Russia’s Got A New Iron Curtain, This Time With Advanced Missile Tech

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Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent
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Russia has created a new iron curtain by deploying its most advanced missile defense system across its border with NATO, in Crimea, and now Syria.

“Russia can use these systems to impede the ability of the U.S. to defend its NATO allies by disrupting the ability of US air forces to access conflict zones in the event of a crisis,” The Institute for the Study of War noted Monday. The potential conflict zones include “the Baltic States, much of Ukraine and the Black Sea, northern Poland, Syria and parts of Turkey.”

The list includes every major potential flashpoint between NATO and Russia, giving Russia a significant defensive advantage.

NATO announced in June that it would deploy four additional battalions to the Baltic states to deter further Russian aggression. The deployments follow Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea, perpetuation of the ongoing war in Ukraine, and full-throated intervention in Syria. Russia has used Syria to show off conventional weapons capabilities to the NATO alliance.

Russian A2AD AUGUST 2016-01 (Institute for the Study of War)

Russian A2AD AUGUST 2016-01 (Institute for the Study of War)

Russia’s intervention in Syria has also given it a near permanent presence in the Eastern Mediterranean, which it has used to fully deploy its advanced missile system. A Naval War College study in 2015 warned that Russia’s missile deployment could “put Western access to the Suez Canal, the Black Sea, and the resource-rich eastern Mediterranean at the mercy of an increasingly aggressive Russian regime.”

Russia also sold its advanced missile defense system to Iran, after the Obama administration finalized its nuclear deal with the country. Iran promptly deployed this missile defense system to its most contentious nuclear reactor site. Under its agreements in the Iran deal, Iran must cease all uranium enrichment at the facility.

“This obviously raises the question of what Iran is looking to protect at Fordow if not a future nuclear weapon,” Jonathan Schanzer, an Iran expert at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told The Daily Caller News Foundation on Monday.

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