Day By Day

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

A Missile Shield for Europe?

It hasn't gotten much play in the US media, but it's huge in Europe and Russia.

NYT reports:

WASHINGTON, May 21 — The Bush administration is moving to establish a new antimissile site in Europe that would be designed to stop attacks by Iran against the United States and its European allies.

The administration's proposal, which comes amid rising concerns about Iran's suspected program to develop nuclear weapons, calls for installing 10 antimissile interceptors at a European site by 2011. Poland and the Czech Republic are among the nations under consideration.

A recommendation on a European site is expected to be made this summer to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, Pentagon officials say.

Read it here.

Russia, of course, sees this as an unwelcome intrustion of US military power into its backyard, and there are Congressional critics, but the move is popular in Eastern and Southern Europe [which is where Iran's missiles might land].

Meanwhile the Bush administration is pushing forward with a missile shield to guard against Korean missiles.

It's clear that Bush has concluded that diplomatic pressure will not halt, but might impede a bit, nuclear proliferation, and Democrats have ruled out military intervention, so he has begun to harden our defenses against a nuclearlized world.

[T]he Bush administration is proceeding with a limited antimissile system, one that is no longer intended to make nuclear weapons "impotent and obsolete," as Mr. Reagan famously put it. Instead, it is designed to counter prospective dangers from nations like North Korea and Iran.

President Bush made the program a top priority soon after taking office and cleared the way for antimissile deployments by withdrawing from the Antiballistic Missile Treaty with Russia.

Nine interceptors have already been installed at Fort Greely, Alaska, and two at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California as part of a broader, multilayered system planned by the Pentagon.

It's clear that Bush is constantly thinking of the long-term results of current policies. I'm glad someone is.

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