Yuri Baluyevsky, Chief of Staff of the Russian General Staff denounced recent American proposals about the new missile system that is being developed in the Czech Republic and Poland. He regards American offers as a failure to be serious in creating a cooperative arrangement with Russia. “We do not see,” he said, “anything new in these proposals. What constructive proposals are we talking about, if Russia has merely been offered the chance to become a cost-free addition to the U.S. missile shield in Europe? Sources in the Russian military are angry because American proposals do not allow for a joint assessment of threats, do not allow Russian military experts to be stationed at the missile sites for joint consultation and there is no desire on the part of America for a willingness to refrain from activating the missile system unless there is conclusive evidence of a real threat.
This is simply another example of Bush’s misunderstanding of other nations. Russia has twice been invaded in the 20th century and their leaders may have aspects of paranoia in regarding the presence of offensive weapons near their border even though America claims they are not directed at Russia, but at other supposed enemies. The only other nations mentioned are North Korea and Iran. Why would North Korea wish to send missiles toward Europe? Iran is quite aware attacking Europe would result in a massive attack on their nation, particularly since France and Great Britain possess nuclear weapons. One might also raise the question as to why doesn’t the European Union handle its own defense? Why is America establishing a missile defense system for Europe?