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  • NATO-Russia Missile Shield?
    Posted by Nicholas Fiorenza 4:05 PM on Mar 29, 2010

    NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen called over the weekend for a Euro-Atlantic missile defense system which could include Russia. Addressing the German Marshall Fund’s annual Brussels Forum conference on 27 March, Rasmussen said NATO’s next summit, to be held in Lisbon in November, should decide that missile defense of populations and territory is an alliance mission.

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    NATO photo

    “A true joint Euro-Atlantic missile defense would demonstrate our collective will, not only to defend ourselves against the new threats of today and tomorrow, but also to shoulder the responsibility,” sending “a clear message to proliferators that there is nothing to be gained from missile proliferation,” Rasmussen said. He expressly mentioned Iran, pointing out that the 2,000-kilometer-range Shahab-3 missile can reach NATO members Turkey, Greece, Romania and Bulgaria.

    Rasmussen sees a Euro-Atlantic missile defense system not only as “an opportunity for Europe to demonstrate again to the United States that the allies are ready and willing to invest in the capabilities we need to defend ourselves,” but also for bringing Russia under “one security roof, that we build together, that we support together, and that we operate together, one security roof that protects us all.”

    A NATO-Russia missile defense system would link allied and Russian systems and entail intelligence sharing and linking sensitive technologies, which Rasmussen recognizes as “practical challenges” and “asking a lot”, but he considers the potential benefit “worth the effort: a Europe more united and a Europe more secure than ever before in its long and turbulent history.”

    NATO is deploying an active layered theater ballistic missile defense capability to defend deployed forces from short- and medium-range missiles and has already conducted an interoperability study and computer assisted exercises with Russia on theater missile defense. The alliance has been considering missile defense of its populations and territory for the last decade.

    Tags: ar99, NATO, russia

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