Ominous news from Russia reared its ugly head again this Wednesday. After invading neighboring Georgia, Russia is bandying loaded, angry words with NATO and the United States over a missile defense base, placed just 115 miles from its border, within Poland.
Wednesday, the U.S. and Poland agreed to place a strategic missile defense base in eastern Poland, which would be used to defend the U.S. and its European allies from long-range Iranian missiles.
In response, Russia acted in a somewhat predictable manner, The CW editorial board thinks. There might be some merit to their disturbance, we think, as the base might impart the wrong message to Russia in that the U.S. feels threatened. Whether this is the case, we cant be sure.
What we do find disturbing, though, is Russias quick-to-aggression response. The situation, we feel, does not merit such an aggressive response from a world power like Russia. In short, Russia might be overreacting.
That isnt to say the U.S. is blameless, though. The U.S. might have averted the situation by making the purpose of the base clearer to Russia from the beginning.
However, the stated purpose of the base, no matter how geographically close it may be to Russia, is for missile defense from other dangerous states like Iran. The editorial board wonders if that is a bad thing. Is potentially saving the lives of thousands of future targets of Irans nuclear program provided evidence of such appears a bad thing? We think not.
Yesterday, Russia also told the Nordic embassy in Moscow it planned to terminate all military cooperation with NATO and member states.
We cant be sure if this is all-too-familiar aggressive posturing from Moscow, or if the situation will turn into something more this time. Obviously, we hope it doesnt.
No matter which way any of this news is slanted, the entire situation is a dangerous one. The U.S. would do well to tread lightly around Russia for the time being, taking care to calm their apparent concerns over the new missile defense agreement with Poland.
The U.S., as powerful as it is, cannot afford to lose even begrudged cooperation from the former Soviet Union. Russia is, after all, one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, and could therefore cause any number of problems for us in the future.
Despite our concerns, the editorial board thinks the situation will, ultimately, amount to much less than the use of military force by Russia against the U.S. or Poland. Sooner or later preferably sooner all of the governments involved need to take a step back and realize this is not as big a problem as it is being made out to be.