Sky Shield & the Spiraling U.S.-NATO Arms Race,

Joseph Gerson, president of the Campaign for Peace

Reuters reported on October 13 that “Germany and more than a dozen NATO partners aim to jointly procure air defense systems that protect allied territory from missiles, eying Israel’s Arrow 3 system, U.S. Patriot, and German IRIS-T units among the options. The system has been named European Sky Shield.” Consistent with U.S. and NATO commitments to integrated and intraoperative systems, Sky Shield is being designed to fully integrate the short, medium, and long-range missile defense systems of all participating nations.

Those who signed the October letter of intent are Germany, Britain, Slovakia, Norway, Latvia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Finland, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Romania, and Slovenia. Defense News had earlier reported that “Some allies may only be interested in one layer of the shield while others will opt for the full suit,” with the opportunity to expand their limited systems in the future.

France, Italy, Turkey, Spain, and Poland have yet to sign on as they have their own competing air defense systems. Continued negotiations about their and non-NATO member states possibly joining Sky Shield are anticipated. Additionally, the U.S. will continue to operate some ballistic missile sites in eastern Europe independently from NATO. […]

Investments of tens of billions of Euros, if not more, will be required if a system is to be built with the ostensible goal of protecting the eastern flank of NATO from Norway in the north to Greece in the south. That said, we know from repeated failed missile defense tests and the limited capabilities of Israeli and Ukrainian missile defenses, absolute protection is still far beyond what missile defenses can provide. 80% reliability against conventionally armed missiles can provide meaningful, if not total, protection.

But a 20 per cent failure rate in downing nuclear armed missiles would result in unimaginable devastation, possibly global cooling or worse, nuclear winter.  Worth noting is that the U.S. has no real defenses against Russia’s new hypersonic and other exotic nuclear weapons delivery systems. […]

The European Council on Foreign Relations explains why most NATO members states have signed onto Sky Shield. It reports that a lesson from Russia’s more than 4,000 devastating missile attacks on Ukraine, including recently against Ukraine’s infrastructure, is that “Russia will likely continue to use them in the future, in Ukraine and perhaps beyond.” (This way of war is in the long tradition of siege warfare, and as we know from the U.S. Iraq wars, it is not unique to the Kremlin.) Hence, the Council article continues, Läs artikel