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UK deputies doubt US missile defense plans in Europe will increase security

14.8.2009 - House of Commons, Foreign Affairs Committee
Following are the excerpts from the "Global Security:
Non-Proliferation" report released by British Foreign
Affairs Committee of the House of Commons on 14th
of June 2009:

(...) (...)

We are not convinced that, as they are currently envisaged and under current circumstances, the United States’ planned ballistic missile defence (BMD) deployments in the Czech Republic and Poland represent a net gain for European security. We conclude that if the deployments are carried out in the face of opposition from Russia, this could be highly detrimental to NATO’s overall security interests. We reaffirm our 2007 recommendation that BMD in Europe should be developed, if at all, as a joint system between the US, NATO and Russia. (page 12-13 as well as page 102)

(...) (...)

We received a large number of submissions to our present inquiry arguing that the US European BMD plans threatened the international non-proliferation effort, primarily because of their potential to provoke new weapons development or deployments from Russia.
For example, Dr Hudson of CND said that missile defence was "contributing to the development of a new nuclear arms race [...] and increasing the likelihood of wider proliferation."
Mr Butcher said that the case of European BMD showed how the "deployment of military defence systems intended to bring greater security can actually undermine that objective security".
Mr Fitzpatrick, Baroness Williams and Sir Michael Quinlan all questioned whether the current US European BMD plans offered a security gain commensurate with the risks surrounding the deployments. Sir Michael said bluntly that he thought the deployments were a "bad idea" and noted that he saw "an awful lot of ‘military-industrial complex’ around." (page 100-101)


The extent to which terrorists might seek to acquire ballistic missiles as a delivery method is a matter for argument. Analysts often suggest that ballistic missiles would not be terrorists’ most likely delivery method, largely because of the technical difficulties involved. (page 109)

Source (British): Global Security: Non-Proliferation. House of Commons, Foreign Affairs Committee. Fourth Report of Session 2008-09. Published on 14th of June 2009


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