The Bush Administration has been developing plans to deploy interceptors and radar systems in Poland and the Czech Republic as part of a missile defense system designed to protect against the potential threat of Iranian nuclear armed missiles. If we can responsibly deploy missile defenses that would protect us and our allies we should – but only when the system works. We need to make sure any missile defense system would be effective before deployment. The Bush Administration has in the past exaggerated missile defense capabilities and rushed deployments for political purposes. The Bush Administration has also done a poor job of consulting its NATO allies about the deployment of a missile defense system that has major implications for all of them. We must not allow this issue to divide “new Europe” and “old Europe,” as the Bush Administration tried to do over Iraq.”
-Barack Obama 16 July 2007
This is a huge win for George Bush and John McCain and Donald Rumsfeld. It is a huge win for national security.
Today NATO leaders endorsed a controversial US missile shield for Europe yesterday, and US and Czech officials agreed on deployment of the first element – an advanced radar, despite strong Russian opposition. Had Barack Obama been President, this never would have happened.
US officials have confirmed a final communique on the missile defence system, parts of which will be stationed in Poland and the Czech Republic, and said the deal would "recognise the substantive contribution to the protection of the allies".
_____________________________In case it sounds easy let's see what was said in the NY Times on February 4, 2001:
U.S. Tries Defusing Allies' Opposition to Missile Defense
By MICHAEL R. GORDON New York Times
MUNICH, Feb. 3 — Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, the first senior Bush administration official to visit Europe, tried today to defuse opposition to the administration's antimissile plans by offering to help European nations and other allies to deploy missile defenses.
But while Mr. Rumsfeld assured European allies that the United States would consult with them on its antimissile plan, he did not address in any detail one of the Europeans' principal concerns: how an antimissile defense can be reconciled with strategic arms control and a productive relationship with Moscow.
"The United States intends to develop and deploy a missile defense designed to defend our people and forces against a limited ballistic missile attack, and is prepared to assist friends and allies threatened by missile attack to deploy such defenses," Mr. Rumsfeld said in a speech to a conference of top political officials and defense specialists.
Mr. Rumsfeld underscored that the Bush administration was determined to proceed with an antimissile defense of United States territory even if it could not overcome the objections from the Russians, the Chinese and the Europeans. He described a missile defense as nothing less than a moral imperative.
Missile defense was hardly the only sensitive issue today. The European Union's move to develop a 60,000-member rapid reaction force by 2003 has drawn a wary reaction from the Bush administration.
While not opposing the initiative, Mr. Rumsfeld was clearly skeptical, and stressed the need for great care to ensure that the European Union does not detract from NATO.
Mr. Bush's fatigue with the Balkan peacekeeping mission also remains a continuing source of anxiety in Europe. Mr. Rumsfeld said little on the subject today, saying that the matter was under review at the White House. The United States and Europe also have to decide how to proceed with NATO expansion, a topic that greatly worries the Russians.
But as European leaders have challenged the missile defense plan in recent weeks, the issue has risen to the fore. The main European concern is that deployment of an antimissile shield will undermine the framework of nuclear arms control and spoil relations with the Russians. Or as President Jacques Chirac of France put it last month, an American missile defense "cannot fail to relaunch the arms race in the world."
Mr. Chirac has not been the only critic. Rudolf Scharping, the German defense minister, has questioned the technological feasibility of the missile defense plan, and on a recent visit to Moscow urged that arms control agreements be preserved.
The Russians have sought to stoke the Europeans' fears, warning that they may abandon the strategic arms constraints they have negotiated with Washington if the Bush administration abandons the 1972 Antiballistic Missile Treaty and deploys an antimissile system.
The head of the Russian Security Council, Sergei Ivanov, is due to address the conference on Sunday, raising the specter of an American-Russian tussle for European opinion.
In his attempts to sway European opinion, Mr. Rumsfeld presented several arguments. He suggested that antimissile defenses could be reconciled with some arms control treaties, avoiding the bluntness of comments he made in Congressional hearings — and even on the plane flying to the conference — that the ABM treaty was an anachronism.
Mr. Rumsfeld also sought to turn long-standing European concerns about American isolationism or military intervention into arguments for missile defenses.
Without a missile shield, he suggested, future American leaders might turn isolationist in a crisis and shrink from confronting a missile- wielding third world aggressor. Alternatively, he warned, America might have to carry out a pre-emptive strike against a rogue nation.
"A system of defense need not be perfect, but the American people must not be left completely defenseless," Mr. Rumsfeld said. "It is not so much a technical question as a matter of a president's constitutional responsibility. Indeed, it is, in many respects, a moral issue."
Mr. Rumsfeld's case was helped by Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, who told the meeting that there was a general consensus in Washington that some sort of missile defense should be deployed. "The question from an American point of view is not whether we will have a national missile defense but when and how," Senator Lieberman said. "This is not a technologically feasible program now. We are some years away."
Senator John McCain and former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger also called for missile defenses, adding to the sense of inevitability.
The European response to Mr. Rumsfeld's proposal today was respectful, if restrained. Joschka Fischer, the German foreign minister, appeared to speak for most of his fellow European foreign ministers when he said that European nations were glad that Washington wanted to consult with them on the antimissile plan but that a missile defense must not come at the expense of arms control. That is a difficult balancing act that neither the Americans nor the Europeans were prepared to discuss in detail.
In general, neither European nor American officials seemed inclined to quarrel openly today about missile defense or the European Union's rapid reaction initiative.
"The United States has made it clear it intends to develop a missile defense system," said George Robertson, the NATO secretary general. "We have to take the sincerity and commitment of the United States seriously."
European officials cling to the hope that an American missile defense might be compatible with a modified version of the ABM treaty. Mr. Rumsfeld was careful not to exclude that option, but it may well be put to the test once the scale of the administration's plans are known.
Former President Bill Clinton proposed limited defense, involving 100 interceptors and a battle management radar in Alaska, which he planned to reconcile with an amended ABM treaty. There is no reason to think, however, that the Bush administration will settle for such a limited system, which was still too much for the Russians.
Mr. Rumsfeld, a former American ambassador to NATO, has only been in office for two weeks, and the Bush administration as a whole has not yet had time to develop comprehensive missile defense proposals.
Still, Mr. Rumsfeld's offer to help the Europeans and other allies deploy defenses raised a number of tricky questions, such as which land- based, sea-based or space-based systems might be used. As a result, it is impossible to say how long it would take to develop a system, what it would cost or to what extent it would require modification of the ABM treaty.
Mr. Rumsfeld did not say how much the Europeans would have to pay for antimissile defenses of their territory — no small concern for a continent whose military spending has lagged — and what Washington might contribute.
Mr. Rumsfeld has been something of a hard-liner on arms control. While Bush administration officials have previously talked of making deep, even unilateral cuts in the American nuclear arsenal, he had no specific arms control proposals to offer Moscow today. Yet he insisted that the Russians were mistaken to perceive an antimissile defenses as quest for strategic advantage.
He said a limited American defense could not neutralize the Russian nuclear arsenal, and he suggested that the Russians understood that but were pretending not to understand to build opposition to the American plan in Europe.
"The idea of an arms race between the United States and Russia ought not to be front and center in our thinking," Mr. Rumsfeld said. "It is something that is a leftover, a relic in our thinking."