The Missile Defense Agency has released a report entitled 'Proposed Missile Defense Assets in Europe.' The document is a handy guide that explains why we're pursuing the system and how it will enhance the security of the U.S. and its allies. It's full of nifty charts and graphs, which point mostly at the chief reason for missile defense in Europe--Iran. The report also addresses at some length the concerns of Russia that the advanced radar integral to the system has another, covert purpose--monitoring activity in that nation. And the report also argues that this system can have no meaningful effect on Russia's nuclear arsenal. It's not clear whether the Missile Defense Agency is being straightforward or snarky when it addresses the potential threat to civilians of falling debris: "Intercept debris is minor compared to an intact Weapon of Mass Destruction (WMD) warhead hitting a major population center." But this presentation comes at a good time. The House and Senate both appear prepared to significantly cut the president's request for deployment of missile defense in Europe. The administration will need to make a strong argument on Capitol Hill to sway leaders to restore funds slated for elimination. Alternately, given that the primary rationale for cutting the funds is to ease tension with Russia, it may be necessary for allies affected by the cut to make clear that these programs are important to them, as well.

Next Page