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My comment below seems to have disappeared so I have retrieved it from my browser memory and am reposting it here.  It was written in response to the following comment by Jacob:

Golly, Frank, why would I call irrelevant "comments" and dismissing the whole substance of my diary without a trace of analysis rude?

You simply assert there's no military utility in the radar emplacements in the Czech Republic, and launch into trivia about ratings on the site.

Golly, Frank, where's the disrespect in that?

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 "The whole substance of your diary" as I understand it is that the U.S. is building a first-strike military capability that will allow it to launch a nuclear attack on Russia without fear of effective retaliation.  I did not comment on that thesis much less dismiss it.  In fact I probably agree with that thesis even though Pierre did dispute your assessment that this was possible in the near term.

There may also however be political factors behind the decision to pursue the installation of anti-ballistic missiles and X-band radar in Poland and the Czech Republic.  The US has a long history of pursuing extremely expensive but largely ineffective weapons systems (remember Star wars?) which can keep the military industrial complex well funded for many years.

They do, however, depend on the US administration being able to create a public fear of an arch enemy ready and willing and able to attack the US.  My fear was that the PUBLIC sabre rattling documented in your piece would help to create such a climate and thus make it easier to secure funding for such projects.

The other political factor - which I didn't mention - is that by placing such installations in Eastern Europe the US is retaining control of the security agenda in Europe and underlining the ineffectiveness of the EU as an independent force in world politics.  

The last thing the neo-cons want is the EU and Russia joining forces and become a real challenge to US hegemony, and thus anything which keeps them divided and the tension high has to be a good thing.

Thus quite apart from the military utility of the installations - which I will leave to you and Pierre and other military experts to debate - I suggest there are also political reasons why the US would want to have a major footprint in the region.

So far from blathering, being rude, disrespectful, stupid, or lacking in "common sense" I was simply introducing another line of argument which I might have expanded on had others shown an interest.

The resurgence in Russian nationalism has a lot of very serious implications for those of us living in Europe and it is important that we understand its causes.  Many thanks for presenting us with some of the military  reasons behind Putin's recent behaviour.  We have to deal with the political consequences in Kosovo and elsewhere.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 01:55:01 PM EST
Frank, when a comment receives at least two ratings and the average score is below 1.0, it is automatically hidden, which also hides any replies to it (though you can retrieve your comment from your own recent comments list). Trusted users can see hidden comments, unless they have set their user preferences accordingly. Anyone can become a trusted user after enough of their comments have received high enough ratings by the community.

Thanks for re-posting.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 02:03:16 PM EST
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