Entries Tagged as 'Europe'

Poland Wants to Build Missile Defense System with France, Germany

RIA Novosti
August 11, 2012

Poland wants to cooperate with France and Germany on the establishment of its own missile defense system, Polish Press Agency reported on Saturday, quoting Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak as saying.

“We want it [creation of the missile defense system] to happen in cooperation with France, Germany and other our allies. NATO welcomes the initiatives of the countries to build up their joint defense capabilities. This is so-called smart defense,” Siemoniak told the agency.

The minister estimated the planned Polish missile defense system at $3-6 billion.

In early August, Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski said that Warsaw needed s its own missile defense shield which would be a part of the NATO missile defense system, along with the U.S. elements of the European Missile Defense that will be deployed on the Polish territory by 2018.

The United States scrapped plans in September, 2010 for an anti-ballistic-missile defense system in the Czech Republic and Poland. Moscow welcomed the move, and Russia’s then-President Dmitry Medvedev said later that Russia would drop plans to deploy Iskander-M tactical missiles in its Kaliningrad Region, which borders NATO members, Poland and Lithuania.

Last year, however, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced Washington’s plans to deploy the U.S. new-generation ballistic missile defense interceptor site in Poland by 2018.


More doubts cast on European missile defense plan

U.S. News & World Report
By Desmond Butler (Associated Press)
May 4, 2012

The National Academy of Sciences is casting more doubt on whether the Obama administration’s European-based missile defense shield can protect the United States and recommends scrapping key parts of the system.

The academy’s assessment could complicate White House efforts to persuade Congress to fund the still-developing program. Though the academy says the plans would protect Europe effectively, some lawmakers already are asking why the U.S., at a time of tight budgets, should spend billions of dollars on a system that provides limited homeland defense.

The conclusions from the academy, which advises the government on science and technology, are contained in a letter to lawmakers obtained by The Associated Press.

The academy’s letter bolsters two earlier reports by Defense Department advisers and congressional investigators that said the European system faced significant delays, cost overruns and technology problems. …

Read on: www.usnews.com/news/us/articles/2012/05/04/more-doubts-cast-on-european-missile-defense-plan

USEUCOM Releases Command Statement on Force Posture

U.S. European Command (eucom.mil)
February 16, 2012

The United States has enduring interests in supporting peace, prosperity, unity, and freedom in Europe and Eurasia as well as in bolstering the strength and vitality of NATO. As demonstrated by recent and ongoing operations, Europe remains our partner of choice in addressing current and emerging security challenges around the globe. The United States will maintain a robust, visible military presence in Europe, which will be capable of deterring and defending against aggression throughout Europe and Eurasia, and meeting our collective defense commitments under NATO’s Article 5. We will continue to enhance the NATO alliance’s readiness and interoperability and promote the strength, adaptability, security, sovereignty and territorial integrity of our allies and partners across Europe and Eurasia.

Consistent with the new NATO Strategic Concept, our force posture in Europe will evolve to meet the full range of 21st century challenges.

  • We will enhance the ability of our forward presence in Europe to address ballistic missile threats with an AN/TPY-2 radar in Turkey and by forward-stationing Aegis-Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD)-capable ships in Rota, Spain, and establishing land-based SM-3 BMD sites in Romania and Poland.
  • We will enhance regional special operations forces’ responsiveness by continued partnership with the NATO Special Operations Forces Headquarters.
  • We will create an aviation detachment in Poland to enhance training opportunities.

We will also work with NATO allies to develop a “smart defense” approach to pool, share, and specialize capabilities. …

U.S. Air Forces in Europe (USAFE)

  • As a reduction of legacy aircraft, one Air Force A-10 squadron from Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, has been identified for inactivation in fiscal year 2013.
  • The 603rd Air Control Squadron at Aviano Air Base, Italy, will be inactivated in fiscal year 2013.

U.S. Army, Europe (USAREUR)

  • Following the V Corps headquarters deployment to Operation Enduring Freedom later this year, the Army will reduce the V Corps Headquarters structure, and it will not return to Europe.
  • The 7th Army/USAREUR headquarters has been transformed to include a deployable contingency command post. This command and control capability can deploy within Europe and, when augmented, can provide command and control for joint and coalition forces in small-scale operations.
  • Two brigade combat teams (BCTs) identified for inactivation are the 170th BCT in fiscal year 2013 and the 172nd BCT in fiscal year 2014.
  • As the U.S. Army reduces force structure, the U.S. Army in Europe will see a reduction of approximately 2,500 Soldiers from enabling units over the next five years.
  • To enhance capacity and interoperability with NATO, the United States will allocate a U.S.-based heavy brigade combat team to reinvigorate its commitment to the NATO Response Force. As part of this commitment, we will also seek ways to enhance multi-national training at the world-class Joint Multinational Training Command in Grafenwöhr, Germany, in a post-ISAF environment. We will rotate a battalion-sized task force from the allocated U.S.-based heavy brigade combat team to conduct multinational training exercises on a frequency to be determined later in consultation with our allies.
  • As previously announced, Baumholder remains an enduring U.S. Army, Europe community along with the Grafenwöhr/Vilseck/Hohenfels complex, Ansbach, Kaiserslautern, Wiesbaden, and Stuttgart, Germany; Vicenza, Italy; and Army communities located in the Benelux. Those locations identified as not enduring include Bamberg and Schweinfurt, which will be returned to the host nation no later than fiscal year 2015.

Read in full: www.eucom.mil/article/23125/useucom-releases-command-statement-on-force-posture

Medvedev Says U.S. Forcing European Missile Defense

Global Security Newswire
November 28, 2011

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday claimed that the United States was largely alone driving the fielding of antimissile systems around Europe, Reuters reported.

“The construction of the European missile defense shield has been largely imposed (on Europe) by the United States,” Medvedev said to journalists.

Washington and NATO have sought for the last year to persuade Moscow to join their developing Europe-based missile shield. The sides remain at odds over the organization of such a cooperative system and on Russia’s demand for a legally binding pledge that its nuclear forces would not be targeted by the NATO elements.

Medvedev said on Wednesday that if the issue remains unresolved, Russia would field Iskander missiles and a new long-range radar system in the Kaliningrad region to nullify the advantages of the planned NATO missile shield. He also threatened to withdraw from the U.S.-Russian New START nuclear arms control agreement.

The Russian president said unidentified European leaders had griped to him that their countries were regulated to secondary status in efforts to establish the NATO antimissile system.

“My partners … have hinted to me from time to time: ‘It is the Americans who decided that, they are promoting it, and our role as NATO member states is to provide territory,'” Medvedev said. …

Read on: http://www.globalsecuritynewswire.org/gsn/nw_20111128_7861.php

Obama to meet with Czech Republic leader; follows Czech withdrawal from missile defense plans

The Washington Post
October 7, 2011

President Barack Obama will meet at the White House later this month with the prime minister of the Czech Republic.

Some in the Czech Republic have bristled at the Obama administration’s handling of its relationship with the Central European nation. And the Czechs withdrew this summer from U.S. missile defense plans out of frustration with their diminished role. …

Read on: www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obama-to-meet-with-czech-republic-leader-follows-czech-withdrawal-from-missile-defense-plans/2011/10/07/gIQAvQp0SL_story.html

Russia, U.S. warm up on missile defense

Washington Post
By Craig Whitlock
March 21, 2011

Setting aside decades of acrimony over President Ronald Reagan’s vision of a “Star Wars” missile shield, the United States and Russia have been holding exploratory but serious talks about potential ways to cooperate on missile defense in Europe.

Russian and U.S. officials have met multiple times in Moscow and Washington since January to consider sharing data from sensors that could detect the launch of a ballistic missile from Iran or another hostile country.

Both sides have cautioned that no deal is imminent and that big differences remain. But the issue has been given a boost by back-to-back visits to Russia this month by Vice President Biden and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates.

“We’ve disagreed before, and Russia still has uncertainties,” Gates said Monday in a speech to Russian naval officers in St. Petersburg. “However, we’ve mutually committed to resolving these difficulties in order to develop a road map toward truly effective anti-ballistic missile collaboration.’’

Such an assessment marks a sharp turnaround from years of bitter contention over missile defense. Although Washington always has portrayed its missile defense plans as purely defensive in nature, Moscow has eyed them as a backdoor plot to neutralize Russia’s massive nuclear arsenal.

Mutual suspicions over missile defense nearly derailed the New START arms-control pact last year. Although the treaty was ultimately ratified, U.S. officials until recently were largely dismissive of the idea that there was room for cooperation with Russia on missile defense.

“There is no meeting of the minds on missile defense,” Gates told a Senate panel in June. “The Russians hate it. . . . They will always hate it, mostly because we’ll build it and they won’t.” …

Read on: www.washingtonpost.com/world/russia_us_warm_up_on_missile_defense/2011/03/21/ABY7ei7_story.html

Bill Sets Conditions for Spending on European Missile Shield

Space News
By Turner Brinton
December 30, 2010

The U.S. defense policy bill passed by Congress Dec. 22 is generally supportive of the nation’s missile defense programs, but it would prevent the Pentagon from spending money in 2011 on a European missile shield until certain requirements are met, including firm agreements by European countries to host the necessary assets.

Numerous congressional hearings were held over the past year to analyze the overhauled plan to deploy a European missile defense system that was announced by the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama in September 2009. The 2011 Defense Authorization Bill supports the White House’s vision for the shield, calling it an “appropriate response to the existing ballistic missile threat from Iran to the European territory of [NATO] countries, and to potential future ballistic missile capabilities of Iran.”

The House of Representatives and Senate passed the bill by unanimous consent on the same day and it now awaits the president’s signature into law.

The United States in 2006 first announced plans to field a system to protect European allies and deployed forces from ballistic missile attacks. The original plan would have placed 10 fixed-site interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar site in the Czech Republic. The Obama administration’s revamped plan, called Phased Adaptive Approach, calls for the deployment of interceptor-equipped Aegis ships to European waters and a radar system in southern Europe in 2011. Land-based derivatives of the Standard Missile 3 interceptor, which today is fired exclusively from ships at sea, would be deployed in Romania and Poland starting in 2015 and 2018, respectively. …


Russia ready to join Europe’s anti-missile defence as an equal – Medvedev

The Voice of Russia
By Vyacheslav Solovyov
November 21, 2010

Russia has accepted NATO`s offer to develop a joint anti-missile defence in Europe. Many experts view this as a main achievement of the Russia-NATO Council meeting in Lisbon.

Speaking at a press-briefing after the summit, the Russian leader Dmitry Medvedev said that he had suggested his partners in NATO to consider the idea of the European anti-missile defence divided into sectors:

“I do understand that this issue requires a very thorough analysis, and we do not expect a prompt reaction. We know that different countries have their own view of the problem. But Russia would be ready to develop a joint anti-missile defense system only on equality basis.”

Mr. Medvedev did not go into detail but stressed that no matter what kind of anti-missile defense system Europe had, Russia would support only true partnership relied on equality. The Voice of Russia asked the deputy head of the Institute of the US and Canada of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Pavel Zolotarev, to comment on Russia’s proposal:

“The case in point is that each country or alliance has its own missile defense facilities to protect its airspace. As for long-range ballistic missiles, their warheads cross several aerial zones, and each country is supposed to be responsible for its own zone, which seems to be the only logical way of doing it because a country, for example the United States, cannot be responsible for Russian airspace, in other words, it cannot shoot down someone else’s missiles over Russia and let the fragments fall on Russian territory. Cooperation implies coordinated actions. Russia and the Untied States have some experience in the field, and so does NATO. Together with Americans, we have been conducting research in organizing theater missile defense. So you see that the Russian proposals are well-grounded and quite logical. Here, political factors move to the background – that’s a reasonable way of building this system.” …