Proof Of Need For Missile Defense In Europe:
Russia Fires Dozens Of Missiles Into Georgia
Russian Use Of Missiles Enhances Their Value In Eyes Of Rogue States And Terrorist Groups
As Russia invaded the Republic of Georgia, it fired more than two dozen SS-21 ballistic short range missiles into the former Soviet Union satellite state, the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance (MDAA) stated.
The assault showed that Russia has fully integrated aggression with missiles into its conventional warfare strategies, according to Riki Ellison, MDAA president.
Further, this successful use of missiles makes their acquisition and employment even more attractive to rogue states and terrorists, Ellison said.
He described the weapons:
"The SS-21 is a road mobile, solid fuel, single stage ballistic missile, which is maneuverable in flight and carries a high-explosive warhead weighing up to 1,060 pounds with 150 meter accuracy. It has a range of 43 miles. These missiles have been used by the Russians tactically for psychological and military targets, as the Georgians do not have the capability to defend against or defeat ballistic missiles," Ellison said.
And that is a key point. Both the Czech Republic and Poland agreed to host the European Missile Defense system the United States wants to build in those nations, and both countries also asked for defensive assistance. The United States, for example, will supply Poland with Patriot anti-missile batteries operated by U.S. personnel.
"The use of ballistic missiles by Russia in this conflict sends an endorsement to the
international community that the use of ballistic missiles has value, thus propelling countries and terrorist organizations to develop, purchase and continue to proliferate ballistic missiles," Ellison stated. "Modern warfare continues to integrate and use ballistic missiles as a tactic." If former satellite nations in the Soviet Union, such as Georgia, are savvy, they will move now to erect defenses against various types of missile threats, Ellison urged. "This outward military aggression with the use of ballistic missiles from Russia on a former USSR country sends a very serious message to all former members of the Soviet Block," Ellison stated. That especially applies to Poland, which agreed to host 10 U.S. ground-based missiles that will protect the United States and most of Europe from ballistic missiles, he continued. Poland, he stressed, will gain protection against missile attacks when U.S. Patriot batteries are installed in Poland, assets "that have the capability to defeat and defend against short range ballistic missiles" such as Russia has used.