Russia has long argued that NATO’s missile defense shield in Europe is likely to threaten Russia’s security. However, Dr. Yousaf Butt from the Federation of American Scientists believes the effectiveness of the missile defense system is arguable.
Butt claims that in fact the US missile defense system has never been tested in realistic conditions and will not be able to defeat an intercontinental ballistic missile from on of the so-called “rogue states” (namely Iran and North Korea).
“Anybody who can make ballistic missiles can also put decors on the missiles to overcome the defenses. You can put, for instance, inflatable balloons that appear to the radar sensors and the imaging sensors on the intercept vehicle as warheads, so you overwhelm the system,” said Yousaf Butt.
On the other hand, said Butt, further development of the system may lead to Russia and China trying to restore some kind of balance by arming themselves more, as the countries concerned cannot ignore the possibility that the system may be improved technologically.
“Military planners in China and Russia have to plan for the worst and pretend like the system works, whereas it can, in fact, be easily overcome and has never been realistically tested,” explained Butt.
Russia has proposed several times to the US to co-operate in the missile defense sphere, however, the US constantly refused the proposal. Yousaf Butt warns that before asking for the co-operation, it is important to make sure the system works.
“I would say, before all the political people asking for co-operation go too far, there should be a study of whether the system can work in real combat conditions,” said Dr Butt.
“I think we need to get the technical people to co-operate. Once the good system is there, then we can get the political people to co-operate,” he added.