In 1972, as the Cold War prevailed and the USA understood that Soviet Russia was a rivalry nuclear superpower, the two countries signed the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty. The treaty banned both Russia and the USA from building nuclear defense. The ban meant that both countries would keep their nuclear weapons but remain vulnerable to nuclear attack. The idea was that if none of the superpowers had nuclear shield then none of them would dare to attack the other knowing fully well that the other would return the favor and they won’t defend themselves. This treaty was very ideal for the balance of power.
But the Americans were never comfortable with this treaty. They did not want a balance of power. The Americans wanted to have an upper hand. So they always looked for an opportunity and excuse to abandon it.
When the Soviet Russia collapsed the Americans were overexcited. They considered that they were now at liberty to bully the fallen Russia. Within the decade that followed after the fall of Soviet Russia since 1991, the Americans really tossed Russia around. They pounced on her economy and made puppet of her president, Boris Yeltsin.
But in June 2000 as President Clinton visited Russia for the last time as his term of office was ending, Putin had scaled up the echelons of power at the Kremlin which would make the USA government and her people realize that they had celebrated the fall of Russia a little too early. During his final talks with the leadership of Russia, Bill Clinton had touched on the subject of nuclear defense for the USA. But Putin gave Clinton a warning right away that if the USA ever abandoned the ABM treaty and develop a missile defense programme, then Russia would not respond by building their defense as well, but on the contrary Russia would come up with a way that would make the USA nuclear defense useless. That was his threat or rather a promise to President Bill Clinton.
Unfortunately, in 2001, after President Bush took over the White House, he did what the American Presidents since Reagan had always wanted to do. He withdrew from the ABM treaty with Russia and allowed the USA to develop the nuclear defense as he had promised during his campaign. But, he did this at the wrong time, because this time around, Putin was the man in charge of the Kremlin and would not allow Russia to be bullied any more neither would he play puppetry to the USA. Bush had ignored the promise that Putin made to Bill Clinton a year earlier or had rather underestimated Putin which every American President in the past two decades has regretted. Putin is not the kind of guy you ignore or underestimate.
True to his promise, Putin has responded accordingly to the USA abandonment of ABM treaty. He announced yesterday on March the 1st that now, after 18 years, Russia has invincible missile weapons that can not be deterred by the USA, NATO or any missile defense system in the world.
The Americans shot themselves in the foot.