Warsaw, 15 November 2010 - MISSILE DEFENCE COULD BE “NEW GLUE” FOR ALLIANCE, NATO PARLIAMENTARIANS SAY
NATO stands to benefit from the proposed missile defence shield in many ways beyond protection from a nuclear missile attack, the Alliance’s Parliamentary Assembly said Sunday. The project could also improve cohesion among the Allies, build trust with Russia and contribute towards freeing the world of nuclear weapons, experts and parliamentarians told the Assembly’s Science and Technology Committee.
The proposed missile shield, designed to protect NATO member states from a rogue nuclear weapon launch, could be good for relations within the Alliance and beyond, said Dr Lukasz Kulesa, deputy director of the Strategic Analyses Department of Poland’s National Security Bureau.
The project, consisting of US ship-based missiles in the Mediterranean Sea, could provide a “new glue” among the Allies, he told the parliamentarians gathered for the Assembly’s 56th annual session in
In addition, he said that the revised sea-based version put forward under current
The new project’s acceptability to
The report was adopted without any objections, including from the Russian delegation who participated in the Committee as associate members.
Delegates were under no illusions as to the difficulties and limitations of such cooperation, however. Dr Kulesa said a fully joint operation was a “tempting vision”, but not yet possible. A more “realistic option”, he said, would be cooperation which respected the autonomy of decision-making on both sides, while making full use of Russia’s valuable contributions in the fields of system development and air defence expertise.
The missile shield also had the potential to contribute to the objective of global nuclear disarmament, as advocated by the Global Zero plan announced by President Obama in late 2009, delegates were told. The initiative was becoming “less and less of a buzzword in the international political discourse”, Scott said, adding that he hoped the project could help keep diplomatic focus on the issue.
Additionally, by reducing the effectiveness of a nuclear missile threat, missile defence could encourage global actors to move away from nuclear weapons, said Polish Ambassador Jacek Bylica, head of the NATO WMD Non-Proliferation Centre.
However, he stressed the importance of balancing disarmament with maintaining credible deterrents. “Determining this mix is a challenge,” he said, but it was not impossible.
The Committee also called on the