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Feb 23, 2007

Missile Defense Shield Expands to Europe

Posted by in categories: defense, geopolitics, military


The Ballistic Missile Early Warning Radar System (BMEWS) at Fylingdales, U.K.

The ongoing debate on the proposed missile defense shield in Europe is heating up. Poland and the Czech Republic are among the possible sites and the UK is now showing interest in supporting the missile shield. Fears over the destabilising effects of such a shield was confirmed by a Russian general who said that they would target the system.

Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, said America would trigger an “inevitable arms race” if it deployed interceptors in Europe to knock ballistic missiles out of the sky. A senior Russian general rumbled that Russian missiles would target any interceptors in eastern Europe. Poland’s prime minister told his people that Russia was trying to “scare” them. The Czech foreign minister (a prince with a splendid moustache) complained of Russian “blackmail”.

“The aim is to break ground on a European site in 2008, and for its interceptors to become operational in 2012. This week the Polish and Czech prime ministers said they were keen on hosting the missile-defence sites. That is a change: talks with the Poles have dragged on for years, thanks to elaborate Polish demands for things such as extra missile defences for their own country. Yet both Mr Blair and his Polish rivals face objections from three sources: from Russia, from many of their own voters and from fellow European leaders.”

Source: “Missile-defence systems: Expect Fireworks”, Economist.

“In 2003, the U.K. agreed to allow the U.S. to upgrade radar stations at the Fylingdales Royal Air Force Base in northern England, one of the steps to allowing the missile shield. At the time, then-Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon said the U.K. would keep its options open about Britain taking the U.S. missile shield.”

Source: “Blair Wants Part of U.S. Missile Shield Based in U.K.”, Bloomberg.

Read more about the RAF Fylingdales base from Wikipedia

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Comments — comments are now closed.

  • randpost on February 24, 2007 2:38 am

    No war technology solves anything.. they will just build more weapons with more money. hundreds of billions every year to build these goddam weapons. What a waste.

  • Ole Peter Galaasen on February 24, 2007 12:15 pm

    Well, the problem seems to be that when a new defensive technology replaces an older, new offensive weapons appear. The classic arms-race dilemma. Instead of building new defenses global powers should disarm. The problem is that this is wishful thinking.

    I think there are many interesting opposing views on this on the comments on many of the blog entries. Most recently Phillip Huggan’s comment on the “The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists Displays Gaps in Nanotechnology Understanding” shows this split in thinking on many questions of existential risks.

    The weaponization of space is indeed a huge question, and a missile shield is a move in that direction. As I understand the planned shield in Europe will consist of 10 different missile-silos that are real-time activated by the EWS (early warning radar). Of course delayed by human intervention.

    I’m inclined to dismiss the ICBM-threat in the near future. It’s really old technology for old threats.

  • Michael Anissimov on February 24, 2007 9:20 pm

    Great post!

  • Ole Peter Galaasen on February 25, 2007 3:54 am

    Meanwhile, Iran seems to have launched a rocket into space:

    “The ballistic technology used is believed to be an extension of Iran’s long-range Shahab-3 missile, our correspondent says.

    She says that military experts believe that if Iran has sent a rocket into space it means scientists have mastered the technology needed to cross the atmospheric barrier.

    In practice, they say, that means there is no technological block to Iran building longer range missiles now, something that will be of great international concern.”

    Source: BBC

  • Thomas on September 2, 2008 3:08 pm

    The missile shield wil not be abel to stop a full scale attack from russia. But will be suficent to take out an retaliation attack from russia in a us first strike scenario. Thus making russia a open target for the usa.There fore its higlig likely tath russia wil develop ICBM’s capabel of bypassing the missile shield. This would motivate the usa to futher develope their existing missile shield or their ICBM’s. And so on and so on and so on and so on and so on and so on and so on.and so on and so on and so on.and so on and so on and so on.and so on and so on and so on.and so on and so on and so on.and so on and so on and so on.and so on and so on and so on.and so on and so on and so on.and so on and so on and so on.and so on and so on and so on.and so on and so on and so on.and so on and so on and so on.and so on and so on and so on.and so on and so on and so on.and so on and so on and so on.and so on and so on and so on.and so on and so on and so on.and so on and so on and so on.and so on and so on and so on.and so on and so on and so on. Do you get my point?