Clipped from www.thenewamerican.com
Following the Pakistani government’s recent decision to shut down NATO supply lines into Afghanistan indefinitely, Russian officials upped the ante by subtly threatening to close off northern routes for the occupation if the U.S.-led military alliance refuses to back down on a proposed missile defense system in Europe. According to analysts, such a move by Russia at this point would either spark a new war or force a rapid withdrawal of supply-starved Western forces from the region.
Russian Ambassador to NATO Dmitri Rogozin was widely quoted last week as saying that if the military alliance refuses to offer a serious response to the Kremlin’s demands, “we have to address matters in relations in other areas.” And the Russian government’s cooperation in the NATO occupation of Afghanistan could be one of those areas, he warned.
Supply routes through Pakistan for the Afghan war effort — which delivered about half of the alliance’s supplies — were completely sealed off late last month. The border closures came afterNATO forces killed more than two dozen Pakistani military officers and soldiers in an attack inside Pakistan’s borders.
Following the Russian statements, U.S. Ambassador to NATO Ivo Daalder proclaimed that President Obama planned to proceed with the missile defense system “whether Russia likes it or not.” Russian leaders, meanwhile, have reportedly already ordered the military to develop plans for attacking and disabling the as-yet non-existent U.S. missile sites in Europe.
NATO Missile System Spawning New Arms Race: Russian Military Chief