NATO Gives Nod to Missile Defense

The 28 NATO members have agreed to develop a defensive shield to protect Europe from ballistic missiles as a core element of their collective defense. Faced with “real and growing” missile proliferation threatening the “Euro-Atlantic area,” the allies are committed to the “capability to defend [their] populations and territories,” reads the text of the alliance’s new strategic concept adopted earlier this month in Lisbon, Portugal. To that end, members will expand NATO’s existing missile defense command, control, and communications capabilities beyond just protecting the alliances’ deployed forces. They also will “actively seek cooperation” with Russia, states the document. They also welcomed the US phased adaptive approach as “a valuable national contribution” to the alliance’s architecture. The members overcame Turkish objections by avoiding specific mention of the threat posed by Iran, reported The Wall Street Journal. (Strategic concept full text and Lisbon Summit declaration)