I was interested to read of the Russian Federation’s latest suggestion that the U.S.A. might wish to reconsider their decision to site an anti-missile system on Romanian soil. The system is due to go fully operational in the near future hence Russia’s more immediate concern over this perceived threat.
In October 1962, the Cuban missile crisis erupted and held the world in a terrified trance for 13 historic days. We were, we are told, a hair’s breadth away from global nuclear catastrophe. In the end the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R. stepped back from Armageddon with the Soviet’s withdrawing their threat to station nuclear missiles on Cuba, less than 100 miles from Florida, and the Americans agreeing to promise not to invade Fidel Castro’s Cuba.
Less well known is the private deal between President Kennedy and Soviet Chairman Khrushchev, whereby the U.S.A. agreed to withdraw its own missiles from Turkey, not so far from the U.S.S.R... This is what the Soviets had been after all along and follows the pattern of Russian and Soviet strategic negotiations during the last 100 years. Their S.O.P. runs as follows.
Russia identifies a threat and requests, reasonably politely, that it be removed. If it is not removed then Russia creates an equal and opposite problem for its opponent in another part of the world. Having established the new problem, Russia then invites her opponent to discuss a mutually beneficial deal that removes both problems simultaneously.
The U.S. missiles, although classed as an anti-missile system, are clearly regarded as a real threat by President Putin’s government and they have said so on a number of occasions. Now they have positioned themselves in the Middles East to cause the U.S. and its allies some serious strategic problems and it is very unlikely that they will back down in their support for President Assad in Syria without some serious concessions from the West.
Let’s see how this plays out and how it may affect Romania’s strategic situation in the future.
By Ronnie Smith, guest writer