Europe and the General Strategy
More than five decades after World War ii and two decades since the end of the cold War and its corresponding threat of nuclear annihilation, existential security concerns seem far from the minds of average Europeans. This sense of safety, combined with tight government budgets in a time of economic crisis, makes costly weapons systems and other defense expenditures seem less essential to citizens and policymakers alike. But despite the impression of security, europe cannot afford to be complacent to continued threats in a still-dangerous world. While the cold War danger of global nuclear war has receded, the risk of missile-borne nuclear attack remains. At the 2010 NATO Summit in Lisbon, Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) was designated a core element of NATO’s collective defense requirements and the Alliance committed “to expand NATO’s current system to protect NATO-deployed forces to also protect NATO European populations and territory.” And at the 2012 NATO Summit in Chicago, the Alliance confirmed its strategic and financial commitment. NATO defense and intelligence communities consider the ongoing ballistic missile and nuclear weapons development efforts of regional actors such as North Korea to be legitimate security threats. Many NATO and European Union officials are concerned that the ongoing economic crisis may deter European nations from fulfilling their basic obligation to protect their people and territories from nuclear attack.
Volume (Year): 61 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
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