Cold War nostalgia as ‘missile shield’ goes live

The US Aegis anti-missile station at Deveselu, Romania, was officially activated this week—to harsh protests from Moscow, despite Washington's claim that the system is intended to intercept missiles fired from the Middle East. Together with an installation in Poland, the Deveselu facility forms the long-delayed "missile shield" first conceived under the George Bush administration. (BBC News, AFP, RT, May 12) Moscow's claim that the "missile shield" is actually aimed at encircling Russia is mirrored by Washington's charge that Russia is in violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, having deployed cruise missiles in contravention of the 1987 pact. (Arms Control Association, May 2016)

The US and NATO partners last month conducted maneuvers in the Baltic republics, aimed at "practicing emergency responses and sharpening their cooperation." Hosted at Ämari Air Base in Estonia, the "Ramstein Alloy" exercise comes as NATO is preparing a new permanent rotating contingent of 1,000 troops to be stationed in Lithuania, at the request of Vilnius. The force may include up to 150 troops from Germany, constituting the first post-war deployment of German forces to former Soviet territory. (Ukraine Today, April 29; NATO, April 20)

  1. Russia unveils new class of ‘Satan 2’ nuclear missiles

    Russia unveiled its new super-heavy, MIRV-equipped ICBM this week. The RS-28 Sarmat or "Satan-2" (NATO code-name), has a reported throw-weight of 10,000kg, and can carry up to 15 separate warheads. MIRV stands for Multiple Independently targeted Reentry Vehicles. MIRV-equipped missiles can deliver multiple nuclear weapons to a single target area, or blanket a large area with separate detonations. Kremlin medias mouthpiece Sputnik boasts that the super-nuke iscapable of destroying an area "the size of Texas." (Extreme Tech, Oct. 27; Gizmodo, Oct. 25)