The curtain on U.S. plans for Europe was pulled back by Bradley Roberts, deputy assistant secretary of defense for nuclear and missile defense policy, speaking at a hearing of the House of Representatives Armed Services subcommittee on April 15.
Roberts said Europe would be 'fully covered' in 2018 after more Missile-3 interceptor missiles were deployed at another northern European site.
The first site is Poland.
Under the Bush-era plan, Poland was to get ten interceptor missiles; the Czech Republic a tracking radar. Moscow didn't like the plan, and Obama 'scrapped' it for a leaner, sea-based system, whose final outline still doesn't seem crystallized.
Roberts touched on why it made strategic sense to scrap the 10 interceptors in Poland, arguing they would have only provided 75 percent coverage of Europe.
Sounding ever benevolent, Roberts said the U.S. responded to the concerns of "vulnerable allies."
"We heard immediately from vulnerable allies in the ... 75 percent equation, those left out, that they were looking for protection," Roberts said.
Roberts disclosed Washington is discussing the potential location of a forward-based AN/TPY-2 radar station it wants to deploy in southern Europe by the end of next year.
That's still "Phase One", he said.
"Phase Two", added Roberts, would put more interceptors and sensors along with a SM-3 battalion at an undisclosed southern European site.
As the Informant has reported, Washington is exploiting anti-Russian sentiment among eastern European elites to push forward with this plan.
Romanian lawmakers have signed onto the plan, after Ellen Tauscher, the U.S. undersecretary of state for arms control (sic) slick talked the Romanians after Vice President Joe Biden began the U.S. charm offensive back in October.
Bulgaria wants in too, according to their prime minister and former track-suit-wearing, body guard brooding, Boyko Borisov.
U.S. Ambassador to Sofia James Warlick said preliminary talks had already taken place with Bulgaria. Warlick also let out a whooper, saying Washington had held talks not only with Bulgaria, but with "other countries in the region."
But you say, relations are on a peaceful track now, after Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed the new START treaty in Prague on April 8.
Well, actually, U.S. military brass say that treaty actually help advance U.S. missile shield plans.
That from the mouth of the Lieutenant General Patrick O'Reilly, the head of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency.
"The new START treaty actually reduces constraints on the development of the missile defense program," he told the House of Representatives subcommittee on strategic forces.
O'Reilly said the agreement would allow previously prohibited tests for the development of anti-missile defense systems.
"Our targets will no longer be subject to START constraints, which limited our use of air-to-surface and waterborne launches of targets which are essential for a cost-effective testing of missile defense interceptor against medium-range and intermediate-range ballistic missiles in the Pacific region," he said.
Isn't START wonderful?
The ever busy Tauscher has stated START would no way slow down U.S. missile defense plans.
“There are no constraints to missile defense in the START treaty. That’s one piece of it. Each party – if you look at the START treaty itself, each party has the ability to include unilateral statements. Those statements now are still being negotiated. But each party has the ability to make a unilateral statement,” Tauscher said in March.
The Russians don't see it that way.
The chief of the Russian Army General Staff, Nikolay Makarov, said the U.S. system is a 'concern.'
“The development of the missile defense system is targeting Russia,” said chief of the Russian Army General Staff Nikolay Makarov.
“Even though some state officials claim it's aimed at enhancing our security, this is far from being true. We view it very negatively because it might weaken our missile forces,” he added.
Here he is speaking on Russian Today.
The latest Pentagon announcements are sure to be studied carefully at the Kremlin, taking a bit of luster off the fanfare following the signing of START.