Missile Defense Czech Republic
Missile Defense in the Czech Republic
In April of 2008, NATO leaders endorsed a plan to place missile defense systems in the Czech Republic. This is a positive development in the effort to provide a missile defense system in Europe to protect not only the United States, but also European allies and countries in the Middle East. This support allows for 10 long-range, , ground-based missile defense interceptors in Poland, and a mid-course radar in the Czech Republic. In light of recent threats from Iran and their continued pursuance of nuclear weapons, the timing on these missile defense installations it critical.
NATO's endorsement of this deal is a major step forward and shows the relevance of the Alliance's commitment to mutual defense and security in the 21st century. It is no secret that ballistic missile's are increasingly posing a threat to European countries as well as the United States and Israel. Missile defense in the Czech Republic presents a practical and safe way to reduce the threat of a nuclear weapon detonating over its intended target. With NATO's growing role in missile defense, it is a natural step for the Alliance to approve these missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic. Ways are being explored to tie the existing missile defense efforts of NATO with the new missile defense installations from the United States set for Poland and the Czech Republic. NATO is also working on short-range missile defense systems for Southern Europe which will complement the long-range missile defense installations the U.S. is placing within Poland and the Czech Republic.
Not an Easy Decision for Missile Defense in the Czech Republic
The negotiations between the U.S. and the Czech Republic have been lengthy and problematic. However, the successful conclusion to this deal to allow the mid-course radar to be placed in the Czech Republic bonds the closeness between the two countries. This agreement places the Czech's in a privileged defense relationship with the U.S.
Adding to the strengthened relationship between the Czech Republic and the U.S., they can also look forward to the benefits of having the long-range missile defense systems protecting their own citizens. Joining sides with a superpower that stands for freedom and democracy is in the best interest of the Czech Republic. This could be the beginning of other partnerships for the two countries.
Russia's Reaction to the Missile Defense Sites in the Czech Republic
Russia is not pleased with the decision by NATO to support the installation of 10 long-range missile defense installations within Poland and the Czech Republic. Having any type of American missile defense anywhere near Russia poses an uncomfortable threat in their minds. The U.S. has offered to make the technology for the missile defense available for Russia's benefit, but this does not ease the tension from the situation. The future might see Russia looking for situations where they can place missiles in countries close to the U.S. There is no guarantee that any missile installations placed in countries close to the U.S. will be there for the purpose of missile defense. Russia is not pleased with the approval of missile defense in Czech Republic or anywhere close to their borders. This will continue to be a source of tension between the U.S. and Russia in the future.
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