Dear Members and Friends,
The success of the NATO summit in Lisbon, success that was driven by President Obama, is a significant achievement and victory for missile defense. Missile defense is now a legitimate, valued entity and accepted policy of twenty-eight nations; to be used to dissuade and deter those that threaten their territory as a whole or individually. The NATO member Heads of Government and State agreed that missile defense is a key element to the strategic defense of NATO. Furthermore, they stated that missile defense will be developed in NATO to protect all European populations, territory and forces.
Enclosed below are the missile defense highlights from the Lisbon Summit Declaration of November 20, 2010:
It is of note that, as listed above in the declaration, NATO has invited Russia to cooperate on missile defense. The Russians and Americans will look to find common ground on which to participate; a task that will be extremely challenging. The greatest challenge to Russian-United States cooperation will be the sharing of highly classified information about these defensive systems; sharing that is fundamental to a successful partnership and enhancing the overall system.
This cooperation may not be viewed in the national security interest of either country.
In parallel to national security sensitivities and cooperative efforts with Russia, any strategic missile defense capability placed in Europe for the protection of the U.S. homeland would cause dissension from Russia. It is with this intention and sensitivity that the Lisbon Declaration clearly indicated that missile defenses deployed in Europe will be to protect all NATO European population, territory and forces protection, rather than including the United States population and homeland.
Irrespective of the Russian cooperative efforts and whether they will be successful or not, the Lisbon Declaration remains a powerful and significant achievement for the development and deployment of missile defense as it moves our world towards an integrated, international missile defense capability that can deter and dissuade countries from seeking ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction.
We sincerely congratulate and acknowledge each of the twenty-eight nations (Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States) and our President for solidifying missile defense and moving forward in the continued development and deployment of missile defense systems in Europe.