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Jun 4, 2007

Putin Threatens Europe with Nukes

Posted by in categories: existential risks, nuclear weapons

Vladimir Putin is acting pretty crazy these days. The latest is that he is threatening to point nuclear missiles at Europe because the US is planning to install a missile defense system in Poland. How will this make Europe less inclined to have a missile defense system..? From CNN:

Speaking to foreign reporters days before he travels to Germany for the annual summit with President Bush and the other Group of Eight leaders, Putin assailed the White House plan to place a radar system in the Czech Republic and interceptor missiles in neighboring Poland. Washington says the system is needed to counter a potential threat from Iran.

In an interview released Monday, Putin suggested that Russia may respond to the threat by aiming its nuclear weapons at Europe.

“If a part of the strategic nuclear potential of the United States appears in Europe and, in the opinion of our military specialists, will threaten us, then we will have to take appropriate steps in response. What kind of steps? We will have to have new targets in Europe,” Putin said, according to a transcript released by the Kremlin. These could be targeted with “ballistic or cruise missiles or maybe a completely new system” he said.

As a Russian-American myself, I am appalled and disappointed that Putin’s anti-Americanism has reached the point where he feels he has to threaten Europe with nuclear attack because the US is planning to install a missile defense system there. All I can do is take pleasure in the fact that Putin has stated he will step down within the year, and pray that the next person to hold his office doesn’t behave like a gangster on the world stage.

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Comments — comments are now closed.

  • Dr. Morpheus on June 5, 2007 5:55 am

    It’s kind of naive to assume that the Americans have nothing but goodness in their hearts as far as motives for installing the “defensive” missle system.

    And that leaves the whole can of worms about the effectiveness and necessity of a missle “defense” system unopened as well.

  • Reggie Gleesen on June 5, 2007 8:07 am

    But why are we building a missile defense system in Europe? The EU is a big boy now. It has plenty of Euros that can be spent on defense if it wishes to. Our dollars would be better spent at home on education and infrastructure.

  • Tom McCabe on June 9, 2007 4:27 pm

    “As a Russian-American myself, I am appalled and disappointed that Putin’s anti-Americanism has reached the point where he feels he has to threaten Europe with nuclear attack because the US is planning to install a missile defense system there. ”

    The US’s planned missile defense system is really an implicit threat of nuclear attack, because without MAD the US could nuke Russia with virtual impunity (compared to the current consequences of nuclear war).

    “All I can do is take pleasure in the fact that Putin has stated he will step down within the year, and pray that the next person to hold his office doesn’t behave like a gangster on the world stage.”

    No world power, so far as I know, has ever failed to commit atrocities. This includes all history from 3000 BC-2007 AD.

  • randpost on June 10, 2007 3:49 am

    The “pointing” of missiles is just political play. You can “re-point” them in seconds.

  • Randy Roach on June 11, 2007 8:06 am

    For better or worse, MAD is no longer a viable strategy. Mutually-assured destruction will not deter an opponent with an apocalyptic belief system. What then are the options?

    Persuasion seems to have no effect.

    Sanctions are similarly impotent.

    Preemptive strikes would be condemed by world leaders (although they would be secretly relieved).

    Missle defense seems almost pointless considering how easily weapons could be delivered by other means. And it weakens the doctrine of MAD.

    Or we can forgo defense and wait for nuclear blackmail or destruction before we respond, in which case perhaps millions on both sides will die.

    I think the EU is hoping that the US will take care of the Iranian problem with a preemptive strike, since it’s the least destructive effecive measure. They can then condem and chastize us, and spare themselves the violence and rioting of their muslim population.

  • Tom McCabe on June 11, 2007 2:33 pm

    “Mutually-assured destruction will not deter an opponent with an apocalyptic belief system.”

    What evidence do you have that anyone in charge of a country, especially one as large as Russia, is so totally insane that they will willingly condemn themselves, their families and their entire nation to nuclear apocalypse?

    “Persuasion seems to have no effect.”

    Remember, diplomacy is for SISSIES! Not that we’ve actually tried it or anything.

    “Sanctions are similarly impotent.”

    Sanctions, combined with internal populist pressures, convinced South Africa to totally give up its (already fully operational) nuclear weapons, the only country to ever have done so.

    “Preemptive strikes would be condemed by world leaders (although they would be secretly relieved).”

    For a non-euphemistic look at what “pre-emptive strike” means, I refer you to this video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=It-KcebEfW0

    “Missle defense seems almost pointless considering how easily weapons could be delivered by other means. And it weakens the doctrine of MAD.”

    Agreed.

    “I think the EU is hoping that the US will take care of the Iranian problem with a preemptive strike, since it’s the least destructive effecive measure.”

    Does “least destructive” include starting a major regional war which will likely have casualties numbering in the hundreds of thousands as well as causing a global economic recession?

  • Ned on August 9, 2007 5:46 pm

    That is why, you fellow children and adults, must learn the other side to things, rather than just looking through the obvious and simple things. Putting a missile shield in Poland is pointless, Iraq has no nuclear force and it has not been proved that it does (all lies). Second of all, putting the shield is obviously to counter any Russian threat, they are putting so much pressure on Russia, trying to collapse it to its grounds, so the US and its allies can walk over it and take all its resources in Sibera. Putin is not an idiot, unlike Bush.…keep that in mind.

    Cheers, hopefully you get something now, who really is the threat is the US itself.

    bye!

  • Jared Goldman on September 29, 2007 12:23 am

    One failure of the media to portray in this incident is the fact that a “missle defense system” works both ways. (That is to say, it is also equally a “missle offense system”)

    you basically launch missles to take out missles… so yeah.

    Putin sure sounds crazy, but with russia’s GDP increasing almost exponentially in the past three years due to its rich amount of resources… (and the rising worldwide fuel source dilemnas) it is a somewhat understandable political “statement”. in relation to the next decade regarding euro-russian boundaries relating to resources…

    Still, i say fuck putin and bush… both are fascist scum