Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Military Space News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

NATO And The Expansion Of BMD Systems Into Europe

File photo: A ground-based anti-missile site, Fort Greeley, Alaska.
by Viktor Litovkin
Outside View Commentator
Moscow (UPI) Aug 02, 2006
America's NATO allies are becoming increasingly involved in the U.S. National Missile Defense project, a top Russian general writes. Russian Chief of the General Staff Gen. Yuri Baluyevsky published an articles entitled "NMD: What Next?" in the Russian national defense weekly Voenno-Promyshlenny Kuryer 10 days after the G8 summit in St. Petersburg.

Leaders as senior as the chief of staff, who is also deputy defense minister, seldom write articles for the Russian press.

The United States has already created two ground-based anti-missile sites, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, in California, and at Fort Greeley, in Alaska and it has also held moderately successful tests of sea-launched anti-missiles, which make up the core of mobile NMD systems. The United States intends to deploy the first tier of the NMD system in some of the member countries. Baluyevsky in his article mentioned Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Turkey and Bulgaria.

Washington claims that the missile programs of Iran and North Korea are the main threat, but Baluyevsky writes that U.S. actions show that it thinks the threat is coming not from Tehran or Pyongyang, whose possibilities are limited, but from Russia and China. This poses a direct threat to Russia's security.

Russia's leaders said several years ago that America's withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty would not affect Russia's deterrence potential. But the situation has changed radically, and now Russia is worried about the deployment of some NMD elements, especially the construction of the first anti-missile base and the requisite infrastructure in Alaska, which is fanning tensions in the region.

According to Baluyevsky, the sea-launched U.S. Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System is a potential threat to the Russian sea-based nuclear forces. But Russia is especially worried about the Pentagon's plans to deploy NMD elements in space, and build early warning radars and place silo-launched interceptor missiles in Central and Eastern European countries. The Russian general claims the implementation of these plans would disrupt the balance of Russian and American strategic delivery vehicles.

To begin with, NMD silos can be easily converted to launch ballistic missiles that could reach the most remote targets in European Russia.

Besides, by deploying NMD elements overseas, the United States is shifting responsibility for the consequences of a potential ballistic conflict to Europe, a fact that cannot please the leaders of European countries, including Russia. The interception of ballistic missiles using weapons of mass destruction, notably nuclear warheads, over Europe could provoke a fatal environmental catastrophe.

But the biggest problem with a large-scale NMD system, according to Baluyevsky, is that it cannot guarantee reliable protection from weapons of mass destruction because it is designed only to destroy ballistic missiles. The Sept. 11 tragedy showed that weapons of mass destruction can be delivered to a target using non-military, terrorist methods, as well as using less technologically complicated, simpler and cheaper methods, such as cruise missiles, aircraft and warships.

Gen. Baluyevsky suggests that the United States should stop squandering taxpayers' money on a useless NMD program, which could provoke a new round of the arms race, and should instead join forces with Russia and the other leading global powers to create a truly effective system of protection against threats which an NMD system can do nothing to counteract.

He also warns that disregard for Russia's warning could change the nuclear strategic reduction policy, forcing Moscow "to develop relevant research programs and technological elements for eliminating the negative consequences" of U.S. actions.

The general does not say exactly what Moscow would do, but notes that "the Russian defense industry has a substantial and growing potential, which can ensure the maintenance and improvement of its technologies and the production of improved weapons and military equipment."

He mentions successful tests of modern strategic systems that could effectively penetrate the current and prospective defense systems. Russia is convinced that it "will be able to produce a suitable response to any attempts to endanger its security," Baluyevsky writes.

(Viktor Litovkin is a defense commentator for the RIA Novosti news agency. This article is reprinted by permission of RIA Novosti.)

(United Press International's "Outside View" commentaries are written by outside contributors who specialize in a variety of important issues. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of United Press International. In the interests of creating an open forum, original submissions are invited.)

Source: United Press International

Related Links
Learn about missile defense at

Japan May Speed Up BMD Deployment Timetable
Washington (UPI) Aug 01, 2006
Japan's former Liberal Democratic Party Vice President Taku Yamasaki has expressed optimism on the possibility of deploying a missile defense system earlier than currently planned.

  • Concerned By NKorea And China, Japan Calls For Stronger US Alliance
  • Is China A Military Threat To The United States
  • China blasts Security Council silence over UN deaths in Lebanon
  • Japan hails "toilet diplomacy" with China

  • North Korea Says South's Launching Of Spy Satellite A Provocation
  • US Mulls Sanctions After North Korean Missile Test
  • US Ready To Isolate North Korea Over Nuclear Weapons
  • Pakistan Says New Nuclear Reactor Safe In Our Hands

  • US To Tighten Noose On North Korean Missile Technology
  • US Army Asks LM To Speed Up MLRS Rocket Production
  • North Korean Long-Range Missile Ended In Failure Says Japanese Report
  • Indian Army To Get World's First Supersonic Cruise Missiles

  • NATO And The Expansion Of BMD Systems Into Europe
  • Japan May Speed Up BMD Deployment Timetable
  • Patriots Step In When Arrows Fail To Shoot Down Qassams
  • Orbital BMD Contract Could Reach One Billion Dollars

  • Boeing Puts Aircraft Market At 2.6 Trillion Dollars
  • Innovative Solutions Make Transportation Systems Safer Secure and Efficient
  • Joint Strike Fighter Is Not Flawed Finds Australian Government
  • Globemaster Airdrops Falcon Small Launch Vehicle

  • Team Tests Next-Generation Global Hawk With Treatments
  • ROVER Adds Extra Set Of Eyes To Sky
  • UAV Performing Well In Strategic Plans
  • UAV Used For High Altitude Platform In Mobile Robotic Telesurgery Test

  • The US Wants To Crack Down On Iraqi Death Squads
  • Casualties In Iraq Climb Again
  • US, Iraqi troops to go to Baghdad 'in fairly good numbers': Rumsfeld
  • Iraqi Forces One Spot Of Good News Says Top General

  • Material To Aid US Military in Next Generation Radar Systems Developed
  • TIAX To Develop Skin Cream To Protect Soldiers From Chemical Warfare Agents
  • OSI Geospatial Teams With L-3 Communications Marine Systems
  • New Long-Range Bomber On Horizon For 2018

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement