Overhead view of world map with NATO logo in the middle of the ocean.

European Phased Adaptive Approach prepares second phase

Ballistic Missile Defense: A New Task for NATO

April 2013, Number 04.02

“At the Lisbon summit in November 2010, NATO heads of state and government designated Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) as a new task essential for the Alliance’s defense capability. Russia has been concerned about NATO’s missile defense in Europe, fearing that such a system might have a negative impact on Russia’s strategic deterrence capabilities. Therefore, the decision was made to renew dialogue with Russia and work toward close cooperation. BMD has been of high political significance for two reasons: it renews the trans-Atlantic link and the Alliance’s collective defense obligation, and it enables NATO to change the way it cooperates with third parties outside the Alliance. The decisions made in Lisbon were the result of eight years of analysis, study and consultation, and led to a work program running along two parallel axes: an internal one and an external one oriented toward Russia. It remains a work in progress...”

Excerpt from Friedrich Wilhelm Ploeger, “Ballistic Missile Defense: A New Task for NATO,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 4, No. 2, 2013: 20-23.

Lt. Gen. Friedrich Wilhelm Ploeger is deputy commander of NATO’s Allied Air Command Ramstein at Ramstein Airbase, Germany. Before his current assignment, Gen. Ploeger served three command roles in Kalkar, Germany: heading the German Air Force Air Operations Command, the Combined Air Operations Centre Uedem and the Joint Air Power Competence Centre. In a German Air Force career that stretches back to 1967, he has served NATO and Germany in Bonn, Brussels and Berlin.

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.