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American voice against proposed radar in the Czech Republic

21.3.2009 - Fellowship of Reconciliation

As leaders of the Czech Republic consider the possible installation of the United States' missile radar system in your country, we believe your audience will be interested in the views of many US citizens, who believe the installation of this system would be a mistake.  

We understand that a large majority of your citizens oppose the system, and they do so for good reasons. The threat which the system is designed to counter is not credible, and is not directed at Central Europe.

But even if there were in the future a risk of such threat, the system has never been successfully tested against the kind of attack it is supposed to defend against, even when tests have been conducted under favorable and controlled conditions that are unlike those of real-world conflict. Once it is in place, it will be difficult to change course and dismantle the system.

We believe that the installation of this system would increase the danger of a destabilizing international arms race, which benefits no one. Many US citizens also oppose the system, because of the risks that it will lead to a false belief in the efficacy of offensive nuclear war. In that respect, a Czech decision not to install the system will strengthen our nations' relationship.

President Barack Obama has given indications that he will respect the will of the Czech Republic. We understand that, although no formal referendum has occurred, more than two thirds of Czech citizens do not want the system to be installed. We are confident that the democratic will of these citizens will be respected. We urge Czech deputies to listen to the Czech voices calling to vote against this ineffective, unnecessary, and dangerous system.


John Lindsay-Poland

The author is a senior program associate of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the oldest interfaith peace organization in the United States.

Fellowship of Reconciliation
PO Box 271
Nyack, New York 10960
Tel: 845-358-4601 Fax: 845-358-4924

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