26 May 2007 - US MISSILE DEFENSE IN EUROPE TO COMPLEMENT NATO SYSTEMS, SAYS US DEFENCE OFFICIAL
Details of the United States plans to deploy missile defence assets on the territory of Poland and the Czech Republic were given today (Saturday) to NATO parliamentarians in Madeira, Portugal, by US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Daniel P. Fata. The system, he declared at a joint meeting of the Assembly’s Defence and Security and Science and Technology Committees, is meant to “detect, deter, and defend” against a missile threat coming from Iran and “poses no threat to Russia”.
The Bush administration is determined to ensure that its missile defence system protects not only
To some NATO legislators expressing concerns about whether the US system would protect all allies, Mr. Fata replied that the US system would provide protection of all NATO’s area against long-range missiles, while the NATO theatre missile defence system would complement the US system against short and medium-range missiles. “Discussions with allies”, the
“This is a crucial element for the US Congress”, added Representative Ellen Tauscher (D., California), “
To complete the European-based deployment, the
With regard to
“These assessments may not be correct: intelligence is not a science, and could lead to wrong conclusions as it happened with Iraq”, commented Waheguru Pal Singh Sidhu, a missile expert from the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, who also addressed the NATO PA meeting: “We know very little about Iran, and I would suggest that the United States and Russia share more information”. Mr Sidhu added in his presentation that “unilateral and even bilateral measures alone are unlikely to address missile concerns effectively. In contrast, regional approaches hold more promise”.
The four-day NATO PA Spring Session brings together some 300 national parliamentarians from NATO countries, associate delegations from non-member European countries, including Ukraine and Russia; Mediterranean Associate delegations from Algeria, Israel, Jordan and some nations with observer status.