The United States Government plans to deploy 10 interceptors in Poland and a radar installation in the Czech Republic. This has caused a stir in political and military circles in both Europe and Russia. This study examines the US proposals and their possible implications for Europe. It makes an assessment of the degree to which defences might enhance European security and sets out the parameters of a European approach towards missile defence.
The first section of the study evaluates the nature, extent and quality of threats from ballistic missiles to EU territory - especially in relation to their deployment with WMD warheads.
The second section maps the nature, extent and quality of existing missile defence capabilities. It provides an assessment of the state of US missile defence plans and programmes, examines the reasons behind the US requirement for a missile defence site in Europe, and also considers NATOu0092s activities in missile defence.
The third section provides observations on the wider strategic implications of the US proposed deployments in Eastern Europe, including its impact on strategic stability, relations with Russia and with NATO, tackling rogue states, moving into space, industrial policy and on arms control.
The fourth section provides a brief glimpse of the national positions of some of the key European countries involved in this debate u0096 Poland, Czech Republic, France, Germany and the UK.
This fifth section explores: the differences in perception and approach between the US Administration and the Europeans; the particular role that missile defence might play within overall European counter-proliferation strategy; and assesses some of the outstanding issues that need to be addressed as part of a balanced European approach.