Now why would anyone near Russia suddenly want additional air defense?

Patriot Missile Battery On Watch

Patriot Missile Battery On Watch

Bush-McCain Policies Towards Russia Only Promise A Dangerous Arms Race

Paul Hooson, writing at Wizbang Blue:

The decision by President Bush to send 10 Patriot missiles and about 100 U.S. soldiers to Poland is a dangerous escalation of the rapidly worsening relations with Russia since their military actions in Georgia.

Again with the “defensive weapons are sooooo threatening” line of reasoning. Hooson argues that since 10 Patriot missiles can’t defend Poland against “a Russian warhead force of 5518 warheads and more than 1,100 total missile launchers” it’s provocative. However, Hooson is toally misreading the situation. We aren’t sending “10 Patriot missiles” to defend Poland against thousands of Russian nuclear warheads, we’re sending Patriot missile batteries to Poland for air defense in exchange for the right to, in the future, base 10 interceptors for protection against rogue-type states like Iran.

Now why, oh, why would someone like Poland feel the need for some top-notch air defense.

Could it be, oh, I don’t know….Geeeeoooorgia?

It was Russian air superiority which allowed their forces to move easily into South Ossetia and on into Georgia. Not that Geogia could have stood for long against Russia, but what stands they did make were hampered and withdrawals chaotic with a lot of heavy equipment left behind. It comes as a surprise to no one that owning the air makes it much easier to control the situation on the surface.

Russia may have re-established itself as the heaviest hitter on the block last week, but they probalby also convinced a lot of their neighbors to beef up the anti-air capability.

Honestly, who could blame them?


  1. “Russia may have re-established itself as the heaviest hitter on the block…”

    Yeeeaahh, but c’mon, conquering Poland wouldn’t be like conquering Georgia. You’d have an attack on NATO, for starters, not to mention the red horde having to fight decent front-line fighters and other equipment.

    I don’t beleive the Russians have the capability to sustain large formations outside their borders for the time it would take to subjugate Poland. Not that I’m against the whole interceptor deal, just saying that the threat- insofar as Poland goes- is probably overstated.

  2. IMHO the US would have done better by following the example of Finland. Finland is a open democracy that shares a border with Russia. During the Cold War the Finns were not in NATO or the Warsaw Pact, and had cordial relations with both sides. Today the Finns are still not in NATO and have cordial relations with both east and west. They are not a threat to the Russians.

    Bring Finland into NATO and you would see that situation deteriorate. Likewise, the nations around the western border of Russia could be democracies without joining NATO. They could be similar to Finland, Austria and Switzerland. It’s the NATO membership that is the issue. Alternatively they could have brought Russia into NATO.

  3. Finland were probably safe from the USSR because they remembered what happened when they tried to invade during the second world war. The USSR invading Finland was a mini version of Germany invading the USSR. It should have been easy, a massive country invading a tiny one, but it just didn’t go their way.

    As for an invasion of Poland being ruled out by Poland’s membership of NATO… do you really think most NATO members would want to risk nuclear war defending Poland? Personally I’m worried about Russia using salami tactics. Poland probably won’t be next but their turn may come.

    Are you really going to base foreign policy around fear from Russian blackmail?

  4. The real issue with moving the patriot missile batteries and THADD systems in Poland is not the missiles or even NATO. Its the side agreements which the US promised to aid Poland if attacks which are separate and apart from NATO commitments.

    I am surprised that these side agreements have not been made an issue. Quite literally Poland’s demand for the agreement and Poland’s open disdain of NATO is very telling. I am certain that the Polish side agreements will be used a model for the other prospective “NATO” members.

    Its becoming clear to me that unless Europe “read- Germany/Italy/France” significantly increase their defense budgets and become more involved militarily in world affairs – NATO will cease to be a viable military alliance.

  5. James: I agree about the fading of NATO. For years I held out hope that NATO might end up morphing into an alliance/organization that could end up doing a lot of the practical work that the UN would do in a perfect world. I’m not holding my breath any longer, and there’s a lot of blame to go around.

  6. 11Bravo, Are you joking? After WWII (during which the Soviets twice attacked Finland) the Fins had to cede 10% of their territory and their 2nd largest city to the Soviet Union as well as pay them massive reparations. During the Cold War, Finland kissed Moscow’s ass to the point of censoring all media outlets of anything “anti-Soviet.” That doesn’t sound like a very good foreign policy example to me.

    The Russians will huff and puff, and that’s it. They sent their best units into Georgia, and frankly, they suck. They are pissed because they know that Polish airspace is now closed to them. And those crappy Russian tanks are oh so easy to kill when they don’t have air superiority.

  7. The Finns were attacked by the USSR under their great Georgian leader. I do not deny this. The “after WW2” time frame of the ceding of their land resulted from a peace treaty not being ratified until 1947. It did not help the Finn’s cause that their ally had been Germany.

    I separate Russian from Communist and do not equate the two. Communists included all ethic groups in the USSR, from Russians to Georgians to Jews and Ukrainians.

    My point was during the Cold War they did not join nato or the warsaw pact and yet maintained a thriving democracy. Post Cold War they still have not joined Nato and still have a thriving democracy.

  8. I don’t blame the Fins for siding with the Germans – enemy of my enemy and all that…

    Finland is a good example of why the Eastern Europeans want to be in NATO. Russia (and the Soviets) has always attacked their small weak neighbors. They thought the Fins would be easy (and were mistaken), they have invaded the Baltic States repeatedly over the centuries, they split Poland with Hitler (and never did give back the eastern half), the same with the Ukraine and Georgia.

    They talked a lot of trash, but never took on NATO or the Chinese directly.

  9. People tend to forget that Finland maintained its independence despite having lost a war to Russia in 1940 by inflicting over 250,000 deaths on the Red Army that Stalin said whatever land was gained was only sufficient to bury Russia’s dead. Its a lesson worth remembering.

    The Poles won’t invite the Bear back in and the last time the Russians fought the Poles by themselves they lost in 1920. If they try again I doubt they’ll obtain enough land to bury all their dead.

    The sooner the US stands up to Putin the better.

  10. The main treat of Poland-American AA defense to Russia is that AA-rockets could be secretly changed to nuclear rockets, right near the state border.

    As for Georgeia, their forces attacked Ocetia and Russian peacekeepers at first hand, and only after that Russians strikes back.

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