Barack Obama believes that missile defense is important but that collective efforts should be made with regards to missile defense. He scrapped the Bush-era plans for defense against Iranian missiles and replaced it with a new system, in spite of criticism that he was conceding too much to Russia.
Missile defense plays an important role in the broader U.S. international security strategy, supporting both deterrence and diplomacy. Missile defense assures our allies and partners that the United States has the will and the means to deter and, if necessary, defeat a limited ballistic missile attack against the U.S. homeland and regional ballistic missile attacks against our deployed forces, allies, and partners.
President Obama attempted Tuesday to clarify his suggestion that he'll have "more flexibility" after the election in November to take on the controversial proposal to build a missile-defense system in Europe...
"I think everybody understands … that I want to reduce nuclear stockpiles," Obama said. "And one of the barriers to doing that is building trust and cooperation around missile-defense issues. And so this is not a matter of hiding the ball."
Obama was seen on video in a casual chat with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at a nuclear security summit in Seoul. On the tape, Obama leans toward Medvedev and can be heard giving him a message for the once and future Russian president, Vladimir Putin.
"On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this can be solved," Obama said. "But it's important for him to give me space.
"This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility."
"I understand," Medvedev responded. "I will transmit this information to Vladimir."
After scrapping his predecessor George W. Bush's missile shield plan, Obama is pressing ahead with his own version that envisages eventual deployment of SM-3 interceptors in Poland.
Obama invited Russia to cooperate on the new system, which is due to be deployed in stages till 2020, but has reassured the Poles and others that Moscow will have no veto over the plans.
On September 17, 2009, President Barack Obama announced the U.S. decision to adopt a new approach to ballistic missile defense in Europe. This plan is called the European Phased Adaptive Approach or EPAA. The President stated:
"To put it simply, our new missile defense architecture in Europe will provide stronger, smarter, and swifter defenses of American forces and America's Allies. It is more comprehensive than the previous program; it deploys capabilities that are proven and cost-effective; and it sustains and builds upon our commitment to protect the U.S. homeland against long-range ballistic missile threats; and it ensures and enhances the protection of all our NATO Allies."
...Turkey officially agreed to have in its territory a sophisticated American radar system that could be on the watch by the end of the year.
The data from the radar in Turkey — combined with an array of other data and American intelligence assessments of missile threats — will be shared with allies, including Israel, in keeping with longstanding arrangements, officials said.
The deployment of the US European-based Phased, Adaptive Approach for Missile Defense (EPAA) system started with the presence since March in the Mediterranean of a guided missile cruiser equipped with Aegis radar.
The second phase is to include the deployment of 24 SM3-type interceptors in Romania, followed in 2018 by a similar deployment in Poland.
US President Barack Obama Tuesday held unscheduled talks with Romania's President Traian Basescu, to seal a newly signed accord which will bring US missile interceptors to Romanian territory...
"The President congratulated President Basescu on the US-Romania Ballistic Missile Defense Agreement, which exemplifies the President's commitment to strengthening NATO and ensuring allies have the capabilities to meet 21st century threats," the White House said.
In one of the sharpest breaks yet with the policies of the Bush administration, Obama said the new approach would offer "stronger, swifter and smarter" defence for the US and its allies. He said it would focus on the threat posed by Iran's short- and medium-range missiles, rather than its intercontinental nuclear capabilities...
He phoned the leaders of Poland and the Czech Republic last night to tell them he had dropped plans to site missile interceptors and a radar station in their respective countries. Russia had furiously opposed the project, claiming it targeted Moscow's nuclear arsenal.
In keeping with that commitment, and a congressionally mandated review, I ordered a comprehensive assessment of our missile defense program in Europe. And after an extensive process, I have approved the unanimous recommendations of my Secretary of Defense and my Joint Chiefs of Staff to strengthen America's defenses against ballistic missile attack.
This new approach will provide capabilities sooner, build on proven systems, and offer greater defenses against the threat of missile attack than the 2007 European missile defense program.