Obama commits to base missile interceptors in Poland

December 9, 2010

President Barack Obama on Wednesday committed the United States to basing land-based SM-3 interceptors in Poland in the 2018 timeframe as part of its NATO- wide missile defense system.

In a joint statement after meeting with visiting Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski at the White House, Obama expressed his gratitude for the commitment by the Polish government to host this system, saying Poland’s commitment is “an extremely valuable contribution to the development of a NATO missile defense capability.”

At a November summit in Lisbon, Portugal, NATO’s 28 member states agreed to develop “the capability to defend our populations and territories against ballistic missile attack as a core element of our collective defense.”

The Phased Adaptive Approach to European missile defense, unveiled by Obama in September 2009 to replace the Bush-era controversial missile defense shield program in the Czech Republic and Poland, will be deployed in four stages from next year until 2020 and would be capable of intercepting long-range and intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Under the plan, U.S. interceptor missiles and radar will be stationed in Europe, for which NATO member states have to invest 200 million euros (280 million dollars) to link their existing anti-missile systems to the U.S. system. …