USA Missile Defense and Russia…

by Daniel Wagner and Diana Stellman

President Obama’s decision to revisit George Bush’s defense architecture early on in his presidency has been influenced by a number of underlying issues. The President believed it was important to meet the evolving threat of Iran, North Korea, and other rogue states with adequate defense capabilities, but he had to take into consideration spending realities resulting from the financial crisis while seeking to preserve the international non-proliferation regime and maintain strategic stability. While wanting to emphasize the shared transatlantic security burden in Europe, President Obama also wanted to reset relations with Russia, which had cooled considerably during the Bush years.

If the Obama Administration succeeds in communicating convincingly the non-offensive motives behind the expansion of its missile defense architecture, joint efforts with Russia in missile defense, disarmament and non-proliferation could succeed.


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