Tag Archives: missile defense

The US Will Not Build Missile Shield in Europe

The United States have decided not to build a missile defense shield in Eastern Europe. NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen says a U.S. decision to shelve plans for a missile shield in the Czech Republic and Poland “is a positive step.”

This may well be true. Experts have long ago warned that missile defense is a highly political exercise with many technical challenges.

This leaves, however, the question about the US involvement in Eastern Europe open. Not long ago a group of intellectuals and former political leaders from Eastern Europe warned that Russia’s creeping intimidation and influence-peddling could over time lead to a de facto neutralization of the region.

We know that the US currently considers Russia an important partner, but also serious threat for US interests. We also know that there are expert calls for intensified US consultations with Russia as yet another European state.

This leaves the European Union in a precarious position of diverging interests and bilateral agreements. Yet some experts say that a focused and engaged neighbourhood policy is the most important tool for protecting EU interests. This resonates with the claim that the US will confront Moscow over its attempts to create a ‘sphere of influence’ in Eastern Europe.

Eastern European Intellectuals’ Open Letter to Obama

A group of Eastern European intellectuals, including Vaclav Havel, Lech Walesa and Bulgarian political scientist Ivan Krastev, have signed an open letter to the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama.

The letter says that Central and Eastern European countries are no longer at the heart of American foreign policy. The authors believe that Central and Eastern Europe is at a political crossroads and today there is a growing sense of nervousness in the region. They say that the United States is likely to lose many of its traditional interlocutors in the region. The most important message in the letter is that the danger is that Russia’s creeping intimidation and influence-peddling in the region could over time lead to a de facto neutralization of the region.

The letter calls for a renaissance of NATO as the most important security link between the United States and Europe.