The US and Romania signed an agreement on deployment of the elements of a US missile defense system. Earlier it was reported that some elements of EUROPRO system will appear in Turkey.
Everything indicates that the US military machine and NATO are inexorably approaching the Russian borders. The US-Romanian agreement was signed on September 13 during a visit to Washington of Romanian President Traian Basescu. The document was signed by the foreign ministers of two countries – Hillary Clinton and Theodore Baconschi. Later Barack Obama met with the participants of the talks, although initially he was not planning to meet with Basescu.
According to the document, by 2015 elements of a US ground-based missile defense system will appear at the former Romanian Air Force Base in Deveselu. They will include radar (SAR) complex Aegis, an operational control center, and mobile missile batteries with interceptor missiles SM-3 Standart-3. Approximately 200 US military will reside at the base, but if necessary, this number will be increased to 500.
Nothing was said with regard to the fact who the missile base will be directed against. Earlier, US officials and Basescu have repeatedly reiterated that the missile defense is not directed against Russia.
However, recently there was another event that made the Russian side doubt that statement.
Some time ago the United States and Turkey announced that the Turkish territory would host an early warning radar system EUROPRO. Spokesman of the Turkish Foreign Ministry Selcuk Unal said that the decision to implement a project system of protection against missile attack of the US and NATO was adopted at the Lisbon summit in 2010.Turkey has actively contributed to these original plans and made a significant contribution to the work. He added that there have been negotiations on the extent of Turkey’s participation in this system, which have finally entered into the final stage.
According to the Turkish diplomat, the radar will be located in the southeastern part of the country. This will allow “scanning” the area with a radius of several thousand kilometers. Turkey insists that the new object is not directed against anyone, especially against Russia. This will only allow the country to contribute to the development of a new security system of NATO.
According to the American plans, Turkey will first host a mobile radar detection system AN/TPY-2. By 2015 there will be a new sea-and land-based modification of the SM-3. Subsequently, the system will be improved further so that it successfully reflects the threat against the United States and Europe from missiles of medium and long range.
The appearance of the two similar objects in the immediate proximity of Russian borders could not but worry the leadership of the country. In his statement the Russian Foreign Ministry stressed the need to sign a special agreement clearly stipulating that the elements of a US missile defense are not directed against Russia. “The developments only increase the urgency of the need to obtain solid, legally binding assurances from the US and NATO that missile defense facilities being deployed in Europe are not directed against Russia’s strategic nuclear forces,” commented MFA.
“The agreement with Romania to deploy a ground-based version of SM-3 missile system and Aegis at the former air base Deveselu, as well as the recent announcement of the impending deployment of the US forward based anti-missile radar AN/TPY-2 in Turkey, suggests that the implementation of US and Europe’s missile plans is quick and smooth. This is happening amid a lack of progress in the NATO-Russian and Russian-American dialogue on the subject of missile defense,” the Ministry commented.
“Scheduled for deployment in Romania by 2015, regardless of the evolution of the real missile challenges, missile defense base is another link in the strategic infrastructure of the global missile defense system developed by the US NATO-Russia Council needs to develop effective and targeted decisions about the purpose and architecture of the missile defense in the region”, stressed the Russian Foreign Ministry. It may be added that the objects in Romania and Turkey are not the only ones of this kind. The United States and Poland agreed to deploy interceptor missiles Patriot at a Polish base in the town of Morong.The distance from this object to Kaliningrad is no more than 100 kilometers. As in the case of Romania, the Polish authorities also have repeatedly stated that Russian missile defense is not threatened. Initially it was planned to place these missiles near Warsaw, but they were eventually “pushed” to the Russian border. Finally, further north there is American radar in Norway, in the town of Varde, located near the Russian border.
Although officially its function is to monitor space debris, the Russian military and diplomats suspect that it was placed in violation of the ABM Treaty of 1972. Russia conducts regular talks on the operation of this facility with both the US and Norway.
What does the emergence of a chain of objects of a US missile defense system at the Russian borders mean? Military expert and senior vice president of the Academy of Geopolitical Issues Konstantin Sivkov spoke on this subject in an interview with Pravda.ru:
“The US and NATO continue the policy of encirclement of Russia with their bases in the framework of the project “Loop of Anaconda.” Our country is still perceived by the Americans as the main strategic adversary, and they do not even make any secret of it. Their task is to neutralize our nuclear weapons and push us out of the major areas of the world’s oceans. In this case – even from the Black Sea. Turkey, of course, has its own views on the missile defense system, but Romania is a pawn in the hands of the US, and its elite exist only because of the American support. The same can be said about Poland. As a result, there is a chain of US missile defense sites along the Russian border, stretching from Turkey through Romania and Poland to Norway.”
U.S.-Poland Ballistic Missile Defense Agreement Comes Into Force
(RTTNews) – A Ballistic Missile Defense Agreement that the United States and Poland signed in 2008 entered into force on Thursday, the U.S. State Department said.
Its Amending Protocol of 2010 on deployment of the land-based SM-3 system within Poland also came into effect the same day.
The U.S. Ballistic Missile Defense system will be located at Redzikowo Base as a part of the European Phased Adaptive Approach to missile defense by 2018. This base represents a significant contribution by our two nations to a future NATO missile defense capability, the State Department added.
It comes two days after the United States and Romania signed an Agreement on the Deployment of the Ballistic Missile Defense System in Romania.
The West, especially the United States, is troubled by the nuclear muscle-flexing of Iran and North Korea, with which Russia has better defense or trade ties.
Due to a reassessment of the threat from Iran, Washington announced last year a new scheme for a more flexible system, with a combination of land and sea-based interceptors based on the Standard Missile interceptor, SM-3.
Turkey Joins NATO’S Missile Defense System
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry says an early warning radar system will be installed at a military base in the country’s southeast as part of NATO’s missile defense system for Europe. It is aimed at countering the threat of missile attacks from Iran.
The ministry said in a statement Wednesday that the radar will be installed at a military base in Kurecik in Malatya province.
Iran, which is Turkey’s neighbor, has warned Ankara that the decision will escalate regional tensions.
Turkey’s announcement was made one day after Romania signed an agreement to allow the U.S. to place SM-3 ground-based interceptors in Romania as part of the missile defense system.
Turkey agreed to deploy the radar system earlier this month.
The 28-member NATO alliance endorsed plans for an anti-missile system to protect Europe against Iranian ballistic missiles at a summit in Portugal last year.
Russia also opposes the planned system because Moscow says it believes it could threaten its own nuclear missiles or undermine its deterrence capability.
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
Fact Sheet: Implementing Missile Defense in Europe
“To put it simply, our new missile defense architecture in Europe will provide stronger, smarter, and swifter defenses of American forces and America’s Allies. It is more comprehensive than the previous program; it deploys capabilities that are proven and cost-effective; and it sustains and builds upon our commitment to protect the U.S. homeland against long-range ballistic missile threats; and it ensures and enhances the protection of all our NATO Allies.”
– President Obama, September 17, 2009
President Obama is committed to protecting the United States, U.S. deployed forces, our European Allies and partners against the growing threat of ballistic missiles. In September 2009, on the recommendation of the Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the President announced the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) for missile defense to provide that protection sooner and more comprehensively. Over the past two years, working together with our NATO Allies, the Administration has achieved significant progress in implementing that approach, and we are on a path to achieve the milestones the President outlined.
Since the announcement of EPAA, the Administration has made clear its desire to implement EPAA in a NATO context. At the Lisbon Summit in November 2010, NATO made the historic decision to endorse a missile defense capability whose aim is to provide full coverage and protection for all NATO European populations, territory, and forces against the increasing threats posed by the proliferation of ballistic missiles. This decision is consistent with our efforts to broaden and strengthen NATO’s deterrence posture against the range of 21st century threats the Alliance faces. NATO also agreed to expand its current missile defense command, control, and communications capabilities to protect NATO European populations, territory, and forces. Allies at Lisbon welcomed the EPAA as the U.S. national contribution to NATO’s missile defense capability, as well as welcoming additional voluntary contributions from other Allies.
There are four phases of the EPAA to be implemented over the rest of this decade. We have made progress on each phase and are on a path to meet the goals the President set forth in 2009.
- Phase One (2011 timeframe) will address short- and medium-range ballistic missile threats by deploying current and proven missile defense systems. It calls for the deployment of Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD)-capable ships equipped with proven SM-3 Block IA interceptors. In March of this year the USS Monterey was the first in a sustained rotation of ships to deploy to the Mediterranean Sea in support of EPAA. Phase One also calls for deploying a land-based early warning radar, which Turkey recently agreed to host as part of the NATO missile defense plan.
- Phase Two (2015 timeframe) will expand our coverage against short- and medium-range threats with the fielding of a land-based SM-3 missile defense interceptor site in Romania and the deployment of a more capable SM-3 interceptor (the Block IB). This week, on September 13, the United States and Romania signed the U.S.-Romanian Ballistic Missile Defense Agreement. Once ratified, it will allow the United States to build, maintain, and operate the land-based BMD site in Romania.
- Phase Three (2018 timeframe) will improve coverage against medium- and intermediate-range missile threats with an additional land-based SM-3 site in Poland and the deployment of a more advanced SM-3 interceptor (the Block IIA). Poland agreed to host the interceptor site in October 2009, and today, with the Polish ratification process complete, this agreement has entered into force.
- Phase Four (2020 timeframe) will enhance our ability to counter medium- and intermediate-range missiles and potential future inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) threats to the United States from the Middle East, through the deployment of the SM-3 Block IIB interceptor. Each phase will include upgrades to the missile defense command and control system.
It is important to note that when the President announced EPAA he welcomed Russian cooperation on missile defense. We have made progress on this front as well. At the November 2010 NATO-Russia Council (NRC) Summit, NATO and Russia committed to exploring opportunities for missile defense cooperation. Effective cooperation with Russia will enhance the overall effectiveness and efficiency of our combined territorial missile defenses, and at the same time provide both NATO and Russia with greater security. As an initial step, NATO and Russia completed a joint ballistic missile threat assessment and agreed that the NRC would resume theater missile defense cooperation. The United States and Russia also continue to discuss missile defense cooperation through a number of high-level working groups at the State and Defense Departments.
Moving forward, the Administration will continue to consult closely with Congress and with our NATO Allies to implement the vision the President set forth in September 2009. We will also continue to rigorously evaluate the threat posed by ballistic missiles and the technology that we are developing to counter it. The United States remains committed to cost-effective and proven missile defenses that provide flexibility to address emerging threats.
For more information on U.S. missile defense policy, please see the Ballistic Missile Defense Review (BMDR)