9 July 2014
Things are beginning to move on the Pentagon’s plan to build a ground-based missile-defense system in Romania to protect U.S. allies in southern Europe – as well as American troops in the region – from attack by Iranian missiles (although it’s rarely stated so bluntly).
The latest sign is this Pentagon solicitation seeking “100mb [megabit] direct access with internet routable IP addresses for MDA [Missile Defense Agency] contractors onsite” at Romania’s Deveselu air base near Caracal, some 125 miles southwest of Count Dracula’s castle. The U.S. anti-missile base will consist of 430 acres surrounded by base property, and be run by about 200 U.S. military and civilian personnel.
The Romanian ministry of foreign affairs says the Deveselu facility is important to Romanian security. “The most recent studies on the matter point that our geographical area – Southeastern Europe –- becomes increasingly vulnerable to threats posed by short and medium range missiles,” it says. “Furthermore, Romania is an important strategic partner of the United States and a reliable NATO Ally. The invitation extended to Romania can only validate the substantial value of this partnership and the important role our country plays in the Alliance.”
It also has learned to tap-dance around just who might be firing missiles towards Romania:
O-K. Plus, it won’t cost Bucharest a single ban, according to the Romanian MFA:
The site will be outfitted with (perhaps 24, according to the Romanians) SM-3 interceptor missiles (aka the Aegis Ashore System, seeing as it is traditionally based aboard ships) and “will provide protection of NATO European territories and populations, and augment protection of the United States, against the increasing threats posed by the proliferation of ballistic missiles from the Middle East,” according to the State Department.
“SM-3 interceptors are for defensive purposes only and have no offensive capability. They carry no explosive warheads of any type, and rely on their kinetic energy to collide with and destroy incoming enemy ballistic missile warheads,” the State Department has advised nervous Romanians. “SM-3 Interceptors based in Romania will not be used for flight tests, and will be launched only in defense against an actual attack…The risk of damage or injury from an intercept and debris are small and pose little threat to people and property. The alternative (allowing a threat warhead to impact its target) likely would result in far more severe consequences.”
The Pentagon, in seeking $158 million in construction funding for the work for 2013, said:
And to think it only took garlic and/or
sunlight to deal with Vlad.