The U.S. and its allies are building up the Asia-Pacific flank of their evolving global interceptor missile system, one which could render useless the retaliatory capacity – hence the deterrence capability – of nations targeted in a first-strike assault.
The Pentagon and NATO have installed Standard Missile-3 anti-ballistic missiles in Romania and will soon do so in Poland as well. They have advanced missile shield radar facilities in Romania, Turkey and Israel that cover the entire western part of Russia, including its main cities.
The U.S. also four Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers based at the Naval Station Rota in Spain, which shortly will expand to six. U.S. Navy has 62 such destroyers and 22 Ticonderoga-class cruisers capable of carrying the Standard Missile-3, one of which, USS Paul Ignatius, recently conducted a missile intercept in outer space.
The 84 warships are part of the Aegis Combat System, and those in the Mediterranean Sea (and currently the Black Sea) and in Eastern Europe are part of the European Phased Adaptive Approach launched by the Barack Obama administration in 2009.
The Asia-Pacific counterpart includes – to date – Australia, Japan and South Korea. The three layers of missile defense, from theater to continental, range from the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) to the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THADD) to the Standard Missile-3 systems.
Today the Russian press agency TASS quoted Admiral Igor Kostyukov, speaking at the Moscow Conference on International Security on June 23, confirming that the Pentagon is intensifying the elaboration of its global missile shield component in the Pacific. Japan is the partner it is collaborating most with; a nation that has territorial disputes with Russia and China.
He stated U.S. Navy is equipping Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers in the area with Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) Mk IIA interceptors, which have a range of 1,000 kilometers.
He offered this alarming estimate:
“By 2030, there are plans to boost the group of naval ships coping with ballistic missile defense tasks in the Asia-Pacific region from 23 to 40, THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) anti-missile batteries from 2 to 3 and Patriot PAC-3 batteries from 12 to 16. Besides, an Aegis Ashore battery with an ammunition load of 24 Standard missile interceptors is set to be deployed.”
That is, in effect replicating the system in Europe aimed against Russia in the Asia-Pacific region. (In Russia’s case, being boxed in from both sides.)
He added, “Within the framework of this activity, Washington is stepping up cooperation with Tokyo, which is rapidly creating its own ballistic missile defense system technically and operationally compatible with the Pacific segment of the US global missile shield.”
In what is hardly a revelation, the Chief of the Russian General Staff, Valery Gerasimov, spoke at the time conference as Admiral Kostyukov and said: “The dissolution of the Soviet Union has led to a change in opinions of the collective West on global security issues. It began to prioritize forming a unipolar world and achieving military supremacy, as well as using its military force to promote its own interests.” He cited the U.S./NATO wars against Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria as examples of what he was speaking about.
The point is, however, a full thirty years after the fact, for those familiar with Aesop, who will bell the cat? Not the Russian government, surely.
Rick Rozoff is a contributing editor at Antiwar.com. He has been involved in anti-war and anti-interventionist work in various capacities for forty years. He lives in Chicago, Illinois. He is the manager of Stop NATO. This originally appeared at Anti-Bellum.