New Russian Missile System a Tool for Terrorists?

There are other dangers to this portable missile system besides it falling into terrorists’ hands. The Telegraph reports that both Iran and Venezuela “have already shown an interest in the Club-K container missile system which could allow them to carry out preemptive strikes from behind an enemy's missile defenses.”

Debkafile.com observes: “In Iranian hands it would make the targeting of its nuclear facilities very difficult. Able to wipe out an aircraft carrier up to 400 kilometers away, … Western military experts are calling it a ‘real maritime fear for anyone with a waterfront.’"

During the Cold War, the U.S. regularly moved missiles around the country on trucks, and around the globe inside bombers with the Strategic Air Command. The Soviet Union took similar defensive measures by moving their own ICBMs around on railroad cars. The logic behind portable missile systems is that a moving target is a lot harder to hit than a known, stationary one.

But the Cold War is supposedly over and this portable missile system now being marketed in Moscow presents an entirely new set of 21st century problems.

Most troubling is the fact that an advanced missile system such as this one could not be up for sale without the approval of the Kremlin, just as U.S. defense contractors like Raytheon and Lockheed can’t market weapons systems without approval from the Pentagon. In allowing the Club-K container missile system to be sold to anyone willing to pay the price (approximately $20 million in U.S. dollars), Moscow is opening up a new arms race in the Middle East.

Says Reuben Johnson, a consultant for the Pentagon: "This is ballistic missile proliferation on a scale we have not seen before, because now you cannot readily identify what's being used as a launcher because it's very carefully disguised.”