Missles of November

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Russia did not wait six months to test President-elect Obama according to PJ.

Former Spook, an ex-intelligence analyst, described Russia’s deployment of SS-26 Iskander to Kaliningrad as a “shot across the bow” of the incoming administration. The purpose of these missiles was to threaten to destroy components of the planned US anti-missile defense shield in to be based in Poland. The SS-26s themselves are fired from mobile launchers and designed to launch “effective missile strikes at small-size targets of particular importance” on very short notice. Russian President Dimitry Medvedev also said that Russia “plans to jam a radar located in the Czech Republic, used to detect in-bound missiles and guide the Polish-based interceptors.”

Together the moves are designed to neutralize the US ballistic missile defense systems in Eastern Europe. By threatening to destroy the interceptors and jam the radar which may guide them, Russia can blow a hole in the defense shield. But they always could, from sheer numbers alone. The shield was never designed to blunt a Russian attack only that of a rogue state’s. That makes the reasons for the Russian move all the more puzzling. According to Phil Coyle, a former Pentagon weapons tester quoted by Wired, the US ballistic missile defense systems are nearly useless, at least in their current state. “The system proposed for Poland and the Czech Republic doesn’t exist, has never been tested, and has no demonstrated effectiveness to defend Europe or the U.S. under realistic operational conditions”.