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Research Report

European Views of National Missile Defense

Stephen Cambone
Ivo Daalder
Stephen J. Hadley
Christopher J. Makins
Copyright Date: Sep. 1, 2000
Published by: Atlantic Council
Pages: 36
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. v-vi)
    Christopher J. Makins

    The revival in the late 1990s of intense political discussion in the United States about the near-term deployment of a national missile defense (NMD) system found the European NATO allies generally unprepared, and reluctant, to confront the strategic developments to which the U.S. debate was responding. The speed with which a broad political consensus developed in the United States about the spread of ballistic missile capabilities in Asia and the Middle East and the implications of this development compounded this unpreparedness. When the Clinton administration started a process of intense discussion of these questions and proposed U.S. responses with its...

  2. (pp. 1-2)

    Under the auspices of the Atlantic Council of the United States, a delegation visited Berlin, Brussels, London and Paris from 10 to 14 July 2000 for discussions of the issues raised by the proposed deployment of missile defenses of U.S. national territory. The delegation was composed of Stephen Cambone of the Institute for National Security Studies at the National Defense University, Stephen Hadley, former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy and an attorney with Shea & Gardner, and Christopher J. Makins, president of the Atlantic Council.¹ In all the cities except Brussels the team met with senior government officials...

  3. (pp. 2-4)

    European attitudes on an issue such as missile defense are naturally formed in the context of many other important international and domestic issues. This broader context is vital to the assessment of the results of conversations such as those which the team held. At least five aspects of this broader context are of particular importance in connection with missile defense.

    The disappearance of the Soviet threat to Europe and the consequent development of a general sense of enhanced security is an essential element of the current situation in Europe as in the United States. It colors attitudes towards the kind...

  4. (pp. 4-20)

    This section will summarize and synthesize the principal ideas that emerged from the conversations held in Europe in mid-July by the Atlantic Council team, supplemented by the team members’ understandings gathered in recent months and years in extensive discussions with Europeans on these issues. This assessment will be prefaced by a summary of a set of basic attitudes that have shaped European responses to the U.S. NMD debate and to the recent intensive consultations that the U.S. government has held with its allies about NMD. Current European thinking will then be assessed under the headings of the ballistic missile threat,...

  5. (pp. 21-24)

    The Atlantic Council team’s principal conclusions from its meetings in Europe can be summarized as follows:

    There has been a considerable change in the European official and expert thinking on the many aspects of the missile defense issue over the last several months. This change is primarily the result of the substantial time and effort that the administration has invested in consultation with allied governments during that period. There is still a wide gap in perception of both the extent and timing of the threat from new and emerging ballistic missile capabilities and in the judgment of the appropriate strategic...