Newsflash, the Cold War could be on again. Cold Warriors are picking up their canes and walkers, hobbling toward the phone just in case it rings or in the event Vlad Putin takes his shirt off again in a clear signal of impending aggressive Russian behavior.
The Russians are threatening to preemptively attack missile defense sites if they don’t get their way; it’s a ‘negotiation’. They will, apparently, stamp their feet and throw a few tactical missiles at Turkey, Poland and Romania? An attack on those missile sites would likely be deemed a strike against NATO.
What could possibly motivate the Russians to issue such a threat in the middle of the ‘negotiations’? We say its defense against Iranian missiles, the Russians say Nyet, it could also be used against us Comrade. The logical take away is that the Russians want nothing to stand in their way should they decide to hurl a few nukes hither and yon!
Let’s review. The Russians have been after the missile defense deployments for years. Early in the Obama administration they were able to back us off leaving Poland and the Czech Republic hanging. Reason one for the threat; it worked last time. Reason two; they don’t want to make the same mistake that led to the end of the Cold War and attempt to compete with the technology. Russian technology is good but not this good; witness the number of Aeroflot planes dropping out of the sky every year.
The Russians are concerned that their Mutually Assured Destruction deterrent will be rendered impotent consistent with about 50% of their male population. The Russian deterrent was of questionable quality when it was new, that was a long time ago. What the Russians are truly concerned with in the short run is protecting Iran. The recent history of Russia running interference for Iran is significant and consistent. Russia also built the Bushehr nuclear reactor for Iran.
Will Russia engage the West militarily to protect Iran? Not likely! That would render the proper response to Vlad and the boys as something along the lines of “shove your Vodka where the sun don’t shine; we’re deploying the defensive missiles” and “oh, by the way get out of the way regarding Iran and we can talk about the missiles later on”! “Help put a cap on Iranian missile and nuclear technology and maybe we won’t need the missiles.”
Russia does this because they can. Russia does this because they smell weakness and lack of resolve. Russia does this because they know NATO is slowly disintegrating. Russia will continue to do this so long as ‘engagement’ and ‘reset’ is the policy of the West.