Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Russia And NATO Are In A Missile Race

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Source: Institute for the Study of War

Paul McLeary, Foreign Policy: Poland Checks Moscow in Latest Battle Over European Missile Defense

NATO and Russia are in a missile race, and Poland may have just raised the stakes.

The Polish government announced Tuesday that it would buy the U.S. Army’s Patriot air-and-missile defense system, a move widely seen as a response to Moscow’s upcoming deployment of nuclear-capable missiles to Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea.

Five other NATO countries already deploy the Patriot system — which can knock down missiles, drones, and small aircraft — but none are as far to the east as Poland, nor so close to Kaliningrad, a Russian exclave which is already bristling with missile systems and other advanced Russian military hardware.

Poland has been in talks with various defense contractors for several years about building a missile defense capability, but Russia’s likely deployment of Iskander advanced nuclear-capable missiles to Kaliningrad by 2019 seems to have forced Warsaw’s hand. Each Iskander battery has two guided missiles with a range of about 300 miles. Russia has already sent Iskander systems to Kaliningrad twice for exercises, but has later withdrawn them.

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WNU Editor: I guess this explains why the Russians will not initiate discussions on a conventional arms control treaty .... Russian Foreign Ministry: Interested In Conventional Arms Control, But Will Not Be The First To Initiate Discussions .... their focus is on a missile race that is happening right now.

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