The Missile shield fiasco in Soul

The U.S., NATO and many European countries are have been participating in a proposed project to set up an anti nuclear missile shield or defense system with instillations all over Europe. The idea is to ensure a first line of defense against any missile attacks launched not only on Europe but also into the U.S. from parts of the Middle East. Though it is widely believed that at present no country in that region has the capability of getting a ballistic missile all the way to the U.S. but that may change in the future.

Russia has been staunchly opposed to the plan as it stands right now as radars that will be placed in Europe as part of this system will have the ability to monitor all movement within Russia’s European area and that is not acceptable to them. They would like legally binding assurances from NATO and the U.S. that the shield will not be used against them before they join the countries who are participating in this project. They also do not share the west’s concerns about Iran at the moment.

None the less, Russia’s outgoing President Dmitry Medvedev has said that he would welcome a conversation on the issue with the U.S. and NATO. Against this back drop President Obama has been overheard during the global nuclear security summit in Seoul telling the Russian President that he needs space till after the next elections before any meaningful dialogue can occur on the issue between Russia and the U.S. This has led to a storm of comments from the Republicans about the President’s non aggressive stance on the issue.

The fact of the matter is that this is a huge program that involves more than just the U.S. and Russia, and requires diplomacy and a thorough understanding of the technical issues as well as military and nationalistic aspirations and concerns of all of the countries involved. Such a negotiation is delicate and time consuming and probably the middle of a contentious and strongly bi partisan election is the wrong time to hold such a discussion. After witnessing the disastrous results of an aggressive lone ranger style of foreign policy it is only prudent to use diplomacy and dialogue when negotiating with a country that is no longer an enemy.

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