The Casimir Pulaski Foundation held a meeting on Missile Defence on 27 February 2014. The guest of honour of Pulaski Security Briefing was Lt. Gen. Patrick O’Reilly, former Director of the U.S. Missile Defence Agency at the United States Department of Defence, responsible for Polish-American negotiations concerning deployment of elements of the ground-based missile defence system in Poland, currently a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. Representatives of the National Security Bureau, the Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM), the Government Centre for Security, and the Casmir Pulaski Foundation were among the invitees.

The participants discussed both technical and political issues, including the recent Polish-American negotiations on Anti-ballistic Missile Defence in Poland and the future of the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPPA). Furthermore, they emphasised the necessity of creating an international defence system, able to protect NATO Member States and the United States’ allies. According to the experts present at the meeting, the crucial factor contributing to the effectiveness of the programme is the involvement of as many countries as possible in order to create a global, multi-layered Anti-Ballistic Missile Defence System. Taking into consideration the recent decisions regarding budget cuts at the United States Department of Defence, it would seem certain to apply a cost-effectiveness analysis in regard to current projects. The utilisation and development of  available technologies such as AEGIS Ballistic Missile Defence System, seems to be indispensable in the current situation due to the financial crisis and the questionable estimate of the ballistic missile threat.

In reference to the on-going conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa Region and the emerging military-industrial partnership between Iran and China, the European Phased Adaptive Approach is becoming increasingly more important. Potential threats from Rogue States and other countries possessing ballistic missiles requires a coordinated and ‘collective defence’ approach. Consequently, initiatives such as EPAA or Active Layered Theatre Ballistic Missile Defence (ALTBMD) will enable better defence of NATO Member States. According to the experts attending the meeting at the Pulaski Foundation, further plans concerning Phase III will be introduced despite the declining defence budget of the United States. In conclusion, the participants concurred that the decision about deployment of Standard Missile 3 interceptors in Poland is not a political one; in fact it was agreed that the only reason for deployment concerns the strategic defence of Europe and the United States.

Rafał Lipka