European Missile Defense 'Threatens Strategic Stability'
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BY CHRISTINA HARTMAN
The first phase of the controversial European missile defense shield is now “provisionally operational.”
It’s not news Russia is likely to be happy about.
KFQX: “...the European missile defense shield is up and running. It has the capability to shoot down incoming missiles.”
Fox News: “Missile defense, a thorny issue, particularly with the, in terms of the Soviet Union.”
The United States says it’s to protect Europe from Iranian missiles, but Russians are skeptical, and say the system is meant to counter Russian nuclear missiles. NPR spoke with a Russian security analyst.
SERGEY ROGOV: “Since very few, if any, experts believe that there is a clear and present danger of Iranian and North Korean threat...”
NATO made the announcement at its summit in Chicago, and in a press release assured Moscow the missile defense system “is not directed against Russia” but rather “against potential threats emanating from outside the Euro-Atlantic area.”
In the meantime, newly inaugurated President Vladimir Putin vowed on the campaign trail to pursue rearmament and revamp the country’s military. On Russia’s RT, one correspondent suggests the missile defense announcement can only heighten tensions.
“The U.S. refuses to give legal guarantees that the system will not be aimed at Russia at some point. So it’s a huge issue that’s not just about trust, but it’s about guarantees.”
But the Christian Science Monitor’s Moscow correspondent Fred Weir suggests — neither side’s fears are rooted in reality.
“NATO claims it needs a shield to defend against hypothetical rogue missile strikes from Iran or North Korea – a threat that does not presently exist – while Moscow complains that the shield currently being installed in Europe might undercut Russia's strategic edge in its later stages, almost a decade hence.”
The system is expected to reach full operational capacity by 2020.
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