Prague Twin

Friday, April 13, 2007

Missle Defense

As you may have heard, the U.S. plans to build a missle defense system in Europe. The Czech Republic has been selected to host the radar equipment, while Poland has been designated as the host of the actual missles. Today it was announced that the construciton of the radar system will cost $260 million. Negotiations over the details will continue throughout the year, and I suspect that the question of who is to shoulder the burden of the cost is still unresolved.

About 60% of the Czech people are against hosting the radar system. However, the ruling coalition is for it, with the exception of the Greens who are hesitant and want more oversight and specific information from NATO.

The Social Democrats, and the Communist parties are strongly against it, adopting the same tone as the Russians who claim this will destabilize the region. To be honest, since the Czech Social Democrats are little more than institutional criminals, and the Commmunists are, well, Communists, I'm starting to lean towards favoring it.

However, no one has yet said who this missle system is design to protect us from. I think that is a legitimate question.


  • The admin claims the system is to protect against Iran. In other words, the War on Terror justifies everything.

    But maybe the chill from the renewed cold war will offset global warming. ;-)

    By Anonymous abi, at 3:23 PM  

  • Nice one. Yeah, I have heard that about Iran as well. Kind of strange since they don't have a nuclear bomb, nor do they have a missle that is remotely close to being able to deliver the nuclear bomb which they don't have.

    No wonder the Russians are pissed.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 4:01 PM  

  • The price paid for belonging to NATO I guess. It may not be all bad when you think about it. The CR is a small country and if it has some sort of global significance, it is more likely to be supported and protected. That was not the case in WWII when Hitler rolled in and I think many Czech people realized their vulnerability which was why they wanted membership in NATO. Having Putin in charge of Russia is making a lot of people nervous. The buzz will be they are worried about Middle Eastern terrorists, but they are really worried about an emerging nuclear arms threat from Russia. Of course the Russians are pissed.
    LOL, abi, but I think you are right, the cold war is back.

    By Anonymous rockync, at 7:04 PM  

  • In response to rockync: I agree that mounting the missile defense system in CZ would increase the significance and importance of the country in the "cold war." However, in gaining possible international protection, it would also refocus its target potential in the vindictive gun sights of terrorists from a hazy, last-option country, to a decidedly more lucrative one. Look at Spain. They sent less than a thousand troops to Iraq, none of whom saw action, and they paid dearly for that with the Madrid bombings, of which Al-Queda claimed was in response to Spain's involvement in the Iraqi war.

    By Anonymous Fonduta, at 9:34 PM  

  • fonduta, you make some valid points. It is going to be tough weighing the advantages of being strategically significant with being strategically vulnerable. Personally, I think it was a stupid stance for the US to take, to contend that the need for this radar and missle system has anything to do with terrorism in the Middle East. The outgoing adminstration would like ride the terrorist wagon all over everything they want to do. It certainly puts the pressure on the CR and garners them a bit of unwanted attention.

    By Anonymous rockync, at 1:44 AM  

  • Rockync & Fonduta,

    You both make some good points. I think that the idea that this somehow protects us from terrorism is ludicrous. Clearly this is a re-start of the cold war and severely misguided at that.

    Russia is not going to bomb western Europe (or east or central Europe for that matter). Instead their plan for resurgence is rooted in their advantageous position vis-a-vis control of fossil fuels.

    I'm much more concerned with the fact that the Czech Republic gets 80% of our natural gas from Russia than I am with their nuclear arsenal....

    .... or at least I was.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 11:49 AM  

  • The Czech Social Democrats are institutional criminals? What? Wouldn't the missile shield be against the few Iranian, or Pakistani, nuclear tipped missiles (and not at all useful against the thousands of missiles Russia still has)? Given what Ahmedinajad has said, I think Europe would do well to try to neutralize the Iranian threat. What do you propose we do about Iran? I'll hazard the following guesses--either wait and see or nothing.

    By Blogger Roger Fraley, at 3:13 PM  

  • Roger,

    Yes, they are.

    So you think the it is for the Pakistani threat? Someone tell Musharraf.

    Building a missle defense system doesn't do much against the Iranian threat since...

    1. They don't have any warheads and..

    2. They don't have a long range missile.

    What I think we should do about Iran is hardly at issue here.

    And if it doesn't have anything to do with Russia, why are they so upset?

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 3:31 PM  

  • Just watching the news makes it clear that Putin is bent on restoring the old Soviet. They would be a far greater threat to the smaller Eastern European countries than the Middle East. And what has happened to the uranium mines in the Czech Republic? The Russians were real interested in getting that out of the ground after the war. My contention is having the tracking system in the CR would ensure it's strategic importance thus ensuring its protection. For a country that suffered Soviet oppression for so many years, that is no small thing. I think most of us are aware that if one country launches a missle that it will be the end of the world as we know it. I see this system as a means of keeping everyone honest.

    By Anonymous rockync, at 5:40 PM  

  • I think most of us are aware that if one country launches a missle that it will be the end of the world as we know it.

    M.A.D. detterant. It worked for 40 years. Why not now?

    This missle defense would do nothing against a Russian arsenal, and why would Russia even consider bombing us here in the first place?

    No, Russia will control the future with their strategic energy reserves. Much more effective, and there is no defense system for it.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 5:52 PM  

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