Gates At Pentagon Calls Russia “Misguided” On Missiles

Russia has been aware of and in on U.S. missile defense planning since at least 1991 when I participated with them during a trip to Moscow.  Secretary of Defense Gates is right to say this Tom Foolery from Medvedev and Putin has gone on too long….

John E. Carey

Russia's Prime minister Vladimir Putin seen in the Kremlin ... 
Russia’s Prime minister Vladimir Putin seen in the Kremlin in Moscow in this November 5, 2008 photo.REUTERS/Alexander Natruskin


Russian threats to position missiles near Poland to counter a U.S. missile defense plan in Europe are misguided, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday, suggesting that Moscow‘s latest aggressive rhetoric harkens back to the old Cold War era.

Unleashing his own pointed criticism, Gates said that Russia’s missile threat appears aimed at Europe. And he dismissed as not credible Russia‘s latest offer to forego its missile plan if the U.S. would agree not to deploy a defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic.

By LOLITA C. BALDOR, Associated Press Writer

Speaking at the close of a meeting of NATO defense ministers here, Gates and other officials also signaled that it is inevitable that Ukraine will join the international alliance, although there are hurdles and opposition both from within the new struggling democracy and other allied nations.

The meeting was set largely to deal with the Ukraine’s membership effort — a move that Russia opposes and sees as part of an unsettling westward shift of former Soviet republics in the region. But overshadowing the meeting were the escalating tensions with Russia in the region as Moscow tries to reassert itself.

An Iranian surface-to-surface missile lifts off from a launch ... 
An Iranian surface-to-surface missile lifts off from a launch platform during a test firing at an undisclosed location in the Iranian desert in this image released to Fars News by the military November 12, 2008.REUTERS/FARS NEWS

The latest missile threat from Russian President Dmitry Medvedev came under fire from NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, who called the remarks unsolicited, unnecessary and unhelpful.

And Gates said the threat, made just after the U.S. election of President-elect Barack Obama, was “hardly the welcome a new American administration deserves. Such provocative remarks are unnecessary and misguided.”

“Quite frankly I’m not clear what the missiles would be for in Kaliningrad, after all the only real emerging threat on Russia’s periphery is in Iran and I don’t think the Iskander missile has the range to get there from Kaliningrad,” snapped Gates, adding. “Why they would threaten to point missiles at European nations seems quite puzzling to me.”

US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates listens to the media during ...
US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates listens to the media during the Informal High-Level NATO-Ukraine Consultations in Tallinn November 13, 2008.REUTERS/Ints Kalnins (ESTONIA)

He said a key reason for his attendance at the meeting was to show U.S. support for Eastern European countries that are looking to align themselves with the West. Those nations, he said, are understandably on edge in the wake of Russia’s incursion into Georgia in August.

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One Response to “Gates At Pentagon Calls Russia “Misguided” On Missiles”

  1. Right Truth Says:

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