LK says Russians feel cornered and betrayed by the US missile shield plan: they see this as a threat to themselves, placing technology and missiles so close to them. They're upset also that we're expanding NATO into former Soviet Union countries, as we promised not to do at the time of the break up of the Soviet Union. (What has the Czech Republic agreed to do that would elicit this kind of response from Russia?) The US would be placing missiles in Czechoslovakia and radars in Poland, but this is only the first step because it needs to be approved in the Czech parliament, where there's a lot of opposition. (How close is the system to being a done deal?) It won't be operational for at least 3-4 years, because there's the agreement, then the installation to get it operational. The Soviets have been rejected to it ever since its inception. (Is the US not paying any attention to the Russian concerns?) The US is pushing ahead because the Republicans are obsessed with security and ballistic missiles. This system has not been fully tested but they want to go ahead with it before the Bush administration leaves office. (What is the proper response?) I think the proper response would be to sit down and explain what we're trying to do and not pressure it for right now, before the system has even been tested. Our intelligence suggests Iranians won't have operational capability for nuclear missiles for an even longer period so we're causing problems when it's not needed.

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