Long-Range Ballistic Missile Defense in Europe
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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In early 2007, after several years of internal discussions and consultations with Poland and the Czech Republic, the Bush Administration formally proposed deploying a ground-based midcourse defense GMD element in Europe of the larger Ballistic Missile Defense System BMDS to defend against an Iranian missile threat. The system would have included 10 interceptors in Poland, a radar in the Czech Republic, and another radar deployed in a country closer to Iran, all to be completed by 2013 at a reported cost of at least 4 billion. The proposed European BMD capability raised a number of foreign policy challenges in Europe and with Russia. On September 17, 2009, the Obama Administration announced it would cancel the Bush proposed European BMD program. Instead, Defense Secretary Gates announced U.S. plans to develop and deploy a regional BMD capability that can be deployed around the world on relatively short notice during crises or as the situation may demand. Gates argued this new capability, based primarily around current BMD sensors and interceptors, would be more responsive and adaptable to growing concern over the direction of Iranian short- and medium range ballistic missile proliferation. This capability would continue to evolve and expand over the next decade. This report is updated for Senate consideration of the defense appropriations bill H.R. 3326 currently planned for the week of September 21, 2009. There are some reports that the issue of the European 3rd site will be considered during Senate floor debate. Although the terms of the debate over the Bush-proposed European BMD capability have changed significantly, this report will be retained for historical purposes to include background information and analysis up to the Obama Administrations decision to cancel it. It will be updated as necessary.
- Antimissile Defense Systems