NATO Summit – Why Missile Defense Won’t Work

Why Missile Defense Won't Work

Missing the Point

While cooperation with NATO and certainly allaying Russia’s concerns over missile defense is wise, the project on a whole is ill-conceived and more to the point, unnecessary.

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The system does nothing to address the more realistic threat of a suitcase dirt bomb from within. Any known enemy of NATO would most certainly resort to more conventional terrorism, rather than launching an ICBM at a member nation.

In addition, the missile defense shield has the United States carrying the bulk of the burden in cost and technological contributions. Previous basic test were only 50 percent successful, even in highly scripted tests, and that was without any simple countermeasures (such as decoys) that would most certainly be used in realistic conditions.

Without testing in real-word conditions, we can only assume based on previous tests that in real-world conditions the effectiveness of the shield as a deterrent would be next to nothing.

For latest on the NATO Summit, read below:


A missile defense system covering all Nato countries has been agreed at the alliance’s summit in Lisbon, US President Barack Obama has said.

The shield would cover all Nato members in Europe and North America.

Nato will ask Russia to co-operate on missile defence and join the system.

On Saturday, leaders will meet Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who is attending the summit. Missile defence has been a point of tension between Nato and Russia in the past, but President Medvedev’s presence at the summit is being seen as a strengthening of ties.

“It offers a role for all of our allies. It responds to the threats of our times,” Mr Obama said, according to the Reuters news agency.

“Tomorrow we look forward to working with Russia to build our co-operation with them in this area as well, recognising that we share many of the same threats,” Mr Obama said.

In November 2009, President Obama announced the US was scrapping plans for a missile shield based in Poland and the Czech Republic which had infuriated Russia.

START Treaty

Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Mr Obama both called for the speedy ratification of the Start treaty, which Russia and the US signed in April.

The agreement would reduce both countries’ nuclear arsenals and allow each to inspect the other’s facilities.

Any delay “would be damaging to security in Europe,” Mr Rasmussen said.

The treaty is currently before the US Congress, where the Obama administration currently needs eight Republican votes in the Senate to reach the 67 out of 100 needed to ratify the treaty.

That number will increase to 14 when the new Congress convenes in January, as the Republicans won more Senate seats in the mid-term elections.

Some Republican lawmakers are resisting ratification, saying they need further reassurance about America’s nuclear deterrent capability after Start.

Next up
The summit will discuss Afghanistan on Saturday, with plans to end combat operations by 2014.

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