Foreign Policy Blogs

Missile Shield: A Status Report

(Courtesy: Heritage Foundation)

(Courtesy: Heritage Foundation)

For those looking for an update on the status of the Obama Administration’s Missile Shield plan, the Washington Post had a great one yesterday.  Some highlights:

  • The program will ultimately be a combination approach that will notably include Aegis-Class U.S. Navy ships and an effort to upgrade and link the missile defense systems of allied countries into the American network.
  • Turkey and Bulgaria are front-runner candidates to host new land-based radar systems.
  • Poland is still slated to get land-based interceptors and radar, but not until 2018.
  • The new missile shield program will likely become a key NATO initiative; territorial missile defense may formally become a part of the NATO mission at the upcoming November summit.
  • The Obama Administration does not believe this project is constrained by the terms of the New START agreement, and is in any case moving forward with both the project and the treaty.
  • The U.S. is going to be paying for the bulk of this multilateral effort.

The Missile Shield project touches so many other diplomatic issues.  The stated purpose is to check Iran and perhaps eventually North Korea, but from the American perspective, it also affects U.S. relations with NATO, Russia, Israel, the Arab World, Turkey, Poland and a host of other countries as well as the web of relations between these players.  It also demonstrates that at least in this one area, U.S. relations with many of these interlocutors are better than they sometimes appear.  To the extent that the missile shield itself ever becomes a reliable counter to the threat of nuclear missiles, it can also be considered another piece of President Obama’s Nuclear-Free World agenda.



Ryan Haddad

Ryan Haddad is the Senior Blogger for U.S. Foreign Policy at FPA. A foreign affairs and national security analyst based in Washington, D.C., he worked in European and Eurasian affairs at the U.S. Department of Commerce during the Bush Administration and is a graduate of the London School of Economics and Providence College. He can be followed on Twitter at @RIHaddad.