Merkel’s Germany has put its head in the mouth of the Russian bear. Germans may regret that.
The US Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system aims to stop missiles from North Korea and Iran reaching US targets.
North Korean missiles would follow a North Pacific trajectory, and to counter them GMD has interceptor sites in Ft. Greely, Alaska, and Vandenberg AFB, California.
Iran would launch over Europe and the North Atlantic, so the GMD needs bases there.
GMD is not a threat to Russia. It will launch over the pole, and has deployed new missiles to defeat GMD. They use quick burning solid-fuel boosters, making it hard for US satellites to spot launches, and a warhead that maneuvers, severely complicating GMD tracking.
Nevertheless the Russians are bitterly fighting to stop GMD deployment in Poland and the Czech Republic.
And now the Germans have weighed in on the Russian side (WSJ, $, my ellipsis):
…Vladimir Putin lashed out against the (US GMD) missile plan, knowing full well this limited system could never put a dent in Russia’s own nuclear threat.
Germany’s foreign minister immediately rushed to the defense — of the Kremlin. (The German Foreign Minister) accused the U.S. of supposedly failing to inform Russia about the missile plans.
Ms. Merkel could have set her foreign minister straight…But she, who grew up in East Germany, only seconded him. Ahead of a trip to Warsaw last week, the chancellor said, “We, and I will say it in Poland, prefer a solution within NATO and also an open discussion with Russia about it.”
Germany economic pressure on Poland and the Czech Republic – maybe with EU support – could succeed, limiting GMD to the UK. That means less defensive depth, exposing the East Coast cities.
But the biggest losers would be the German people. With an appeasing government, energy dependence on Russia, and NATO a dead letter, they face the embrace of the Russian bear.
And that – as they found in 1945 and after – is not a good place to be.