Is Obama’s new security plan for Eastern Europe really what it seems?
Since the US delivered Patriot missiles to northern Poland in April, military experts have been asking themselves this question. The Polish Defense Ministry says the SM-3 rockets in Morag are serving training purpose.
“The US Patriot missiles were brought to Morag for training purposes,” said Robert Rochowicz, from Poland’s Defense Ministry. “Every several months, US servicemen go to that military base and teach their Polish personnel how to operate them. We know of similar plans in another military base in the town of Radzikowo.”
But the Washington Post reported that the installation in Morag doesn’t look at all like a training camp.
An anonymous Pentagon official said the battery is only the first step in a reviewed security plan. The source says that a radar station would be installed in either Bulgaria or Turkey by next year, as well as in the Czech Republic.
The new security plan will be complete with Aegis ships in the Mediterranean Sea, capable of shooting down an Iranian ICBM.
The Stop the War movement – the driving force of the anti-shield protests – says the new blueprint is no different than that of the previous US administration.
“Installation of any type of missiles in our territory throws us back two decades,” said movement member Maciy Wiechorkowski. “It was 20 years ago that our countries started dismantling missiles, now we’re being equipped again. The world would be a safer place not if we arm ourselves, but if we try to resolve the threats in their origins. These missiles in Eastern Europe only serve Washington’s economic interests.”
Former president George W. Bush’s initial missile defense shield plan consisted of ballistic missiles in Poland and a radar system in the Czech Republic, sparking mass protests in those countries.
After consultations with Moscow last September, US President Barack Obama replaced it with a different blueprint.
“It’s not about intercontinental rockets, it’s now about short range and medium range,” said Polish Parliament member Tadeush Iwinski. “This is a change and a sort of a compromise. And one has to distinguish between those training rockets in Morag and those planned according to George Bush.”
Poland has hinted that more US missile batteries will appear in their country in the next 8 years.
The whole system will cost around $1 billion and it is yet unclear whether Washington will be footing the bill. As the Washington Post reports, it is also vague what purpose this shield can serve.
After what seemed to be a diplomatic compromise between Russia and the United States, Moscow said that Washington started the rocket deployment unilaterally.
The information published in the Washington Post cannot be considered entirely truthful, as it can from an anonymous source. But a recent initiative from Pentagon to invest $2 million into building a radar station in the Czech Republic has only added to the claims.
Now experts are left to wonder what exactly Obama changed from the earlier plan of his predecessor.