According to reports from Polish newspapers, the United States has officially terminated its plans to put missile defense elements in Poland and the Czech Republic. The missile defense systems in Europe were to protect both Europe and the United States from ballistic missiles was commonly called the “Third Site” and it included radar systems in the Czech Republic and interceptors in Poland.
The system has received much criticism from Russia and it is widely believed that the Obama Administration is ditching the plans for the Third Site as a way to improve relations with Russia. Russia views the Third Site as a way for American to move its forces to Russia’s borders and believes the systems might have a destabilizing effect on Russian nuclear arsenal.
It is sad that perhaps it is the Russian arguments, more than anything else, that influenced the decision to cut the systems. This is because the Russian arguments are based on emotions rather than technical capabilities. For example there was only to be 10 interceptors in Poland. It is hard to imagine that these would have any destabilizing effect on the thousands of nuclear tipped ballistic missiles in the Russian arsenal. It also sends a poor message to our allies in Eastern Europe that the United States may not be the most reliable partner.
But more importantly, without the radar in the Czech Republic and the interceptors in Poland, the United States, our troops abroad, and our allies remain vulnerable to missile attacks – especially from reckless and hostile nations like Iran.