The Duck of Minerva

The Duck Quacks at Twilight

BMD and NATO not quite BFD, but a step in the right direction

November 19, 2010

NATO agrees to missile-defense mission. Somewhat paradoxically, this is true even if you’re lukewarm on ballistic missile defenses (BMD) in general, or the Phased Adaptive Approach in particular. Why? The more NATO presents a united front, the more likely the Russians are to cooperate on BMD and BMD-related issues, which not only reduces an irritant in relations but mitigates against some of the potentially destabilizing implications of BMD deployment.

Afterthought: might also help with New START ratification. Harder to argue that Obama is selling out BMD when he’s accomplished something no Republican ever did: convince NATO to make it part of its mission.

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Daniel H. Nexon is a Professor at Georgetown University, with a joint appointment in the Department of Government and the School of Foreign Service. His academic work focuses on international-relations theory, power politics, empires and hegemony, and international order. He has also written on the relationship between popular culture and world politics.