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  • Author: Jeffrey P. Bialos, Stuart L. Koehl
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Transatlantic Relations
  • Abstract: At the end of the day, missile defense is and should be here to stay as a key element of U.S., and in all likelihood, European defense strategy for the twenty-first century. The threats are real and there is an emerging consensus about creating defenses against it. While the “macro” issues of ABM withdrawal and initial fielding of the U.S. midcourse segment are behind us, there are very legitimate issues that warrant debate on both sides of the Atlantic. We now need to focus on making the right choices to provide a better balance of capabilities between various strategic, regional, force protection, and homeland security needs. Moreover, U.S.-European engagement on missile defense is potentially, but not inevitably, a win-win proposition—binding alliance partners together geo-politically, creating a layered, multi-national plug and play “system of system” architecture, and enhancing our ability to fight wars together. And, an enhanced coalition war fighting capability is likely to have beneficial spillover effects on the broader Transatlantic relationship; it is axiomatic that countries that fight wars together tend to have congruent interests in a range of areas. But for this to happen, Europe needs to begin to seriously consider its missile defense needs soon and apply resources to the task and the United States needs to resolve the underlying technology transfer issues and questions of roles and responsibilities. Thus, with hard work and good will, multi-national cooperation between the United States and its allies offers “win-win” from the standpoint of strengthening the alliance and our mutual security.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Weapons , Missile Defense
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe