US and Russia: From containment to coercion
How would you feel if an amateur shooter moves in next to you? Most likely, you will be somewhat distressed. How can Russia feel about the deployment of the U.S. military base on the territory of its nearest neighbor, Poland? Probably the same way. This is not surprising as each country thinks about safety of its citizens.
The Air Force of the United States will soon place a group of 10-20 soldiers in Poland. This is done through the deployment of a missile defense system in Europe. The soldiers will be deployed on a permanent basis. As Tomas Semonyak, the defense minister of Poland, reported after a visit to Washington, the first batch of the American soldiers can come to Poland in October and November. "I hope that this small step will be important politically," said the Minister.
The elements of the European missile defense are to be deployed in Poland in 2018. European missile defense is one of the main stumbling blocks in the relations between Russia and the United States. Russia has repeatedly called the planned deployment of a missile defense system a dangerous activity that contradicts the friendly relations between the two countries. Russia and NATO at the Lisbon summit in 2010 agreed to cooperate on this project, but the U.S. did not provide any legal assurances that this system is not aimed against Russia's nuclear deterrent.
The first stage provides for deployment of missile defense components in Turkey, in particular, sea-based systems Aegis, and a radar station detect AN/TPY-2. The second phase should be completed by 2015, and the third - by 2018. The second phase involves deployment of powerful land-and sea-based missiles SM-3, and the third - the newest interceptor missiles SM-3. The fourth phase should be completed in 2020, deploying modified SM-3 missiles and missile defense groups and bringing the capacity to up to 40 ships and hundreds of missiles.
The third and fourth phases cause great concern for Russia. In response, Russia intends to take several measures of the diplomatic and military-technical nature. In its relations with the US and prioritizing the issues of the national defense Moscow will take into account the fact of landing of the United States aviation units on the territory of Poland, said the representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Lukashevich. He also said that Russia "has demanded additional information from its American counterparts to understand the exact situation.
As Lukashevich said, Russia looks at the significant in the military terms enhancement through the prism of the obligations under the act on relations between NATO and Russia of 1997 concerning the refusal of deployment of additional combat forces on a permanent basis." "We hope that the United States will exercise restraint in the territories of NATO," said Lukashevich.
What is the US seeking? The answer is obvious - total control. The massive military build-up will allow Washington in the near future to move to the doctrine of "containment of Russia", then the doctrine of "coercion." Its essence is simple - based on its military power to force Russia and several other states that do not fit into the American politics to obey the rules of the States. The purpose of the United States is to prevent the resurgence of Russia, which could, according to the American leadership, prevent the country's plans for world domination.
The US stepped up criticism of foreign and domestic policy of the Russian leadership. Russia is accused of backsliding on democracy, human rights abuses, Russia's interference in the freedom of speech, using energy blackmail, corruption at all levels, carrying out imperial policy in relation to the post-Soviet states, etc.
The White House is considering the formation of the CIS regional security systems in order to control the extraction of hydrocarbons, prevention of the emergence of regional security systems, and training of contingents of the armed forces of CIS countries to conduct joint operations in conflict zones. Through the active participation in the formation of different security systems, in particular, missile defense, the U.S. plans to achieve economic, political and military dominance.
The well-known expert in Russian-American relations, David Holloway, a professor at Stanford University, believes that to achieve results in the direction of mutual cooperation in missile defense, some key issues have to be solved, such as:
- The issue of a common future. Collaboration requires a shared vision of the future developed in detail, but this can only happen with mutual trust.
- The issue of mutual trust, which includes determining its level necessary for such cooperation.
- Search for a compromise. Cooperation will be useful and achievable if compromises are agreed upon. The compromise will require both parties to retreat from their positions at least partially.
- The issue of equality - a key factor in the negotiations. The need to find a compromise in terms of construction and configuration of the European missile defense that may affect the security of Russia.
However, it seems that both sides, speaking in public in favor of cooperation, in fact are either hard of hearing, or do not want to hear each other. Perhaps, it has to do with crudity and superficial nature of the proposals. The Russian government has stated many times to their partners that their proposals should be subject to a dialogue and discussion, rather than unconditional acceptance of the demands. But the dialogue has not yet been successful.
We cannot but agree with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov who expressed the need for the joint work of technical experts. This will help clarify a number of very important technical issues that impede the achievement of military and political agreements. During the presidential campaign that takes place in the U.S., it is hard to believe in any progress in the negotiations. The more so that the Republican conservatives have made defense nearly the main point of ensuring the military security of the country, flatly denying the possibility of cooperation with Russia. But no matter who becomes U.S. president, the issue of missile defense will still have to be solved.
Hopefully, common sense will prevail and the parties concerned will return to the negotiation table. Active involvement of expert and scientific community in the process will contribute to progress. In the event that the agreement is reached, Russia has something to offer to its Western partners. Let me disagree with the statements of some experts that Russia is not able to contribute to missile defense. Russia has good potential for monitoring of missile threats, early warning and interception of missiles. This potential, subject to its modernization and harmonization of control, seems less costly and more mutually beneficial. Finding the way out of the impasse with missile defense offers advantages not only in scientific and technological, military and political terms but also economically, which is important in the context of the global financial crisis.
There are proponents of more radical measures. Military Captain Vladislav Shurygin is convinced that the next move of the Americans would require a harsh response. The main asset of Russia in a dialogue with the U.S. on missile defense can only be a successful program of building new missile systems. Russia must now produce as many missiles as possible, Shurygin believes. This would cause the U.S. to reflect on whether the deployment of missile defense is an option. There are many opinions, but one thing is clear - Russia must take more drastic steps, otherwise one day it will be surrounded by foreign military bases.