US DEFENCE Secretary Robert Gates on Sunday insisted that the US change of mind over basing tracking radar and anti-missile missiles in Poland and the Czech Republic does not concede anything to Russia.
Gates argued that the programme would not have been operational till 2017, and that the shift provides ‘greater flexibility to adapt as new threats develop and old ones recede’.
He added that it was at his recommendation that President Barack Obama announced the move to replace the shield plan with a more mobile ship-based system, targeting Iranian short and medium-range missiles, that would be ready for use in a very short period of time.
However the move is significant, since it is a recognition that US military power on its own is not sufficient to reorder the world in the way that President Bush wanted.
The US imperialists need the support of the Russian government to impose more sanctions on Iran, and to pressure Syria to change its alliances, and to wage the war in Afghanistan.
The decision to scrap the Bush scheme is an attempt to appease the Russian Stalinist regime for the benefit of US imperialism.
President Dmitriy Medvedev greeted the news by stating ‘We will work together to develop effective measures against the risks of missile proliferation. Measures that allow consideration for the interests and concerns of all parties, and ensure equal security for all states on European territory. I am ready to continue our dialogue.’
Deputy director of the Centre for Political Technologies Aleksey Makarkin commented that one possible reciprocal measure the US might expect is a change in Moscow’s stance on Iran, including reconsidering military-technical cooperation with Iran, and supporting economic sanctions against Iran at the level of the UN Security Council.
Meanwhile, Dmitriy Rogozin, Russia’s envoy to NATO, has welcomed the ‘peace-loving overtones’ of Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s speech at the Carnegie Europe think-tank in Brussels, following Obama’s lead.
Asked whether Russia would help NATO over Iran Rogozin said: ‘I can only tell you that Iran is our partner. However, militarily we should also always think about potential dangers. It is one thing to have normal relations with the current regime. What if along comes some guy with a completely different policy? Iran lies next to us and we do not want that country to have technologies which could potentially threaten us either.’
He added that the Russia-NATO Council should discuss Moscow’s proposals for a ‘new European architecture’.
Rogozin said that Russia won’t send troops to Afghanistan. ‘We have already been to Afghanistan, and we did not like it there’. However Russia would help NATO because ‘If NATO fails and flees from Afghanistan we and the neighbouring countries will face catastrophic developments: the Taleban and other religious extremists encouraged by success will start spreading in all directions. . .’
On the 70th anniversary of the Stalin-Hitler pact, the dangers facing Russia should be obvious if it weakens its allies such as Iran and Syria, and helps US imperialism out of its crisis in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine.
Stalin thought to turn Hitler west, but all he succeeded in doing was strengthening the Nazi war machine for a surprise assault on its strategic enemy, Soviet Russia, an attack that cost the lives of many millions of Russians.
Today the US craves the mineral resources of the Russian Federation, and the oil and gas fields of the central Asian states.
Russia needs to strengthen its relationship with Iran, not weaken it. Otherwise it is merely helping US imperialism into a position where it can launch a new war in the Caucasus, aimed at the Russian Federation.