(CNSNews.com) – The Obama administration is highlighting its achievement in getting NATO partners to agree to a joint Europe-based missile defense shield, while remaining vague about the source of the threat making it necessary in the first place.
At the NATO summit in
Iran also was absent from the new Strategic Concept document unveiled at the summit and adopted by NATO leaders, which said only that military acquisitions in “many regions and countries around the world” include “the proliferation of ballistic missiles, which poses a real and growing threat to the Euro-Atlantic area.”
The 28-member transatlantic alliance agreed to develop a system designed to intercept and destroy any missiles threatening the NATO region, and to invite
The Strategic Concept, which charts NATO’s course for the decade ahead, was based on a report drafted earlier by an expert panel led by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Unlike the text adopted in
“Defending against the threat of a possible ballistic missile attack from
However, NATO member
The reticence was evident again at the weekend summit, where both Rasmussen and Obama held press conferences at which missile defense was discussed at some length, but without any reference to
At a press briefing highlighting the administration’s success in getting NATO allies onboard on the missile defense plan,
Instead, Daalder referred to “missiles coming from the Middle East” while Rhodes spoke of “ballistic missiles emanating from the
One NATO leader not coy about identifying
“No name appears in the public documents of NATO but
Later during the briefing Sarkozy added, “We are not obsessed with
Turkish President Abdullah Gul on Saturday welcomed the Strategic Concept, saying that it was “in line with our expectations. We are very pleased about that.”
Earlier this month, Gul declared that
“Mentioning one country,
The Bush administration planned a missile defense umbrella to defend its allies from the threat of long-range Iranian missiles with facilities in
Although the Pentagon insisted that the proposed system would not weaken
As a key component of his initiative to “reset” strained relations with
Instead he proposed an alternative “phased adaptive approach” designed to protect first south-eastern Europe, and eventually all of
NATO has now agreed to move ahead with a NATO project built around the phased adaptive approach, but which also aims to defend against long-range intercontinental ballistic missiles by 2020.
“Perhaps most significantly, we [
However, Medvedev in his own remarks to reporters appeared more cautious.
Although he confirmed that “we will be working in all areas, including European missile defense,” he also said that any Russian participation would need to be based on “a full-fledged exchange of information, or we won’t take part at all.”
Medvedev also noted uncertainties among NATO members about the costs and viability of the proposed shield, saying “it is quite evident that the Europeans themselves don’t have a complete understanding how it will look, how much it will cost.”
He told the Izvestia newspaper that in talks last week with
“It is like killing a fly on the head of your comrade with a sledgehammer,” said Rogozin, a leading nationalist politician before being appointed to the NATO position by then President Vladimir Putin in 2008.
In their briefing in
“Since the president rolled out his phased adaptive approach, we’ve been working this really hard with our allies, and I think we saw a lot of that work bear fruit today,” said
“Previous administrations have tried to get a European missile defense system. They haven’t succeeded,” said Daalder. “This administration decided that it needed to put in place a defense of Europe and the
Daalder also highlighted the invitation to