Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Missile Defense Shield

I'm not a fan of the missile defense shield proposed for Poland. I have questions about its effectiveness against real threats, which makes it a waste of money. (I hate spending money on "solutions" that don't solve anything other than transferring money to defense contractors' pockets.) I just don't see it as worth the level of friction it has caused in our relationship with Russia.

There is little doubt that the missile defense shield is aimed at Russia as well as Iran. Once the shield is in place, it becomes easier to expand it than it was to put it in place. That reality helps to explain the Russian reaction.

There are serious concerns about the shield's effectiveness, but a prospective attacker would have to assume that it would work when planning an attack. There is a reasonable argument that the shield doesn't have to actually work in order to be effective. It just has to pose enough of a wild card to force it to be taken into account in mission planning.

It is reasonable to assume that the Russians are unlikely to have felt the need to flex their muscle if we hadn't been pushing the missile shield so hard.