• Germany's news in English
 
NATO gives OK to European missile shield
Photo: DPA

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.
Today's headlines
Xenophobia thrives in shadow of Berlin towers
A demo in Marzahn-Hellersdorf. File photo: DPA

Xenophobia thrives in shadow of Berlin towers

There's little to break the monotony of communist-era apartment blocks stretching across Marzahn-Hellersdorf, an east Berlin satellite district that has gained national notoriety for a spate of anti-foreigner protests. READ  

Ecuador returns German money in oil valley spat
Photo: DPA

Ecuador returns German money in oil valley spat

Ecuador's President Rafael Correa said Saturday that Quito would be giving back about $8.5 million donated by Germany last year, in an environmental row. READ  

German bank sues Ecclestone for €345mn
Photo: DPA

German bank sues Ecclestone for €345mn

German bank BayernLB is seeking €345 million ($423 million) in a lawsuit against Formula One magnate Bernie Ecclestone over the 2006 sale of the sport's rights, according to a report. READ  

Löw aims for Euro 2016 with new-look Germany
Joachim Löw holding the World Cup trophy. File photo: DPA

Löw aims for Euro 2016 with new-look Germany

World Cup winners Germany have suffered something of a hangover since their triumph in Brazil, but coach Joachim Löw is hoping a new-look side can go on to claim more glory at Euro 2016. READ  

T-Mobile to pay $90 mn over US fraud charges
Photo: DPA

T-Mobile to pay $90 mn over US fraud charges

German mobile phone company T-Mobile has agreed to pay at least $90 million to settle US government claims that it bilked customers with bogus charges, US regulators said Friday. READ  

Ethics Council rejects assisted suicide law
Photo: DPA

Ethics Council rejects assisted suicide law

The German Ethics Council said the law should not be changed to permit assisted suicide in a paper published on Friday. READ  

Abandoned themepark needs 14m says Berlin
Swan Lake. An abandoned ride in the Spreewald pleasure park. Photo: DPA

Abandoned themepark needs 14m says Berlin

The iconic ruined themepark in the centre of Berlin - a long-time favourite of hipster adventurers - needs a clean-up costing at least 14 million euros, the Berlin government has revealed. READ  

Police nab Nuremberg station bomb hoaxer
File photo of Nuremberg main station: Shutterstock

Police nab Nuremberg station bomb hoaxer

Officers in Nuremberg arrested a man on Thursday evening after he called in a false bomb threat against the main train station READ  

Opinion
Angela, David...and Nigel
So near...and yet so far Photo: DPA

Angela, David...and Nigel

The rise of UKIP broke up what had been a good 2014 for Cameron and Merkel. READ  

'Dr Death' corpse museum gets go-ahead
Dr Gunther von Hagens. Photo: DPA

'Dr Death' corpse museum gets go-ahead

A Berlin court has said that infamous human taxidermist Gunther von Hagens can open a museum in the capital - over objections from local officials. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Willy Brandt at his inauguration in 1972. Photo: DPA
National
Willy Brandt: the man, the chancellor... the airport?
Dresden skyline and river by night. Photo: DPA
Politics
What does Dresden have against Muslims?
Sponsored Article
Why are these International Baccalaureate students cheering?
Germany's national football team lifts the World Cup trophy
Gallery
Germany's most-Googled words of 2014
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
Photo: DPA
National
This German was abducted and tortured by the CIA
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Sponsored Article
Top ten gifts for an expat Christmas
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Stuff your face with these festive German cookies
Photo: DPA
Culture
What do beer, breakfast cereal and dildos have in common?
Culture
The Local's guide to German Christmas markets
Sponsored Article
Top five quirky Christmas jumpers
Photo: DPA
Culture
Get ready for Christmas like a German. We tell you how.
Photo: DPA
Munich
She did what with her dead mother?
Photo: DPA
National
Germany still paying for crisis fall out
Photo: DPA
Culture
Saxon wurst is the worst, Christmas market declares.
Photo: DPA
Politics
Can 'sorry' ever be enough for the Linke?
Sponsored Article
Shop Christmas gifts at Debenhams international store
Photo: DPA
Berlin
The Local's series on 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
Offer: Unlimited airmiles through December 19th
Photo: DPA
Gallery
See how Berlin has changed in 22 photos
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,168
jobs available
The Local Spain is hiring!
The Local is seeking a new editor for our site in Spain to join our growing team of internationally-minded, driven, ambitious and clued-up journalists.
Details and how to apply
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd