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NATO gives OK to European missile shield

Published: 21 May 2012 08:35 GMT+02:00

The decision was made by 28 of the world's most powerful leaders at the NATO summit in Chicago. It should be up and running before 2020 and protect Europe from missiles fired up to 3,000 kilometres away – roughly where Iran is.

Initially a US warship carrying missiles will be installed near Turkey in the Mediterranean, followed by an early-warning radar system at the US air base in Ramstein. Further bases are planned for Spain, Romania and Poland.

"Missile defence is indispensable. We are faced with real missile threats," NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on the eve of the summit.

"Against a real threat we need a real defence," he said, adding that 30 states are known to either have or seek ballistic missile technology.

The decision was not greeted warmly by Russia though, as Moscow fears the system could neutralise its own nuclear shield. The country's government quickly called for joint control over the system and for NATO to sign a legally-binding guarantee that it is not aimed at Russia.

But NATO rejected both demands, insisting on keeping two separate systems and refusing to sign a legally-binding document.

"This is not a project targeted against Russia, but a project we want to push forward with Russia in the interest of Europe's security," said German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle. "And therefore the door for Russia will stay open."

The United States has tested missile defence technology for years but analysts have questioned whether the shield is a full-proof defence against incoming rockets from rogue states.

AFP/DPA/The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

09:34 May 21, 2012 by yourkeau
Austerity? Of course, not for military.
15:31 May 21, 2012 by boyk99
Why do we need to waste Millions on this? The imaginary enemy Communism is no longer there so why have this.

Is it just to keep the weapons industry in business.

Money would be better spent on Schools, Hospitals etc etc.
16:53 May 21, 2012 by Albertaclipper
Oh my, do I hear higher prices for natural gas coming Germanies way. The war machine in the US has an insatiable appetite. Follow the money trail and you will find out why the world needs unproven missile defence systems. I'm kind of disappointed in Germany. I thought they were smarter than that.
18:29 May 21, 2012 by DOZ
So NATO (I mean America/Canada) Sacrificed Germany to be the 1st Target in a Nuclear Strike by Russia. Good Pot eh, Germany. I think the the word "Sucker" is in order.
21:02 May 21, 2012 by Englishted
@DOZ

Sucker indeed if you don't think Russia would have to roll over Western Europe at the start of a World War lets hope we never find out .

But unlike you I still know we in Europe still should be thankful to all Yanks that came to the aid of freedom in WW2 many who did not return stateside.
23:28 May 21, 2012 by Mr. Wonderful
This is the same old story, europe pretends it has to be persuaded to protect itself and the US ponys up most to the cash to do it in the end. Its a hustle thats worked before so why not work it now against a very real danger from a new direction.

Of course the Russians are making rude noises. Now their allies Iran and Syria will be countered by the new missle system making the Russian's job of threatening the west more difficult in the future.
04:25 May 22, 2012 by reallybigdog
@ Englishlisted

Yes we should be thankful as many of those soldiers were German and by far the largest ethnic majority in the US at that time and remain so today!
08:29 May 22, 2012 by MattyB
@ Mr. Wonderful

You hit the nail on the head. It's the US that will once again pony up the cash and resources to protect Europe. Russia is anyting but peaceful. I'm not saying they are going to launch WWIII, or try to conquer Europe again, but their intentions in this world are less than peaceful. Anything that makes them squirm, and puts them in thier proper place, is worth it. Especially now with dictator-in-all-but-name Putin back in charge.
14:46 May 22, 2012 by Sastry.M
Appears to be a repeat program of earlier 30's to defend against the Soviet menace and correct the inevitable mistakes of victories in ww2.in common with incompatible allied friendship from the East.

Hope Germany many not receive the first nuke from the East in case of real hostility while her western allies could protect themselves with preemptive strikes on those nations from where WMD's threatened their security flying out from mirages of hot sands.

Indeed the Russians, animosity and ideology apart in my opinion, did have more respect for defeated Germans, whose failure benefited them during the last war for gaining a better foothold by Russians in middle Europe.
19:42 May 25, 2012 by yuri_nahl
Yes it's the same old story. Only one country has been starting wars and bombing the heck out of people since the end of WW II, and yes it's that country who's name just popped into your head, and it does not begin with "R".
00:15 May 27, 2012 by raandy
This shield will protect Europe from missels 3000 Kms away roughly where Iran is.

Why is Iran always the bad guy? I have not seen or read where Iran has attacked anyone and why would they? The shield is not to protect Europe from Iran maybe from Russia, as the Russians have claimed all along.

I would like to see how and who is paying the Lions share of this expensive and questionable project.
17:16 May 27, 2012 by Sastry.M
May a continuation of supporting a new campaign for extending 'extortable economic excellence' in view of the dwindling residues against Afghan anti terrorism under auspices of the Un-Serviceable leadership.
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