Washington, 1 Rabiul Akhir 1434/11 February 2013 (MINA) – The Pentagon has questioned the efficiency of the U.S. missile system in Europe, the Associated Press reported on Sunday, referring to a leaked secret report, prepared by the U.S. Congress.
The report, in particular, casts doubt on the feasibility of the deployment of U.S. interceptors in Romania and Poland, according to Press TV reports monitored by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA), Monday.
The classified studies were outlined to lawmakers in a briefing by the non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) which was obtained by the Associated Press.
FACTS & FIGURES
The GAO investigators said that classified reports by the Missile Defense Agency concluded that Romania was a poor location for an interceptor to protect the US.
It was also revealed that the Polish site would only work if the US developed capabilities to launch interceptors which could target an Iranian missile while in its short initial phase of powered flight. The White House has opted not to pursue that capability because it is not viewed to be feasible, said one senior defense official.
The military has considered overcoming this flaw by deploying interceptors on ships in the North Sea instead. But apart from safety concerns cited by the US Navy, said interceptors would be directly in the firing line of Russian ICBMs, reinforcing Moscow’s claims that Russia, and not Iran, is the intended target of the system.
Considering the budgetary constraints of spending billions for a system which is potentially incapable of delivering as promised, the study could force Congress to reevaluate the efficacy and benefit of the system.
NATO’s missile defense system presents a threat to Russia’s national security and may trigger the militarization of Europe, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin told a NATO Parliamentary Assembly delegation in October 2012.
The US missile defense system, first shelved then repackaged under the Obama administration, has been a thorn in the side of the Russia-US reset. Indeed, Russia has warned that the issue has all the potential to escalate into another arms race.
In a sign of shifting loyalties, the Polish president has slammed his government’s former decision to deploy elements of a US missile defense system on its territory, calling it “a mistake.”
The Atlantic Alliance has vowed to continue developing and deploying its missile defenses, irrespective of the status of missile defense cooperation with Russia, which remains stalled. rian.ru. Russia has threatened to launch a range of countermeasures to tackle NATO’s missile defenses, including forward deployments of tactical nuclear missiles to its Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad and improvements to its strategic nuclear missile arsenal. (T/P-08/E1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)