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Argument: NATO members support a European missile defense system

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Supporting quotations

Sally McNamara, Baker Spring and Peter Brookes. "Missile Defense: Debunking Arguments Against the Third Site in Eastern Europe". Heritage Foundation. November 6, 2007 - Myth #2: NATO is opposed to a U.S. missile defense system in Europe.

Quite the contrary. NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer stated after the April 2007 North Atlantic Council meeting: "There is absolutely a shared threat perception...Allies all agree that there is a threat from ballistic missiles."[6]

NATO military experts are currently studying plans for a short-range missile defense system to protect southern European nations that will not be covered by the U.S. initiative.[7] Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer has indicated that this system will complement the U.S. missile defense system, giving the clearest indication yet that NATO considers U.S. plans vital to Europe's defense.

Third site installations allow the United States to extend its own security umbrella and protect its NATO allies in Europe from long-range missiles. For Warsaw and Prague, this would mark a new milestone in their integration into the transatlantic security community. They would be providing a significant contribution to their own defense and that of NATO, making a powerful statement in support of the alliance's principle of mutual defense.

Although NATO has generally considered the talks between Washington and Warsaw and Prague as a bilateral issue, it is broadly supportive of American missile defense plans in Europe. Individual members fear provoking Russia with this initiative, influencing Moscow negatively on other thorny issues, such as European energy security, Kosovo independence, and future NATO expansion.

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