Missile Defense, Not Missile Coercion


The FY15 National Defense Authorization Bill requires Aegis Ashore in Poland to be operationally available by the end of 2016 instead of 2018, supporting the notion that missile defense will effectively compel Russia on geo-political issues. This belief is based on public statements Russia has made opposing U.S. missile defense, arguing it would upset strategic parity by reducing the effectiveness of their intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) fleet. The reality behind Russia’s opposition is that they view the U.S. as a foil to justify their investment in the Russian defense industry, which President Putin believes is key to ensuring Russia’s ability exert influence, strengthen the economy and mitigate the emigration of technological expertise. This vision is independent of the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA), and the U.S. should not use precious taxpayer dollars to accelerate a program over a fallible pretense. (more…)