The Pentagon was quick to note that the test was pre-planned and that Russia notified the U.S. about it in advance, as they’re required to do under the START treaty. Ahem.
At a time of heightened tensions, you can the planned ICBM test unless you want to send message. Message received.
— Noah Rothman (@NoahCRothman) March 4, 2014
Indeed. Ace’s co-blogger Ben K snarks that it sure would be nice right now to have a missile-defense system in eastern Europe to handle something like this if need be. At the rate Cold War II is expanding, I wonder if we might not end up with one before long. Especially if, per Joshua Foust, allegations like this are borne out.
To get a taste of how tense things are in Crimea, take 80 seconds and watch this showdown between Russian and Ukrainian troops at the Belbek military installation. I wonder what would have happened if reporters weren’t there. A few dead Russian soldiers is all Putin needs as a pretext for a fuller invasion of the peninsula and maybe on into eastern Ukraine.