At the Redzikowo base in Poland, work began on the installation of the Aegis Ashore system at a cost of over 180 million dollars. It will be the second US missile base in Europe, after Deveselu base in Romania, which became operational in 2015. The official function of these bases is to protect US forces in Europe, and NATO's European allies, with the "shield" of SM-3 interceptor missiles, from the «current and emerging threats of ballistic missiles from outside the Euro-Atlantic area». In addition to the two land installations, there are four ships equipped with the same Aegis system, they are deployed by the U.S. Navy at the Spanish base of Rota, and cross the Mediterranean, the Black and Baltic Seas. The US Navy has about 120 destroyers and cruisers armed with this missile system.
Both ships and Aegis land installations are equipped with Lockheed Martin Mk 41 vertical launchers: vertical tubes (in the body of the ship or in an underground bunker) from which the missiles are launched. Lockheed Martin, illustrating its technical characteristics, documents that the vertical launcher can launch missiles for all missions: anti-missile, anti-aircraft, anti-ship, anti-submarine and attack against land targets. Each launch tube is adaptable to any missile, including "those for long-range attack", and the Tomahawk cruise missile. It can also be armed with a nuclear warhead. It is therefore impossible to know which kind of missiles are actually in the vertical launchers of the Aegis Ashore base in Romania and which missiles will be installed in the Polish base. Nor which missiles are on board the ships crossing at the limits of Russian territorial waters. Unable to check, Moscow might assume there are also nuclear attack missiles. The same scenario in East Asia, where the Seventh Fleet Aegis warships cross in the South China Sea. The main US allies in the region - Japan, South Korea, Australia - also have ships equipped with the US Aegis system-
This is not the only missile system the US is deploying in Europe and Asia. General McConville, chief of staff of the United States Army, in his speech to the George Washington School of Media and Public Affairs stated last March that the US Army is preparing a "task force" equipped with "long-range precision fire capability that can go anywhere, consisting of hypersonic missiles, medium-range missiles, precision str missiles" and that "these systems are capable of penetrating anti-aircraft barrage space". The general pointed out that "we plan to deploy one of these task forces in Europe and probably two in the Pacific".
In such a situation, it is not surprising that Russia is accelerating the deployment of new intercontinental missiles with nuclear warheads that, after ballistic trajectory, glide for thousands of kilometers at hypersonic speed. Nor is it surprising to hear the news, published by the Washington Post, that China is building over one hundred new silos for intercontinental ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads. The arms race takes place not so much on a quantitative level (number and power of nuclear warheads) as on a qualitative one (speed, penetrating capacity and geographical location of nuclear carriers). The response in case of attack or presumed attack, is increasingly entrusted to artificial intelligence, which must decide the launch of nuclear missiles in a few seconds. It increases the possibility of a nuclear war by mistake, this chance was risked several times during the Cold War.
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was adopted by the United Nations in 2017 and entered into force in 2021, so far 86 States signed it, and 54 countries ratified it. None of the 30 NATO countries and the 27 EU States (except Austria) ratified it. In Europe, only Austria, Ireland, Malta, San Marino and the Holy See have joined. None of the nine nuclear countries - the United States, Russia, France, Great Britain, Israel, China, Pakistan, India, North Korea - ratified or even signed it.
(il manifesto, July 13, 2021)
Written by Manlio Dinucci