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Deployment generates interest, little opposition
Deployment generates interest, little opposition
By Bill Gertz

Deployment of the first U.S. national missile defense has produced little domestic or international opposition. In fact, there is growing interest among other nations in taking part in buying or cooperating in U.S. efforts to knock down enemy missiles and warheads.

Russia, with thousands of strategic nuclear missiles and its own limited missile defense, has said that the U.S. system does not threaten Moscow's security. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said in August that the interceptors in Alaska "pose no threat to Russia's security." He also said that "in theory Russia has never ruled out cooperation with the USA" in missile defenses.

China, on the other hand, has reacted modestly. "Our missile defenses aren't really a threat to China. And I think they know that," said an official who is involved in missile defense at the Pentagon. "It's not been a thunderous response or ruptured relations."

However, China has been more vocal in opposing U.S. short-range missile defenses, such as the Patriot PAC-3 or Aegis missile defense, that could be sold or used cooperatively in defending Taiwan, the official said.

China's official People's Daily, the newspaper of the ruling Communist Party, said U.S. missile defenses can contribute to world peace by stopping the accidental launch of a nuclear missile. "However, the [national missile defense], no matter how perfect it becomes, could not truly stop a nuclear war or a nuclear strike on the U.S. continent," the newspaper stated.

Japan is likely to become one of the major U.S. partners in overseas missile defense. Tokyo has agreed to buy the Navy's new Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) interceptor, which can be deployed on Japan's Aegis ships.

Japan also has expressed an interest in buying the Air Force's new Airborne Laser, the Boeing 747 with a laser gun outfitted in the nose that can shoot down short-range missiles. For the Japanese, the major missile threat comes from North Korea, which has 620-mile-range Nodong missiles that can hit Japan.

European allies Britain, Germany, Italy, Poland, Romania and Hungary also are interested in cooperative arrangements with the United States on missile defense. Poland already has designated the Powidz Air Base in the western part of the country as a potential interceptor base for U.S. missiles. Construction of a base in Europe could begin as early as 2006, defense officials said.

Australia has said it plans to develop missile defenses with the United States. Israel has deployed Arrow missile defenses that were developed jointly with the United States. India is considering the purchase of Patriot anti-missile systems to counter the threat from Pakistan's missiles.

Taiwan, which already has a less-capable version of the Patriot, is planning purchases of the PAC-3, perhaps as early as next year. Taiwan needs the defenses to counter the growing Chinese missile threat to the island. "The foremost threat from the Chinese communists is their some 600 ballistic missiles," said Adm. Chen Pang-chih, head of Taiwan's political warfare bureau.


Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 7:50 AM


The global defense industry is constantly shaping how borders are protected, wars are fought, terrorists are tracked and caught, and global security maintained. We aim to track news, policy, military exercises and strategic affairs between the world's largest democracies - India and the United States.

Given the vast interest and passion we have in this field, we decided to launch this blog to give visitors the ability to track these developments, exchange ideas and link to other sources of Information. Our primary sources and links can be found on the main page. Some of the pieces published herein our ours, otherwise it is reproduced from other sources (news, think-tanks or publications) to provide our readers the ability to interact and respond. The link to the original source can always be found under the article. Articles and op-ed pieces written by us include thoughts and opinions that are ours, not those of any government or political party. Last but not least, this blog is not-for-profit, nor is it financially supported by any corporation, entity or organization. It is purely to be used for informational purposes and not commercial and/or profit motives.

Thank you, Nik Khanna & Jango Unwalla

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This blog focuses on current issues concerning defense and national security for the world's largest democracy - India. It is updated regularly providing readers with in-depth information on technology transfer, acquisitions, counter-terrorism, security and military collaboration and strategic dialogue between India and the United States. The site includes links to top defense policy & research institutes, think-tanks, military sites and research organizations.
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