Missile Defense in Europe: Dangers and Opportunities

The U.S. plan to deploy elements of its Ballistic Missile Defense System in Eastern Europe was bound to be controversial. Russia has long been wary of U.S. missile defense plans and skeptical of U.S. claims about the ballistic missile threat from the third countries that missile defense is supposed to counter. The choice of Eastern Europe as the site of the upcoming deployment has made the plan particularly contentious, linking it to the already controversial process of eastward expansion of NATO. As a result, many Russians believe that in reality the missile defense system is directed against Russia.