Why are US missiles being placed in Europe?

July 14, 2008

DO YOU REMEMBER a fanciful Ronald Reagan plan called ‘Star Wars’? The actual name for this political football was the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), and it never actually disappeared. In fact, it morphed — or rather switched emphasis — during the Clinton years. What began as a space-based anti-missile program (hence the name ‘Star Wars’) became a terrestrial anti-ballistic missile program administered by the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO) soon to be renamed the ‘Missile Defense Agency’. According to the agency’s website, the MDA’s purpose is to “develop, test and prepare for deployment of a missile defense system. Using complementary interceptors, land-, sea-, air- and space-based sensors, and battle management command and control systems…”.

Back in October 1962, Russia’s premier, Nikita Kruschev, devised and implemented a plan to construct missile bases in Cuba, easily within striking distance of the United States. Understandably, neither President John Kennedy nor the military minds of the day liked the idea of nuclear warheads pointed at Washington. As someone who lived through the ‘Missiles of October’ episode of history, I can tell you that I didn’t like it either! The entire US watched in horror as an international game of chicken took place just a few hundred miles off shore.

Fast forward to 2002, when NATO decides that a great and gathering threat looms over western Europe — but Europe doesn’t want to do anything about it. Enter President George W. Bush and a vast collective of NGOs and diplomats, who chose to ignore a 30 year-old ABM non-proliferation treaty with Russia in favor of an ambitious plan to protect the United States by placing ABMs (anti-ballistic missiles) in Europe, particularly in Poland and Czechoslovakia. Needless to say, Russia was not pleased.

By 2006, the US Missile Defense Shield is an open secret, rarely reported by cable news but percolating through European news agency reports. So — what is it, and why is GWB so adamant about its placement?

The public reason is that missiles launched from Iran threaten both the US and European nations. With rhetoric ramping up between Tehran and Washington, it’s easy to believe that the Missile Defense Shield is truly defensive. However, what if the missiles aren’t merely ABMs? Recently, newly elected Russian President Medvedev has accused Bush of constructing offensive weapons bases in eastern Europe — even going so far as to claim some are aimed at Russia. Think back to the October 1962 crisis here in the US, and it’s easy to understand how Russians might feel about US missiles (ABM or otherwise) sitting on their doorstep. A recent visit to Russia by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates failed to allay Medvedev’s suspicions. Perhaps the fact that they appear to be using the US system as a bargaining chip in the ‘diplomatic war’ on Iran diminishes their sincerity. Rice and Gates supposedly offered to delay ‘opening day’ for the radar and missile bases until the US receives proof of Iran’s nuclear capability. Gates denies such an offer, stating instead that he merely extended an invitation to Russia to tour the radar installation.

So, who’s telling the truth? In the increasingly dangerous game of ‘Risk’, it’s nearly impossible to tell. But here’s what we can discern:
1) the US does have radar and missile bases either online or ready to go online in eastern Europe.
2) US naval assets are currently strategically based in the Arabian Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, and off the coast of Japan.
3) the US have built military bases on the border with Iran, just inside Iraq.
4) Russia has signed agreements to defend Iran if that country is attacked.
5) Syria has signed an agreement to defend Iran if attacked.
6) Hezbullah (a defacto Iranian organization) has commandeered a prime military location atop Mt. Sannine just west of Beirut.
7) Syrian troops have taken up positions in the Golan Heights.
8) Bush has publicly given Israel permission to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Are you ready for global war? Do you know Christ as your Savior? You and I may have ilttle control over the choices our leaders make, but we can make the most important choice of all — what to do with Jesus. Christ died for your sins and mine, and all you need do to receive that salvation is believe in Him. He’s coming back soon — and the leaders of the nations will bow their knees to the true King of the Universe. Bush can plant all the missiles he wants, but it won’t change the outcome. Christ is in control.

Whose side are you on?

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