Dear Members and Friends,
In addition to the current United States shutdown that could lead to a potential default on our national debt, the financial stability of our nation, to a significant extent, depends on the health and wealth of our European partners and NATO allies. This dependent relationship has been with our nation when it was founded in 1776, throughout our young history of our country, two world wars, and still remains today. The protection and security of Europe has and continues to be a mandate for the United States in regards to our own stability. From the Marshall Plan’s tremendous United States investment into European resources after World War II, to the formation of NATO and the support of the European Union. The lion’s share of the security for Europe has come from the American taxpayers as our nation has a steadfast belief that Europe is vital to our nation’s success and that a stable Europe provides growth and prosperity.
Threats to Europe today are not the same as they were in 1989 with a presence of over 200,000 United States Army soldiers in 850 sites to defend Europe from the Soviet Union. That presence has gone down to 32,000 United States Army soldiers in 128 sites today where the primary threat today to NATO is cyber, terrorist, missiles, and rockets from rogue nations on the borders of NATO.
NATO continues to be justified and pertinent in deterring and defeating these threats. This region of the world that has seen the most use of ballistic missiles than any other region in the world is called EUCOM by our nations’ military. General Breedlove of the United States Air Force is the current Commander of United States European Command who is dual hatted as the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe of NATO Command Operations. A role envisioned and first served by General Dwight Eisenhower who also served as the 34th United States President.
President Barack Obama’s direct objective in parallel to the mandate in protection of Europe, is to build an active NATO missile defense system in Europe to protect all of Europe from ballistic missile threats. That system is a three phased system that has deployed phase one already in 2011 with two United States Aegis BMD ships in the Mediterranean Sea, and a forward-based radar in Turkey linked together with a NATO command and control center in Ramstein, Germany. The second phase is due in 2015 with a land-based United States Aegis Ashore site in Romania with SM-3 Block IB missiles that would also connect through Ramstein’s NATO missile defense command and control to provide defense for Southern Europe. The final stage will be based in Poland in 2018 in the form of another Aegis Ashore site that would have a more capable missiles to defend Central Europe and parts of Northern Europe. These three systems along with multiple United States Aegis BMD ship deployments based out of Rota, Spain in the waters around Europe would seek to provide protection for all of Europe from ballistic missiles.
The investment going forward, in the missile defense of Europe, will cost a lot and as currently projected, does not have the capability to defend the United States homeland from its locations and systems in Europe, but Europe has to be protected. The ballistic threats are proliferating exponentially and is very real around the borders of our NATO allies. We hope and demand that NATO and its members will equally share in these costs that the United States taxpayers have paid for the majority of and continue to do so in the defense of Europe, its financial security, and its stability.
In times like these and in the forthcoming future, the United States cannot not afford nor does it have the luxury of funding to do all what this vital mission encompasses alone.