republic?[iii] I don’t know about some folks, but if the Southern Europe was an immediate target, then the missile defense systems should be installed in a better intercept location like Turkey, Greece, or Italy. Or does Mr. Bush thinks that the missile defense system in Poland and Czech Republic is close enough to Southern Europe to effectively take out Iranian missiles? Someone please give Bush geography lessons because his logic doesn’t make sense. (But then again, it will not be the first time.)

Both Poland and Czech Republic have not agreed yet to put missile defense system in their country since, rightly so, they are concerned about Russia. They are no dummies. So, Mr. Bush has to resort to arm-twisting and piling on incentives (read as billion of dollars in aid).

By pushing for this system, all Mr. Bush is doing is antagonizing Russia and spreading our military resources even thinner. Who do you think is going to be manning the missile defense systems in Poland and Czech Republic, once they are built? It is highly likely that it will be a contingent of U.S. soldiers acting as ‘advisors’ who will be manning the missile defense systems. Sounds like Vietnam redux.

By his attempt at trying to salvage his legacy, Bush is digging a bigger hole for the U.S. to climb out of. Instead of trying to strengthen international relations with Russia and China through diplomatic and trade ties, he is pushing them away by berating them (in the case of China with their currency) and threatening them (in the case of Russia). Throughout history, Russia had been concerned about invasion from the West (Swedes in1240, Poland in 1604-1613, Napoleon (France) in 1812, and Germany in World War I and II[iv]).

Lucky for us that Mr. Bush is leaving office soon. The projected implementation date for the European missile defense is estimated to be sometime in 2010 to 2013. Hopefully, the next President will have enough sense to realize that this is not the way to ensure peace and to spread democracy and quash the missile defense system. But then again, what do we expect from Mr. Bush. After all, didn’t he say “I just want you to know that, when we talk about war, we're really talking about peace.”[v]

Now, I can sleep peacefully at night knowing that our Commander in Chief is busy trying to secure global peace in his last few days in office by trying to restart a cold war.

Ed Kim
DISCLOSURE: The author makes frequent pokes at stupidity, especially in the guise of leadership

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