The report finds shortcomings in the Obama administration's Phased Adaptive Approach to European missile defense, promulgated in September 2009 as a palliative for Europeans who might think Obama had traded NATO MD for political favors from Moscow. NATO will need more sites for the U.S. Navy's Standard 3 (SM-3) anti-ballistic missile. The SM-3 can hit missiles at the edge of space. The report also suggests that Turkey receive the Army's Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile to protect eastern Turkey from Iranian missiles.
The NRC report clinically and quantitatively demonstrates that Putin's portrayal of post-Cold War Western MD systems as "directed against Russia" is a false. Putin knows the times, technology, international political contexts and threats have changed. He and his strategic advisers are well aware of the facts.
The U.S. thin-shield, layered system and the proposed NATO/European regional system are not armed and configured to challenge Russia's still potent arsenal of ICBMs. The NRC report notes that the in-place U.S. system is built to intercept a ballistic missile fired by North Korea's nutcase regime. NATO's MD would protect Europe and North America from a missile salvo fired by Iran's nutcase regime.
Boom goes London and boom Paree? That's what truly sensible souls should try to prevent.
Austin Bay is the author of three novels. His third novel, The Wrong Side of Brightness, was published by Putnam/Jove in June 2003. He has also co-authored four non-fiction books, to include A Quick and Dirty Guide to War: Third Edition (with James Dunnigan, Morrow, 1996).
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