Putin proposes to place ABM defence system in Azerbaijan

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by KGB_resident, Jun 7, 2007.

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  1. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/07/world/europe/07cnd-Russia.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/07/AR2007060700258.html?hpid=topnews

    So pres.Bush is now in a very delicate situation. If he rejects Putin's proposal then he would give strong arguments in the hands of Russian president.

    Btw, Azeri president Aliev expressed his support for the plans.
     
  2. I doubt he'll reject it out of hand - Azerbaijan is rather better placed to intercept Iranian missiles aimed at the US than Poland is. However, I note that he's talking about using the existing Soviet-era radar there and made no mention of interceptor missiles. The radar may or may not be good enough (some of the Soviet ABM radars are VERY good) but tying it in to the system may be a problem, as will not having any missiles to fire.
     
  3. So lets see, the two options are a European democratic NATO member or a Caucasian dictatorship of questionable reliability and stability who's currently in the middle of a low level armed conflict with one of its neighbours? Hhmm, tricky one that.

    Domestically certainly it hands him some useful propaganda. Internationally, what's he going to do? Throw another tantrum and re-target some more missiles that Bush is just going to ignore again? He's got sod all say in the matter since it's an internal Czech and Polish matter. The only real options he has are placing restrictions on Czech/Polish imports like he did with the Polish meat or Georgian wine in the past or threaten to play silly beggars with the energy supplies again which hurts him just as badly since it cuts off payments and spurs western Europe to finally get serious about looking for alternative sources.
     
  4. It is a political chess. Everybody understands that European bases haven't any connection to imaginary Iranian or moreover N.Korean threat. It is a formal cause. No doubt that Putin's proposition will be rejected. But it will not be done immediately, it requires much time. Meanwhile works in Europe would be posponed and as a result the new administration could shelve the whole project as senseless.
     
  5. I'll put money on a compromise.

    The radar may well be better off in Azerbaijan, as it'll likely pick up the outbound a bit faster, and thus allow more time for tracking and coming up with a solution. I think the ABMs would still want to be in Europe, though. It's easier to hit a target that's coming right at you as opposed to one which is zooming over your head or even going away from you (in an upwards direction)

    NTM
     
  6. I very much doubt Bush will even consider that.

    The ABM systems in Poland have bugger all to do with non-existent Iranian miissles capable of reaching the US. They're a small pork ladened part of a general Pentagon policy to encircle and confine the Russians. It's been going on since the 90s.
     
  7. Depends where they're fired from - the Great Circle route from Eastern Iran to the Western US goes closer to Alaska than it does Poland (going over the Aral sea in the process), while that from Western Iran to the Eastern US goes right over Poland and misses Azerbaijan on the other side. Azerbaijan does but them in the middle of likely tracks, while Poland and the Czech Republic are way out to one side of the possible tracks.
     
  8. Anything lobbed from Iran to the US would likely get nabbed by the North Dakota facilities. The US itself is to have three ABM points, Alaska, Hawaii and North Dakota. I think the military feature of the ABM in Poland (as opposed to political) really is the defense of Europe.

    NTM
     
  9. The purpose of the defense shield is to protect Europe not the US. The Gabala radar site would fit the bill I think. It is an excellant site with a 6000km range. The radar would have to be upgraded somehwhat probably hardware/software as the facility is unable to process the information generated but instead is relayed to Kvadrat and Shvertbot installations near Moscow.Rent is around $7m a year so a shared use would also share the rent.

    Putin suggested launchers placed in Turkey,Iraq or offshore. Cyprus might also be a suitable location.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. No. The radar and missiles based in Europe will offer no direct protection to Europe. These are, in effect, forward 'point' defence of CONUS.

    However, the offer by Putin is an VERY interesting one. In one single sentence he has put the Whitehouse on the spot and called their bluff.

    There is no doubt that an Azeri based radar will offer far better warning than one in the Czech republic - if for some bizarre reason the Iranians were to chance upon an ICBM or two and were foolish enough to launch. So, the US has the option of working WITH Russia to counter what it says is the threat - which seems pretty sensible to me - or rebuffing the offer and leaving a BIG question mark over its true motives...

    Cunning hand being played by Moscow methinks!
     
  11. Bush should call Putin'sbluff and accept the offer. Obviously the radar site will need to be massively upgraded and defensive sustems put in place to guard this vital facility - possibly a wing of F22s and an Armoured Brigade...
     
  12. If the radar and missiles are in Europe how does their presence not provide security for Europe ?

    The US is well protected from a limited missile attack with interceptors at Ft Greely and Vandenberg.
     
  13. Well, I could start by explaining current ABM theory and the technologies available at this time. However, I'll just stick with a quote by the Deputy Secretary of Defense, The Honorable Gordon R. England, at the 5th Annual Missile Defense Conference, 20 March 2007 (my highlighting):

    Obviously, some believe this is not good enough as they intend upgrading and expanding these facilities and breaking new ground elsewhere.
     
  14. Fort Greely and Vandenberg protect against the threat from North Korea, and in the future China, if you believe that they actually work. The ones in Poland are designed to protect the US from Iran, and in the future Russia. They are capable of defending much of Europe but that was never their original purpose. Protecting Europe is just a very recent add-on to try to calm concerns over their presence and that of the radars in the UK and the Czech Republic. They cant for instance protect Greece or Turkey, two key Nato members.

    As regards Azerbaijan, you do need to be as close as possible because you need to hit the ballistic missile in its early much slower boost phase, before it leaves the atmosphere at which point it is travelling too fast for an interceptor to catch it (although in the Alice in Wonderland world that the Missile Defense Agency lives in this is not deemed to be a problem). But Azerbaijan is just a tad too close to Iran for comfort.

    If you were a mad Iranian leader keen to attack America - despite the obvious drawback that your country would disappear very quickly afterwards - the first thing you would do was take out the radar in Azerbaijan. Although that assumes that any Iranian missile would ever have the range to hit America, unlike Azerbaijan which they can already hit. The "rogue states" phase of this programme is just the beginning. The real aim is to build up a protective system against Russian and Chinese missiles. That is one of the reasons Putin doesnt like it. The other is of course that he like most Russians still believes that Poland is part of the Russian sphere of influence.
     
  15. That makes more sense - I was only aware of the one base in Alaska and the test facility at Vandenberg. If they're planning to reactivate the facility in North Dakota that makes a lot of sense. However, I have my doubts that a facility in Hawaii could actually defend anything useful against likely threats, while unless you build some sort of facility in Northern Europe the east coast of the US is wide open to attack.