Cold War Redux
Even a news hog like me can miss an important apple now and then. The one I missed this time was how our new Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is apparently trying to re-light the cold war flames. Brilliant! I've missed all the tension about imminent nuclear conflagration. It sort of keeps the worry about imminent terrorist attacks in perspective.
Just putting some of our flawed "missile defense shield" in ex-Soviet countries in Eastern Europe was enough to crank up the Russian defense spending. Check this paragraph from the Feb 9 edition of the British Guardian Limited http://www.guardian.co.uk/russia/article/0,,2009339,00.html
In his speech to Russia's parliament, Mr Ivanov (Russia's hawkish defence minister, Sergei Ivanov) announced that the military would get 17 ballistic missiles this year, compared with an average of four in recent years. The plan envisages the deployment of 34 new silo-based Topol-M missiles and control units, as well as another 50 such missiles mounted on mobile launchers by 2015, he said. Russia has already deployed more than 40 silo-based Topol-Ms.
Were you aware the Russians are building up their ballistic missile forces?
But Secretary Gates has Bush-mouthed even more cold war reactions from the Russians. Inexplicably, he told Congress that we should be preparing for Big War with - among others - Russia. Here's a piece of one Russian report:
“We don't know what's going to develop in places like Russia and China, in North Korea, in Iran and elsewhere,” the Pentagon head said at US Senate Armed Services Committee hearings. He supported increasing military expenditures, as it will allow increasing the number of “free detachments.” http://www.regnum.ru/english/779971.html
You can imagine how that goes down in Russia? For one thing Aeroflot just canceled a big order for Boeing jets. Brilliant! (That's the apple I missed, BTW.)