Global Security Newswire
Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues
Czech Republic Could Host Missile Warning Center
The Obama administration's missile defense plans could include a warning center in the Czech Republic, the Associated Press reported today (see GSN, July 6).
Officials from Washington and Prague are discussing installation of such a facility somewhere in the European nation. The center would need only a handful of staffers to collect and assess satellite data "to detect missiles aiming at NATO territory," according to Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas.
"It's not supposed to be a huge military installation," he said today.
During the Bush administration, the United States intended to deploy a missile defense radar base in the Czech Republic and 10 long-range missile interceptors in Poland. The Obama administration last year scrapped that project in favor of a plan to field land- and sea-based versions of Standard Missile 3 to defend primarily against short- and medium-range missiles from nations such as Iran.
The warning center would receive $2 million in U.S. funding in 2011 and 2012 and would eventually be incorporated into a NATO antimissile system, Necas said.
The site would not require a new agreement by the two nations or approval by Czech lawmakers, the prime minister said. However, it could face opposition from activists who protested the radar plan, AP reported.
"It's too serious to be silent," said activist Jan Tamas (Karel Janicek, Associated Press/Google News, July 30).