Germany warns US on missile shield plan

#1
German Chancellor Angela Merkel's partners in government criticised US plans to put a missile shield in central Europe, saying the project could spark a new arms race.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, a member of the centre-Left Social Democrats (SPD), warned Washington in a contribution to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung not to try to split Europe into "old" and "new" with its plans.

Kurt Beck, the SPD chairman, went further, urging Europe to unite against a project Russia sees as an encroachment on its former sphere of influence and an attempt to shift the post-Cold War balance of power.


Under the plan, the US wants to deploy a radar system in the Czech Republic and 10 interceptor missiles in Poland by 2011-12. It says the system is designed to counter threats from so-called "rogue states" such as Iran and North Korea.

"We don't need new missiles in Europe," Mr Beck told the Bild newspaper, in an echo of the fierce debate in Germany during the late 1970s over the deployment of US Pershing medium-range nuclear missiles in Europe.

"The SPD does not want a new arms race between the USA and Russia on European soil. Europe must speak with one voice on this," he added.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/03/19/wshield19.xml
 

OldSnowy

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#2
"Europe must speak with one voice on this"...

And I wonder whose voice that would be, eh? Sorry, but I think certain Countries such as Poland and the Czech Republic may see things in a slightly different light to the Germans in this manner - as they do in so many others.


"Kurt Beck, the SPD chairman, went further, urging Europe to unite against a project Russia sees as an encroachment on its former sphere of influence and an attempt to shift the post-Cold War balance of power."

Yes, let's all unite to keep the Russians happy as they supply us with lots of natural gas, and far more importantly, they aren't America. The Germans really amaze me sometimes.
 
#4
For the Czechs and Poles the primary reason for hosting the US bases is to feck off the Russians. Fecking off the Germans is an important but secondary advantage.
 
#5
But we have an assurance from the German Chancellor that The Czechs and Poles are safe......

I just can't help having a sensation of Deja Vu...
 
#6
OldSnowy said:
"Europe must speak with one voice on this"...

And I wonder whose voice that would be, eh? Sorry, but I think certain Countries such as Poland and the Czech Republic may see things in a slightly different light to the Germans in this manner - as they do in so many others.


"Kurt Beck, the SPD chairman, went further, urging Europe to unite against a project Russia sees as an encroachment on its former sphere of influence and an attempt to shift the post-Cold War balance of power."

Yes, let's all unite to keep the Russians happy as they supply us with lots of natural gas, and far more importantly, they aren't America. The Germans really amaze me sometimes.
Old Snowy,

I wholly accept your first comment. However I think you might be missing the point of the second. My read is that Czech. Poland et al will go for the US lead simply because Europe is being pretty weak about the potential threat, be it from Russia or elsewhere.

If Europe came together with a reasonble military plan of unity then I reckon you could get both the Germans points without the pissing the Ruskies off with new US weapons. Ultimately Europe will need Russia and its natural resourses far more over the next 20-50 years than it needs the military might of the US.
 
#7
Of course the reason the Polish and Czech governments want the missile bases is because it gives Uncle Sam a stake in their security and independence - something neither government would be willing to rely on the Russians or the West Europeans to guarantee. The Czechs are, famously, "a faraway people, of which we know little".
 
#8
AndyPipkin said:
Of course the reason the Polish and Czech governments want the missile bases is because it gives Uncle Sam a stake in their security and independence .

How about Iraq, Vietnam. Etc etc ad infinitum. I for one would like to see the cnuts out of the Uk.
 
#9
reddog said:
AndyPipkin said:
Of course the reason the Polish and Czech governments want the missile bases is because it gives Uncle Sam a stake in their security and independence .

How about Iraq, Vietnam. Etc etc ad infinitum. I for one would like to see the cnuts out of the Uk.
Err, what about Iraq, VietNam, etc? I fail to see the relevance.
 
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