Bolt On

February 26, 2008

The Czech Republic, Poland and the United States are close to consummating a multilateral and bilateral commitment to host a missile defense system that NATO would soon “bolt on” and integrate this system for protection of Europe from ballistic missile threats. This new system would offer protection for the majority of Europe, Northeastern Africa, Greenland, Iceland, the majority of Japan and parts of Russia and China from limited long and medium range ballistic missiles from Iran.

The Czech Republic would have a responsibility and a critical component of hosting a European Midcourse X-Band Radar (EMR) that would provide Europe’s most powerful sensing information of tracking and discrimination of very small objects traveling through space. This sensor and its information would be integrated into all of the current deployed missile defense systems as well as all of NATO’s missile defense systems so as to provide accurate, pinpoint precision to cue up the various missile defense interceptors located throughout Europe. This sensor is also an invaluable tool to track and discriminate debris in space to determine if it is harmful or not to human life. The “high tech” associated with the EMR and its dissemination of the information is a world leading edge technology.

The European Midcourse X-Band Radar (EMR) would be financed by the United States, thus contributing an instrumental asset to NATO at no cost to NATO. The radar would be built and fully deployed by 2013 providing the necessary coverage for the National Intelligence Report on the ballistic missile threat that Iran poses to Europe. The United States would have very minimal troop presence (around five or less) as this has been done in many other foreign countries hosting radars with the United States.

For the Czech Republic, hosting the EMR provides them with a unique and important responsibility as a new contributing NATO member. It also helps the Czech Republic move from a manufacturing economy into a high tech economy as a substantial amount of US money will be contracted out to Czech Republic companies to provide services to help build and sustain this radar. Estimates stated by the Missile Defense Agency are around $90 million a year until the radar is built and then $40 million a year to sustain it that will go directly to Czech Republic companies.

On the eve of Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topol?nek’s visit to meet with President Bush this Wednesday, MDAA has spent the past few days in Prague and local cities surrounding the Brdy region to observe and listen to the views of Czech citizens and officials on the proposed agreement between the United States and the Czech Republic.

We look forward to hearing the comments from Prime Minister Mirek Topol?nek and to the day when the United States can contribute to this great country again, as we have vivid memories of the impact of the United States Third Army, led by General George S. Patton, that liberated many of the cities in the Czech Republic, and the American and Czech lives that were sacrificed to do so.

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Curtis Stiles - Chief of Staff