عنوان مقاله [English]
The deployment of the US missile defence system in Eastern Europe is one of the most strategic discussions that in the last few decades have been at the forefront of regional and global news. Further developments and expansion of this system into Russia's western borders have cast a shadow over Moscow-Washington relations. The US has repeatedly cited possible threats from Iran and North Korea as the main cause for its deployment. However, Moscow officials have hit back at Washington’s move, considering the deployment and expansion of US missile systems in Eastern Europe as a means to maintain and expand US unilateralism and regional domination as well as a threat to Russia’s military and missile capabilities. Consequently, to offset the effects of this system, Russia has resorted to adverse counter and retaliatory measures. This article attempts to answer the following key question: What steps should Russia take to counteract the effects of the US missile shield in Eastern Europe? The paper assumes that since Moscow views the deployment of the US missile shield in Eastern Europe as an attempt to control and diminish Russia as one of the dominant missile powers, it has taken diplomatic and military measures against the American missile program and has sought to increase its missile and military capabilities in order to maintain a so-called strategic balance in Eastern Europe, which could bring a new arms competition in the region. In regards to methodology, this is a qualitative study and method of qualitative analysis has been used.
US-Russian relations have been strategic issues of the international system during the Cold War and post-Cold War era. These relations have been influenced by various regional and international issues at different historical levels and the political relations between the two countries have turned out to be of a particular complex nature. The issue of the deployment of the US anti-missile defence shield, which has remained on the table between Moscow and Washington for nearly half a century, is considered as one of the most important strategic disputes in relations between the two sides in the post-Soviet era. Recent US activities and movements in the Eastern Europe territory, generally in the form of political intervention and efforts to bring the republics of the region under the US security umbrella, including but not limited to signing bilateral and multilateral military agreements with Georgia, Ukraine, Romania, the Czech Republic and Poland and most importantly efforts to develop several missile defence systems in addition to NATO’s support, reflect America’s long-term goals for expanding its sphere of influence and strategic siege of Russia, which have consistently raised alarm and concern among Moscow officials. Since 2007, the Russians have repeatedly stated that the missile defence shield is a threat to both Russia and the former Soviet states, which will induce the start of a new arms competition. The idea of a missile defence shield design is nothing new. During the Cold War, this idea was initiated by Ronald Reagan as part of America's grand strategy for deploying missiles, equipment, and military bases around the world and in space, leading to the Star Wars Plan. Since its launch, the Pentagon has spent billions of dollars on research and development on this project. The White House has claimed that it aims to establish a missile shield to protect US and NATO against threats from North Korean attacks and Iranian ballistic missiles; The Kremlin, however, views it as a serious threat to its national security. Moscow is very serious in its stance, and has repeatedly stated that the US justification for establishing a missile shield is a mere pretext for siege and capture of Russia. Russia’s hostility to the US missile shield plan is based on a special understanding of US strategic goals. These goals include full multi-layered domination and the first nuclear crippling policy, which includes the notion of nuclear superiority and NATO expansion within Russia’s borders. Russia views US actions in this regard as an attempt to gain ‘strategic superiority’ and a ‘zero-sum game’ that, while weakening its strategic depth, has targeted Russia’s geopolitical contraction and non-alignment with European arrangements. In such a situation, Russia is exposed to a new and complex security puzzle in the Eastern European region that requires a reasonable deterrence in the region. In this regard, Russia hits back at US missile threats by attempting to prevent regional expansion of Western influence abroad, while maintaining its deterrence through diplomatic and military measures and preventing the formation of regional arrangements in the interests of Washington and its regional allies.
1. Research question
This article seeks to answer the following key question: What steps has Russia taken to counteract the effects of the US missile shield in Eastern Europe?
2. Research hypothesis
The paper assumes since Moscow views the deployment of the US missile shield in Eastern Europe as an attempt to attempt to control and diminish Russia as one of the dominant missile powers, Russia, in response to this plan, has taken diplomatic and military measures in order to maintain a so-called strategic balance in Eastern Europe that could bring a new arms competition in the region
Present research is based on qualitative analysis method. The method of gathering research data and information is also carried out through library studies (documents, books, journals and websites) and searches occur in specialized reviews and journals.
The deployment of US missile defence shields in Eastern Europe is one of the most important security and geopolitical issues in Russian-US relations, affecting greatly the Washington-Moscow relations as well as oft associated Cold War space between the two countries. The US has repeatedly cited possible threats from Iran and North Korea as the main cause for its deployment, but Moscow officials have responded to Washington’s move, considering the deployment of US missile defence systems in Eastern Europe as a means to maintain and expand US unilateralism and regional domination as well as the greatest threat to its deterrence, aimed at isolating Russia’s territories and preventing greater Moscow’s influence in the region. By deploying and extending missile defence shield and NATO’s expansion to Eastern European, the United States seeks to make regional arrangements and goals in line with the goals and interests of Washington and its European allies, and in doing so, not only does it seize and weaken Russia’s missile capability, but also could gain regional and global hegemonic power and prevent regional and global powers from challenging Washington’s goals and policies. Meanwhile, due to geopolitical contraction and tight condition of security, Russia has sought to empower its missiles to create a strong and effective defence and deterrent against the menace of threatening US power and it is taking steps to thwart Western threats in the Eastern European region. Consequently, Moscow by diplomatic and military action is seeking to reduce US missile threats in the Eastern European region and to challenge US objectives, including Russia’s geopolitical siege and ever-strengthening US military hegemony in the region; while not only will these actions intensify arms competition in the east Europe, but also will strain the prospect of peace and stability in the region.